Events & Courses

I teach writing courses on a variety of topics including creativity, memoir writing, scene structure, narrative tension, and building an author platform. I have ten years’ teaching experience, mainly working with adults.

I also love doing author events. I’m an award-winning speaker and have appeared at Sydney Writers’ Festival, Story Club, the National Young Writers’ Festival, and more.

Upcoming events & courses

Events and courses have wrapped up for 2022, but there will be lots to come in 2023. Check back soon or sign up for my monthly-ish newsletter so you don’t miss out!

How to Be Australian Book cover


Past events
The current limitations of the space-time continuum mean you’re unable to attend these events.

Afternoon Tea with Shankari Chandran
In conversation with Ashley Kalagian Blunt
Sunday 13 November, 3-4pm
Better Read Than Dead, Newtown
Tix $10

Hear bestselling author Shankari Chandran discuss her latest novel, Song of the Sun God, a sweeping saga, following the lies, misdemeanours, and loves of one family. Spanning three generations, three continents and seven decades the novel explores the ongoing impacts of the Sri Lankan civil war in a universal tale about love and finding a home to call your own. Book here >>

Online: Creative Non-Fiction course
Monday 31 October to Friday 9 December 2022, online
Writing NSW

This six-week online course with author Ashley Kalagian Blunt is an opportunity for you to delve into the dynamic world of creative non-fiction. You’ll try new techniques to stretch your writing muscles, and receive feedback in a supportive and encouraging setting.

Each lesson will include writing exercises designed to help you practise a wide range of skills, and weekly deadlines for short assignments will provide motivation. You can work toward the completion of a short-form piece for submission at the end of the course, or develop your skills for a longer project. For full details and to enrol, visit Writing NSW >>

Writers Unleashed
Saturday 3 September, 9am-5:30pm
Tradies Gymea

Tickets $120
I’m chairing two panels as part of this fantastic one-day festival in southern Sydney.

Subverting the Tropes: Women in Crime
Domestic noir and flawed women characters have become a mainstay of contemporary crime fiction. Join authors Felicity McLean, Rae Cairns, Petronella McGovern, and Anna Downes as they discuss centring women’s stories and exploring female characters beyond the norm in crime fiction. Panel convener: Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Tell Me Where It Hurts: Writing about Mental Health
Mental health can be a difficult subject to tackle, both in real life and on paper. Join authors Helena Fox, Jack Ellis, and Katharine Pollock as they discuss their own experience grappling with mental health issues in their writing and what writers need to think about when dealing with sensitive topics on the page. Panel Convener: Ashley Kalagian Blunt

Author James McKenzie Watson Sydney launch of Denizen

Launch of Denizen by James McKenzie Watson
Thursday 28 July, 6:00pm
Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road Glebe
Tickets $0-12

A gothic thriller from the winner of the 2021 Penguin Literary Prize, exploring rural Australia’s simultaneous celebration of harsh country and stoic people – a tension that forces its inhabitants to dangerous breaking points. Join me for an in-conversation to launch one of the best books of the year! Get your ticket here >>

Generation Women: storytelling night
Wednesday 29 June, 6:30-8:30pm
The Beresford 354 Bourke St, Surry Hills
Tix $20-30

It’s time to loosen the belt buckle and let your hair down. This month, we invited our storytellers to tell us a tall tale about a time they were reckless or rowdy or raunchy … or all three. It could be a story from long ago or from last week. Expect to see their wild self, their fun self, their sexy self. Whatever they care to share, you won’t want to miss this superfine show, with all the bells and whistles. Get tickets here >>

So You Want to … Put Them on the Edge of Their Seat: a workshop on crafting narrative tension
Saturday 11 June 2022, 1-4pm
In person at KSP Writers’ Centre, Perth
11 Old York Road, Greenmount
$35-50 (see website)

Author Ashley Kalagian Blunt will share the techniques for creating narrative tension in both fiction and memoir. After writing for years, it was only once she started using these techniques that her first two books attracted publishers.

Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, heightened tension and intrigue will keep readers turning pages and engaged. Learn how narrative and emotional tension works in texts, and how to craft it in your own writing. Together, we’ll learn essential concepts and discuss sample texts. You’ll then craft a scene using the techniques provided. For more info and enrolments >>

Crafting Memoir: An Introduction
Saturday 7 May 2022, 10am-4pm
In person at Writing NSW, Callan Park, Sydney
$135-$210 (see website)

Your lived experience provides the raw material for a memoir – but how do you shape that material into something greater than a series of recollections? How do you craft a cohesive, compelling narrative arc from the quiet moments our lives often turn on?

Join me for a practical workshop filled with writing exercises, analysis of memoir extracts, and discussion. You’ll learn strategies for getting your first draft down and approaches for tackling the serious task of revision, including what narrative structure is and how it works when writing from real life. For more info and enrolments, visit Writing NSW >>

In-conversation with Katherine Collette
Thursday 17 March, 7-8 pm
Doncaster Library, 619 Doncaster Rd
Free, RSVP here >>
I’m in conversation with author Katherine Collette to discuss her fabulous new novel, The Competition, set in the weird world of competitive public speaking. We’ll talk writing process, research and the challenges of writing humour and satire. RSVP here >>

Tips and Tricks to Writing Your Memoir
Tuesday 22 February 2022, 6:15-7:30 pm AEDT
Online via Zoom
Tix $9-14

So you’re thinking of writing a memoir and you’re not sure how to start. Or you’ve already started and you’re not sure how to keep going.

Writing a memoir can be a therapeutic process. But it can also be challenging, whether you’re doing it to better understand yourself and the events of your life, or with the aim of publication.

In this workshop from published author Ashley Kalagian Blunt, you’ll learn tips and tricks to make the process easier and rewarding.

This is a workshop for novice writers in the beginning stages of writing a memoir or thinking about starting one. Get your ticket here >>

Library through the Lens: In-Conversation with Anna Downes
Thursday 3 February 2022, 11am AEDT
Online via Zoom
Free, RSVP here >>

Join me in conversation with international bestselling thriller author Anna Downes as she talks about her much-anticipated second novel.

The Shadow House is a gripping, twisty thriller full of accumulated tension, which follows single mum Alex, who flees a toxic relationship to an idyllic eco-village in rural NSW. Her arrival disturbs barely submerged secrets and she’s shaken by a series of eerily familiar events that seem to be connected to the abandoned farmhouse on the hill. Alex realises that, in escaping her own shadowy past, she may have stumbled into someone else’s. And this time, there may be nowhere to run.

Make 2022 the Year You Write Your Book
Monday 10 January 2022, 7:45-9pm AEDT
Online via Zoom
Tix $9-14

Learn about the process from a published author – everything from first drafts to editing to feedback, and get tips for relieving the anxiety and uncertainty that can come with new creative projects.

Whether you’re bursting with ideas, have a personal story you want to share, or just want to finally give writing a go, this workshop will help you kickstart your project and give you guidance for making 2022 the year you write your book!

This is a workshop for novice writers who are in the early stages of a novel or memoir, or are keen to start one. Get your ticket here >>

Intro to Novel Writing: Finding Joy In Your First Draft with Ashley
Tuesday 2 November 2021, 7:45-9 pm AEDT
Online via Zoom
Tix $9-14

Whether you’re planning to complete 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or you’re drafting your first masterwork at your own pace, this workshop is a gift basket of tips and tricks to make the process easy, efficient and fun.

Learn how to tap into your creativity to get the words flowing, how to separate drafting from editing to make your writing process more efficient, and how to know if you’re on the right track.

This is a workshop for novice writers who are in the early stages of a novel or memoir, or are keen to start one.

The Joy of Creative Writing
Monday 6 September 2021, 6:15-7:30 pm
Tuesday 5 October 2021, 6:15-7:30 pm
Thursday 2 December 2021, 6:15-7:30 pm
Monday 31 January 2022, 7:45-9 pm
Tuesday 8 March 2022, 12:15-1:15pm
Tuesday 19 April 2022, 6:15-7:30 pm
Monday 30 July 2022, 7:45-9pm
Tuesday 30 August 2022, 7:45-9pm
Tuesday 11 October, 7.45 to 9pm
Tuesday 15 November, 7.45 to 9 pm
Online via Zoom
Tix $9-14

Whether you haven’t written creatively since high school or you’re the author of 12 books, this fun class will help you get your creativity flowing.

Through a series of short, timed writing exercises, we’ll explore different ways to access the creative recesses of our minds and surprise ourselves!

You might be a writer working on a specific project, a poet searching for new ideas, or someone who just wants to give creative writing a try for the first time in years – wherever you’re at, this is the class for you. Get your ticket here >>

Writers Unleashed Festival
Saturday 21 August 2021
Full-festival access pass $90

Writers Unleashed has a fantastic line-up of authors on this year’s online program, and I’ll be taking part in two sessions:

Getting Your Scenes Right: The Nitty-Gritty of Scene Structure
9:30-10:30am **live**

Social Media and Building an Author Profile
Pre-recorded, part of your seven-day access pass
Ashley Kalagian Blunt & ​Alan Baxter

Story Room Australia
Tuesday 1 June 2021, 7-9:15 pm
Henry’s Rooftop Bar @ Hotel Steyne, Manly

Story Room Australia presents another diverse and talented line-up of storytellers. Join us for an eventful evening guaranteed to take you on a rollercoaster of emotion on the theme of mistakes, mischief and mishaps! Book here >>

Author appearance, Sutherland Shire Fellowship of Australian Writers
Saturday 17 April, 2021, 12:30-3:30pm
Sutherland Multi-Purpose Community Hall, 123 Flora Street, Sutherland
$10/free for FAW members
Come along to hear me share some of my favourite writing exercises and tips!
FAW offers support and encouragement, and any writer is welcome to come along to this session, which will include writing discussion and exercises. See website for details >>

Meet the Author! Little Latinas Bookclub
Online: Tuesday 9 March 2021, 6:30-8:30pm AEDT
Free on Zoom
| RSVP >>
Little Latinas Bookclub was created to connect hispanic readers all over Australia. The group reads one book per month in English and/or in Spanish. Membership is free, you only need to be willing to get and read the books.
In March, I’ll be doing a live meet the author session with Little Latinas via Zoom to discuss How to Be Australian. Free for Latinas across Australia, just RSVP here >>

Writing NSW First Friday Club
Online: Friday 5 March 2021, 12:30-1:30pm AEDT
Free on Zoom
| RSVP >>
Join me for an interview with internationally published author and editor Eugen Bacon, who will discuss her multifaceted publishing career. We’ll discuss writing across genres, the short-story publishing landscape, what makes short stories compelling, and how Eugen ‘mentally re-engineered’ herself from a computer scientist into an award-winning author. This event is free to everyone, RSVP here >>

Memoir and Narrative Non-fiction Workshop: Online with Mirrabooka Writers
Six Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm AET, starting 20 January 2021
Maximum participants: 8

$460 (subscribe to the Mirrabooka newsletter for a 10% discount)
In this craft and workshop hybrid course, you’ll learn the conventions of writing memoir and narrative non-fiction, including how to shape your writing to engage readers from the start, how to craft yourself and others on the page, and how to develop your writing through group workshopping with classmates and the instructor. Each session will include workshopping, craft theory, exercises, and discussion. By the end of the course, you’ll have gained an understanding of how to develop and shape your narrative non-fiction writing, explored techniques for improving voice, setting, dialogue and characters, and drafted three-four potential book chapters or essays. This course is perfect for students in the early or intermediate stages of writing any type of narrative non-fiction, especially memoir.

Anna’s Shop Around the Corner: author talk
Sunday 13 December, 3pm
138 Cronulla St, Cronulla NSW
Join me at a great local bookshop for a fun, lighthearted talk about the stories behind How to Be Australian.

The Bodies History Hides: author panel
Wollongong Writers Festival
Saturday 28 November, 4pm AEDT, online
How do dominant historical narratives keep hidden the lives and deaths of others, and what do these narratives cost us? From the colonisation of Indigenous lands to the Armenian genocide to the Holocaust, this conversation explores bodies hidden by history, and how writing can work toward a recovery of their stories.
With authors Bruce Pascoe and Leah Kaminsky, chaired by Osman Faruqi

The Viewer Is Present
Mounted Artist Run Initiative, Springwood NSW
Sundays in October & November
Free, RSVP required >>

“The average viewer spends between eight and thirty seconds looking at an art work. To challenge that statistic, Mounted is inviting you to book in one Sunday for an hour … You will be provided with an experience designed to allow you to engage with the work in a deeper and more focused way.”
One of my works of fiction, “The Unicorn”, features in this unique exhibition.
For full details, visit the Mounted website >>

Library Through the Lens: Ashley Kalagian Blunt in conversation with Katherine Tamiko Arguile
Thursday 1 October, 11am-12pm AEST (10:30am Adelaide time), online
City of Marion Libraries
Meet author Ashley Kalagian Blunt in conversation with Katherine Arguile live via webinar as she discusses her wonderfully eccentric account of how an exemplary Canadian does her very best to be a better Australian. Listen to this conversation now on the podcast Literary Anything >>

Author headshot and book cover

Global Girls Online Book Club
Wednesday 26 August, 8pm AEST
Facebook Live
Join me live for a guest appearance on the Global Girls Online Book Club! Simply join the group and come to the Facebook page for a chat about the book and a chance to ask me questions, like what’s the worst story I’ve ever heard about a spider, or what do I think about the term ‘wing mirrors’ or how many people have been murdered by emus. You know, the important stuff.

Ashley Kalagian Blunt in conversation with Cass Moriarty
Thursday 6 August, 6:30-7:30pm AEST, online
Avid Reader
When Ashley persuades her new husband Steve to leave snowy Canada and join her for a year Down Under, she looks forward to an easy transition. After all, Australia’s just Canada with more sunshine and strange animals, right? Author Cass Moriarty will find the answer to this and more!
Two female authors and book cover

Online author talk: How to Be Australian
Thursday 23 July, 7-8pm AEST, online

Sutherland Shire Library
Join me live online for a deep dive into my new memoir and the wonderful, baffling discoveries I’ve made during a decade Down Under, in-conversation with Jay Martin, author of Vodka & Apple Juice.

Book club appearance: First Readings Book Club
Tuesday 21 July, 7:30-9pm AEST, online
Join author Lee Kofman for a discussion of How to Be Australian, with special guest Ashley Kalagian Blunt. First Readings book club is a free online book club, set up to help support the Australian authors who are publishing during the COVID19 lockdown.

Live: Stories on Stage Online
Tuesday 14 July, 3-3:30pm AEST
Koorliny Arts Centre via Facebook Live
Join in as author Monique Mulligan interviews Ashley Kalagian Blunt in a special live version of Stories on Stage, discussing Ashley’s recent release, How to be Australian.
View the recording of this event here >>

Online author talk: How to Be Australian
Wednesday 10 June, 12:30-1:30pm, online
Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts
Join me live online for a deep dive into my new book, How to Be Australian, and the wonderful, baffling discoveries I’ve made during a decade Down Under.

How to Be Australian launch.png
Book launch: How to Be Australian
Monday 1 June, 6:30pm AEST
Online with Better Read Than Dead
Join Ashley Kalagian Blunt and RWR McDonald, author of The Nancys, to talk about her new book, How to Be Australian, a funny and heartfelt memoir that explores Australian identity and culture through the eyes of a slightly anxious Canadian. A book for everybody, it traverses the realities of adulthood, marriage and how we find our place in the world. This launch takes place on Zoom and will include a photo tour, virtual cake, and special guests!

Wendy Lewis book cover Richard Hauptmann

Wendy Lewis in conversation with Ashley Kalagian Blunt
Tuesday 3 March, 6:30-8pm

Better Read Than Dead, Newtown
Wendy Lewis discusses her new short story collection, Please Forgive Us, Richard Hauptmann. Who is Richard Hauptmann? Why should he forgive us? And can a true crime writer write short stories? (Definitely!)
This is a free event. Drinks and nibbles provided. RSVP here >>

Rocket House artist and writer exhibition, Ashley Kalagian Blunt, Paul Mallam
The Artist & The Writer exhibition
I’ve collaborated with Sydney artist Paul Mallam for an exhibition juxtaposing visual art with flash fiction. It’s taking place at Mounted Art Gallery in the Blue Mountains from 16 November to 7 December 2019.
Exhibition launch
Saturday 16 November, 3pm
80 Paterson Rd, Springwood

Authors at Gleebooks discuss writing.png
First Time Feels with the First Time Podcast
Friday 20 September 2019, 6pm
Gleebooks, Glebe
Co-hosts of The First Time Podcast, Kate Mildenhall (Skylarking) and Katherine Collette (The Helpline) talk debut publication with authors John Purcell (The Girl on the Page), Cassie Hamer (After the Party) and Ashley Kalagian Blunt (My Name Is Revenge).
Come along to a live recording of this popular writing podcast, and stay for a wine and a catch up with other writing folk.

Author Talk: My Name Is Revenge
Tuesday, 17 September 2019, 6.30pm-7.30pm
Sutherland Library, Sutherland

Australian authors Ashley Kalagian Blunt and Toni Jordan at Readings
Author Talk: in conversation with Toni Jordan
Wednesday 28 August 2019, 6:30pm
Readings Hawthorn, Melbourne

Author Ashley Hay and Ashley Kalagian Blunt discuss My Name Is Revenge
Author Talk: in conversation with Ashley Hay
Wednesday, July 24 2019, 6-8pm
Avid Reader, Brisbane

Ashley Kalagian Blunt book cover Better Read Than Dead author talk Author Talk: My Name Is Revenge
Thursday, July 4 2019, 6:30pm
Better Read Than Dead, Newtown
On the morning of 17 December 1980, two men shot the Turkish consul-general to Sydney and his bodyguard near the consul’s home in Vaucluse. The assassins aimed, fired, and vanished. The crime remains unsolved. This event was part of a wave of international terrorist attacks that took place in the 1970s and 80s with the aim of bringing attention to the ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide of World War I.
Join Ashley Kalagian Blunt, author of My Name Is Revenge, for an exploration of this crime and the events that fueled it.

Authors Ashley Kalagian Blunt Fiona Wright Luke Carman Sydney Writers Festival 2019
Sydney Writers’ Festival: Home Truths
In conversation with critically acclaimed writers Luke Carman and Fiona Wright about their singular but thematically similar essay collections, dealing with physical and mental illness, the writing life and the significance of home.
Friday, 3 May 2019, 4:30-5:30pm
Carriageworks, Redfern

From Anatolia to Vaucluse: Genocide, Terrorism, Denial
Join me for a talk about my debut book, My Name Is Revenge.
Tuesday, 16 April 2019, 12:30-1:30pm
SMSA, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Book launch of My Name Is Revenge, writing on the Armenian Genocide

SBS Armenia Radio: interview
Recorded Tuesday 9 April 2019

The Moth: Sydney GrandSlam
Tuesday 7 August 2018, 8pm
Metro Theatre, Sydney
After winning a Moth StorySlam in 2016, I performed in the 2018 Sydney GrandSlam.

The Monologue Project: Voices of Women
13, 15 and 17 May 2018
Studio MV, Petersham
Among the monologues being read by professional actors will be one of mine, titled “Tonight’s Performance: You’ve Definitely Got Rabies”

Story Club comedy performance, December 2017, Ashley Kalagian Blunt
Story Club: The Snowball Effect
Monday 4 December 2017, 8pm
Giant Dwarf

Newtown Festival Writers Tent: Millennials Strike Back
Sunday 12 November 2017, 4:20pm
Newtown Festival, Sydney

Stand-up Comedy
Tuesday 16 May 2017, 7pm
Comedy Junction, Bondi

Noted Festival: Blind Date with a Book
Saturday 6 May 2017, 6pm
Have you ever wished that humans were books? Well now they are, and you can date one! Noted presents Blind Date with a Book – the literary dating show you didn’t know you needed. I’ll guide one lucky contestant on their journey to find their literary ever after. Who will be the lucky book? You?

Raw Comedy Semifinals
Tuesday 14 March 2017, 8pm
The Comedy Store, Moore Park, 8pm

Raw Comedy Competition
Tuesday 28 February 2017, 8pm
The Comedy Store, Moore Park, 8pm

Talking Writing: Casing the Joint
Thursday 23 February 2017, 6.30-8pm
NSW Writers’ Centre, Callan Park

Thursday 17 November 2016, 8pm
A Mic In Hand, Glebe

Little Fictions: Comedy Knox
Tuesday 8 November 2016, 7-10pm
Knox Street Bar, Chippendale

National Young Writers’ Festival 2016
Stand-Up Comedy workshop
Sunday 2 October 2016, 4-6pm
55 Watt Street, Newcastle
Stand Up/Sit Down comedy panel
Friday 30 September 2016, 6:30-8pm
4 Perkins Street, Newcastle

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