Australasian Association of Writing Programs’ 26th Annual Conference | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Australasian Association of Writing Programs’ 26th Annual Conference

28-30 November 2022
USC Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs

As creators, researchers, teachers and publishers of creative writing operating within and across the blurred lines of local, regional and national territories, we invite you to participate in the Australasian Association of Writing Programs’ (AAWP) 26th Annual Conference.

The campus is situated on the unceded lands of its traditional owners, the Gubbi Gubbi people, land known for its beaches, lakes, rivers, creeks, mountains and forest.

Proudly presented by Central Queensland University and USC.

Theme: Fire Country

Cool burning. Flames lower than knee height. Smoke white and wispy. To support and care for Country, Tagalaka man, Victor Steffensen, author of Fire Country, says we should burn as if we’re ‘gardening for food’, as if we’re ‘living off the land to survive’. This wisdom is borne of and speaks directly to Indigenous practices, conceptions of land that acknowledge more than human agency. His book sits like a firebreak, between discerning regenerative methods and those well-intended though ill-informed practices that lead increasingly to tragedy and environmental devastation.

This year’s AAWP conference will be primarily taking place in person on-site at the University of the Sunshine Coast. AAWP has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion measures, as well as an awareness of the large number of AAWP members who are experiencing insecure work. As such, this year’s conference will have one online day to complement the in-person event. There will be a limited number of online presentation slots available. If you are in a position where you may be unable to physically attend the conference and would like to present online, please ensure you tick the ‘online preferred’ box when submitting your abstract. You will be asked to provide a very brief rationale, as we want to prioritise those who will find the conference less accessible

Fire Country


We ask you to help us share collective and collected impressions of the periods before, during and after, of cleared land and friable soil, of dry creek beds, blackened hillsides, and the verdant forest floors of our personal, cultural, social, or geographic experiences, of the lucky, the burnt out and the contentious.

We ask you to consider the ways the sparks, the heat and the ashes spill over our literal and figurative environments.

Presentations might consider…

  • regrowth and renewal
  • Indigenous practices, concepts and experience
  • firebrands, backdrafts and ignition
  • minority writing (disability, LGBTIQ, Refugee…)
  • firebreaks: literal and figurative
  • exegetical friction
  • burnings – cool, mosaic, and cultural
  • collaborative writing
  • critical and ‘burning’ questions
  • storying Regions
  • ecologies and crises (climate, literary and other)
  • writing from and to boundaries, edges and limits
  • fire sticks/fire stick farming
  • performance and performative writing
  • combustion, crises, firestorms

We invite presentations from AAWP members, 15 minutes in duration, from practice, research, industry and pedagogy – and pre-formed collaborative discussion panels (three panellists only) that reflect consideration of a ‘fire country’ and the ways we enable and disseminate those marginal and mainstream voices that contribute to its discourse.

If you wish to present, and are not currently a AAWP member, please learn more about becoming a AAWP member. Only AAWP members are eligible to present. If you have any questions write to:

Abstract submission deadline: 27 May 2022

Please note that abstracts submitted to the postponed 2021 conference have been retained. Please resubmit your abstract only if it contains substantial changes to the focus or central content.

All presenters will have the opportunity to refine minor aspects of abstracts prior to the conference via a draft programme.

This deadline is final.

Close of registration: 11 November 2022

This deadline is final.

Conference Committee

  • Dr Elizabeth Ellison
  • Dr Lee McGowan
  • Dr Nicole Anae
  • Dr Ross Watkins
  • Dr Eileen Herbert-Goodall
  • Dr Clare Archer-Lean
  • Dr Leanne Dodd
  • Dr Ginna Brock

Abstract submission