The Stories We Tell Ourselves


Image by Parys Gardener. 

a black and white UK / AU Season 2021-22




Spread the Word, Melbourne, UNESCO City of Literature Office and The Wheeler Centre are pleased to announce The Stories We Tell Ourselves as part of the UK/Australia Season. The Stories We Tell Ourselves is an online dialogue about the power of stories to help us reimagine, rethink and rebuild the world around us. It asks, what are the stories we need to be telling 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?  

Bringing together diverse children’s and adult fiction writers, publishers from inclusive independent presses and academics active in bringing about change in the publishing industry from Britain and Australia, The Stories We Tell Ourselves provides a space for reflection and challenge through opening up the conversation on equity and social justice and the stories we get to hear. 

In November 2021, commissioned new work from twelve debut and established writers responding to the theme of ‘who are we now’ and thought pieces with calls to action from inclusive independent publishers will kickstart a series of five free and accessible online conversations. From readings by and debate between the writers to looking at equity in publishing and the need for new narratives and new structures with writers, publishers and researchers through to a conversation on representation, voice and agency between writers, agents and publishers on how writers underrepresented in publishing are given space to thrive and tell their stories. 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves’ commissioned work will be made available online alongside the conversations which will be recorded, BSL interpreted and captioned. 

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. You can see the full programme at:


Published 24 June 2021

Updated 1 September 2021