Ellena Savage


I am an Australian lyric essayist, editor, researcher, and poet. I write a books column for, and am a contributing editor at, The Lifted Brow.

My essays, short stories, and poems have been published widely; in literary journals such as The Lifted Brow, Cordite, Overland, Meanjin, Seizure, Scum, Fireflies, Stilts, The Australian Book Review, The Big Issue Fiction Edition, Guardian, The Australian, and Eureka Street, where I wrote a monthly cultural politics column between 2011-2016; in the book titles Poetic Justice (2014) and The Emerging Writer (2013); and in epistolary form, via my now inactive tinyletter.

I’ve read my work in gallery spaces and at festivals, sat on panels, and delivered lectures and talks at institutions including The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Free University, Melbourne Writers Festival, Alice Springs Writers Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Women of Letters, West Space Artist Run Initiative, and the National Young Writers Festival.

The book I’m writing—Blueberries, a collection of lyric essays—has received funding from both the Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria, and was recently longlisted for the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award. In 2016, its title essay was shortlisted for the 2016 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writer and longlisted for the 2016 Richell Prize.

I developed one of its chapters, ‘Yellow City’, while on an artistic residency at HANGAR Centro de Investigação Artística in Lisbon with career funding from CAL, and another, ‘Lacuna’, at Can Serrat Residencia Internacional de Arte in El Bruc, with a 70% bursary.

In July I will attend Harvard University’s Institute for World Literature summer school in Copenhagen.

In 2015, my essay ‘But with Blood’ was shortlisted for both the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award, and was longlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. I was named one of Melbourne Writers Festival’s ’30 Under 30′ in August 2015, and attended the 2015 Tin House Summer Workshop at Reed College, Portland, studying under Maggie Nelson. In 2014, my essay ‘Secret Warzone’ was shortlisted for the print and online category of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Award. I was a 2013 recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart Grant, and in 2012, I won the Tharunka non-fiction prize.

I’m currently a third-year Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing at Monash University, supported by an RTP Stipend.