Festival Program


Choice Words: Writing About Abortion

Fri 6 Sep, 10am
SLV, Village Roadshow Theatrette

Louise Swinn’s Choice Words: A Collection of Writing About Abortion sees a range of artists recount personal stories of abortion. It is ‘a celebration of how far we’ve come, an electrifying caterwaul at how far we still have to go’. Featuring contributors Tony Birch, Melanie Cheng, and Amy Gray.


1 hour

Session code


Available on Pass




Session Artists

Tony Birch is an author whose work has been awarded major literary prizes in Australia, including the Victorian Premier's Literary Prize and the Patrick White Literary Award. He also researches and publishes on climate change, climate justice and Indigenous ecological knowledge. His new novel, The White Girl, will be released this year.

Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner based in Melbourne. Her debut short story collection, Australia Day, won the 2018 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction. Room for a Stranger is her debut novel and second book.

Amy Gray is a Melbourne-based writer who focuses on feminism, politics, culture and memoir. Her work has been published widely, including in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, ABC, SBS and The Lifted Brow.

Louise Swinn is a writer, editor, critic and literary event chair. She was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network, and the Stella Prize, and is chair of judges for the Stella Prize 2019. Her criticism appears in The Australian, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. She is the editor of Choice Words: A Collection of Writing About Abortion.

More sessions like this one

Highlight Event

Jane Caro: Accidental Feminists

Sun 1 Sep, 7pm

Jane Caro's book explores the trailblazing feminists of her generation who paved the way for future women. She talks with Denise Scott.

Highlight Event

Helen Clark: Women, Equality, Power

Sun 8 Sep, 4pm

The selected speeches of inspirational Helen Clark provide a call to action for other women in positions of power. She talks to Lisa Millar.

Highlight Event

Sloane Crosley: Look Alive Out There

Sat 7 Sep, 2.30pm

New York Times bestselling essayist Sloane Crosley discusses her new essay collection Look Alive Out There, covering warring with her neighbour's teenagers to climbing in Ecuador.

Highlight Event

The Pleasure of Guilty

Sun 1 Sep, 10am

ABC journalist Virginia Trioli and director of The Wheeler Centre Michael Williams come clean about their love of lowbrow rom-coms.