To celebrate International Womens Day, Festival Director Lisa Dempster and Program Manager Jo Case have put together a list (in no particular order) of 1o women writers to look out for this year:

1. Kim Gordon – Former Sonic Youth singer/bassist, her memoir Girl in a Band  is getting great reviews and earning comparisons to Patti Smith’s cult classic Just Kids. It talks about being a woman in the music industry, coming of age in California, the end of her decades long marriage to her creative & life partner, and the music scene in the 90s.

2. SJ Finn – A wonderful Melbourne novellist who writes about contemporary issues. Her new novel Down to the River, described as a timely portrait of a town in crisis launches this month.

3.  Alice Pung – Her new YA novel Laurinda is brilliant; a wonderful and moving portrait of bullying, class, growing up in a migrant community while going to school alongside the privileged upper middle class, and finding your way to being yourself, amidst all these different pressures & influences. Alice has also just published a novel in the popular All Australian Girl series for young readers. She’s proving herself a talented all-rounder.

4. Amanda Lohrey – A brilliant Australian writer whose new novel A Short History of Richard Kline, called an exploration of masculinity, the mystical and our very human yearning for something more, is out now.

5. Liane Moriarty – One of Australia’s top selling authors of contemporary fiction, Lisa says she “can’t get enough of her books”.

6. Julie Szego – Her book The Trial of Farah Jama was shortlisted for Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize for Non-Fiction this year. It’s a brilliant piece of reportage about justice, how racial & cultural issues can subconsciously influence policing & justice system and the ways DNA evidence can go wrong.

7. Rebecca Starford – The publishing director of Kill Your Darlings debut memoir Bad Behaviour: A Memoir of Bullying and Boarding School is out now. It’s getting great reviews, with the Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael McGill calling it “engrossing”.

8. Ellen van Neerven – An insightful short story writer based in Brisbane, she also edits the digital collection Writing Black: New Indigenous Writing from Australia.

9. Sheng Keyi – An important Chinese writer on the world stage. Her new book Death Fugue, called “a tale of two Chinas” by Sydney Review of Books’ Nicholas Hoseis out now. Death Fugue is her second novel to be translated into English.

10. Heather O’Neill – A Canadian writer  who appeared at Adelaide Writers Week this week.  Gorgeous prose, absorbing tonal mix of beauty, damage, realism and imagination. She explores Montreal’s mean streets and the microcosm that is French-speaking Quebec. Her new novel The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is out now, and she has a short story collection and historical novel on the horizon.

What’s on your International Women’s Day reading list for 2015? Tell us in the comments

 Image: Book cover of Kim Gordon’s memoir Girl in a Band.