What is it that writers do all day? Eda Gunaydin (Root and Branch), Suneeta Peres da Costa (Saudade) and Vanessa Berry (Gentle and Fierce) – all contributors to the Sydney Review of Books’ Open Secrets anthology – join Kate Fagan for a roaming discussion of the working lives of writers. They talk about creative labour, and the day jobs, side gigs and care work that must make space for writing. The writer at work is often mythologised as being distant from the cares of the day, but this panel reflect on the procrastination, distractions and economic precarity inherent in their lives. They reveal how imagination, aesthetics and desire infiltrate their day-to-day work.

Presented with the Sydney Review of Books.

This is a free event. Bookings are not required, however we recommend that you arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Suneeta Peres da Costa (Australian)

Suneeta Peres da Costa

Suneeta Peres da Costa is based in Sydney on unceded Gadigal Country. Her latest book, Saudade, about colonial legacies and the Goan diaspora in Portuguese Angola, was shortlisted for the 2019 Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the 2020 Adelaide Festival of Literature Awards and a finalist in the 2020 Tournament of Books (USA). A former Fulbright Scholar, her literary honours include the Australia Council BR Whiting Residency, Rome, and an Asialink Arts Creative Exchange to India.

Eda Gunaydin (Australian)

Eda Gunaydin

Eda Gunaydin is a Turkish-Australian writer and researcher interested in class, race and diaspora. Her essays and creative non-fiction can be found at Meanjin, Sydney Review of Books and The Lifted Brow. She has been shortlisted for a Queensland Literary Award and the Scribe Non-Fiction Prize. She is currently Contributing Editor at Sydney Review of Books, and her debut essay collection Root and Branch was published this year.

Vanessa Berry (Australian)

Vanessa Berry

Vanessa Berry is the author of four books, including Gentle and Fierce, a memoir about human and animal relationships, and the award-winning Mirror Sydney, about change, memory and the urban environment, based on the popular Mirror Sydney blog. Her work on memory, places and objects also includes the long-running autobiographical zine I am a Camera, and her zines and illustrations have been exhibited at major Australian galleries. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Sydney.

Kate Fagan (Australian)

Kate Fagan

Kate Fagan is a poet, editor and songwriter whose third book First Light (Giramondo) was short-listed for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the Age Book of the Year Award. She is Director of the Writing & Society Research Centre (WSU) where she also leads The Writing Zone, a mentoring program for emerging writers and arts workers from Western Sydney. Her album Diamond Wheel won the National Film & Sound Archive Award for Folk Recording.