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About The Event

The Royal Oak Balmain - 36 College St
Balmain, NSW 2041 Australia
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

All writers begin as readers. In Reading Like an Australian Writer, a new collection out with NewSouth Books, some of Australia’s top writers take us through the dog-eared pages of their favourite Australian books, and the moment they thought… I can do this too.

On Tuesday 18 May at the Royal Oak Balmain, author and former Director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival Sam Twyford-Moore will be hosting the launch of the book, with discussion from contributors Debra Adelaide, Felicity Castagna and Roanna Gonsalves, as well as the book’s editor Belinda Castles.

This in-person event is now fully booked. All those who registered will be contacted. (If you haven’t heard from us before Friday May 14, check your spam.) If you have any questions, email


All writers begin as readers.

This is an ode, a love letter, to the magic of reading. To the spark that’s set off when the reader thinks … I can do this too. Some of Australia’s top writers take us through these moments of revelation through the dog-eared pages of their favourite Australian books.

Ellen van Neerven finds kin on the page with Miles Franklin-winner Tara June Winch. A.S. Patrić discovers a dark mirror for our times in David Malouf’s retelling of an episode from The Iliad. Ashley Hay pens letters of appreciation and friendship to Charlotte Wood. These and many more writers come together to draw knowledge from the distinctive personal and sensory stories of this country: its thefts and losses, and its imagined futures. Australian fiction shows us what it is possible to say and, perhaps, what still needs to be said.

Reading like an Australian writer is an inspirational and heartfelt collection of essays that will enrich your reading of Australian stories and guide you in your own writing.


Sam Twyford-Moore is a widely published writer and the author of The Rapids: Ways of Looking at Mania. He was the Director and CEO of the Emerging Writers’ Festival for three years and now manages the Faber Writing Academy.


Belinda Castles is the author of four novels: Bluebottle, Hannah and Emil, The River Baptists and Falling Woman, and winner of the Australian/Vogel’s and Asher literary awards. She teaches writing at the University of Sydney.


Debra Adelaide is the author or editor of seventeen books, including novels, short stories, essays, and academic publications. Her most recent books are the collection of short stories, Zebra (2019), which won the Steele Rudd Award in the Queensland Literary Awards, and The Innocent Reader (2019), essays on reading and writing. Until 2020 she taught creative writing at the University of Technology Sydney.


Roanna Gonsalves is the award-winning author of The Permanent Resident, published in India as Sunita De Souza Goes to Sydney. Her creative and scholarly works have been published, broadcast and performed across various media internationally. She teaches creative writing in the university sector in Australia. See more at


Felicity Castagna is an essayist, teacher and writer on many crossdisciplinary art projects. Her most recent novel, No More Boats, was a finalist in the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Awards and is published internationally. She is also the author of Small Indiscretions and The Incredible Here and Now, which received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature. Her next book, Girls in Boys’ Cars, will be released in 2021.

This event is presented by Roaring Stories Bookshop Balmain with NewSouth Books.
With thanks to our venue partner The Royal Oak Balmain.


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