Some of the Festival’s most exciting new voices discuss writing fiction and prose that doesn’t fall within established genres and read from their own innovative work. Hosted by Lex Hirst, the line-up features winner of the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize Shastra Deo (The Agonist); Jamie Marina Lau (Pink Mountain on Locust Island), Shaun Prescott (The Town) and Jakarta-based Dias Novita Wuri (Makramé).

Shastra Deo (Australian)

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Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. She is currently completing her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland, which is focused on phantom limbs in the context of war literature. Her work has appeared in Cordite Poetry Review, Meanjin, Tincture Journal, and elsewhere. Her first book, The Agonist, won the 2016 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize.

Jamie Marina Lau (Australian)

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Jamie Marina Lau is a writer and artist from Melbourne. Her debut novel is Pink Mountain on Locust Island, published by Brow Books.

Shaun Prescott (Australian)

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Shaun Prescott is a writer based in the Blue Mountains. His novel, The Town, was released in 2017 through Brow Books and is due for release in the UK and US through Faber & Faber and FSG in 2018. He has self-released several small books of fiction, including Erica From Sales and The End of Trolleys, and was Editor of Crawlspace Magazine. His writing has appeared in The Lifted Brow, The Guardian, Meanjin, Australian Book Review, and other places.

Dias Novita Wuri (International)

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Dias Novita Wuri lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her first book, Makrame, was published in 2017. She is currently serving as advisor in the editorial desk of Jakartabeat. She was one of 15 selected Indonesian Emerging Writers by Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in 2014, and participated in the festival as a speaker. In 2015, she participated in Salihara Literary Biennale and appeared in LIFEs Salihara 2017.

Lex Hirst (Australian)

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Lex Hirst is a commissioning editor for Penguin Random House, a festival director and an arts programmer driven by a love of great writing and exciting ideas. A previous co-director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, she is a SAMAG (Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group) committee member and the curator for’s Junket unconference. She is always on the lookout for outstanding new voices and stories.