Memoir and life writing

We are beyond thrilled to announce the details of SBC-1, which will focus on ethics in memoir and life writing.

Books: Shy: A memoir by Sian Prior (Text Publishing); The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein (Text Publishing); and the Growing Up series (Black Inc)

Author and moderator: Dr Sian Prior

Editors: Mandy Brett (Text) and Kirstie Innes-Will (Black Inc)

SBC focus discussion: How do editors guide and help structure works of memoir and life writing? When (if at all) is truth suspended, and when does editorial and marketing influence what emerges as the final product? What are the ethical considerations for authors, editors and publishers? How do they grapple with and resolve these issues and challenges while remaining true to the stories?

Moderator Sian Prior will join editors Mandy Brett and Kirstie Innes-Will for a lively discussion on ethics in editorial and publishing practice.

Delegates are invited to read Shy: A memoir, The Trauma Cleaner and any of the Growing Up series published by Black Inc (Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, Growing Up African in Australia, Growing Up Queer in Australia) – if you’re time-poor, read at least one of the books. Most importantly, get involved in this important discussion.

About the author and moderator

A woman with shoulder-length hair, and wearing a collared shirt and a necklace with matching earrings, looks at the camera.
Sian Prior. Image supplied

Dr Sian Prior is a writer, broadcaster, musician and writing teacher. She presents programs on ABC Radio and writes a regular column for The Sunday Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. Sian teaches non-fiction at Writers Victoria and in RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program, and has completed a PhD in Creative Writing at RMIT. She also teaches Writing As Therapy for the School of Life. Her essays have been published in Meanjin, and her first book Shy: A memoir (Text Publishing) came out in 2014. She is currently working on her second memoir.

About the editors

Mandy Brett is a senior editor at Text Publishing. Mandy began her editing career as an editor and publisher at IAD Books, an Aboriginal publishing house in Alice Springs. Her editing career has seen her work freelance, as a production editor on a small magazine and as a computer programmer at Penguin Books. Mandy has been with Text Publishing since 2002. She works on fiction and non-fiction titles, including as editor on Sian’s memoir, Shy, Sarah Krasnostein’s The Trauma Cleaner, Claire Wright’s You Daughters of Freedom and Eva Hornung’s The Last Garden. Mandy is a guest lecturer in fiction editing at RMIT University.

The covers of Sian Prior's Shy and Sarah Krasnostein's The Trauma Cleaner, side by side

Kirstie Innes-Will is Editorial and Production Director / Associate Publisher at Black Inc, working across a wide range of titles and imprints and managing a small team of editors and designers. She has worked in publishing for over 15 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.

Growing Up Asian in Australia, which included new and emerging voices through open submissions, was first published in 2008 and quickly became a staple on the school curriculum. In 2018, Black Inc. revived the concept, publishing Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia. In 2019 they will publish Growing Up African in Australia (April) and Growing Up Queer in Australia (August), with a further volume – Growing Up Disabled in Australia – to follow in 2020. The series offers a unique opportunity for diverse stories to be told.


The Growing Up ... in Australia series book covers, side by side: Growing Up Aboriginal, African, Asian and Queer

SBC-1 will run on Thursday 9 May, after lunch. View the program for details.

What is Super Book Club – beyond the page?

Read more about the Super Book Club concept – the book clubber’s home away from book club – including the previously announced Super Book Club on Popular Fiction, with its focus on Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen trilogy that straddles the historical fiction and fantasy fiction genres.

Discounted early bird conference registration end on Thursday 28 February.