Shoestring Melbourne: The Wheeler Centre and The 10th Emerging Writers’ Festival

Now, I’m going to spend this week talking about some fairly writer-centric things, and I understand that not everyone who reads Catalyst is a writer.

However, think of this less as a ‘ain’t it cool for writers to have this right here?’ and more as a ‘if this is what writers get, what does my industry get?’ kind of exercise and hunt down your equivalent industry organizations and events to have a look.

Now, the Wheeler Centre is embedded in the State Library, accessible from the alleyway on the right hand side as you’re looking at the front entrance.

Walk along until you see the below-ground cafe and head in via the staircase that heads up above it.

The centre hosts events year-round for free within the centre itself (or for a fee if it’s at a bigger, external, venue) and there are far too many for me to go in to here.

Between now and August there are 69 in the printed program I picked up from their reception.

They cover a wide range of writing types, too; creative, poetry, non-fiction, children’s, travel, biography, etc.

It’s definitely worth giving it a look in to if you’re involved in any kind of writing, because there’s a good chance there’s something you want to check out.

But, not just all that, the Wheeler Centre is also the home of a number of other organizations.

Australian Poetry, the Small Press Network, the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Writers Victoria, Express Media (An under-25 writing organization who do a bunch of cool stuff during the year), and importantly for right now, the Emerging Writers’ Festival.

This year is the 10th Emerging Writers’ Festival, which runs May 23rd – June 2nd, and the program is available right now.

Most of the events are free, there are a number of national and international guests coming in to host talks or run master classes and it, like the Wheeler Centre itself, covers a whole bunch of writing types (including more than a few screen events, for those like me interested in such things).

Best to get on to it now, though, since bookings will probably fill up quickly.

Alastair Collins


Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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