Staff Spotlight: Alice Muhling

Alice Muhling (she/her) hails from Gubbi Gubbi country and lives in Melbourne, on Wurundjeri land. She is the Executive Director and co-CEO of Emerging Writers’ Festival.

What attracted you to apply for a job at EWF?

I’d been working in festivals and the performing arts as an arts manager for a number of years, and I’d also been a fan and attendee of the Emerging Writers’ Festival for a while when the job came up, I jumped at the chance to apply.

What’s your favourite thing about working at EWF?

The EWF team is my absolutely favourite part of working at EWF – everyone is so passionate, committed, and gives 110% to everything they do and it shows. Everyone also has excellent taste in 90s music, video conference backgrounds, pets and memes, so I really couldn’t ask for more.

If you could have a dinner party with three authors (dead or alive), who would you invite? And what would you cook? 

Ooof this is a tricky one. Just because someone is a great author doesn’t make them a great dinner party guest. For excellent and hilarious conversation, I would invite Miranda July, David Sedaris and Michelle Obama. If I could sneak him in, I’d also invite Taika Waititi because I love everything he does and writes. Also, if these stellar people are coming to dinner, I’m absolutely getting a caterer.

If you were a dog, what breed would you be?

We all know that I would be a Golden Retriever – I want to be friends with everyone, I’m a water baby, and I have an untamed joy for life and running around in parks.

Our program launch is all about digital nostalgia – have you got a favourite nostalgic technology throwback? 

I’ve got a soft spot for MS Paint. My friends and I constructed so many MS Paint masterpieces in our time, way before the refined lines of Photoshop or InDesign were even a thing. I also love discovering artists who are working in MS Paint to create amazing art, like Miranda Lorikeet.

What sorts of things have you been doing to get through isolation? 

I’ve been going for daily walks (which are turning into daily runs!), and also having house dinners with my housemates. The routine of getting up and going to work, even though it’s just in the next room, has been a lifesaver. Other things currently giving me life include Saturday morning ZOOMba with Alex Dyson (ex-triple j presenter and debut author), surrounding myself with plants and rewatching Prince’s back catalogue of music videos.

What are you most excited about for EWF2020?

I’m excited for all our ideas to play out over the festival, and I can’t wait to see everyone getting involved and getting interactive. Community is such an important part of EWF, and it’s something we want to continue to facilitate, especially in this strange new world.

Emerging Writers’ Festival 2020 runs from 16-23 June online.