Creative Non-Fiction Festival 2013

The NSW Writers’ Centre presents the Creative Non-Fiction Festival, curated by Benjamin Law (Family Law, frankie) on Saturday 2 November, 2013.

Though readers are often baffled by the concept of creative non-fiction, we all read it: magazine profiles, longform narrative journalism, memoirs and essays. Creative non-fiction doesn’t just report the facts, it tells the stories of people, places and events.

Our speakers are a diverse bunch. From authors and radio hosts such as Monica Attard and Dominic Knight, to writers and troublemakers like Clementine Ford and Ben Jenkins. From the cool new kids on the block like Benjamin Law and Nadia Saccardo, to the legends of the trade like John van Tiggelen and Delia Falconer. They are some of the most respected writers in the country, and they’ll be sharing their tips, tricks, horror stories and wisecracks with you.

Download the full program here. Please note that Ben Jenkins is no longer able to appear at the Festival. He will be replaced by Andrew P. Street.

Photographer Anita Pollard took some great shots of our Festival, and you can see the rest of them here.

To read a Storify selection of Tweets from the day, click here.

Speakers include Monica Attard (Russia: Which Way Paradise?), Jane Cadzow (Good Weekend), Trent Dalton (The Weekend Australian Magazine), Tim Elliott (Spain by the Horns), Delia Falconer (The Service of Clouds), Clementine Ford (Daily Life), Alyx Gorman (Elle), Wendy Harmer (The Hoopla), Dominic Knight (Disco Boy), David Leser (Dames and Divas), Walter Mason (Destination Saigon), Phillipa McGuinness (NewSouth Publishing), Nadia Saccardo (Smith Journal), Brendan Shanahan (In Turkey I am Beautiful),  John van Tiggelen (The Monthly) and Jason Treuen (Rolling Stone).

Monica Attard has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She is the author of Russia: Which Way Paradise?, has won five Walkley Awards and is the recipient of an Order of Australia.

Jane Cadzow writes for the Good Weekend. She has twice won the Walkley Award for best magazine feature writing, and was highly commended in the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award in 2004.

Trent Dalton writes for the award-winning The Weekend Australian Magazine. A former assistant editor of The Courier-Mail, he has won a Walkley Award for excellence in journalism and is the author of Detours, on the homeless community in Brisbane. His journalism has twice been nominated for a United Nations of Australia Media Peace Award.

Tim Elliott is a writer for Good Weekend magazine and his work has also appeared in The Financial Times, The South China Morning Post and The Australian Financial Review. He is an author of two books, The Bolivian Times and Spain By The Horns.

Delia Falconer is the author of two novels, The Service of Clouds and The Lost Thought of Soldiers.  She is also the author of Sydney, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction and winner of the 2011 CAL Waverley Library Award.  Her short fiction and essays have been widely anthologised, including in the recent Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature.

Clementine Ford is a writer, speaker and troublemaker living in Melbourne. She is loved and loathed in equal measure for her uncompromising approach to feminist discourse. At last count, Andrew Bolt had written about her five times which means she must be doing something right.

Alyx Gorman recently became the Features Director of ELLE Australia and also did a three year stint at She spends her days reading writing, thinking about writing, talking to writers or filling out forms to ensure the payment of writers.

Wendy Harmer is one of Australia’s best-known humourists. She has enjoyed a highly successful thirty-year career in journalism, radio, television and stand-up comedy.

Dominic Knight  is one of the founders of The Chaser and has worked on all the team’s projects including the original satirical newspaper and books and its television, stage and radio shows. He has written three novels: Disco BoyComrades and Man vs. Child and currently hosts Evenings on 702 ABC Sydney, as well as writing a column for Daily Life.


David Leser has been a staff feature writer for the Australian, the Bulletin, HQ and Good Weekend, and is the author of four books, including Dames & Divas; Twenty One Remarkable Women.

Walter Mason is a former bookseller and the author of two travel memoirs, Destination Saigon and Destination Cambodia.

Phillipa McGuinness is the executive publisher of NewSouth Publishing. She has also worked at Cambridge University Press and was industry representative on the Humanities and Creative Arts panel of the Australian Research Council.

Nadia Saccardo is the Sydney-based editor of Smith Journal, a quarterly print magazine published by frankie press. Before Smith, Nadia was Group Publisher of The Thousands City Guides. She also contributed words to frankieNylonDumbofeather and Monster Children magazines.

Brendan Shanahan is the author of four books, including In Turkey I Am Beautiful. He is a former columnist for the Daily Telegraph and writes regularly for publications including The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and GQ.

Andrew P Street is a Adelaide-built-Sydney-based journalist and critic whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Rolling Stone, the Telegraph, the SMH, Daily Life, and more. He’s contributing editor for Time Out Australia and a regular news columnist with TheVine, and occasionally attempts to recapture the doomed rock ambitions of his 20s by playing music.

John van Tiggelen edits The Monthly magazine and is the author of Mango Country, a collection of stories and journalism from his time in North Queensland.

Jason Treuen has been a music journalist for more than 15 years and has written for Rolling Stone, frankie, Sydney Morning Herald, Men’s Style and Channel [V]. He is currently the editor of

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