Women Writing Footy – A Wheeler Centre Symposium Invitation

While there’s a long tradition of books about life in or around the AFL – and prominent journalists like Caroline Wilson, Sam Lane and Kelli Underwood hold high-profile positions in football culture – there has also been a measurable absence of women in football’s literary canon.

Until recently, that is. In 2013, Nicole Hayes’ novel The Whole of My World looked at the complexity of female football fandom through the lens of fiction; almost simultaneously, Anna Krien’s journalistic examination of sex, power and gender in football was published as Night Games. Since then, Miriam Sved’s Game Day has inhabited the structure and struggle of the AFL, while in The Family Men, Catherine Harris grapples with the intricacies of male kinship that the sport demands.

Coinciding with the very first match of the 2015 Premiership season, Hayes, Sved and Harris will come together for a lunchtime discussion about the role, contributions, challenges and perspectives of women storytellers in the manly world of Aussie rules. Hosted by Triple R Breakfasters co-host (and fellow footy fanatic) Alicia Sometimes.

The Women Writing Footy panel:

Catherine Harris’ short story collection, Like Being A Wife (Random House), was shortlisted for the 2011 Age Fiction Prize, the 2011 Barbara Jefferis award and as a manuscript for the 2009 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Her prose and essays have been published in Australia, Canada, England and the USA. She won the 2009 Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize and has since been shortlisted for several national and international awards, including the Fish International Short Story Prize and the Bridport Prize. Her novel, The Family Men, is published by Black Inc.

Nicole Hayes is the author of The Whole of My World (Random House 2013), her debut novel about family, friendship and football. The Whole of My World was longlisted for the 2014 Gold Inky Award, and shortlisted for the 2014 Young Australians’ Best Book Award (YABBA). Nice contributed this cracking piece on  Girls and Footy  in 1980s Melbourne for us last year. Her new novel, One True Thing, will be published by Random House in May.

Alicia Sometimes is a writer, poet, broadcaster and musician.

Miriam Sved’s fiction has appeared in various places including Meanjin, Overland, Best Australian Stories and the anthology Just Between Us: Australian Writers Tell the Truth about Female Friendship. Her first novel, Game Day (Picador), is set in and around a Victorian AFL club. She teaches creative writing at Melbourne University.


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