Binder full of spreadsheets

Last year I started a little spreadsheet called Critical Mass to help culture editors connect with a wider range of critics. It’s now got over 140 critics listed and personally I use it all the time to recommend people for different gigs. It’s also spawned a couple of other lists:

Diversity in Food Media Australia (DIFMA) recently launched a database for food writers, recipe testers, stylists, photographers and other creators. Find out more or add yourself here.

The First Nations and People of Colour in Publishing network has also created a database of freelancers in publishing. It includes editors, designers, sensitivity readers, translators and proofreaders (but not writers).

There are so many resources available if you’re looking to work with underrepresented writers, so there’s really no excuse!

As Beautiful As Any Other | The Saturday Paper

I reviewed Kaya Wilson’s memoir, As Beautiful As Any Other for The Saturday Paper. Really appreciated having the space to think deeply about this book and the transition memoir as a growing genre.

‘Trans people are under immense pressure to present a coherent and palatable origin story that helps cis people make sense of us – even when we are not seeking medical treatment, we are treated by laypeople as if presenting to them for diagnosis. We are supposed to be intelligent, untroubled, sympathetic and reassuring.’

The Saturday Paper book review graphic showing the cover of Kaya Wilson's As Beautiful As Any Other

Smut | Footscray Community Arts Centre

Image showing two faces in profile, one with light skin wearing a nose ring, one with darker skin and pink lipgloss, swapping spit that stretches and spells out the word "smut"

I don’t know if anyone is ready for this, least of all me, but next Friday I’m making my fanfiction debut at Footscray Community Arts Centre as part of the Smut: Queer Erotic Fan Fiction Salon curated by Sissy Screens.

Here’s a sneak peek of my piece – can you guess who the primary pairing is? (Clue: It’s a crossover fic.)

Screenshot showing story tags "First Time Bottoming, Fighting to Top, Enemies to Lovers, Entrepreneurs to Communists"
A03 is legitimately one of my favourite publishers.

The event is part of Midsumma Festival and it also features Vidya Rajan, Nkechi Anele, Tali Polichtuk, Zoey Dawson, Alistair Baldwin, Ruby Slippers, Wilk Crate and Zoe Terakes. Auslan interpreted. It’s gunna be hot and nerdy!

Antipodean China | InDaily & Writers SA

Plenty of ink and pixels have been spilled over the fraught relationship between Australia and China lately, so Nicholas Jose and Benjamin Madden’s anthology, Antipodean China: Reflections on Literary Exchange, would appear to be a timely intervention in a conversation that is rife with misreadings and illiteracy. Read my review in InDaily, part of Writers SA’s review series.

Cover of Antipodean China showing author names and an red papercut map-like image by John Young

Feminist Erotica | Trouble in Dreams x Dinner Party Press

I’m going to be reading some smut tomorrow night along with Mia Walsch, Ella Baxter and Liz Hicklin for our belated Valentine’s Day date. Tickets are sold out but if you’re lucky enough to have nabbed one, come join us down at the local for cocktails and dirty words.

Sun 14 March 2021
5 pm to 7 pm
Trouble in Dreams
297 Barkly Street, Footscray, VIC 3011
booking required

The promo image says 14 Feb but it’s actually happening 14 Mar coz we got cockblocked by coronavirus, again.

Editorial mentorship | Djed Press

Applications are now open for Djed Press’s editorial mentorship, a 10-week crash course on editing and publishing aimed at training an aspiring editor of colour.

You get one-on-one training with industry professionals (including me, Evelyn Araluen, Khalid Warsame, Adolfo Aranjuez, Dr. Tresa LeClerc, Marisa Wikramanayake and Djed Press founder and editorial director Hella Ibrahim), paid editing experience, and a lot of other material resources and support. I’ll be delivering the non-fiction editing intensives in week 5 (editing news, commentary, and criticism) and week 6 (editing narrative non-fiction, memoir and personal essays).

You don’t need to have any editing experience but you do need to be keen, based in Australia, at least 18 years old, and (obviously) a person of colour. Full details of the mentorship here. Applications close Monday 29 March 2021.

Remembering Ahbu on IWWD

Me and Ahbu.

It’s International Working Women’s Day today, which means my grandmother would’ve turned 92 next week. She died in December. Her life (1929-2020) spanned nearly 100 years of immense upheaval in China and she survived it all with resilience, dignity and optimism. I wrote a thread remembering her – first on Twitter, and then republished in Chinarrative. Read below.

Continue reading “Remembering Ahbu on IWWD”

History Is How We Got Here | Maribyrnong Community Centre

Two friends, wearing face masks, in an industrial landscape with a river and bridge behind them.

Liz and I are running a short course at Maribyrnong Community Centre! Best of all, it’s free for participants.

Over four fortnightly workshops, develop research and storytelling skills with community historians Liz Crash and Jinghua Qian (co-creators of Underfoot, a multimedia project uncovering Footscray’s history). Participants will learn how to write, produce and share their own stories, and contribute to a visual presentation displayed at the centre. This hands-on workshop series is open to participants of all ages and skill levels. Please note: participants will need to attend all four sessions.

Thu 18 Mar, 1 Apr, 15 Apr, 29 Apr 2021
2 pm to 4 pm
Maribyrnong Community Centre
9 Randall St, Maribyrnong, Victoria 3032
free | booking required

Melbourne Press Club mentorship

Thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected for a Melbourne Press Club mentorship!

Over the next 12 months, I’ll be mentored by award-winning radio documentary producer Fiona Pepper, who presents and produces Fictions on RN and has also made a host of other audio documentary features. Fiona comes from a theatre background so we have a shared interest in all forms of storytelling.

This is such perfect timing given that Liz Crash and I are just starting to develop the second series of Underfoot too. More on that soon.

Fiona Pepper.