The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Date 30 Nov 21 & 1 Dec 21
Location Online Panel Discussion 'New Narratives, New Voices'
Date 02.12.2021
Location Online Panel Discussion 'Representation, Voice and Agency]


Spread the Word, London’s writer development agency, is delighted to announce The Stories We Tell Ourselves, a collaboration with the Wheeler Centre and the Melbourne City of Literature Office as part the UK/Australia Season, a partnership between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Bringing together over 20 writers, publishers, agents and researchers from the UK and Australia, The Stories We Tell Ourselves is an online series of conversations about the power of stories to help us reimagine, rethink and rebuild the world around us. The Stories We Tell Ourselves asks: what are the stories we need to tell each other? What are the stories we need to be listening to and reading? And, critically, whose voices are telling those stories and how do we get to hear them?

The Stories We Tell Ourselves will build new connections and publishing industry links between Britain and Australia and engage new audiences with the work of diverse writers and independent presses.

A series of creative written commissions and filmed dialogues between the writers will be released online throughout November. Panel discussions themed around “New Narratives, New Voices” in fiction and children’s/young adult writing will premiere on 30 November and 1 December respectively. The livestream panel event “Representation, Voice and Agency” will be broadcast on 2 December.

Featured writers: Alex Falase-Koya, Alice Boyle, Burhana Islam, Cath Moore, Elle McNicoll, Jasmine McGaughey, Maame Blue, Maxine Beneba Clarke, MC Angel, Mykaela Saunders, Rafeif Ismail, Sharon Duggal and Sareeta Domingo.

Featured publishers: Aimée Felone (Knights of) Crystal Mahey-Morgan (OWN IT!); Marisa Pintado (Hardie Grant Egmont), Rachel Bin Salleh (Magabala Books), Robert Watkins (Ultimo Press) and Valerie Brandes (Jacaranda Books).

Featured agents: Emma Paterson (Aitken Alexander) and Grace Heifetz (Curtis Brown).

Featured researchers: Dr Anamik Saha (Goldsmiths, University of London), Dr Denise Chapman (Monash University), Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold (Glasgow University), and Dr Radiah Chowdhury.

Pictured: Top row, Left to Right: Cath Moore, Elle McNicoll, Aimée Felone Bottom row: Left to Right: Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, Dr Denise Chapman, Marisa Pintado

Spread the Word is London’s writer development agency, a charity and a National Portfolio client of Arts Council England. It is funded to help London’s writers make their mark and build strategic partnerships to foster a literature ecology which reflects Britain’s cultural diversity. In 2020, it launched Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing in partnership with The Bookseller and Words of Colour.

Melbourne, UNESCO City of Literature: Melbourne’s designation as a City of Literature is an acknowledgment of the breadth, depth and vibrancy of its literary culture. Melbourne supports a diverse range of writers and literary organisations, a prosperous publishing industry and successful independent booksellers. It hosts a range of literary events and festivals that help foster a strong reading culture.

The Wheeler Centre supports and amplifies the many voices that make sense of the world through books, writing and storytelling. The Centre is committed to the discussion of ideas to enhance and strengthen the creative connections we share. It exists to support writers, readers and thinkers, and deepen public conversation through creative collaboration and community engagement