In the First Person

Day One—Saturday, 10 May

9–9.50 am Registration

9.50–10 am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Jan Fullerton, AO
Director-General, National Library of Australia

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10–11 am Kenneth Binns Lecture Telling Our Own Truths
Good autobiographical writing can be beguiling. But how ‘true’ is it? What are the challenges for writers in re-casting personal material? How does this differ from the third person stance of biography?
Brenda Niall

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Chair: Margy Burn

11–11.30 am Morning Tea

11.30 am–12.30 pm Session 2: A Life as Literature
Perceptive portrayals of the human experience form the bedrock of fine writing. How do authors turn lives into literature, and in the process illuminate broader social and political trends?

Accidental Autobiography—Paul Carter

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Juggling the Personal and Political—Margaret Reynolds

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Narrators in Literary Non-fiction: Who Are They and What is Their Role?—Christopher Kremmer

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Chair: Marie-Louise Ayres

12.30–2 pm Lunch

2–3 pm Session 3: The Personal Muse
Personal experiences drive a great deal of short fiction and poetry. What do writers reveal, and what do they disguise, in their work?

The Truth of Fiction and the Fiction of Truth—Georgia Blain

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‘It’s Only a Paper Moon’: Transforming the Personal—Tracy Ryan

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Dear Reader, It Nearly Killed Me! Life in the Raw with a Personal Muse—Robyn Rowland

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Chair: Bruce Bennett

3–3.30 pm Afternon Tea

3.30–4.30 pm Session 4: Other People’s Stories
Film-makers, editors and storytellers often interpret the lives and writings of others for their own purposes. What sensitivities, challenges and ethical issues are involved?

Making the Political Personal: A New Synthesis—Julianne Schultz

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The Camera Never Lies: A Reality Check—Mark Hamlyn

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Whose Story Is It?—Rachel Robertson

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Chair: Helen Kon

6.30 pm Conference Diner
Join some of Australia’s best writers for an evening of fine food, wine and conversation. Featuring adventurer and author of Dead Lucky, Lincoln Hall
Venue: Ottoman Cuisine, Barton

Day 2—Sunday, 11 May 2008

9.30–10 am Registration

10–11 am Session 5: Through the Looking Glas
I t is broadly accepted that childhood and family life are crucial to the formation of the adult. How have writers made use of such material and how have experiences of childhood and family shaped the writers that they have become?

Like a Wonderland: Writing Across Cultures—Alice Pung

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The Sand People—Robert Drewe

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The Myth of Catharsis—Craig Sherborne

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Chair: Kathryn Favelle

11–11.30 am Morning Tea

11.30 am–12.30 pm Session 6: Notions of Place, Ideas of Home
A sense of belonging, place and home is crucial to the work of many writers. But in what ways? How do writers articulate their sense of belonging somewhere?

Cats and Dogs—Peter Timms

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Memory and Home—John Hughes

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A Landscape Memoir—Mark Tredinnick

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Chair: Lucy Neave

12.30–2 pm Lunch

2–3 pm Session 7: A Very Great Adventure
Many writers have travelled in and drawn inspiration from a particular state or country. How do writers make sense of such places, which often mix the familiar, the strange and the exotic?

My Family & Other Moçambicans—Nicola Walker

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Tasmania: The Testicle of Australia—Tim Bowden

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Two Jettys, Shark and Whiting—Kate Llewellyn

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Chair: Julie Donaldson

3–3.30 pm Afternon Tea

3.30–4.30 pm Session 8: From Personal Conviction
Writing about deeply felt issues or personal beliefs can involve many difficulties, not least because contemporary society can be suspicious of those who say that they care. How do writers manage this challenge?

Asking Awkward Questions: The Uncomfortable Terrain of Moral Dissent—Tony Kevin

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The Cost of Conviction Journalism—Morag Fraser

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Cutting Down Luther’s Pine—John Molony

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Chair: Ivor Indyk

4.30–4.35 pm Closing Remarks
Ian Templeman

While the National Library aims to provide balanced coverage of issues, conference papers reflect the views of individual authors. Copyright in each paper remains with the author.

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