Emerging Writers’ Festival is thrilled to announce the appointment of Alice Muhling as Executive Director. We sat down with her to chat about festivals, books and her new role.
Tell us a bit about yourself! Where were you working before EWF?
Hello! I am a creative producer and arts manager who has worked across various Australian festivals and theatre companies. Just before joining the team at EWF, I was working as the Associate Producer and then Acting Venue Manager of Brunswick Mechanics Institute for Next Wave, and also Partnerships Manager of Melbourne Fringe. Prior to that, I spent four years as Company Manager of Malthouse Theatre and a couple of years as Program Manager of Brisbane Festival. It’s great to be back in festival-land and dipping my toes further into the literary scene.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
I’ve been attending (and loving) EWF since moving to Melbourne from Brisbane in 2014 so it’s very exciting to be part of the team that creates such a wonderful festival. I am committed to championing the development of artists and writers, as well as supporting critical cultural conversations about accessibility and representation, and this role really allows me to continue on that path. Plus it’s an added bonus to be working with so many talented writers and staff.
If you could live inside the world of any book, which would it be?
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. As a child, I imagined stepping through the wardrobe and into the snow-covered trees so many times.
Tell us one of your favourite writers festival moments
Several years ago, some colleagues and I road-tripped to Byron Bay Writers Festival for the day. I remember sitting in the warm winter sun listening to Miriam Margolyes read excerpts from her favourite authors. She is such a magnificent reader and the poetry gave me goosebumps.
What books are you excited to read in 2019?
I’m currently making my way through the Stella Prize shortlist (and loving Little Gods by Jenny Ackland) but I’m also excited to dive into:
• Say Hello by Carly Findlay
• The upcoming Be The Change by UK activist Gina Martin
• Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
• Pachinko by Min Jin Lee