The Emerging Writers’ Festival work, learn and play largely on the land of the Kulin nation, and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

EWF celebrates the history and creativity of the world’s oldest living culture.

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Masterclass & Online

Masterclass: Fiction

The path of a piece of fiction – from first drafts, through a publisher’s office, and then into the hands of a reader – is usually long, with twists and turns. Over a full day, learn from debut authors, writers with multiple books under their belts, and the publishing pros about the different stages of fiction writing. Whether you’re working on short fiction or a longer piece, if your idea is just beginning to take shape, or you’re starting to polish a first draft, this masterclass is for you. Learn about the craft, considerations and business of fiction.

Please note: this Masterclass will be recorded and made available for ticketholders to watch on-demand after the event.

10am – Keynote: What Moves Us?

Join celebrated writer Alice Pung as she talks through the ways in which a writer can come to fiction: with a question to answer, a voice to inhabit, or a story to tell. How can we craft stories around the questions that move and concern us? How do we find and craft the right voice to tell those stories? 

With Alice Pung

11am – Break

11:15am – Panel: The Business End

If you’re writing fiction, chances are you’d like to share it: but where do we even begin in the wide world of publishing? Hear from writers Emily Bitto and Ennis Ćehić, and Ultimo Press’s Alisa Ahmed as they discuss and demystify the less romantic aspects of publishing your fiction: querying, pitching, working with publishers and editors, the editing process, publicity, and more.
With Alisa Ahmed and Ennis Ćehić
Hosted by Emily Bitto
This panel is proudly presented in partnership with Faber Writing Academy

12.15 – 12.45pm – Lunch break

12:45pm – Workshop: Writing the Real

Yes, it’s fiction, but is it real? In this workshop, think through what it means to write “real”. Regardless of whether a setting is otherworldly, deeply everyday, far in the past, or somewhere in between, how can it be brought to life? How can an everyday setting be made to feel strange and uncanny? Do your characters feel tethered to reality, or are they adrift? Consider settings, senses, and everything in between, and find out how to make your work feel alive.
With Tony Birch

2.45pm – Break

3pm – Workshop: Character

Learn how to craft character with short fiction writer and poet Chloe Wilson. Whether you’re writing a likeable villain, an unlikeable hero, a person with something to hide or a person looking for answers, find out how to define a character’s voice and build them from the page up.

With Chloe Wilson

4pm – Finish

The Business End panel is proudly presented in partnership with:


Masterclass: Fiction is a live professional development event, hosted via Zoom. 

To ensure the event stays private, ticket holders will be emailed a Zoom link 30 minutes prior to the event start time. Please check your email (including that pesky junk email folder). 

Ticket sales will close 1 hour before the event starts. 

You can download Zoom for free here. Read more about how to set up Zoom’s automatic transcription feature here.

If you have any difficulty connecting to the event, please email us at [email protected] 

Thursday 16 June
10am-4pm AEST

$80 / $60 concession

Online, via Zoom


Alisa Ahmed

Alisa Ahmed is the senior editor at Ultimo Press.

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of three novels: The White Girl, Ghost River, and Blood. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, ‘Father’s Day’, ‘The Promise’ and ‘Common People’.

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto’s debut novel, The Strays, was written as part of a PhD in creative writing at the University of Melbourne.

Ennis Ćehić

Ennis Ćehić focuses on ideas of displacement, creativity and existentialism.

Alice Pung

Alice Pung is an award-winning Australian writer.

Chloe Wilson

Chloe Wilson is the author of the short story collection Hold Your Fire, which was shortlisted for the 2022 Glenda Adams Award in the NSW Premiers Awards.