First Friday Club

First Friday Club is a monthly event at the NSW Writers’ Centre, free and exclusive to Centre members. The Club takes place on the first Friday of every month (March-November) from 10am-11:30am. Each month a new guest speaker from the writing industry, be they author, editor, publisher or journalist, joins the club for a group conversation about writing. This session is then followed by a delicious morning tea – with cake kindly provided by C’est Bon Patisserie, Rozelle.

In April we will be joined by Joel Naoum, Sydney-based book publisher, editor and consultant.

Joel currently runs Critical Mass, a consultancy for authors and publishers, and previously ran Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital-first imprint Momentum. He is on the board of the NSW Writers’ Centre and in 2011 he completed the Unwin Fellowship researching digital publishing experimentation in the United Kingdom.

Friday 7 April, 10am-11:30am. RSVP to



Past speakers 

March: Evi O, Book Designer, Art Director and Artist

Evi O is a book designer, art director and artist. She has worked in publishing for a decade, creating award-winning books for chefs, brands and creatives internationally. Her design studio OetomoNew is based in Sydney, Australia.



Speakers in 2016

November: Lou Johnson, Co-founder of The Author People

Lou Johnson is the Co-Founder of The Author People, which launched in 2015 and is pioneering a new approach to publishing, dedicated to “Bringing Authors and People Together”. Lou’s extensive book publishing experience includes senior roles at Random House, Allen & Unwin and Simon & Schuster, where she was Managing Director 2010 – 2014. She also served as Vice-President of the Australian Publishers Association from 2012 – 2014 and was a member of the Book Industry Collaborative Council in 2013. She is currently on the board of The Stella Prize.

October: Matthew Gain, Head of Operations at Audible Australia & New Zealand

Matthew Gain is responsible for Audible’s operations across Australia and New Zealand. Matthew has worked in PR and Marketing roles for brands like Nivea, Samsung, Fitbit, Telstra and Microsoft, and has vast experience creating powerful branded content, which has been underpinned by a healthy passion for technology and storytelling. With a firm belief in the power of the voice to bring stories, ideas and characters to life, Matthew’s favourite audiobook is MATILDA by Roald Dahl, narrated by Kate Winslet.


September: Jill Eddington and lina Kastoumis from Australia Council for the Arts

Jill Eddington is Director of Literature at the Australia Council for the Arts. In this role she is responsible for providing knowledge and strategic leadership to the Australia Council on the Literature sector. Previously Jill has worked widely in the arts. During this time Jill was at the forefront of the development of a thriving Australian writers festival scene, including seven years as the Director of the Byron Bay Writers Festival and the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre.


lina Kastoumis has worked collaboratively as a writer across screen, digital and live mediums. Over 20 years of practice lina has also directed/devised performance, programs and workshops for young and emerging artists at companies such as ICE,  Powerhouse Youth Theatre and Urban Theatre Projects. lina currently works in the Artists Services section of  the Australia Council for the Arts.


August: Author and Travel Writer Walter Mason

Walter Mason is a travel writer and blogger, and the author of Destination Saigon (2010) and Destination Cambodia (2013).  He has trained in meditation traditions in Thailand, Taiwan, Cambodia and Vietnam, and teaches courses in Buddhist cultural history and the spiritual traditions of Vietnam. You can find Walter’s blog here.


July: Publicist and Author Manager, Brendan Fredericks

Brendan Fredericks has championed authors and their books to media, festival directors, booksellers and readers since 2006. After studying English Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Sydney, he got a job as a bookseller with Angus & Robertson, then landed a role as publicist with Hachette. He then headed over to Bloomsbury for the Publicity Manager gig. Brendan has worked with many high profile authors, toured around Australia and internationally. His former in-house authors include, Elizabeth Gilbert, Germaine Greer, Robyn Davidson, Richard Ford, Tim Cope, Paul West and Jeff Lindsay. He now runs his own freelance publicist and literary agency, BFredericksPR. Find out more about him here:


June: Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), Juliet Rogers

Juliet Rogers has had a career in the book publishing industry in both New Zealand and Australia. She was Managing Director of Random House NZ, a position she held for some nine years before migrating across the Tasman and becoming Managing Director of Random House Australia. From 2002 to 2011, Juliet was CEO of Murdoch Books and since leaving that role has been running her own business, The Wild Colonial Company, publishing books, high end gift stationery and mentoring and consulting within the wider book industry. Julie chaired Booksellers New Zealand for a number of years and was President of the Australian Publishers Association for three years until 2009. She has also been Chair of the book industry charity, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation for the past 5 years.


May: Bookseller Amelia Lush

Amelia Lush is the Manager of Better Read than Dead in Newtown, Sydney, and the specialist children’s bookseller and buyer for Better Read Kids. She has worked in independent bookstores in Sydney for over eight years and has a great love of Australian authors and children’s literature.


April: Author and digital marketing professional Patrick Lenton

Patrick Lenton is an author and a digital marketing professional. His book of short stories is called A Man Made Entirely of Bats. He currently works at Momentum Books, and has a digital marketing consultancy for authors called Town Crier. You can find him on Twitter @PatrickLenton


March: Deputy Managing Editor of Penguin Random House, Catherine Hill

Catherine Hill has been an editor for more than 15 years. She started her career as an editorial assistant at Weidenfeld & Nicolson in London, then moved to Little, Brown as an editor, before leaving for Australia and Random House in 2004. She is now Deputy Managing Editor of Penguin Random House in Sydney.





First Friday Club: August 2015 with Suzanne O’Sullivan




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