Two extraordinary writers of short fiction come together to discuss crafting fully realised worlds that capture our interest over just a few pages. Patrick White Literary Award winner Tony Birch’s latest collection of short stories (Dark as Last Night) captures the humanity and humour of kids toughened beyond their years on the edges of society. Paige Clark’s debut (She Is Haunted) showcases an entrancing new literary voice. Drawing comparisons to Carmen Maria Machado, Paige runs with themes such as race, family and grief into surreal and uneasy places. They are on stage in conversation with Declan Fry.

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

Tony Birch (Australian)

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of the bestselling The White Girl, winner of 2020 NSW Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of four short-story collections Shadowboxing, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. His latest works include the poetry collection Whisper Songs and the short story collection Dark As Last Night.

Paige Clark (Australian)

Paige Clark

Paige Clark is a Chinese/American/Australian fiction writer, researcher and teacher. Her first book, She Is Haunted, was shortlisted for the Readings Prize 2021. In 2019, she was runner-up for the Peter Carey Short Story Award and shortlisted for the David Harold Tribe Fiction Award. She has her Master of Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, where she is currently at work on her PhD. Her research addresses the relationship between race, craft and the teaching of creative writing.

Declan Fry (Australian)

Declan Fry

Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, Declan Fry has written for The Guardian, Overland, Australian Book Review, Liminal, Westerly and elsewhere. His Meanjin essay “Justice for Elijah or a Spiritual Dialogue with Ziggy Ramo, Dancing” received the 2021 Peter Blazey Fellowship and he has been shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize. He currently lives with his partner, their pup Walnut, and a cat, Turnip. His latest story will appear in the forthcoming anthology Another Australia.