Panel Discussion: Truth in Fiction

Artist: Will Yeoman, Monique Mulligan, Leslie Thiele and David Allen-Petale
Category: Writers


2 October 2021


12:30pm - 1:15pm


45 minutes


York Town Hall (Lesser Hall)



Myth and storytelling “tell the truth but tell it slant”.

Three very different writers – Monique Mulligan (Wherever You Go), David Allan-Petale (Locust Summer) and Leslie Thiele (Skyglow) discuss with chair Will Yeoman how the art of fiction can illuminate the eternal verities like nothing else.


Monique Mulligan is an author, interviewer, and founder of the Stories on Stage program in Perth. A former journalist, news editor and publisher, she combines part-time work at an arts centre with novel writing. Monique’s debut contemporary fiction novel Wherever You Go was published by Pilyara Press in 2020 and her next general fiction novel is due for release in 2022. When she’s not working you will usually find Monique a) writing b) reading c) cooking and d) taking photos for her cat’s Instagram page. When she’s socialising, she’s usually behind a camera or in a corner hanging out with other introverts and making mental notes for stories.

Leslie Thiele is a writer based in the south west of Western Australia. Her short fiction centres around her characters reactions to the world they live in and social change. A keen student of human nature in all its manifestations, Leslie drops people into imagined situations and environments and waits to see what they will do. Recently completing her Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and literature at Edith Cowan University’s regional campus in Bunbury has further refined her writing and led to her gaining recognition for pieces of her work in various competitions, events and spoken performances. Leslie’s collection of short fiction, Skyglow, was published by Margaret River Press in 2020.

David Allan-Petale is a writer living between bush and sea north of Perth, Western Australia. He worked for many years as a journalist in WA with the ABC and internationally with BBC World. Written while travelling the globe over five years, his debut novel Locust Summer was shortlisted for the The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award (2017) and was developed through a fellowship at Varuna, the National Writers’ House.


Travel writer Will Yeoman has been a journalist for The West Australian for nearly 15 years, during which time he has held the positions of Literary Editor and Senior Arts Writer. He is a former director of Perth Festival Writers Week and New Norcia Writers Festival.


Acknowledgement of Country

The York Festival acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land on which we gather, the Ballardong Noongar people, and their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and we extend that respect to other First Australians today.

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