New Voices radio program interviews new writers

Maria Issaris

Presenter Maria Issaris interviewing Wil Roach for the new program in one of the 2RPH studios

The first episode of the new 2RPH Radio Program called New Voices is being broadcast on Monday 6 April at 5.30pm for the first time! The program interviews new writers from all walks of life, gets them to read a sample of their manuscript, after which they are critiqued by a complete stranger. Just like what happens in a writers’ group. Thank you to the highly talented and brave writers who engaged in this program – sharing their secrets, their angst, their unique journeysas writers, and for their addiction to writing which they were willing to talk about so freely with me.

And also to the critiquers (randomly chosen, but somehow always perfect) most of whom did not know what to expect, were a bit sceptical, and were, without exception, completely impressed with what they heard. Nothing was scripted – in fact the opposite. The program evolved around what was happening as we were putting it together. I had finished virtually all the interviews with writers I wanted to focus on, and then was given extra air time – so I decided to fill it in with a critique. 

The program matched the writers with real readers and fellow writers as the critiquers; they give honest, heartfelt reactions to the writing they have just heard. It is the most genuine type of feedback a writer can receive.

Listen in at 5.30pm on 100.5FM or 1224AM, or 2RPH Digital, and if you dont have a radio, download TuneIn and look up 2RPH to livestream.

A podcast will also be available soon after and I will post it here! And as a taster – here is the ‘sting’ promo.

And here is an interview of New Voices producer, Maria Issaris (that’s me…) by Danielle Hanrahan of 2RPH (Communications Officer):

Writer Wil Roach –

What can listeners expect of this new program?

They can expect to be inspired to write! Or, failing that, to be intrigued by burgeoning new talent from writers who are not mainstream published authors. Storytelling is an ancient way of bonding a community/tribe, offering comfort, lessons, insights, wisdom and sheer entertainment.

New Voices interviews new writers (most yet to be published) and puts them through their paces. They give writing tips and methods and then read a sample of their work. There are some beautiful pieces I can assure you. To top it all off, a third person – someone completely unknown to the writer and who has not heard their work before, is interviewed by me and together we critique the writers work.

How did you come to be involved with the program?

I had been attending a writers group for a couple of years during which I became involved in publishing and editing, and myself went through the process of writing my first book (Im now onto the second one). I met some wonderful writers from all walks of life (doctors, lawyers, cleaners, insurance assessor, auditors, public servants), and the writing group was such a bonding intimate experience bringing us together despite our hugely different backgrounds. 

Writing reveals some very surprising elements of who you (and others) are. It is cathartic and healing, and many times brilliantly entertaining. At the same time I was on the Board of community radio station, 2RPH, working closely with the GM at the radio station (Sancha Donald) who had just submitted for funding for a literary program on new writers who represent the full range and diversity of our Australian community. The two bits just seemed to click together.

What have you enjoyed about the process of producing the program so far?

So, much, fun. The learning curve on recording and editing interviews was very steep. I received such good training from the station, and fellow presenter producer, Barbara Sullivan, who is extremely experienced and polished, helped me right in the beginning when I had my first interviewees lined up outside in the cutting area and I was trying not to look like I was going into a panic  (me thinking, which was the record button again?) . She calmly took over the technical process letting me focus on the interview.

Any memorable moments while recording this program?

The look on the critiquers faces when they hear the recorded interview of the writer, and hear the piece they are to critique for the first time. Stunned, appreciative, enjoying themselves, moved. They are total strangers to the writers and now all of them want to meet each other!

What do you hope listeners take away from this program?

That writing is an art form that can be practised at any level, just like painting. Not everyone is going to be hung in the national gallery (and many now famous artists never were in their own lifetime!), but their work gives many people joy and connection at all stages of their journey. These days, publishing has become a very streamlined. and quite profit-centred business. This program is about getting back to why we all want to read and write stories to begin with – to share experiences, make sense of the world, and to create worlds with words. The program matches writers with real readers and fellow writers, who give honest, heartfelt reactions to the writing they have just heard. It is the most genuine type of feedback a writer can receive.

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