Dying Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard

Moderator: Suzanne Leal • Megan Albany, Lucy Neave and Zoe Coyle

4.00 PM – 5.00 PM
House of Representatives Chamber
Museum of Australian Democracy

Life is unavoidably messy — and family life is the messiest of all. Three novelists share stories of how people cope (or not) when life (and death) throw them curveballs and how what we learn along the way makes the struggle worthwhile.



Megan is a proud First Nations woman of Kalkadoon and European heritage who has worked as an editor, scriptwriter, songwriter/composer, and journalist. She has written for publications including The Guardian (UK), Metro (Ireland), Irish Echo and the Koori Mail. Megan has a Masters in Creative Writing, has taught creative writing as part of the Disadvantaged Schools Program, and has taught literacy on Pitjantjatjaran lands. The Very Last List of Vivian Walker, her first novel, was shortlisted for The Banjo Prize in 2020 and highly commended in the Australian Society of Authors 2020 Award Mentorship Program.



Lucy Neave is the author of the novels Believe in Me and Who We Were, a Griffith Review prize-winning novella set in a horse hospital in Dubai. She spent several years living in the US as a Fulbright scholar and in 2019 as a visiting scholar at New York University. She currently works at The ANU.



Zoë Coyle has spent over 15 years in corporate and communication training, building on her 20 years’ experience as a film and theatre actor in the UK, US and Australia. She is the communication coach of choice for the CEOs of some of Australia’s largest companies, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Where The Light Gets In is her first novel.



Suzanne Leal is the author of novels The Deceptions, The Teacher’s Secret and Border Street. Suzanne chairs the fiction and poetry panel for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. She is a lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law, and a senior member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.