About the 2014 project
Writing Australia, the collaborative network of state writers’ centres, including ACT, NSW, NT, SA, Tasmania and Victoria, launched its inaugural Digital Writers in Residence program last year, which was facilitated by SA Writers Centre. From June 2014 to January 2015, writers from each state and territory took up digital residencies to blog, host readings, forums, talks and discussions. Each residency had its own unique focus.
About the 2014 residents
Marianna Shek (NT)
Marianna is a writer and producer completing a Doctorate of Visual Arts in transmedia writing. She is also a lecturer in the animation and games department at the Griffith Film School. Storytelling is her passion and her approach is to use the most evocative media to tell the narrative. Her short films Love and Other Commodities (2012) and The Backpack (2011) has screened at international film festivals. Her short stories have been published in The Creative Manoeuvres, Underneath The Juniper Tree and Antipodean Sci-Fi. Look out for an exciting writing project she’s collaborated on to be published early 2015 by Tiny Owl Workshop titled The Lane of Unusual Traders. www.theunreliablenarrator.com.au
Marianna Shek who will be created an online story called Limerance, a romantic drama that unfolded through blogs, websites and social media. One of the themes underlying the story was the idea of voyeurism – the private versus public space afforded by the internet. This project was shortlisted for the New Media Writing Prize in UK.
Marianna also be released regular updates to discuss the development of the project as well as short interviews with various practitioners working in interactive narrative to look more closely at the digital writer’s toolkit.
Jennifer Mills (SA)
Jennifer Mills is the author of the novels Gone (UQP, 2011) and The Diamond Anchor (UQP, 2009) and a collection of short stories, The Rest is Weight (UQP, 2012). The Rest is Weight was shortlisted for the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards Steele Rudd Award for an Australian Short Story Collection and longlisted for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
Mills was awarded the 2014 Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship by the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. In 2012 Mills was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist. Previous awards include the 2008 Marian Eldridge Award for Young Emerging Women Writers, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and the Northern Territory Literary Awards.
Mills’ fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been widely published, appearing in Meanjin, Hecate, Overland, Heat, Island, the Lifted Brow, the Griffith Review, Best Australian Stories, and New Australian Stories, and broadcast, recorded and performed from Adelaide to Berlin. Mills was Asialink writer in residence in Beijing in 2010. She is a regular reviewer for Overland literary journal and has contributed criticism to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Wheeler Centre, and the Sydney Review of Books. She is currently the fiction editor at Overland. Mills lives in a very small town in South Australia, and is working on another novel.
During her June residency, Jennifer Mills hosted a live Q&A for regional writers on writing craft, working online and how to sustain your writing practice in regional locations and engaged our online writing community through weekly writing challenges, and trialled creative writing experiments through social media.
At the end of the residency she hosted a final live reading and evaluation session online. You can view Experiments in Digital Fiction online here if you missed it.
Ben Walter (Tas)
Ben is a Tasmanian writer whose fiction and poetry have appeared in Island, Griffith Review, Overland, The Lifted Brow, The Review of Australian Fiction, The Canary Press and a wide range of other publications.
Walter is the author of Below Tree Level, a book and literary installation funded by the Australia Council, and has twice won Express Media’s Award for Best Project/Work for young people in Tasmania, for the craft/fiction anthology I Sleep in Haysheds and Corners, and the underground literary collective, Under the Fat Man.
Walter’s debut poetry manuscript, Lurching, was shortlisted in the Tasmanian Literary Prizes for 2013. He has recently completed his first novel.
Jack Heath (ACT)
Jack’s science fiction and action-adventure novels are published internationally. He has been shortlisted for the Nottinghamshire Brilliant Book Award, two Aurealis Awards, the National Year of Reading “Our Story” Collection, a Young Australians Best Book Award, a Kids Own Australian Literature Award and the Young Australian of the Year Award.
He already has a substantial online presence, with more than 1,600 likes on Facebook, 1,700 Twitter followers and more than 5,600 reads on Wattpad. His videos have been viewed more than 90,000 times on Youtube, and he co-hosts a writing techniques podcast called Unwritten Rules.
Stella Young (dec.) (Vic)
Stella was a writer, comedian, activist and former Editor of ABC’s Ramp Up website. Born in Stawell in Western Victoria, Stella cut her activist teeth at the age of 14 by conducting an access audit of shops on the local main street. It didn’t take long – it was a pretty short street.
After that she was extremely active in the disability community in a variety of roles, including membership of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council, Ministerial Advisory Council for the Department of Victorian communities and Women With Disabilities Victoria. Stella was a two-time state finalist in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Raw Comedy competition; and has hosted eight seasons of Australia’s first disability culture program No Limits, aired on Channel 31 and community stations across the country.
With a strong interest in issues facing women and young people with disabilities, Stella worked with the Youth Disability Advocacy Service to establish the LiveAccess project, and advocated for better access to live music venues. She held a degree in Journalism from Deakin University and a Diploma of Secondary Education from the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining the ABC, Stella worked in Public Programs at Melbourne Museum, where she taught kids about bugs, dinosaurs and other weird and wonderful things. Her writing regularly appeared in Frankie Magazine, Daily Life and The Drum, and her face on ABC TV’s Q&A.
It was with deep sadness that the world lost Stella late 2014.
Connor Tomas O’Brien (NSW)
Connor is the director of the Digital Writers’ Festival, designer of Voiceworks magazine, and co-founder of ebookstore platform Tomely. He is working on a novel examining the nature of memory in our hyperconnected, hypermediated “like economy”. He tweets as @mrconnorobrien.