A new wave of novelists is breathing fresh life into Australian contemporary fiction. From juggling new relationships and careers to ‘discovering’ oneself, charting the dilemmas of adulthood has never been less clear. Hear from three of the country’s most exciting literary voices, Shirley Le (Funny Ethnics), Diana Reid (Love & Virtue, Seeing Other People) and Kate Scott (Compulsion), as they discuss their novels, each propelled by a unique voice, dynamic energy and a modern-day setting to tell us what it means to come of age in 21st century Australia. They are in conversation with Melanie Kembrey.

Shirley Le (Australian)

Shirley Le

Shirley Le is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Yagoona and Creative Producer at Sweatshop Literacy Movement. Her writing has been published in Overland, The Guardian, SBS Voices, Meanjin and several Sweatshop anthologies. She also co-wrote the play Sex, Drugs and Pork Rolls, presented by UTP in partnership with Sweatshop. Funny Ethnics (Affirm Press, 2023) is her first novel.

Kate Scott (Australian)

Kate Scott

Kate Scott is the author of Compulsion, a novel animated by her early career as a music journalist and editor. She spent ten years with The Australian Ballet as their in-house writer and head of marketing, where she edited the award-winning photography book Luminous. Kate now lives in Thirroul on New South Wales's south coast, works as a freelance arts strategist, and has two rabbits, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. Kate Scott acknowledges the Dharawal people, on whose lands she lives and works. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Diana Reid (Australian)

Diana Reid

Diana Reid is a Sydney-based writer. Her debut novel, Love & Virtue, was an Australian bestseller and winner of the ABIA Book of the Year Award, the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year Award, the ABA Booksellers' Choice Fiction Book of the Year Award, and the MUD Literary Prize. Love & Virtue was also shortlisted for the Indie Debut Fiction Award, the ABIA Matt Richell New Writer Award, and Highly Commended at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Diana was also named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist in 2022. Seeing Other People is her second novel.

Melanie Kembrey (Australian)

Melanie Kembrey

Melanie Kembrey has been a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald for more than a decade and is currently editor of arts and culture publication Spectrum. She is also co-host of the pop culture podcast The Drop.