The first Emerging Writers’ Festival was held at the Victoria Hotel in Little Collins Street in January, 2004. The inaugural festival developed out of Express Media's Make It Up zine fair. It brought together the offerings of 68 writers from across Australia in a two-day series of panels, readings, performances and workshops.
Express Media ‘s Artistic Director Richard Watts was the driving force behind the ground breaking initiative that was to become the Emerging Writers’ Festival. It was clear to him through the success and the demand of the Make It Up zine fair, which had its origins in 2000, that writing and writers were in the process of radical change and needed a new environment to grow.
In response, Express Media formed a partnership with the Victorian Writers’ Centre and held the first Emerging Writers’ Festival with the tagline, the best Australian writers you haven’t heard of yet. The beginnings were humble but the foundations strong. In those early years the festival found its feet, its independence and a loyal and passionate audience.
An eight page, stapled program for the 2004 Emerging Writers' Festival printed in black, white and three shades of orange.
Inscriptions & markings
"Featuring the best Australian writers / you haven't heard of (yet) including new, young and / emerging poets, zinesters, short story / writers, spoken word performers, novelists, / screenplay writers / and playwrights, and a range of panels, / readings, workshops as well as an / independent publishers' trade fair."