Moderator: Beejay Silcox • Lech Blaine, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Ben Bravery and Natasha Sholl
Is trauma overexposed and overrated? Four writers who’ve lived to tell their tales discuss the art of surviving, where the real work begins — and if it ever ends.
Lech Blaine is a writer from Toowoomba. He is the author of the stunning memoir Car Crash and his writing has appeared in The Monthly, Guardian Australia, The Best Australian Essays and Meanjin. He was an inaugural recipient of a Griffith Review Queensland Writers Fellowship.
A Queensland-based writer of memoir, poetry and fiction, Carly-Jay’s work has been published in Kill Your Darlings, Cordite Poetry Review, Verity La Magazine and The Guardian. Most recently, she was awarded a Varuna Fellowship. Carly-Jay is a passionate advocate for organ donation after becoming a double lung transplant recipient in 1998. She has recently completed her memoir Breath.
Originally a zoologist and science communicator, Ben Bravery worked for the Australian and Chinese governments before being diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer at age 28. After undergoing eighteen months of cancer treatment, Ben decided on a career change. He became a doctor in 2018 and is now undertaking speciality training in psychiatry. Ben volunteers, advocates, writes and speaks about colorectal cancer, living with cancer, cancer in young adults, medicine and medical education, and is committed to advocating for change in Australia's healthcare system.
Natasha Sholl is a Melbourne-based writer and lapsed lawyer. Her writing has appeared in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend magazine, The Guardian, SBS Voices, Mamamia and elsewhere. She graduated from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Creative Writing. In 2020 she completed the KYD Mentors Program. Found, Wanting is her debut book.
Beejay Silcox is a writer and literary critic. Her reviews and cultural essays regularly appear in national arts publications and are increasingly finding an international audience. Beejay has stories to tell. She’s been kicked in the head by a gorilla, blessed by a voodoo priest, and stuck in quicksand; she eloped in Las Vegas and drove to Timbuktu in a car held together with a bra-strap. She’s recently returned to Canberra after a stint in Cairo.