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What’s Feeding Your Senses? – Michelle Wright

Published 1st April, 2016 in Writing
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Australian short story author Michelle Wright has won pretty much everything there is to win in terms of literary competitions. We’re grateful then that with all her success, her writing only gets better and better with each story. Her latest story, ‘Photographs of the Missing’, will be published in the upcoming Margaret River Press anthology, Shibboleth and other stories.

 What are you reading ?

Almost all the reading  I’m doing at the moment is related in some way to the novel I’m writing. The story is set partly in the Gulf of Carpentaria and partly in the Pilbara, so I’m reading a lot about these two stunning regions and the people who live there.

I’m also reading a few second wave feminists (also for novel research purposes) – Germaine Greer’s “The Female Eunuch”, Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex” and “The Feminine Mystique” by  Betty Friedan.

And in the cracks, I’ve been trying to cram the odd short story or novel – by Flannery O’Connor, Grace Paley, Kate Chopin, Josephine Rowe, Olga Lorenzo – just to name a few.

What are you watching?

I don’t do a lot of small screen watching.  I do succumb to the allure of the “even smaller” screen occasionally – YouTube clips of Neil de Grasse Tyson, Billy Collins reading his poems, Alan Alda talking science, 106 year olds dancing in the White House, etc.

On the big screen, I just saw “The Lady in the Van” – the story of Alan Bennett and the homeless woman who lived in his driveway for fifteen years. Beautiful, funny, moving. Maggie Smith is astounding!

I’m also catching the opening night feature at this year’s French Film Festival – ‘Rosalie Blum’ – about a group of unusual strangers brought together in unusual ways. Sounds fascinating.

I’m always finding myself drawn to stories of unlikely human connections. I like reading them, watching them and writing them.

What are you listening to?

The voice of reason? It’s been telling me to stop reading, watching and listening and get on with writing my novel!

But I have been ignoring that pesky voice and listening to whatever makes me sigh, smile, cry – Blind Lemon Jefferson, Ray LaMontagne, Rodriguez, Aretha Franklin…

Michelle Wright lives in Eltham, Victoria. Her short stories and flash fiction have won The Age, Alan Marshall, Grace Marion Wilson, Orlando and Magic Oxygen Short Story Awards, and come second in the Bridport Prize, Overland VU Prize, Folio Journal Prize, Roly Sussex Short Story Award and Orlando Flash Fiction Awards. 

Her stories have been published in many Australian and international journals and anthologies including Sleepers Almanac, Margaret River Press, Overland, The Los Angeles Review and Folio Magazine.

Michelle was awarded the 2013 Writers Victoria Templeberg Fellowship and spent six weeks researching stories in Sri Lanka. In 2015 she was awarded a Faber Academy at Allen and Unwin ‘Writing a Novel’ scholarship.

Her collection of short stories, Fine, was shortlisted for the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and will be published by Allen and Unwin in July, 2016.

In late 2015 she spent two months as Laughing Waters Artist in Residence living by the Yarra River working on her first novel, which is scheduled for publication by Allen and Unwin in 2017.

Her short story, ‘To Call Things By Their Right Name’ was featured in The Lost Boy & Other Stories, and her story, ‘Photographs of the Missing’ will be featured in the next Margaret River Short Story Competition anthology, Shibboleth and Other Stories, due for publication in August, 2016.

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