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Presented by RMIT Culture Literature & Ideas Salon

Everything Feels Like the End of the World

Short stories are the long answer to some tricky questions. 

How do we save the world? Is the concept of hope in the face of crisis radical or naïve? Are billionaires like Mike Cannon Brookes changing the world for the better or is it just the echo of the ‘technology not taxes’ war cry?

Humans organise and process information in terms of story, which makes short stories about climate change a powerful tool to change hearts and minds. As we try to preserve our hope, maybe we find answers by slashing word counts while we slash carbon emissions.

Authors Alice Bishop, Else Fitzgerald and Yumna Kassab share how they eke out the answers with host Astrid Edwards asking the questions.

The Panel

Alice Bishop was Sydney Morning Herald / The Age’s Best Young Australian Novelist for 2020. Her book A Constant Hum is out with Text Publishing. A collection of short fiction about Black Saturday’s aftermath, A Constant Hum was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and in the Queensland Literary Awards for short fiction, and has featured in the New York Times. Find her @BishopAlice. Alice was a participant in the RMIT Culture McCraith House Creative Residency Program.

Else Fitzgerald is a writer based on the Mornington Peninsula. Her writing has appeared in various publications including Australian Book Review, Meanjin, The Guardian and Award Winning Australian Writing. Else won the 2019 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. Her debut collection of short stories, Everything Feels like the End of the World, was published in August 2022 by Allen&Unwin

Yumna Kassab is a writer from Western Sydney. She studied medical science and neuroscience at university. Her first book of short stories, The House of Youssef, has been listed for prizes including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Queensland Literary Award, NSW Premier’s Literary Award and The Stella Prize.

Astrid Edwards is an interviewer, podcaster and advocate. She is a bibliophile and hosts two bookish podcasts – The Garret: Writers on Writing and Anonymous Was A Woman. She is the former Chair of Melbourne Writers Festival and teaches into RMIT’s Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing.