One of the first questions we ask about any story is ‘What comes next?’ Who better to answer this than a crack team of writers, storytellers, thinkers, jokesmiths and poetic adventurers in a special storytelling gala. Don’t miss Geraldine Brooks, Tabitha Carvan, Clementine Ford, Peter Frankopan, Anthony Joseph, Shehan Karunatilaka, Lawrence Mooney, Jenny Odell, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, Nardi Simpson, and Jason Reynolds as they each recite a letter they have personally penned to the future. Find out where the story goes with host Sisonke Msimang.  

Supported by ARA.

This event is fitted with assistive listening systems.

Geraldine Brooks (International)

Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks AO is the author of six novels, including the recent New York Times bestseller, Horse, and the 2006 Pulitzer Prizer winner, March. Born, raised and educated in Sydney, she worked for The Sydney Morning Herald, The National Times and The Wall Street Journal, for which she covered crises in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. Her non-fiction works include Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.

Tabitha Carvan (Australian)

Tabitha Carvan

Tabitha Carvan is the author of This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch and a science writer for the Australian National University. Her writing on identity, family, pop culture, and science has appeared in The Best Australian Science Writing 2022, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, Junkee, Overland, and Australian Geographic. She lives in Canberra.

Peter Frankopan (International)

Peter Frankopan

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at the University of Oxford, where he has been Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College since 2000. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Geographic Society, he is also President of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs. His books include The New Silk Roads: the Present and Future of the World, which won the Carical Prize for Social Sciences; and The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, that was a Sunday Times Book of the Decade, The New York Times Bestseller, #1 in China, India, UK and beyond, and named one of the 25 most important books translated into Chinese alongside Pride and Prejudice and The Great Gatsby. It was described by the Berliner Zeitung as 'not only the most important history book in years, but the most important in decades.' One of World's 50 Top Thinkers (Prospect), he has been described as "the rockstar historian du jour" (Sunday Times) and the "first great historian of the 21st century" by Brazil's DCM magazine.

Clementine Ford (Australian)

Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford is a writer, performer and general rapscallion living in Naarm. She is the bestselling author of three books, Fight Like A Girl, Boys Will Be Boys and How We Love. Her latest book takes on the institution of marriage, arguing that it is essentially harmful to women's prosperity and happiness. I Don't will be published by Allen & Unwin in October 2023.

Anthony Joseph (International)

Anthony Joseph

Dr Anthony Joseph is an award-winning Trinidad-born poet, novelist, academic and musician. He is the author of five poetry collections and three novels. His 2018 novel Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Royal Society of Literature's Encore Award, and longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. His most recent publication is the experimental novel The Frequency of Magic. In 2019, he was awarded a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. As a musician, he has released eight critically acclaimed albums, and in 2020 received a Paul Hamblyn Foundation Composers Award. He is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kings College, London. ​His new collection Sonnets for Albert was shortlisted for the Forward Prize and won the 2022 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.

Shehan Karunatilaka (International)

Shehan Karunatilaka

Shehan Karunatilaka is the winner of the 2022 Booker Prize for his second novel The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida. He is also the author of the award-winning Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, which was selected for the UK's 2022 Big Jubilee Read selection. Born in Sri Lanka, he studied in New Zealand and has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam and Singapore. He lives in Colombo with his family, his guitars and his unfinished stories.

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (International)

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is a Vietnamese author whose novel, The Mountains Sing, is an international bestseller, runner-up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the BookBrowse Best Debut Award, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award Fellowship. Author of twelve books in Vietnamese and English, her writing has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in major publications including The New York Times. Dust Child is her most recent novel.

Lawrence Mooney (Australian)

Lawrence Mooney

This is Lawrence Mooney's bio and there's something he'd like to sort out from the get-go, all bios are written by the subject of the bio. There isn't some benevolent guardian angel going around heaping praise on people, it's written by them. So, let's cut the third person crap and get to the nitty gritty of my amazing life thus far. I have been lauded as one of the best comedians in this country, The Sydney Morning Herald wrote, "he's a fierce and fearless hunter of the funny and deserves his reputation as a local master of the form." Whoops my bad, I guess other people are heaping praise on me. Then this from the Herald Sun, "consistently funny, insightful, well-written, beautifully paced, well-honed stand up." I think you get the idea, I'm funny. As a result of my genius, I've had my own show on the ABC, Dirty Laundry Live, I've been nominated for the Barry Award (best show of the festival) three times at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and I hosted my own breakfast radio show for three years on Triple M Sydney. This is my first tilt at a book, but it should be pretty funny if those left-wing nut jobs from Crikey can be trusted, "Mooney is one of Australia's best and boldest, a ferocious farceur who makes great comedy look like a cakewalk." Enjoy.

Jason Reynolds (International)

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of many award-winning books, including All American Boys; Long Way Down; When I was the Greatest, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. The recipient of the CILIP Carnegie Medal, a Newbery Award, a Printz Award, an NAACP Image Award, and multiple Coretta Scott King honours, Reynolds was also the 2020–2022 US National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His latest book is the remarkable graphic novel Oxygen Mask (illustrated by street artist Jason Griffin), intimately set within the walls of a family home and an insight into the Covid years, climate change and activism.

See Jason in On Authenticity at Secondary School Days.

Nardi Simpson (Australian)

Nardi Simpson

Nardi Simpson is a Yuwaalaraay storyteller from the NSW north west freshwater plains. A musician, composer and playwright, Nardi is the author of Song of the Crocodile published by Hachette Australia in October 2020. Song of the Crocodile was the 2018 winner of the black&write Fellowship shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writing category. Nardi is currently undertaking a PhD in composition at ANU researching the traditions of song and story in her beloved Yuwaalaraay homelands.

Jenny Odell (International)

Jenny Odell

Jenny Odell is the author of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy and Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock. She is also an interdisciplinary artist and has been in residence at the San Francisco Planning Department, Recology SF (otherwise known as the dump), and the Internet Archive. Odell taught digital art at Stanford University from 2013 to 2021. An enthusiast of birding, geology, and local history, she is based in Oakland, California.

Sisonke Msimang (Australian)

Sisonke Msimang

Sisonke Msimang is the author of two books: Always Another Country: a memoir of exile and home (2017); and The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela (2018) and has written for a range of publications including The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Guardian and Newsweek.