Between the Lines 2019: Reading for Writers Program 


Presented by the ACT Writers Centre, Between the Lines is a facilitated book discussion group for writers with an active practice. Over the course of a year, a recognised expert in the required field will lead participants through a series of bimonthly conversations about books on a specially curated list. The focus will be on authorial technique and achievement, rather than subjective personal judgements on whether or not the book is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Between the Lines applications are now closed. 

In 2019 there are two streams: (1) fiction/nonfiction (alternating between the two forms) and (2) poetry. The sessions will be held from 6.30pm-8.30pm on a Thursday every second month at Gorman Arts Centre, Braddon, ACT.

This is the third year the ACT Writers Centre has offered Between the Lines, and it has been refined based on participant feedback.


$295 for the full six sessions across the year; this is for either the fiction/nonfiction stream or the poetry stream. No concessions, and payment must be paid in full prior to commencing the program. Participants will be responsible for accessing copies of the selected works.


How to apply:

Between the Lines is targeted at writers with an active practice; by this we mean, writers who are able to demonstrate a commitment to writing in any form – this might be through a publication track record, and/or attendance in writing workshops, and/or submitting work to competitions. Places are limited to 15 for each stream and participants will be expected to attend all sessions in order to get full value out of the program. Applicants are required to prepare a brief (1-page) Expression of Interest, including a biographical statement summarising your writing activity to date and what you hope to get out of the program. Submissions are taken online (Submittable). Participants each year are selected by the ACT Writers Centre based on the information provided.

Participants are selected by the ACT Writers Centre based on the information provided.




Each session will run from 6.30pm-8.30pm.






February Thurs 14 Poetry ACT Writers Centre Jen Webb
March Thurs 14 Fiction ACT Writers Centre Jordan Williams
April Thurs 11 Nonfiction ACT Writers Centre Patrick Mullins
May Thurs 9 Poetry ACT Writers Centre Jen Webb
June Thurs 13 Poetry ACT Writers Centre Jordan Williams
July Thurs 11 Fiction ACT Writers Centre Jen Webb
August Thurs 15 Nonfiction AINSLIE ARTS CENTRE Patrick Mullins
September Thurs 12 Poetry ACT Writers Centre Jen Webb
October Thurs 17 Fiction AINSLIE ARTS CENTRE Jordan Williams
November Thurs 14 Poetry ACT Writers Centre Jen Webb
December Thurs 5 Nonfiction ACT Writers Centre Patrick Mullins
December Thurs 12 Poetry ACT Writers Centre Jen Webb

About Jordan Williams, Fiction:

Jordan Williams is an academic, writer and researcher at the University of Canberra. Jordan has a passion for genre fiction – how it works, how authors work it to their advantage, and in particular, how far can you push a genre and why push at all? Jordan has published short stories, prose poetry and multimedia works. She teaches writing and literature and does applied research, teaching creative writing to injured and ill service personnel. The books chosen for this journey through genre all, in one way or another, borrow from genre but in the service of the author’s intention to do more than employ formulae. Help her unpick what they do, how they do it and whether it works.

About Patrick Mullins, Nonfiction:

Patrick is a Canberra-based writer and academic who holds a PhD from the University of Canberra. He was the inaugural Donald Horne Fellow at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, and was a research fellow at the Museum of Australian Democracy. He is the author of TIBERIUS WITH A TELEPHONE: the life and stories of William McMahon (Scribe 2018). His early, brief version of this book won the 2015 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers.

About Jen Webb, Poetry:

Jen is Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Canberra, and Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research. She is the holder of the inaugural ACT Poet of the Year Award, as well as many other literary awards. She is also the ACT editor for the Australian Book Review‘s States of Poetry mini-anthologies (2015–2017), chair of the NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Kenneth Slessor Award for Poetry), and co-editor for the Australasian Association of Writing Program’s literary journal, Meniscus. Jen’s recent works include the scholarly volumes Researching Creative Writing (Frontinus, 2015), Art and Human Rights: Contemporary Asian Contexts (with Caroline Turner; Manchester UP, 2016); and the Oxford University Press bibliography entry for Pierre Bourdieu (2017). Her recent volumes of poetry include Stolen Stories, Borrowed Lines (Mark Time Press, 2015), Sentences from the Archive (Recent Work Press, 2016), and (with Paul Hetherington), the poetry/photography volume Watching the World (Blemish Books, 2015). With Paul Hetherington, she is also editor of the bilingual (Chinese/Australian) anthology of poetry, Open Windonws: Contemporary Australian Poetry (Shanghai: Shanghai Joint Publishing Company, 2016); and of the academic journal Axon: Creative Explorations.

What is the reading list for the fiction/nonfiction stream?

Jordan and Patrick:

March – Melissa Lucashenko – Too Much Lip (purchase)

April – AJA Symons –  The Quest for Corvo (purchase)

June – Fiction group selection

August – JA Baker – The Peregrine (purchase)

October – Richard Powers – The Overstory (purchase)

December – Nonfiction group selection

Please note: for the fiction/nonfiction stream, the participants will be required to democratically select one fiction work and one non-fiction work to discuss.

What is the reading list for the poetry stream?

Czeslaw Milosz – A Book of Luminous Things (purchase)

Participants will slowly work their way through the entire anthology, discussing the poems and poets as they progress.

Accessing the selected works:

The purchase or loan of the designated novels is the responsibility of the participants.


Catering is the responsibility of the group and to be self-managed.

Access to the Between the Lines Facebook group:

All participants will be given access to the Between the Lines Facebook group, where past and present participants share their thoughts. The page is largely self-administered. 

For more information:

Although the ACT Writers Centre is unable to provide administrative assistance to Between the Lines, you may wish to contact Nigel Featherstone on or 0428 810 442 (Thurs 2pm to Friday 5pm only).


Between the Lines is generously supported by the University of Canberra.