Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for 2011 indicate that just over 6,600 people were employed as writers or print media workers in Victoria, accounting for over a quarter of the national total. Of these, around 84% resided in Melbourne. This statistic does not factor in hobbyist writers or students and shows the depth of talent that continues to work in the state.

Our history of producing writing talent is vast, from the 19th Century work of Rolf Boldrewood (Thomas Browne), Marcus Clarke and C. J. Dennis, to the post-WWI preoccupations of displacement and political change of Lesbia Harford, and how these themes continued in the light of WWII immigration. Changes in literary taste brought about by new cultures and voices, has challenged a lot of preconceptions of what ‘art’ and ‘literature’ mean. Even to this day, the lines between fiction and non-fiction, for example, are often contested.

Among other writers who have achieved success are Peter Carey, Shane Maloney, Arnold Zable, Clare Wright, Christos Tsiolkas, Helen Garner, Alex Miller, Brian Castro, Drusilla Modjeska, Don Watson, John Marsden, Alice Pung and many, many others.

A number of organisations exist to support the writing and publishing industry, which in turn helps the future prospects of writers – among the number include the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Small Press Network (SPN), which runs an annual Independent Publishing Conference.

Finding Ada and friends, with Kaz Cooke

22 March 2018
State Library Victoria
Kay Cooke and Meow Meow, a performer and post-...

Uncover the story of Ada Delroy, vaudeville comedian and dancer of the...

A Glass of Wine and a Chat about Crime with Dervla McTiernan

5 April 2018
The Sun Bookshop
Dervla McTiernan

Enjoy a glass of wine and a chat about crime with Australia’s newest debut...

Author in conversation: Ruth Pullin

5 April 2018
State Library Victoria
Author in conversation: Ruth Pullin

Join Ruth Pullin, author of The artist as traveller: the sketchbooks of...

Celebrating French Literature in Translation: Julie Rose and Brian Nelson

12 April 2018
Australian Association for Literary Translation
JULIE ROSE and BRIAN NELSON (translators of Swann...

Boyd Community Centre, South Melbourne, 207 City Road, Southbank, 3006