Mia-Francesca McAuslan is a writer and editor from Far North Queensland, based in Melbourne. She is a Creative Producer for the Emerging Writers’ Festival, and completing a Master of Arts Management at RMIT. She is Co-Founder and Editor of Lor Journal, and has interned with The Lifted Brow. She has studied writing in Melbourne, Paris and Montreal. Her work has been shortlisted for The Overland VU Short Story Prize, and longlisted for The Richell Prize by Hachette Australia.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the Emerging Writers’ Festival?
Being surrounded by talented people, and working in close proximity to so many organisations I admire.
So far, what’s been the most surprising thing about being a Creative Producer in the festival?
Watching the events evolve to suit the interests and skills of the artists has been a surprising and exciting part of the role. It has also been eye-opening to witness the organisations in The Wheeler Centre work together with open dialogue to keep Melbourne a progressive, inclusive and dynamic City of Literature.
What’s the biggest difference between what you like to read and what you like to write?
As Editor of digital magazine Lor Journal, I am drawn to writing that is short, compelling and powerful. However, my favourite novels to read span entire legacies, such as Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende, and 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Due to my interest in online publishing, I like to write work that has some sense of immediacy and save my patience for reading the work of others.
What was the first novel you read all by yourself?
The first book I ever read by myself was Koala Lou by Mem Fox. I was an avid reader as a child, probably even more than as an adult. I can’t remember the first novel I ever read, but I recently gifted my little sister Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. That had an impact on me as the main message of the novel is a celebration of difference.
Who would you trust to write a biography of you?
My close friend and co-editor Romy Durrant, due to her commitment to precision and accuracy, and because she knows all my secrets but never tells.
What was the last book you read for the second time?
My reading list is far too high to reread books at the moment, but I recently finished Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose, and intend to reread it as soon as I get the chance.
The 2018 Emerging Writers’ Festival will run from 19 – 29 June. The full festival program can be found here.
Interview by fellow Creative Producer Christian Tsoutsouvas.