Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the sacred lands on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nations and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past present and future.

We recognise all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first storytellers; and that knowledge transfer through storytelling is imbedded in the very DNA of this Country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.


Join us to celebrate the official opening of the 2024 Blak & Bright Literary Festival!

Embark on a thrilling artistic journey with A Daylight Connections’ Kamarra Bell-Wykes and Carly Sheppard as they bring to life an original performance that defies convention. Fueled by the belief that ‘the crazier shit gets, the more sense it makes’, this dynamic duo is on a quest for true artistic self-determination. The artists’ partnership emerged from a collective passion for high-quality, boundary-pushing performance, pushing the limits of what First Nations performance can achieve. We invite you to witness ‘a post-traumatic adventure that transcends boundaries and challenges the very essence of performance art’.

Then… join us for an intimate insight into the literary worlds of two icons, Tony Birch and Kim Scott, who are luminaries in the realm of award-winning writing.

‘I value Kim Scott’s fiction so highly because I feel that his approach is to put the flags aside. That Deadman Dance asks us not to consider who we were so much as who we could be, collectively, in the future.’ — Tony Birch on Kim Scott

Kim Scott, with five novels and a children’s book to his name, weaves narratives that extend beyond prose to encompass poetry and short stories that have been featured in diverse anthologies. His journey into writing unfolded during his tenure as a secondary school English teacher, as he traversed urban, rural Australia, and even Portugal. Immersing himself in the rich tapestry of Aboriginal communities in Western Australia, Scott also embarked on a profound exploration of his family’s history.

Tony Birch, a multifaceted author, academic, and activist, frequently graces the airwaves of ABC local radio and Radio National, as well as at numerous writers’ festivals. Birch’s literary contributions span decades, with regular publications of short stories and poetry dating back to the 1980s. Although his inaugural collection, ‘Shadowboxing,’ first graced the bookshelves in 2006, Birch has since delivered four more collections of short stories and poetry, alongside three critically acclaimed novels.

Join these literary trailblazers for a sparkling conversation that will captivate the imagination.

“Tony Birch welcomes readers into his fiction with gentle strength. He deals with issues that would provoke anger in most people. But he doesn’t write angry books. His work embraces readers in a way that is more likely to create change.” — Sydney Morning Herald,


Carly Sheppard

Carly Sheppard is an award winning cross-disciplinary performance artist based in Naarm (Melbourne), working across dance and theatre making and performance, sculpture, drawing, writing, voice, and installation. Her practice navigates complex narratives of intersecting race, class, mythologies and identities we inherit and how meaning is created and processed through prisms of colonial interruption. Carly’s work…

Kamarra Bell-Wykes

Kamarra Bell-Wykes (Yagera/Butchulla) is a playwright, director, dramaturge, devisor, facilitator, performer, creative producer, program curator, community developer and education consultant. Kamarra served as ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s Education Manager and Creative Director from 2014-2019 and Malthouse Resident Artist 2020-2022. Some of Kamarra’s writing/directing credits include Because the Night (MALTHOUSE), The Score, Scar Trees, Viral, North West…

Kim Scott

Kim Scott has twice won Australia’s premier literary award, the Miles Franklin (for Benang and That Deadman Dance) among many other Australian literary prizes. His most recent novel is Taboo (Picador, 2017). Proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar – the Aboriginal people of south-western Australia, Kim is also convenor of Wirlomin…

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of four novels, five short fiction collections, and two poetry books. His most recent book is the novel, Women and Children (UQP).