Author Archives: Jessie Seymour

Creative Nonfiction and Social Justice: In Conversation with Behrouz Boochani

Thursday 30 September 2021, 10am – 12pm AEST

The Arts Faculty at Macquarie University is holding a special online event — Creative Nonfiction and Social Justice: In conversation with Behrouz Boochani — on Thursday 30 September at 10am AEST. It will be recorded for people to view later in other time zones.

Behrouz Boochani’s book No Friend but the Mountains drew intense local and international interest when it was published in mid-2018.

The book conveys the inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers imprisoned on Manus Island by the Australian government to prevent their resettlement in Australia. Boochani’s tools were successive contraband phones hidden at one stage in a cavity he carved deep in his mattress. Originally written in Farsi, No Friends but the Mountains was produced text by text under constant surveillance and the threat of retribution and violence.

In August 2019, after the book won a slew of major literary awards, the Papua New Guinean government offered to relocate all the men from Manus Island to Port Moresby. Boochani is now in New Zealand and able to reside there permanently.

In this conversation, Behrouz Boochani discusses the writing and form of his book – why he chose creative nonfiction over journalism – and the impact the book has had on Australian refugee and asylum seeker policy.

View Behrouz Boochani’s profile.

Anyone interested in joining can use this link to register:…/registration

Any questions about the event should go to

CALL FOR SHORT STORIES: Social Alternatives

Social Alternatives is an independent, not-for-profit peer-reviewed journal with quarterly publications. It is committed to the principles of social justice, commenting on important social issues of current concern or public debate. We publish practical and theoretical articles on relevant topics, as well as reviews, short stories, poems, graphics, commentaries and critiques.

While Social Alternatives is primarily a scholarly journal, publishing articles and commentary, the collective firmly recognises the ability for literature to comment on range of social issues and act as vehicle for social change. Fiction is by definition transformative, allowing us to reveal and re-imagine ourselves. No particular theme or focus is required for short stories.

Please note, authors are invited to submit short stories they have polished and should not attempt to artificially target social issues since the creative nature of short story writing can be stymied by this focus.

Please read these guidelines carefully before submitting your writing.

Direct enquiries and submissions to the Short Story Editor:
Dr Thu Hoang – Independent scholar – Please use this while the Social Alternatives server is undergoing reconstruction. Once this is completed, future contact can be made at

Nonfiction Writing Workshop: Perspectives – on Australasian Creative Nonfiction Writing

Abstracts are invited for this online workshop on creative nonfiction as it is practised in Australasia.

Guest speakers on the day are the award-winning writer Behrouz Boochani, author of No Friend but the Mountain, and his translator Omid Tofighian.

Participants are invited to explore uniquely Australasian research, practice and pedagogy regarding creative nonfiction. Investigations into diverse manifestations of this form are welcome, ranging across a broad spectrum from life writing/memoir to experimental histories and narrative journalism.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

* Environment/s

* Experiments

* Ethics, empathy, and change

* Speaking truth to power

* Immersive experiences and the eye-witness

* Subjectivities

* Aesthetics

* Life writing

* Multiplicities

* Cultural, social and political diversity

* Tracing histories

* Imagination

* Fact and/or fiction

* Social Justice

One aim of the workshop is to develop individual and collaborative written work.  People accepted to participate are asked to submit a 1000-word short paper by 31 August to be circulated ahead of the workshop for discussion on the day. 

We anticipate that there will be at least one publication emerging from the workshop, a special issue of the journal Literary Journalism Studies which will be devoted to Australian work in the field, to be published in 2023.

If you would like to attend, please submit an abstract of 300-500 words, plus a short bio of less than 150 words by 31 Mayto with the subject line “Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop”.

Axon: Creative Explorations CFP

Poetry as speculation: Axon 11.1 (June) 2021

Ends on May 24, 2021

Please DO NOT submit poems to this issue

This issue of the Axon journal investigates ways in which contemporary poetry speculates about the world, modes of being, reality, creativity, writing itself and ways of understanding the quotidian. We are NOT looking for poems or poetic forms of speculative fiction. Please submit academic papers that explore and relate to:

• ways in which poetic expression and form may be said to speculate;

• how poetry conjectures about the nature of reality and/or being;

• ways in which poetry posits that certain things or situations are the case, even when this may not be literally true;

• how poetry makes use of the fantastic or invokes ideas of wonder;

• how poetry critiques common sense assumptions through invoking or suggesting alternatives;

• how poetry hypothesises about ‘alternative realities’;

• how poetry constitutes a form of conjecture or postulation;

• ways in which poetry engages in imaginative forms of theorisation;

• poetry as surmise;

• poetry as a way of thinking ahead;

• poetry’s employment of unlikely notions and ideas;

• poetry as a form of surmise.

What we would like from contributors:

1. A 150-word abstract of your proposed paper by Monday 8 February 2021.

2. If your abstract is accepted (we will notify you by Friday 22 February 2021), a full written paper of between 3,000 and 6,000 words should be submitted by Monday 24 May 2021.

The editors of this issue of Axon: Creative Explorations journal are Professor Paul Hetherington and Professor Jen Webb.

Prize Winners Announced!

We’re delighted to bring you the following prize results:

AAWP—Ubud Writers and Readers Festival Translators’ Prize


‘423 Colours- excerpts from the Spanish novel 423 colores by Juan Gallardo and Rafael Avendaño’, translated by Lilit Thwaites.

Highly Commended:

‘A Dosimeter on the Narrow Road to Oku’ by Durian Sukegawa, translated by Alison Watts

‘Mestri Di Mont’ an excerpt from Tito Maniacco’s (1932-2010) memoir, Mestri di mont (2007), translated by Valentina Maniacco.

‘Martin, Martin’s Newborn Brother, His Father, His Mother, The Doctor, Aunt Juanita, The Birdcages and a Bird’ – a short story by Ana María Moix, translated by Lilit Thwaites

‘The Blind Spot – excerpts from the Spanish novel El ángulo ciego by Luisa Etxenike’, translated by Lilit Thwaites.

AAWP UWAP—Chapter One Prize


Stone Hearts: A collection of short stories by Lisa Dowdall

Highly commended:

The Taste of Cedars by Anne Hotta

AAWP—Australian Short Story Festival Short Story Prize


‘Cockroach’ by Jane Cornes

Highly Commended:

‘Rose and Thorn’ by Sarah St Vincent Welch 

‘Not-John’ by Jon Geoffrey 

AAWP—Ubud Writers and Readers Emerging Writers’ Prize


‘Pit Stop’by Nina Divich 

Highly Commended:

‘The Suitcase’ by Deborah Huff-Horwood 

‘Jungle Heat’ by Petra Sully 

AAWP Slow Canoe Creative Nonfiction Prize for Emerging Writers


‘An incomplete archive of blue’ by Dani Netherclift

Highly Commended:

‘Learning to Say Goodbye the Dublin Way’ by Breda Hertaeg

Congratulations to our successful entrants…and thanks to all those who submitted their work.

Call for Short Stories

Social Alternatives is an independent, not-for-profit peer-reviewed journal with quarterly publications. It is committed to the principles of social justice, commenting on important social issues of current concern or public debate.

While Social Alternatives is primarily a scholarly journal, publishing articles and commentary, the collective firmly recognises the ability for literature to comment on range of social issues and act as vehicle for social change. Fiction is by definition transformative, allowing us to reveal and re-imagine ourselves. No particular theme or focus is required for short stories.

For more details and how to submit, please check this call for papers

2021 PhD Scholarships Available in English and Creative Writing

Interesting in undertaking a PhD or MPhil in English or Creative Writing?

Applications for JCU Research Scholarships for 2021 are open for submissions now! See

We’ve listed some potential topics below, but we are interested in discussing a range of projects with prospective applicants. Students who want to study externally are encouraged to apply.

  • Fairy tale and gothic narrative, especially Beauty and the Beast and related tales; retellings and adaptations of fairy tale in film, literature and new media (talk with A/Prof Allison Craven
  • Australian Gothic film and literature – landscapes and monsters, colonial and contemporary (talk with A/Prof Allison Craven
  • Australian cinema, its histories and regional connections in the Asia-Pacific (talk with A/Prof Allison Craven
  • Teaching and/or performing Shakespeare in Australia (talk with Dr Claire Hansen
  • Exploring the power of place in literature/drama through a framework of ecocriticism and the blue humanities (talk with Dr Claire Hansen
  • How literature improves our wellbeing – linking the health humanities and literary studies (talk with Dr Claire Hansen
  • Exploring zines and archives through a lens of self-representation (talk with Dr Emma Maguire
  • Digital life narratives of girls and women (talk with Dr Emma Maguire
  • Writing fiction, creative nonfiction, auto/biography or memoir (talk with Dr Emma Maguire
  • Exploring the relationships between authorship, editing, publishing, and reading of novels and short stories – Australian, British, American literature (talk with Dr Roger Osborne
  • Representation of cultural heritage texts in print and digital media – Australian, British, American literature (talk with Dr Roger Osborne
  • Grief or trauma literature and memoir (talk with Dr Victoria Kuttainen
  • Postcolonial approaches to literature (talk with Dr Victoria Kuttainen
  • Early twentieth century 1914-1950 literature and/ or new media (magazines, photography, cinema) (talk with Dr Victoria Kuttainen
  • Information on PhD entry requirements, application procedures and scholarships is available from the JCU Graduate Research School website:

For general enquiries please contact Professor Sean Ulm, (Associate Dean of Research Education) at

TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses – Call for Special Issues

Australia’s leading creative writing journal, TEXT, is calling for Expressions of Interest to guest edit upcoming Special Issues.

Special Issues of TEXT have long provided leading research for the creative writing discipline in Australia and internationally. In 2020, the Special Issues editors are calling for Expressions of Interest from emerging and established academics for themed collections of scholarly articles (including research-led creative works).

If you are interested, please familiarise yourself with TEXT’s journal policies (available here), and examples of past Special Issues (numbers 1 – 58 are available here).

EOI submissions should include the following information:

  • Proposed title of your special issue
  • Your proposed Call For Papers (no more than one page)
  • Where you will advertise and circulate this Call for Papers
  • A clear outline of the relationship of this special issue to TEXT’s brief and audience, and particularly its relationship to current scholarship on creative writing
  • The approximate predicted size of the issue, i.e. number of papers involved and the length of papers
  • A list of your editorial team, including brief CVs outlining editorial experience (1-3 guest editors per special issue is usual; beyond 3 can become unmanageable)
  • The main contact person for the team and their email details
  • Acknowledgement that the guest editors understand their role, i.e. in handling the collection of papers, double blind peer review and revision processes, and the editorial development of the works to publication copy standard, formatted as per TEXT’s requirements. At the point of final submission, you will need to submit a list of the reviewers used and their titles and institutional affiliations, and your record of how writers have responded to reviewers’ comments (authors need to submit to you a statement of how they have addressed the reviewers’ comments).
  • A statement that you understand that the TEXT Editors will read the Special Issue and have the right to reject any articles, reviews, or the entire issue, if it does not reach TEXT’s standard (TEXT was ERA ‘A’ ranked in the 2010 census).
  • Where you will draw your reviewers from (nationally and internationally).
  • A proposed timeline for the processes involved and an indication of the edition of TEXT being targeted for publication

More information about the Special Issues can be found here.

For questions or to submit an EOI, please contact the Special Issues editors: Dr Liz Ellison ( and Prof Craig Batty (

Call for book reviewers

Opportunities exist for new reviewers to join the TEXT Reviews database. If you are interested in writing reviews, then please get in touch. We have lots of beautiful books waiting for the right people to read and review them. Writing reviews for TEXT is a wonderful way to:

(1) Engage with up to date publications and ideas relevant to your creative writing and research interests

(2) Gain publication in the premier journal of creative writing research in the Australasian region

(3) Build your CV for job and grant applications

(4) Contribute back to your scholarly and creative community.

ECRs and PhD candidates are particularly welcome to apply, and we are happy to mentor people through the process if it is their first-ever reviewing experience. Reviewers do not need to be current AAWP members (though we of course encourage it!) so if you would like to forward this to supervision candidates and/or colleagues who aren’t currently connected with AAWP but might be interested in this opportunity, please forward them this email and/or let them know they can contact our team at to discuss opportunities and/or request more information.

Here is an EOI form for prospective reviewers to indicate preferred areas of interest and other information of relevance.

We look forward to welcoming new members to our wonderful community of TEXT reviewers

Calling all HDR candidates

Sue Joseph and Craig Batty here. We are the AAWP Research Portfolio Team – Craig is the Portfolio Chair and I am the Research Training Lead.

We are convening a new initiative – the AAWP HDR Hang-out. As we all know, Masters and Doctoral study is often an isolating undertaking; COVID 19 has dramatically exacerbated this. We are aiming to create a virtual community across Australasia, which we hope will continue post-COVID. It is mainly social, but within this social space we will convene research-related discussions, activities and debate.

Our first session is Wednesday 10 June from 2-3pm (AEST). If you are interested in attending, please reply to and we will send you a Zoom invitation, closer to the day. This first Hang-out is an introductory session only really, to talk to everyone and gather ideas about what you want the hang-outs to look like and how you want them to function.

We’ll be using Zoom to facilitate this session. You don’t need to have Zoom installed on your computer, just click on the link that we send you, when you’re ready to join in. If you have any specialised accessibility issues, please let us know via email.

We aim to run the session along these lines:

Meet and greet
Share information about your research topic and your background.
A chance to ask questions of each other, share tips and generally catch-up

The following session is on Wednesday, 8 July, 2-3pm (AEST). This date may change, depending on the availability we discuss with you on June 10. Looking forward to seeing you online if you can make it.