writing, reading, life.


Thanks for visiting Literati.

Here you will find posts about things that are important to me – writing, reading, researching and the occasional post on media and politics.

Be aware that when I post about a book it’s not a traditional ‘review’. I often take an element of the text and focus on that one topic, the way that you might in a tutorial with people who have also read the book. I have been criticised for commenting on key parts of text, and while I try not to writer ‘spoliers’, perhaps it’s best to read the book before you read my post about it.

About me:

Academically – I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Hons from The University of Melbourne in 2005.

Currently I am working on my PhD through Federation University, Ballarat Campus. My study is a novel and exegesis based on Australian female cartographers in WWII. In particular, the women based at the Villa Fortuna mansion in Bendigo. I’d love to hear any stories that you may have on this topic.

Professionally – my background is in instructional design, change management and corporate training and communications. View my LinkedIn profile for details.

I’ve also spent some time as the Publicity Officer for Ballarat Writers.

Published Works – 

Columns in  The Ballarat Independent

Short Stories:

‘Tashkent’s Koran’ in Ex-parenthesis, 2012

‘St Petersburg’ in Eclectica2012

‘Bishkek August 2010’ in SWAMP #25, 2020


‘We buy him on our hands and knees’ in Eclectica2012

‘Eucalyptus Pyriformus’ in Artists inspire Artistry – Capturing Flora published by Ballarat Art Gallery reprinted by Art Monthly, 2012

‘The Whispers of God’ in Traditions Found, New Writing, published by Ballarat Art Gallery.

‘Hide and Seek, The Sensory Garden’ in Poetry Pathways, 2015 published by Ballarat Writers Incorporated.

How to paint a sigh, in response to an untitled landscape by David Moore, Nillumbik Shire Council Ekphrasis Award. Highly Commended 2015.

Conveyor’, in response to Maria Cook’s artwork, for Weathering the Future exhibition.

‘Mother’s Day’ They Are Us 2020.

‘George and the Vegans’ Melbourne Spoken Word Festival, Words Out Loud Podcast, 2020

Public Speaking:

2011 – In conversation with Maureen McCarthy, keynote session, Ballarat Writers Festival.

2013 – Invited speaker on the M.A.D.E. by Writers panel, discussing how life as a writer interacts with the ideas of freedom, power and democracy. Melbourne Writers Festival.

2013 – In Conversation with M.J. Hyland, keynote session, Melbourne Writers Festival.

2011-2014 – Monthly guest on Voice FM discussing writing events, books and literature.

2015 – Twilight Talk, Art Gallery of Ballarat, ‘AWAS Cartographers.’

2016 – Clunes Booktown facilitator In Conversation with Sandy Jeffs.

2016 – Australian Historical Association Conference: ‘Fast Women or an Essential Service?’ Presentation.

8 comments on “About

  1. Matthew
    July 5, 2010

    I can’t believe you require comments to be moderated… what ever happened to free speech?


    • Melissa Watts
      July 5, 2010

      I’m just learning about this blogging caper and have been wondering about the moderation function. Do you think I should turn it off? I decided to put it on because I half expected my Mum to use the blog as a method of direct conversation – “so did you get rid of that boil?” kind of thing. (Sorry Mum)
      I’m keen to let opinions out there, so once I learn a bit more about it I think it might come off.


      • Darren
        August 20, 2013

        Melissa I cannot believe you are doing something I would love to be doing well done and how can I get to hear m j hyland one of my favorite authors??
        Darren harrison


      • Melissa Watts
        August 21, 2013

        Thanks! I’m so glad you’ve tracked me down. If you’re free on Sunday come up to Ballarat and hear her speak, or there are a few events in Melbourne.


  2. Jonathan S
    July 13, 2010

    I think it’s confusing to invoke free speech in this context. It’s not infringing on anyone’s rights to say you want to choose who gets to say what on your bandwidth. Teresa Nielsen Hayden, whose blog comments boast of one of the most interesting online conversations I’ve encountered, says, ‘There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation.’ She has a great set of rules for moderation. Having said that, when you have a very small number of readers and even fewer commenters, the subject is pretty academic. (I don’t moderate comments on my blog.)


  3. Margot
    November 22, 2011

    I’m interested in the Percy Leason connection.


  4. Martin F. Mayhem
    December 19, 2011

    Came across your blog while searching MTR. Ugh! Some advice, little sister; being sincere and honest will help your career immensely. As for your interests; let’s see: writing, reading, media, and politics. Hmmm. It took about five seconds to identify what was missing from the list – Feminism.

    Let me try another term. How about Myopic Feminista? By all means do a blog for yes-people, your friends, and your mother; and come what may for a future you hope transcends a cross-section of people. Ahem, good luck with that.

    Don’t re-read what is dated writing from a now-bitter Germaine Greer, read Christina Hoff Sommers or Esther Vilar’s work and opine on why you disagree with them. And I’m betting you’d disagree with them strongly. Challenge yourself and be different to the herd that all goes in the same direction.

    If this blog is in fact a strong indication of your sexual orientation then disregard this message and knock yourself out with as much Andrea Dworkin and Ruby Rose as you can ingest.

    But I sense you’re yet another smart young woman in our midst that is being lost to a leftist, feminist-dominated education system that erroneously sees our world through Greer/Steinem/Gillard mindsets.


    • Melissa Watts
      December 20, 2011

      I’m not entirely sure that you understand the Greer piece correctly.

      As an aside the piece actually has the highest hits of any of the pieces on my site, and directs the most search engine readers.


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