Green image of many school desks and chairs floating

Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship

I am the very very proud recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship for 2020!

The Hot Desk Fellowships are supported by the Readings Foundation. Myself, along with 20 other fellows, receive a stipend and workspace. While my workspace is currently in Meanjin due to COVID-19, I’m looking forward to collaborating in an online writing space until I’m perhaps able to work in the Wheeler Centre building.

Who are my fellow Fellowship recipients?

Mama Alto, Alex Creece, Monikka Eliah (playwright fellow), Lou Garcia-Dolnik, Veronica Heritage-Gorrie, Natasha Hertanto, Ruby Hillsmith, Georgia Kartas, Kim Lam, Nellie Le Beau, Leah Muddle, Rashmi Patel, Allee Richards, Ariel Ries, Lobna Rouhani, Vince Ruston, Darlene Silva Soberano, Diane Vu, Dženana Vucic, Panda Wong.

What’s my project about?

I will be working on the redrafting of Welcome Home, a Young Adult speculative fiction verse novel. This story focuses on the lives of two non-binary transgender teenagers, who have a strong and intimate platonic friendship. Welcome Home examines concepts of safe spaces through the lens of an abandoned haunted house (in a fictional Queensland location), which provides a home for young people whose gender identities lead to their exclusion in other spaces. This novel is in a first draft stage, and requires redrafting and formatting into verse – the majority of which I will complete during my Hot Desk Fellowship.

**Read more at the Wheeler Centre website**

Picture of the front cover of a book titled 'the bright and the cold' selected poems of Anne Elder

Anne Elder Award announcement

This year I had the pleasure of judging the Anne Elder Award alongside Gig Ryan and Marcella Polain. Congratulations to the joint winners:

  • Cham Zhi Yi for ‘blur by the’ (Subbed In)
  • Gareth Sion Jenkins for ‘Recipes For The Disaster’ (5 Islands Press)

And to the commended authors:

  • ‘The Empty Show’ by Alice Allan (Rabbit Poets Series)
  • ‘The Things the Mind Sees Happen’ by Belinda Rule (Slow Loris series / Puncher & Wattmann)

**For more info and to read the full judges’ statements, visit the Australian Poetry website**

Logo of a person's face with hair that reads the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction

Meet the Judges: 2020 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction

I recently spoke with Lip Mag about the 2020 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction, which I have the honour of judging this year alongside Eleni Hale and Jennifer Down.

The Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction calls for stories by women and non-binary writers. What’s your view on diverse representation in publishing? And how do you believe the #ownvoices movement has changed the industry?

I think diverse representation in publishing is extremely important because it opens the door to stories we don’t often hear; to stories that have so often been overwritten or silenced. And I’m seeing a lot more poetry and YA works from gender diverse folks who aren’t your typical ‘poster people’ for diversity – words and works from those assigned male at birth, from those with intersecting marginalisations, from folks of different class backgrounds, from folks who aren’t thin and white. For that reason, I think #ownvoices is moving the industry towards better inclusion: from people writing stories about us and for us, to us writing our own stories.

**Read the full interview on the Lip Mag website**

What will you be looking for when judging the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction?
Something new that takes me by surprise and shakes up my expectations of story writing, of character, of voice.

Entries for the 2020 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction are now OPEN and close 5pm Friday 17th April, 2020. Submit stories up to 2000 words that engage with the theme ‘future’. For more information, click here.

close up black and white photo of a ringtail possum's face

Poem in Verity La

I have my very first poem in the wonderful Verity La! The piece, titled ‘ringtail, in memoriam’, explores decay and endings, beginnings and small acts of resistance.

… you are ground-sunk
hairs fanning back & sleeping
into leaf litter, the curves
of your bones exposed
sunlit & glowing.

**Read more at Verity La**

Gabriela Bourke reviews Milk Teeth for Mascara Literary Review

Gabriela Bourke recently reviewed my book Milk Teeth for Mascara Literary Review!

**Read the full review at Mascara**

I’m very humbled for such glowing words as:

It’s interesting to me that White has chosen to precede their collection with a few lines from another poem, Alex Gallagher’s ‘vague body’, an excerpt which concludes ‘I’m tired of being broken by language/when it is the only safe place I’ve ever known.’ (Gallagher, 2017). This reference situates White’s collection in a tradition of non-binary poetry and at the same time indicates a preoccupation of the collection: that is, the way in which language fails to authentically represent transgender people. These lines provide a lens through which we can begin to approach White’s own poetry, which reconfigures modes of representation by offering an always-vivid, sometimes confronting series of poems which may cause discomfort, but in doing so deftly blast apart cisnormative understandings of gender and identity.

And ultimately:

White’s poetry is fresh and defiant, and underlines the importance of writing and publishing in returning the space to communities who have previously been silenced.

**Read the full review at Mascara**