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FWF announces closure

The biennial Feminist Writers Festival (FWF) has announced its closure due to lack of funding.

The inaugural FWF was held during Melbourne Writers Festival in 2016 and in 2018 the organisation received $45,000 funding from the Victorian government to stage its second festival, expanding to include events in New South Wales and regional Victoria. Last year FWF received $15,000 from Creative Victoria for its 2020 festival, which ran entirely online on Saturday, 14 November.

Since its establishment, FWF hosted more than 50 events in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Geelong, Lismore, Melbourne and Sydney. The festival provided free podcasts of many of these events and created a standalone podcasting stream, FWFtalks.

A statement from the festival said: ‘We know that having FWF as part of the literary and feminist landscape has been a positive contribution to the culture. But with decreasing arts funding, and increasingly, the allocation of money going to fewer, larger organisations, we see little consideration of the important role that smaller organisations play in bringing diversity and richness to a cultural field. It is hard to watch this happening from inside a beleaguered industry, on all fronts, and we stand in solidarity with overworked arts orgs everywhere.

‘While we have always paid our speakers and writers, we have primarily been a volunteer-run organisation. There’s only so far the hours of already overworked women can stretch and we cannot in good faith perpetuate the unpaid labour of women and nonbinary arts administrators in this arena.’

FWF thanked the community, its volunteers—‘from ushers, to comms mavens to board members’—and longtime partners Queen Victoria Women’s Centre and Listen Up podcasting, as well as past funders Women Victoria, Creative Victoria and Besen Family Foundation.

‘To the many individual donors, we see you and thank you, and the angels who gave during the debacle that was 2020: you kept us paying writers.’


Category: Local news