Meet VLNV shortlistee: Stephen Wright

What do you do in your day job/life?

I work part-time managing a small government-funded NGO that runs men’s behaviour change programs. These are programs for men who are violent, abusive and controlling in their intimate relationships.

I also work as a counsellor doing long-term psychotherapy with women and men who have experienced childhood abuse and violence (and, in the case of men, are not a member of the above client group).


What’s the earliest thing you remember writing?

The earliest thing I remember is a play about a feminist who dies and goes to Heaven. Partriarchal mayhem ensues. I wrote this at 12 or 13. But I wrote stories about monsters and deranged dictators somewhere before that.


When do you like to write?

Every single day. 


What’s the most important thing the internet has taught you?

That fascists like echo chambers. And books are more important than ever.


What’s next?

I’m collaborating with the new media artist Linda Dement on a commission for First Draft gallery in Sydney. We are designing an installation based on my essay On setting yourself on fire, which won the 2016 Overland essay prize. I also have a non-fiction novella coming out this year and am currently mapping out three other non-fiction novellas, two of which I hope to substantially complete this before the end of 2017.