This panel explores mental health in writing, and how a person’s emotional state can change the nature of their prose. Three writers discuss storytelling when experiences of time, subjectivity and memory are in flux. Writers address issues including psychology, personal connection and vulnerability in their work. Jessica Friedmann’s Things That Helped includes essays on postpartum depression, and Mia Freedman’s Work Strife Balance discusses female connections as forged through vulnerability. Black Comedy star Nakkiah Lui has written about the mental and emotional trauma of being Aboriginal in this country, and Tracey Spicer’s The Good Girl Stripped Bare is about how society’s unrealistic expectations of women can weigh them down.

Fiona Wright (Australian)

Fiona Wright

Fiona Wright is a writer, editor and critic from Sydney. Her book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance won the 2016 Kibble Award and the Queensland Literary Award for non-fiction. Her poetry collections are Knuckled, which won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award, and Domestic Interior, which is shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Her new essay collection is The World Was Whole.