Call for panels

Panel submissions closed on 15 April. If you are still interested in submitting a late panel please contact alison.barker@rmit.edu.au

We are seeking Panel proposals that bring together a group of three to four people to engage in a unique and insightful way with some of the rich and vibrant contemporary debates around nonfiction, as it is becomes increasingly popular and varied as a mode of creative expression. These questions include, but are not restricted to, explorations of:

  • genres and their boundaries and tensions: the essay in its myriad forms (personal, narrative, lyric, collage, interdisciplinary), memoir, forms of immersion writing, history, literary and long form journalism and reportage, travel writing, food writing, hybrids of fiction and nonfiction
  • forms beyond the strictly literary: for example documentary, radio, video and networked(online) essays, graphic memoir
  • regional characteristics and issues in nonfiction writing
  • historical threads of influence, style and discourse, from the long tradition of nonfiction connecting, for example, Seneca, Montaigne, Woolf, Orwell, Geoff Dyer, Chris Marker…
  • issues such as truth and authenticity, fakery and lies, trust and ethics, politics and power
  • the creative tensions between ‘art’, ‘facts’ and ‘truth’
  • the poetics of nonfiction
  • representations of self and other in nonfiction

This is an invitation for nonfiction practitioners both within and outside the academy – a rare chance for discussion to extend across these boundaries! There will be opportunities to publish coming out of the conference, in journals including Griffith Review, The Iowa Review and Overland.

Panellists will be invited to submit revised presentations for refereed publication in a Special Issue of the journal Text in 2013.

The fine print

Panel submissions can include the details of fellow panellists you have already been in dialogue with, or simply be an expression of interest in becoming a panellist, along with the topic you are interested in exploring as part of a panel. One of the things we hope to do is encourage international connections within panels, so we may be able to link you up with potential fellow panellists from another country.

Please also think carefully about the chairing of your panel: whether yourself, or another panellist will also chair the session or whether you need help in finding a chair.

All submissions should be between 300 - 750 words plus a bio.

In addition, a small number of proposed readings will be accepted for the conference. These readings will in all cases involve more than one reader. Past readings have showcased the talents of a particular literary press or a literary magazine.

Prospective panellists are also encouraged to submit more than one proposal, though no more than four. Individuals may appear on a maximum of two panels or readings during the conference.

Prospective panellists can secure the commitment of fellow panellists to attend the conference if the proposed panel is selected – however it is not essential to have done so prior to submitting a panel proposal. We will endeavour to involve as many prospective panellists who submit proposals as possible, and in some cases may suggest fellow panellists based on proposals submitted.

Please note that the conference will not be able to pay for the travel or accommodation of panellists.

Travel costs will need to be covered by the panellists, though in some rare circumstances the conference organisers might be able to give some assistance. A limited number of bursaries are available.