2023 Creators in Conversation 2: Drawn from Life

Drawn from Life: Writing Personal Experience

Sat 16 September 2023, 12:00-1:00pm
Studio 01, Adelaide City Library, Level 3 Rundle Place, 77-91 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia

Cost: FREE (no booking required, but RSVPing on Facebookย will help us know how many people to expect)ย 

Georgina Chadderton (SA), Sarah Firth (VIC) and Sarah Winifred Searle (WA), with Robin Tatlow-Lord (SA) (chair)

Delve into the art of creating narrative memoirs and personal essays as comics! This panel of acclaimed writer-illustrators will offer valuable insights into the art of crafting compelling books based on life experiences. From discussing the unique challenges and opportunities of adapting real-life events into graphic novel form to examining the role of illustration in conveying emotional depth and complexity, this panel promises to be both enlightening and engaging. Get ready to be inspired as we explore the power of personal storytelling and the ways in which the comics medium can capture the essence of human experience.

All guests will be available to sign books after the panel, and some panellists will have work for sale.

This session will feature sign interpretation in Auslan, provided by Deaf Connect.


Georgina Chadderton

Georgina Chadderton (she/they) is a freelance cartoonist living on Kaurna Country in South Australia. In addition to self-publishing their own mini-comics and zines, their work has been published in The Nib, Voiceworks Magazine and On Dit, as well as through Amplified Press. They are currently working on their debut graphic novel, Oh, Brother, set to be published by Penguin Random House in 2025.

Georginaโ€™s early career began when they took part in the Comic Art Workshop in 2015, 2017 and 2019. During this period, they also received both the Colin Thiele Creative Writing Scholarship and the inaugural Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship. Georgina went on to be an artist-in-residence at Milktooth, 100 Story Building, and MOD.

They have been nominated twice for an Express Media Award for best comic and were a finalist for the Frankie Magazine Good Stuff Awards in 2017. Their comic Harry Potter and My Childhood Obsession was also shortlisted for the Comic Arts Awards of Australia in 2017.

When not working on their own comics, Georgina runs workshops independently and at organisations such as Autism SA and Carclew Arts. They are a co-organiser of Adelaide-based zine festival Zina Warrior Print Fest, and co-founder and co-director of Papercuts Comics Festival.

Sarah Firth

Sarah Firth (she/her) is an Eisner Award-winning and Ignatz nominated cartoonist, artist, author and graphic recorder based on Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne. Sarahโ€™s comics and illustrations have been published by Kuลก, Science Write Now, Routledge, Affirm Press, Allen & Unwin, Abrams Books, Penguin Australia and Picador Australia. She also has work online with The Conversation, The Nib, Human Parts, Frankie Magazine and ABC Arts. Her debut graphic novel, Eventually Everything Connects, comes out in October 2023, with Joan Press. This book is a collection of creative non-fiction visual essays exploring living with uncertainty.

Some of Sarahโ€™s most notable achievements as an artist and writer include being named one of Australiaโ€™s top 25 artists aged 25 and under in the 25/25 show by Art & Australia Magazine in 2006, being chosen as a finalist in the Incinerator Art Award for Social Change in 2018, and being part of the Eisner Award-winning anthology Drawing Power in 2020. This anthology was also named one the best comic anthologies by the New York Times. Her graphic essay, Making Sense of Complexity, was listed by The Conversation as one of the ten best literary comics in Australia.

Sarah Winifred Searle

Sarah Winifred Searle (they/she) is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist from New England, currently based in Perth. Sarah is the recipient of three silver Comic Arts Awards of Australia for their graphic novels Patience & Esther: An Edwardian Romance and Sincerely, Harriet, as well as the memoir comic essay Healing Is a Process, published in Unhealthy. Sarahโ€™s most recent YA graphic novel and fictionalised memoir, The Greatest Thing, received incredible praise, being recognised as both an ALIA Graphic Novel and Childrenโ€™s Book Council of Australia notable in 2022. It is also a finalist in Lambda Literaryโ€™s 2023 Lammy Awards.

Sarahโ€™s work has been shortlisted for Slate’s Cartoonist Studio Prize and nominated for the Ignatz Outstanding Story Award. They have also contributed to the Eisner-winning anthology Mine!, and to such series as Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions, Valiant’s Faith, and Adventure Time.

Sarahโ€™s upcoming works include Chubby Bunny, a childrenโ€™s picture book about body image and self-esteem written by Julie Murphy and illustrated by Sarah, as well as The Sweetness Between Us, a YA rom-com graphic novel exploring love and chronic illness, due to be published in 2024 by Macmillan.

Robin Tatlow-Lord (chair)

Robin Tatlow-Lord (she/her) is an illustrator, animator, cartoonist and arts educator based in South Australia. Robinโ€™s autobiographical mini-comic Small Mortal Mammals, a meditation on grief and the bonds we feel with our pets, was shortlisted for the Comic Arts Awards of Australia in 2019. Her debut picture book, Go Away, Worry Monster! (written by Brooke Graham), was shortlisted for the Childrenโ€™s Book Council of Australia Award for New Illustrator in 2021. Her second title, Tillyโ€™s First Day Twist (written by Kylie Covark), was distributed to thousands of preschool children across SA by Raising Literacy Australia. Robin has created comics, animation and illustrations for clients including the RAA, Zoos SA, Carmanโ€™s Muesli, Red Cross Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum. Robin has previously appeared as a panel chair at Adelaide Writersโ€™ Week.