National Writers' Congress 2015

After more than a decade of ebooks and two decades of the internet, it is time to take stock of the current and emerging prospects for authors in the “new democracy” of an online world. Has the internet boosted the possibilities for writers today – or are we still mainly parts suppliers to someone else’s “industry”?

What results have the new technology brought? Has the delivery of words and images been enhanced, but at the cost of sales and pay? Has the commercialisation of the internet cornered or liberated writers? We hear that everyone can now be an author – but is this true and if so, is it a virtue or a vice? Governments today shy away from boosting financial support for writers and writing, and about copyright, we are told that “the system is broken”. Yet new ways of using copyright and earning from our work have also arrived.

On Friday 11 & Saturday 12 September 2015 the Australian Society of Authors held its second biennial National Writers' Congress, gathering an accomplished group of authors, illustrators, journalists, publishers, booksellers and industry professionals, who discussed the latest ideas on authors’ rights, role and place in a time of constant change.

Recordings of Congress presentations are available for ASA members only. Click on the headings below.

A twelve page summary of the National Writers' Congress by Tony Maniaty is also available for download. Click here.

The need for story: David Marr


Australian content: now and tomorrow
Part A: Does it matter?

Left to right: Brigitta Olubas, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Bronwyn Bancroft

Not pictured: Angelo Louakakis (moderator)


Australian content: now and tomorrow
Part B: Channels and pathways

Left to right: Mark Dreyfus, Elizabeth Weiss, Libby Gleeson, Jackie French

Not pictured: Debra Adelaide (moderator)


Presentation: Senator the Hon George Brandis QC


An Australian book industry: What is it and what does it do? Who benefits?
Part A: Building an industry that supports authors

Left to right: Adam Bandt MP, Kate Larsen, David Day, The Hon Mark Dreyfys QC MP

Not pictured: Angelo Loukakis (moderator)


An Australian book industry: What is it and what does it do? Who benefits?
Part B: Improving the numbers, broadening readerships

Left to right: Alice Grundy, Amelia Lush, Susan Hawthorne

Not pictured: Kate Forsyth, Jill Eddington (moderator)


Show us the money!

Left to right: Ben Eltham, Lex Hirst, Pamela Freeman, Benython Oldfield

Not pictured: David Day, David Marr (moderator)


Under siege in the digital era: Scott Turow

Scott Turow


An end to the copyright wars? The Copyright Hub and the future

Left to right: Libby Baulch, Scott Turow, Linda Jaivin

Not pictured: Dominic Young (presentation), Kim Williams (modetator)


Damned Whores and God's Police

Anne Summers


Working the internet

Left to right: Benjamin Law, Van Badham

Not pictured: Jesse Blackadder (moderator) Elliot Bledsoe, Bronwyn Mehan


Stretching stories: new opportunities for creators in the digital space

Deborah Abela

Not pictured: Sarah Davis, Christy Dena, Annabel Smith, Anne Summers (moderator)


Tomorrow's readers

Left to right: John Marsden, Claire Stuckey


Finding books: reviews, blogs and bumpf

Left to right: Kat Mayo, Benython Oldfield, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Anne Maria Nicholson (moderator)


Your say

Left to right: David Day, Angelo Loukakis

Not pictured: Anne Maria Nicholson (moderator)

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