Literature & Ideas

The Business of Being a Writer

The Business of Being a Writer 4pm – 8pm Fremantle Arts Centre $25
Buy Tickets
Fri 25 Feb at Fremantle Arts Centre, from $25

Presented by Fremantle Press for the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program

If you've ever thought about being a writer, then look no further than this half-day series to answer all your questions. 

MC for the event: Fremantle Press Publisher Georgia Richter


Host: Yuot A. Alaak, author of Father of the Lost Boys
Guests: Fremantle Press CEO Jane Fraser, Marketing and Communications Manager Claire Miller and Publisher Cate Sutherland

The Fremantle Press team takes you through every step of the publishing process, sharing what you can do to help your writing career along the way.


Host: Molly Schmidt, writer, journalist and producer at the ABC
Guests: Writer and podcaster Riley Benfell, Fremantle Press Minderoo editor Kirsty Horton and writer and social media champion for Australian YA literature Bianca Breen.

From Booktokkers to bookcasters and from bookreelers to bookTubers, this session gets to grips with the latest ways authors and reviewers use social media to grow communities and to promote and criticise books.


Host: Maria Papas, City of Fremantle Hungerford Award winner and author of Skimming Stones
Guests: Magabala Books Publisher Rachel Bin Salleh, author of Vociferate Emily Sun, and author of The Historian’s Daughter and The Bonesetter’s Fee & Other Stories Rashida Murphy

What is representation and how can you make your writing inclusive and authentic without appropriating other people’s stories or misrepresenting lived experiences? There are no easy answers, but this panel session might provide a starting point.



Host: Holden Sheppard, City of Fremantle Hungerford Award winner and author of Invisible Boys
Guests: Writer and directors Victoria Midwinter-Pitt, Ben Young and Maziar Lahooti

Writers’ rooms are the stuff of legend. They can be places containing one person, at a desk, sharpening up dialogue or doing research, or they can be the place where solitary writers become a team of storytellers, combining their talents to create the iconic characters and narratives we love to watch on screen.

Yuot A. Alaak
Yuot is an emerging Western Australian writer whose short story ‘The Lost Girl of Pajomba’ was anthologised by Margaret River Press in Ways of Being Here. He has appeared twice at Perth Festival's Literature & Ideas program and his memoir, Father of the Lost Boys, was shortlisted for the 2018 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, the State Library of NSW’s Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction and was published by Fremantle Press in 2020.

Riley Benfell
Riley is a bookworm and a proud nerd. They have been completely obsessed with books, reading and writing since they were a toddler, and a member of multiple writing groups since they were ten years old. They live with several chronic illnesses and autism and believe that representation and diversity in literature is vital.

Riley started their podcast at age 13 to share their love of reading and the awesomeness of our local Aussie authors with other writers.

Rachel Bin Salleh
Rachel is the publisher at Magabala Books in Broome. A Nimunburr and Yawuru woman from Broome, Rachel began at Magabala as an editorial intern in 1993. She has worked in publishing for over 20 years and is passionate about Indigenous people telling their stories.

Bianca Breen

Bianca is an emerging Children’s and YA fantasy writer with a passion for Australian authors and stories. She is the creator of YA for WA and a Social Media Champion at #LoveOzYA. She holds a BA of Creative Arts from La Trobe University and is one of the winners of the 2021 ASA/CA Award Mentorship Program.

Jane Fraser
Jane joined Fremantle Press in 2008 as non-fiction publisher and has been CEO since 2010, with a portfolio that includes custom publishing and rights sales. She began her career in tertiary publishing in Sydney over 25 years ago before moving into editorial and trade publishing, including five years in San Francisco heading up the editorial office of an international book packaging and co-editions publishing company. For a decade prior to joining Fremantle Press, Jane worked in the corporate communications area.

Kirsty Horton
Kirsty joined Fremantle Press as an editor in 2021 after completing its internship program. She has a BA in history from UWA and has just completed a Masters degree at Curtin University, researching the commercial relationship between bookTubers and publishing houses in Australia. For the past four years, Kirsty has created content for her own bookTube channel.

Victoria Midwinter Pitt
Victoria is a film and theatre maker and one of Australia’s leading documentary filmmakers. Her work has won Walkley and AACTA awards, been nominated for Emmy Awards and has screened across the world’s major film festivals and broadcasters. In 2019 she wrote and directed the verbatim theatre show I’m With Her for the Darlinghurst Theatre Company. She is a contributor to the book Women of a Certain Rage published by Fremantle Press in 2021.

Mazia Lahooti
Maziar Lahooti is a Norwegian/Australian/Iranian screenwriter and film director. His directing debut Below, a black comedy adaptation of and by Ian Wilding’s stage-play by the same name, premiered at Melbourne International Film Festival in 2019, and can be found on the streaming service Stan. As a screenwriter he’s written for Warner Brothers Studios, Causeway Films, and Tony Ayres Productions, but speculative work remains his focus. His speculative screenplays have made the Nicholls Fellowship Semi-finals twice for different scripts. He also won the Blacklist/Warner Brothers best of Australia unproduced script competition for the crime thriller Die Well, which has since been bought and financed by 828 Media Capital Productions and is currently being packaged for a 2022 New Mexico shoot to be directed by Maziar.

Ben Young
Ben Young is an award winning writer/director who began his career acting for screen at the age of 12. He completed a BA at Curtin University in 2003 and an MA at the WA Screen Academy in 2005. He has since directed music videos, commercials, fashion film, and written and/or directed series television. His 2016 feature debut was Hounds of Love. Funded through ScreenWest’s West Coast Visions, the film won numerous awards around the world, most notably at The Venice Film Festival. Ben’s second film Extinction premiered on Netflix in 2018 and features Michael Pena and Lizzy Caplan. Ben recently completed directing Netflix’s Clickbait and Amazon’s The Wilds. He is currently in post production for his film Adaptation of David Joy’s novel, Where All Light Tends To Go. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton, Robin Wright and Hopper Penn.

Claire Miller
Claire is the Fremantle Press marketing and communications manager, who, as well as running individual book campaigns, produces the Fremantle Press podcast, creates and runs workshops for the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program and oversees the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award and the Fogarty Literary Award. Her first job was at Lothian Press and since then has racked up 25 years experience in marketing and communications. She has the eye bags to prove it.

Rashida Murphy
Rashida is the author of The Historian’s Daughter and The Bonesetter’s Fee & Other Stories. She is a mentor for emerging writers, and passionate about amplifying the lived experience of writers from diverse backgrounds. She thinks consciously about the complexity of writing and resisting on stolen land.

Maria Papas
Maria holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia where she researched the ways people share narratives of illness and trauma. She has written for TEXT, Griffith Review, Axon, The Letters Page and other journals. In 2020, her novel Skimming Stones won The City of Fremantle Hungerford Award and is available in bookstores now.

Georgia Richter
Georgia is an IPEd Accredited Editor with an MA in Creative Writing from UWA. She is fiction, narrative non-fiction and poetry publisher at Fremantle Press and, with Deborah Hunn, the author of How to be an Author: the Business of Being a Writer in Australia.

Molly Schmidt
Molly is a writer and a journalist, currently undertaking the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program. She is collaborating with the Noongar Elders from her hometown, Albany, with the goal of producing a novel, Boat Dancing, which actively pursues reconciliation between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal peoples. She has just finished a thesis on the topic, and is looking forward to delving into her fiction writing. By day, Molly works as a radio producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where her passion for storytelling is put to good use.

Holden Sheppard
Holden is an award-winning author born and bred in Geraldton, WA. His novel Invisible Boys (Fremantle Press, 2019) won multiple accolades, including the 2019 Western Australian Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer. The novel is now in development as a TV series. Holden’s second novel, The Brink, will be published by Text Publishing in August 2022. Outside of writing Holden is a gym junkie, plays amateur AFL footy and can be found hooning around Perth in his V8 ute.

Emily Sun
Emily is a published writer and poet who lives on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar. Emily’s works have appeared in various journals and anthologies including Meanjin, Growing up Asian in Australia, Westerly and Cordite Poetry Review. Emily is currently a PhD candidate at UWA. Vociferate (Fremantle Press, 2011) is her debut poetry collection.

Cate Sutherland
Cate has worked in publishing and the literary arts for nearly 30 years and has been the children’s publisher at Fremantle Press since 2007. Her list includes award-winning picture books, novels for younger readers and young adult fiction.

Click here to listen to an audio recording of this page.

Time & Location

Fri 25 Feb

4pm – 8pm Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty St, Fremantle / Walyalup

    • Per session: $25
Stay COVID Safe

It's a condition of entry to register your attendance at our venues. 
To make it easier, download the SafeWA app now via the WA Government website. Or you can register at the venue. 

Click here to download the SafeWA app.

Thank You


  • Matt Landy

You may also like...

Legacy: Stories of Love and Resistance

An exploration of two very different and exquisite works of love, family, culture and resistance

Sat 26 Feb

Ties That Bind

Sara Foster and Zoe Deleuil interrogate the most primal of ties that bind - motherhood

Sun 27 Feb

Website by Bravo!