Creative Producer Kirby Fenwick

Jim Thomas  

Kirby Fenwick is a writer, editor, audio producer and social media producer with a passion for the untold stories of women.

What do you do outside EWF?

Lots! I’m a writer, editor and audio producer working as both a freelancer and in a really great part-time role. I’m a student, doing my best to prolong that student lyf and keep access to a university library! I’m also a co-host of the podcast Literary Canon Ball, which is inspired by the work of The Stella Count and so seeks to address the gender imbalance in the conversations we have about books. I read a lot of books (what a surprise!), go to a lot of ex-library book sales where I buy a lot of books (picked up a 1971 copy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring recently!), drink a lot of tea (Assam is my current go-to) and spend probably too much time on Twitter. I also play a bit of footy for the mighty Redan Lions!

What made you apply for the creative producer position?

As a student of RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing, I was involved in coordinating an event for the program’s Odyssey Literary Festival. I really enjoyed that experience and it helped me to see the potential for a creative career that was multi-faceted. It’s an idea that is far from original, I know. And one that can be problematic. But it was an idea that I continued to nurture, actively pursuing projects in new mediums and making new connections. The EWF creative producer role is another way for me to nurture that idea and gain some really valuable and useful skills, meet some incredible people and put on some, hopefully, engaging, thought-provoking and fun events. The opportunity was simply too good to pass up!

What is your go-to comfort read?

Tough question! I tend to say The Secret Garden, which my battered copy could attest to. But, really, I’m as comforted by Mary and Dickon and Colin as I am by Valeria Luiselli or Rebecca Solnit or Helen Garner or Han Kang, none of whom write the type of work you would necessarily describe as comforting.

What sort of a career would you like to have in the arts field?

More of what I’m doing now would be pretty rad! My work, written or audio or otherwise, has tended to focus on the stories of women, new and old and all the shades in between. I’d really like to keep doing that for the rest of my days.

Who would you put on your dream author panel?

Another tough question! How big can the panel be? Imagine Virginia Woolf, Sei Shonagon, Angela Carter, Toni Morrison, Barbara Baynton, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Buchi Emecheta sitting around a table discussing their work. Or Rachel Carson and Elizabeth Kolbert discussing the environment and climate change. Or Leland Bardwell, Julia O’Faolain, Sally Rooney, Eimear McBride and Anne Enright discussing Irish literature. I clearly have lots of dream panels.

The 2019 Emerging Writers’ Festival will run 19–29 June. Find out about Kirby’s events after the program launches on 15 May.

Interview by fellow Creative Producer Jim Thomas