Meet the writers

    We're happy to announce our first cohort of writers for The Next Chapter. We'll bring you updates from them as they progress through their year of writing and mentorship.

    A tile comprised of portrait photographs of the first cohort of writers for The Next Chapter

    L-R (Top): Evelyn Araluen, Jean Bachoura, Ennis Cehic, Nayuka Gorrie, Lian Low; L-R (Bottom): Yamiko Marama, Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, Ara Sarafian, Adrian Stanley, Adam Thompson

    Evelyn Araluen (Windsor Downs, NSW)

    Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher, and educator working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. She is the co-coordinator of Black Rhymes Aboriginal Poetry Night in Redfern, and a founding member of grassroots activism network Students Support Aboriginal Communities. In 2017 she won the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, and in 2018 she won the Judith Wright Poetry Prize.

    Evelyn has spoken and performed at a range of literary festivals in Australia, including the Sydney Writers Festival and the Queensland Poetry Festival, and her writing has appeared in publications and anthologies such as
    Overland, Southerly, Cordite, Peril, Best Australian Poems and Growing Up Aboriginal. She is currently completing a PhD exploring the role of critical responsibility in the reading of Aboriginal women’s writing in Australia and beyond. Born, raised, and writing in Dharug country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung nation.

    Jean Bachoura (Taylor's Lakes, Vic)

    Jean Bachoura is a Melbourne-based writer and actor. Born in Damascus and raised between Syria, Lebanon and Australia, his work is reflective of a life lived between various cultures. In 2016 he won the Deborah Cass Prize for emerging writers from a migrant background for his piece titled ‘Night Falls’.

    His work has been published in
    Kill Your Darlings and by Reading Victoria, an initiative of Melbourne City of Literature.

    Ennis Cehic (St Kilda, Vic)

    Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ennis Cehic is a writer and creative living and working in Melbourne. He writes fiction, non-fiction, poetry and essays.

    Ennis's work has been published in
    Meanjin, Matters Journal, the Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, Going Down Swinging, the Age and Overland, and he has recorded poetry with All the Best Radio. He is a former member of West Writers Group from Footscray Arts and is currently working on his first short story collection.

    Nayuka Gorrie (South Lismore, NSW)

    Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta freelance and comedy television writer. Their writing centres on black, feminist and queer politics, spanning outlets such as the Saturday Paper, the Guardian, the Lifted Brow and NITV.

    Nayuka co-wrote and performed in the third season of
    Black Comedy.

    Lian Low (Footscray, Vic)

    Lian Low is a writer and spoken word artist. From 2009 to 2016, Lian was an editor and a board member of Peril, the Asian Australian arts and culture magazine. Her collaborators have been circus artists, poets and dancers, in Malaysia and Australia.

    Lian's work grapples with the violence inflicted on the Malaysian queer community; grief and the unspoken traumas that bind every family; migrants living on Aboriginal Country; ways of speaking back to Australia’s racism and Anglocentrism; ghost stories and hauntings; sexuality; gender identity and selfhood.

    Yamiko Marama (St Kilda West, Vic)

    Yamiko Marama is a writer, therapist and food truck owner living in Narrm (Melbourne).

    Yamiko has previously been long-listed for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers, participated in the Emerging Writers' Festival and contributed to Melbourne City of Literature's Reading Victoria series. She is passionate about social justice and memoir.

    Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen (Brunswick East, Vic)

    Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen is a Melbourne-based Vietnamese-Australian writer, editor and bookseller, and the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Feminist Writers Festival. Between 2015 and 2017, she wrote a fortnightly column for Daily Life, and through 2017, she wrote a monthly fiction column for Scum magazine. Her work has been featured in publications including Meanjin, the Saturday Paper, Kill Your Darlings, SBS Life, Rookie and frankie, and she had an essay included in the 2016 feminist anthology Doing It: Women Tell the Truth About Great Sex.

    Giselle has spoken at festivals and events including Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers' Festival, Digital Writers' Festival, National Young Writers' Festival, Women of Letters, Cherchez La Femme and Face the Music, and appeared on podcasts and programs including
    The Rereaders and triple j's Hack Live. She has also self-published a number of zines, and volunteers at Sticky Institute.

    Ara Sarafian (Kew, Vic)

    Ara Sarafian is a Melbourne-based writer and editor who writes comedy-fiction, commentary and satire. He has been published in the Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings and the Big Issue and was shortlisted for the 2015 Monash Creative Writing Prize. He also once won a short-short story competition with a 48-word submission.

    Ara is a graduate of RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing, and he participated in the 2016 WrICE fellowship in China. He often writes about his Armenian ancestry and culture, and is currently working on a comedy manuscript that draws on his previous career as a chiropractor. He also works as an editor at the ABC.

    Adrian Stanley (Mount Compass, SA)

    Adrian Stanley was born in Naracoorte, South Australia. On his father's side, he is descended from the Kalali people from around the Channel Country near Charleville Queensland. On his mother’s side he is descended from the Boandik people from the South East of South Australia. He is married, with five daughters, three grandchildren, two boys and a girl and his daughter is expecting twins in January 2019.

    Adrian is currently the Working on Country Coordinator for the Gawler Ranges National Park in South Australia. He is also currently restoring two motorbikes and two Dodge utes. He enjoys doing pyrography (a form of producing art by burning wood), wood carving (he collects specialty timbers), wood turning, organic gardening, writing, reading and has just started raising Japanese Quails. He and his family live on three acres with the original dairies and an old barn still on the property.

    Adam Thompson (Trevallyn, Tas)

    Adam Thompson is an emerging Aboriginal (Pakana) writer from Launceston who writes contemporary, Aboriginal-themed short fiction. In 2017–18, he undertook a writing mentorship with established author Kate Gordon, funded by Arts Tasmania. Adam has received writing awards through the Tamar Valley Writers Festival (2016) and the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival (2017). He was awarded a First Nations Fellowship at Varuna House in 2018, and has had fiction published by literary magazines such as Kill Your Darlings.

    Adam is passionate about the Aboriginal community and works full-time at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.






    Highly commended

    In addition to the ten successful recipients, the Judges identified four highly-commended entries to The Next Chapter.

    Mehdi Habibi (Sydney, NSW)

    Mehdi Habibi started learning English in 2010, while in Curtin Immigration Detention Centre. Since being released, he has completed a Certificate IV in Spoken and Written English, and more recently a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian College of Applied Psychology. He is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology.

    He writes short stories, poetry and satire. His writing in Farsi has been published in various journals including
    The Republic of Silence and HalazoonMag. In 2017, he published a short story in Southerly magazine.

    Fiona Murphy (North Melbourne, Vic)

    Fiona Murphy is a poet and essayist. Her work has been published in the Age, Big Issue, Meanjin and Kill Your Darlings, among others. She recently performed Sign poetry at the 2018 Jakarta Writers' Series.

    Bobuq Sayed (Brunswick East, Vic)

    Bobuq Sayed is a freelance writer, artist and community organiser of the Afghan diaspora. They co-edit Archer Magazine and co-founded the activist collective Colour Tongues. They have performed new work at the Emerging Writers' Festival and Melbourne Writers Festival, and their work has appeared in Kill Your Darlings, Black Girl Dangerous, Overland, Peril and Vice.

    Adut Wol Akec (Tarneit, Vic)

    Adut Wol Akec is currently a freelance hairdresser, and before that, worked as a medical receptionist. She recently graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Environmental Management.