The Stories We Tell Ourselves announced as part of UK/Australia Season


Spread the Word is delighted to announce The Stories We Tell Ourselves, a collaboration with the Wheeler Centre and the Melbourne City of Literature Office as part the UK/Australia Season, a partnership between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Bringing together over 20 writers, publishers, agents and researchers from the UK and Australia, The Stories We Tell Ourselves is 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.

Ruth Harrison, Director, Spread the Word, says:

“As we reflect on the past year and acknowledge long-standing inequalities, writers and their stories will be critical to how we rebuild, engage and understand each other and the world. The Stories We Tell Ourselves provides a timely and unique opportunity for writers, readers, publishers and academics from the UK and Australia to come together to open up a conversation about the stories we need and the stories we get to hear.

Caro Llewellyn, CEO, the Wheeler Centre, says:

“The Wheeler Centre is thrilled to be part of his important collaboration designed to change the conversation and shift the dial on inclusion and equity in publishing in the UK and Australia. We look forward to sharing the insights, reflections and creative exchanges between the wonderful writers, publishers, agents and researchers, through written pieces and digital events accessible globally for everyone to watch, enjoy and consider.”

Elle McNicoll, writer, says:

“It’s an honour to be involved in The Stories We Tell Ourselves, particularly during a time when international alliance and collaboration feels more important than ever.

Cath Moore, writer, says:

“I’m so excited at the opportunity to participate in the Stories We Tell project. When the world feels so far away, it’s a privilege to connect through the power of storytelling.”

Maxine Beneba Clarke, writer, says:

“At a time when literary spaces have been closed down, and the possibility of attending international writers festivals to make new connections, and create dialogue with writers across the oceans has been limited, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to make new connections, and participate in conversations about who we are, and where we are now, as an international literary community through The Stories We Tell Ourselves.”

Featured writers include:  Alex Falase-Koya, Burhana Islam,  Elle McNicoll, Maame Blue, MC Angel, Sareeta Domingo, Sharon Duggal,  Alice Boyle, Cath Moore, Jasmine McGaughey, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Mykaela Saunders and Rafeif Ismail.

Featured publishers include: Valerie Brandes (Jacaranda Books UK), Aimée Felone (Knights of, UK),  Crystal Mahey-Morgan (OWN IT!, UK); Marisa Pintado (Hardie Grant Egmont, AUS), Robert Watkins (Ultimo Press, AUS), Rachel Bin Salleh (Magabala Books, AUS).

Featured agents include: Emma Paterson and Grace Heifetz

Featured researchers include: Dr Anamik Saha (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK), Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold (Glasgow University, UK), Dr Denise Chapman (Monash University, AUS) and Dr Radiah Chowdhury (AUS).

Image by Parys Gardener (C) 2021

For more information visit:

#StoriesWeTellOurselves / #UKAUSeason

Published 25 October 2021