Eddie Ayers
Eddie, formerly Emma Ayers, poses for a portrait in central Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Province. For the first time in Afghanistan Ayers dressed as a man during his weeklong visit to Bamiyan – a significant step in an Islamic country. The scars from his recent double mastectomy operation are visible at the base of his chest. Ayers taught at the Afghan National Institute of Music (ANIM) for more than a year after leaving her job with ABC Radio’s Classic FM in Australia.

Check out this convenient compilation of people who write about or identify as LGBTQ+ at this years Sydney Writers Festival

Luca Guadagnino’s film adaptation of André Aciman’s 2007 coming- of-age novel Call Me by Your Name is one of the most talked-about films of the year. The movie and the book have both become instant classics for their sensuous rendering of a young man’s sexual awakening during a summer in Italy. André talks to SBS’s Anton Enus how the book came to life and what it’s like to see your work adapted for the big screen.

Eddie Ayres

is a writer, broadcaster and teacher. His latest book, Danger Music, recounts an extraordinary year teaching music to children in Afghanistan. Eddie was born Emma, and transitioned just before his fiftieth birthday. “Better late than never.”

Yrsa Daley-Ward

is a writer, LGBTQI activist and poet of West Indian and West African heritage. She self-published her debut poetry collection, bone, in 2014. It was re-released by Penguin Random House in 2017. bone is a poignant collection of poems about the alchemy between mind and body, with subjects ranging from hunger, trauma, desire, race and sexuality. Her next book, The Terrible, will be published in 2018.

Amy Bloom

is the author White Houses, the fictionalised account of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. She is also the author of two New York Times bestsellers and three collections of short stories, a children’s book and a ground-breaking collection of essays. She’s been a nominee for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and numerous anthologies.

Erik Jensen

is the founding editor of The Saturday Paper. He has written for film, television and the stage. His first book, Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen, won the Nib Award for Literature and was shortlisted for the Walkley Book Award and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. His most recent book is On Kate Jennings.

Masha Gessen

is the author of nine books, most recently The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which was awarded the National Book Award in the United States in 2017. Masha’s other books include the international bestseller The Man Without a Face: the Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Masha was born in Russia, emigrated to the United States as a teenager, returned to Moscow as a correspondent, and emigrated to the United States again in 2013, after the Kremlin launched its antigay campaign.

Carmen Maria Machado’s

debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation and Yaddo. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.

Wesley Morris

is a critic-at-large at the New York Times and a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, where he writes about popular culture and hosts the podcast Still Processing, with Jenna Wortham. For three years, he was a staff writer at Grantland, where he wrote about movies, television, and the role of style in professional sports, and co-hosted the podcast Do You Like Prince Movies, with Alex Pappademas. Before that, he spent 11 years as a film critic at the Boston Globe, where he won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. He lives in Brooklyn. NY.

Eileen Myles

is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist. Their twenty books include Afterglow (a dog memoir), Cool for You and the iconic Chelsea Girls. In 1992 Myles ran an openly female write-in campaign for President of the United States. They have received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Andy Warhol/Creative Capital, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Shelley Prize from the PSA and four Lambda Book Awards. In 2016, Myles received the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing.

Pajtim Statovci

holds an MA in comparative literature from the University of Helsinki. His first novel, My Cat Yugoslavia, received widespread acclaim among critics and readers alike, and won Pajtim the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize. The awarding jury praised the only 24-year-old author’s ability to combine the dreamlike with the realistic, and give old symbols new meaning and power. Statovci’s second novel, Heartlines, won the Toisinkoinen Literature Prize in 2016.

Christos Tsiolkas

is the author of the novels Loaded (filmed as head On by Ana Kokkinos), The Jesus Man, Dead Europe (adapted into a film by Tony Krawitz), The Slap and Barracuda (both adapted as mini- series by Matchbox Films and the ABC). His latest book is a monograph on Patrick White for the Black Inc. Writers on Writers series. Christos is also a scriptwriter, playwright and essayist, and the film critic for The Saturday Paper.

Alicia Tuckerman

is a driving force for young LGBT voices. Alicia attributes surviving her teenage years to the escape writing offers. She hopes to inspire the next generation of readers and writers. She draws on her experiences to explore the joys and cruelties of adolescence and considers there is no world she could create more terrifyingly beautiful than the one we’re expected to live in. Her debut novel, If I Tell You, was published in 2018.

Jenna Wortham

is an award-winning technology reporter and staff writer for the The New York Times Magazine. She is the co-host (along with Welsey Morris) of the the New York Times podcast, Still Processing. Prior to working at the Times, Jenna was a technology and culture reporter for Wired. Jenna’s work has also appeared in Matter, The Awl, Bust, The Hairpin, Vogue and Smithsonian Magazine among other publications. Pi.co calls her “one of those rare writers who is able to explain the shapeshifting culture of the younger and newer internet,” and in 2017 she was named in as one of the most powerful people in tech in Ebony magazine’s Power List. Wortham is co-writing a book with Kimberly Drew, The Black Futures Project.

Patrick Ness

is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Chaos Walking trilogy and the critically-acclaimed novels A Monster Calls, The Rest of Us Just Live Here and Release. He has won every major prize in children’s fiction, including the Carnegie Medal twice. He’s also written the screenplay for the film of A Monster Calls, now a major motion picture.