This panel explores mental health in writing, and how a person’s emotional state can change the nature of their prose. Three writers discuss storytelling when experiences of time, subjectivity and memory are in flux. Writers address issues including psychology, personal connection and vulnerability in their work. Jessica Friedmann’s Things That Helped includes essays on postpartum depression, and Mia Freedman’s Work Strife Balance discusses female connections as forged through vulnerability. Black Comedy star Nakkiah Lui has written about the mental and emotional trauma of being Aboriginal in this country, and Tracey Spicer’s The Good Girl Stripped Bare is about how society’s unrealistic expectations of women can weigh them down.

Nakkiah Lui (Australian)

Nakkiah Lui

Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. Amongst her stage and screen credits are ABC’s Black Comedy, her latest TV series Kiki and Kitty and her award-winning play Black is the New White. Nakkiah’s many accolades include The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council, the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright Award, the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production, the Patrick White Playwrights Award and Fellowship for 2018, and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting. She has appeared on The Guardian, Junkee, Q&A and The Drum, and she co-hosted the BuzzFeed podcast series Pretty For An Aboriginal with Miranda Tapsell.