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West Writers Forum: Our Stories

  • Footscray Community Arts Centre 45 Moreland Street Footscray, VIC, 3011 Australia (map)

Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC)’s West Writers Forum: Our Stories is back by popular demand for its third annual run. The 2016 program is bigger and better than ever with a three day packed public program featuring international, interstate and local writers and storytellers. The 2016 program headline is New York based award winning poet, writer and activist MAHOGANY L BROWNE.

West Writers Forum: Our Stories examines what story means to a wide range of communities and the ways.

WHEN: Friday 29 July – Sunday 31 July, 10am – 4pm
COST: $20, bookings essential



CONVERSATION / Writing the Self

Writing the self in the tradition of writing the memoir or testimonial works has been a long standing genre of writing. So what happens when contemporary questions of identity, the confines of social constructs and the liberatory act of writing collide? How does the personal become political? And can you tell ‘your’ story without telling ‘our’ story? Join CANDY BOWERS and MAHOGANY L BROWNE in conversation on the topic of Writing the Self.

WHEN: Friday 29 July, 6pm – 7pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space

FILM / REDbone: A Biomythography

REDbone: A Biomythography is a short film of the multi genre and media experience. MAHOGANY L BROWNE’s poems are brought to life by live composition, lyrics and movement; unearthing the helplessness of domestic violence, hopefulness of love and unshakeable foundation of woman. REDbone was nominated for the 2015 NAACP Image award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry and her poetic play REDbone: A Biomythography premiered in Poetic License 2014.

WHEN: Friday 29 July, 7:30pm – 8:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space

CONVERSATION / #DangerAsians

Peril Magazine, Australia’s leading online platform for Asian Australian writing, arts and culture, takes its name from Yellow Peril, a term coined in the 19th century to describe the perceived menace of Asian migration. But are Asians still dangerous in Australia? Or are Asians in Australia the “happy migrant effect” writ large?

Writers, activists and academics, HOA PHAM, EUGENIA FLYNN, DOMINIC GOLDING, and NADIA RHOOK lead a panel discussion about the past, present and future constructions of race in Australian writing – hosted by LIAN LOW, get ready for #DangerAsians.

WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 12pm – 1pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space

CONVERSATION / Lost or Found in Translation?

As our world grows smaller and people become more familiar As our world grows smaller and people become more familiar with one another through daily cross-cultural interactions, what stops us from finding ourselves or losing ourselves in each other’s stories? Is translation the final frontier in creative writing? Can we achieve fluid creative and cultural exchanges through the translation of stories? Or will some things always remain lost in translation? Join moderator MRIDULA NATH CHAKRABORTY in conversation with academics SANAZ FOTOUHI and DR NADIA NIAZ, LILY YULIANTI and JOSIANE BEHMOIRAS for this panel.

WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 1pm – 2pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space

INSTALLATION / Visual Story Intervention

What if you could rewrite your favourite story? How would it begin? How would it end? Would the good guy turn bad? Would the bad guy turn good? Did the author get it wrong? Join REUBEN BRAND guest illustrator and comic for the Visual Story Intervention as we put all the creative power in the hands of the reader for one afternoon. Walk away with your own illustration of an alternative scene from your favourite book.

WHEN: Saturday 30 June, 1:30pm – 4pm

CONVERSATION / The Unpublished Manuscript

So you’re a writer and you want to be published? What’s next? Join West Writer Alumna, CHER CHIDZY and Director, ANNIE HALL, ThreeKookaburras Publishing, to hear about their journey of meeting and signing Cher’s first contract for her soon to be released novel Ken’s Quest.

WHEN: Saturday 30July, 1:30pm – 2:30pm

CONVERSATION / What is Australian Writing III?

In series three, KHALID WARSAME asks JO CASE (Melbourne Writers Festival), DAVID RYDING (City of Literature Office) and JACQUI HORWOOD (Brimbank Writers Festival), ‘What is Australian Writing?’ but through the lens of literary festivals and institutions. Grapple with this contentious question as we re-imagine the possibilities in contemporary Australian writing and story, building on conversations from series one and two about the experience of writing as an author, storyteller, editor and publisher.
WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 2:30pm – 3:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space

CONVERSATION / Images, Representation and Beyoncé

In the wake of Beyoncé’s visual album release, Lemonade, many people have raised questions about the impact of popular images on the politics of representation. Join AREEJ NUR in moderating conversation with MAHOGANY L BROWNE, NAMILA BENSON, AYAN SHIRWA, DJ RIPLEY, and AMIE BATALIBASI as they share their reactions and thoughts on Lemonade, popular culture and the politics of contemporary representation.

WHEN: Saturday 30 July, 4pm – 5pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space

WORKSHOP / Decolonising Narratives

Is there a colonial footprint on our creative landscape? Join TANIA CAÑAS, theatre maker and researcher, as she examines stories through the lens of self-actualisation and self-determination.

WHEN: Sunday 31 July, 12pm – 1pm
VENUE: FCAC John Kennedy Meeting Room

WORKSHOP / Comic: The Politics of Illustration

Just as the words we use can be political, so too can the images we choose to replicate and represent. REUBEN BRAND introduces the political elements of illustrative work, playfully and creatively challenging social and political narratives that are relevant to the times we live in.

WHEN: Sunday 31July, 1pm – 2pm
VENUE: FCAC ArtLife Studio

WORKSHOP / The Lifted Brow: Writing Fiction

KHALID WARSAME, fiction editor of The Lifted Brow, shares key tips, advice and skills that will ensure your next piece of creative fiction will be bigger, brighter and more intimate then you ever imagined possible. This intensive workshop will cover areas such as writers block, voice, the narrative arc, pitching, editing, and more.

WHEN: Sunday 31 July, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
VENUE: FCAC John Kennedy Meeting Room

WORKSHOP / Nuholani: The Art of Polynesian Movement

As the ancient tradition of Polynesian Dance has travelled to different lands and contexts through the process of migration of pacific people, so too has the art of storytelling through this intricate and intimate dance practice. FIPE KEANU, Creative Director of Nuholani, explains the marriage between movement and story that is embedded in the art of Polynesian Dance.

WHEN: Sunday 31 July, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Enza’s Studio

WORKSHOP / Recording and Producing Words

In the new age of digital storytelling the recorded voice is quickly becoming a powerful recourse to master. Have you ever wondered how to record your poems or short stories? DJ RIPLEY walks you through the basics of independent digital recording.

WHEN: Sunday 31July, 2:30pm – 3:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Digital Arts Studio

WORKSHOP / Pitching Speed Date

Are you ready to meet your perfect publication match? If you are an emerging writer who is lost or intimidated by choice, or unsure of where to position your work in the vast literary landscape, bring your pitch and spend a few minutes with editors from exciting Melbourne based publications The Lifted Brow, Archer Magazine, Ascension Magazine and Overland.

WHEN: Sunday 31 July, 2:30pm – 3:30pm

WORKSHOP / Writing & Performance ‘LIMBS & LANGUAGE’

MAHOGANY L BROWNE investigates how our memories inform our poetry. Focusing on imagery and new ways in which we look at the body as a landscape, our dreams as a blueprint and our yesterday’s as an almanac. This generative writing workshop will consist of five components: analyzation, discussion, writing, editing and performance. New writing blooms in an effort to create an urgent dialogue with our limbs as language.

WHEN: Sunday 31 July, 3pm – 4:30pm
VENUE: FCAC Basement Theatre

PERFORMANCE / One Night Stanza

One Night Stanza returns in its fourth year featuring MAHOGANY L BROWNE, CANDY BOWERS, SISTA ZAI, BIGOA, as well as showcasing smooth musical vibes by DJ RIPLEY. Don’t miss this soulful evening of poetry.One Night Stanza returns in its fourth year featuring Mahogany L Browne, Candy Bowers, Sista Zai and Bigoa, as well as showcasing smooth musical vibes by DJ Ripley. Don’t miss this soulful evening of poetry.

WHEN: Sunday 31 July, 6pm - 7pm
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space


DJ RIPLEY, BIGOA and MCs REMI, BARO and JOHN JNR welcome you to the unofficial forum after party sharing songs and tracks from their favourite artists and musicians that consciously or unconsciously decolonise and decentralise mainstream narratives.

WHEN: Sunday 31July, 8pm - 9:30pm