The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Spread the Word, Melbourne, UNESCO City of Literature and The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay our respect to their elders past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

As part of the British Council’s UK/Australia Season, The Stories We Tell Ourselves brings together over 20 writers, publishers, agents and researchers from the UK and Australia, for 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.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves is supported by the UK/Australia Season Patrons Board, the British Council and the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season.

#StoriesWeTellOurselves / #UKAUSeason

UK and Australian writers in conversation

Maame Blue and Mykaela Saunders

Jasmin McGaughey and Burhana Islam

Alex Falase-Koya and Alice Boyle

Maxine Beneba Clarke and Sareeta Domingo

Elle McNicoll and Cath Moore

MC Angel aka Shauna O'Briain & Rafeif Ismail


Alex Falase-Koya

Alice Boyle

Burhana Islam

Cath Moore

Elle McNicoll

Jasmin McGaughey

Maame Blue

Maxine Beneba Clarke

MC Angel

Mykaela Saunders

Rafeif Ismail

Sareeta Domingo

Sharon Duggal


Aimée Felone

Crystal Mahey-Morgan

Marisa Pintado

Rachel Bin Salleh

Robert Watkins

Valerie Brandes


Emma Paterson

Grace Heifetz


Dr Anamik Saha

Dr. Denise Chapman

Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold

Dr Radhiah Chowdhury


Erin Wamala

Joy Francis

Premiere and livestream events

New Narratives, New Structures: Fiction

Premiere: Tuesday 30 November, 6.30-7.30pm AEDT / 7.30-8.30am BST

New Narratives, New Structures: Children’s and YA

Premiere: Wednesday 1 December, 6.30-7.30pm AEDT / 7.30-8.30am BST

Representation, Voice and Agency

Livestream: Thursday 2 December, 7.30-8.30pm AEDT / 8.30-9.30am BST


The Wheeler Centre

Melbourne, Unesco City of Literature Office

About UK/Australia Season 2021-22

a black and white UK / AU Season 2021-22

The Stories We Tell Ourselves is part of the UK/Australia Season is a joint initiative by the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Season highlights the breadth of partnership between Australia and the UK, and aims to deepen and extend cultural connections. The Season commences in September 2021, concluding in March 2022 in Australia and in December 2022 in the UK. The theme ‘Who Are We Now?’ will reflect on our history, explore our current relationship, and imagine our future together. The Season will feature programming for all ages, and will celebrate the diversity of cultures and languages in both countries. It will emphasise Australia’s First Nations voices, enable cultural exchange with Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, and the diverse societies that have emerged in both Australia and the UK through migration.