Be dazzled by a debut at Words on the Waves

Debuts to watch

There’s nothing quite like experiencing a new voice for the first time, and Words on the Waves is excited to include an incredible selection of debut authors for this year’s festival, held from June 3 – 6, 2022. The following authors are sure to add to an already impressive line-up, with some already receiving well-earned accolades for their work both within the publishing industry and outside it in their other ventures.

For lovers of all things fiction, the festival is excited to involve: Bryan Brown and his novel Sweet Jimmy, which showcases a collection of crime filled short stories, equal parts grit and humour; The Islands by Emily Brugman, a tantalising search for home amongst the backdrop of the continental shelf; and Jackie Bailey‘s foray into autofiction with The Eulogy, a story encompassing life, loss, and everything in-between (which may, or may not, borrow inspirations from the author’s own life profession as a civil celebrant).

For those looking for a hearty dose of non-fiction, there’s: Antoinette Lattouf and her debut How to Lose Friends and Influence White People, which provides a roadmap to being an effective ally and advocate in any situation, drawing from her experiences as a journalist, media personality, diversity advocate, and mother. From journalist and political advisor Ed Coper we delve into the era of fake news in Facts and Other Lies, and how to combat the spread of disinformation. Eda Gunaydin explores themes of race, class, gender, violence and the legacy of migration in her collection of essays Root & Branch, and Germaine Leece takes a look at the power of literature and why we turn to books for comfort in Reading the Seasons, drawing upon her career first in publishing and later on in psychotherapy (co-written with Sonya Tsakalakis).

And finally, for a walk in someone else’s shoes, Words on the Waves welcomes new voices in the memoir field: Amani Haydar speaking on her experiences with domestic violence shares her story with heartbreaking honesty and grace in The Mother Wound, and Heidi Everett explores her relationship with her mental health in My Friend Fox, personifying the intangible with line drawings and discovering what living a more authentic life means, in the hopes of helping others to do the same.

Where to see them

You can catch Bryan Brown discuss Aussie crime noir during the From a Land (Six Feet) Under panel on the afternoon of Sunday June 5, alongside Chris Hammer and moderator Suzanne Leal, or catch Emily Brugman and Eda Gunaydin during the On Belonging panel on Saturday June 4 afternoon, alongside Omar Musa (moderated by Fiona Wright). Join Jackie during the Sunday afternoon session as she moderates the Mere Mortals panel and discusses tackling death through memoir with Lech Blaine and Ross and Rachel Menzies.

Join both Amani Haydar and Antionette Lattouf on Saturday afternoon during their Bearing Witness panel, with Louise Milligan and moderator Sarah Malik as they break down the childhood refrain ‘tell the truth’ in the context of an adult world. Reserve a spot on Sunday morning to see Ed Coper, joined by Van Badham, as they debate whether fake news can be defused during their panel, We Can’t Handle the Truth (moderated by Clare Blumer) (and friendly warning, this Session is booking out fast!). For a change of pace, join Germaine Leece on Saturday afternoon on her panel, The Beautiful Friend, alongside Vanessa McCausland, Patti Miller, and moderator Joy Lawn, as they discuss the complexities and splendours of friendships.

Head on down to the Ocean Beach venue on Sunday for a morning with Heidi Everett and Debra Keenahan as they discuss the importance of representation within compelling narratives during the Creatable panel, with moderator Liesl Tesch.

Tickets are moving quickly, so if you’re excited to see these fantastic authors in action, make sure to reserve your spot