I am a writer with a background working in journalism, anthropology and literature. I am the 2020/21 Westwords Writer in Residence at The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. My writing has appeared in Guernica, The Guardian, Griffith Review amongst others, and I was 2018 Churchill Fellow exploring migrant narratives. I teach yoga and work in media and global studies in Sydney.
I am represented by Mary Krienke at Sterling Lord Literistic Agency, New York, USA.
PANELS & GUEST SPEAKING
I often give talks to high school students and guest lecture to both undergraduate and postgraduate level students in anthropology, global studies and creative writing.
I have spoken on panels for The Commonwealth Secretariat UK ( Fiji), YouTube Creators for Change, The Sydney Writers Festival, State Government, National Young Writers Festival, Newtown Festival, The Walkley Foundation's Storyology conference.
AWARDS & GRANTS
2020/21 Westwords Western Sydney Writer in Residence at The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University, supported by Copyright Agency Limited
2018 Churchill Fellowship in Europe
2017 Writer Residency HANACC, Barcelona
2016 Australia Council for the Arts Development Grant for writing residency at San Miguel Poetry Festival, and Under the Volcano Fiction Writing, Mexico
2015 Walkley Foundation Women in Media Mentorship
2015 Multicultural NSW Unity Grant
2014 Scanlon Foundation GrantUnder 30 Western Sydney Writers’ Fellowship
2013 Australia Council for the Arts Grant
2013 Westwords Emerging Writers' Fellowship
2012 Macquarie University Anthropology Department Prize for Ethnography
2012 Editors' Choice prize in the University of New South Wales Tharunka, Non-Fiction Writing Competition
2009 Winner of The Waverley Words Literary Festival Fiction Prize
2007 The Charles Sturt Foundation, Ron Camplin Academic Major Scholarship for Contribution to Media
Photo credit: Christopher Woe
A group of friends moves into a share house in Redfern. They are all on the cusp of thirty and big life changes, navigating insecure employment and housing, second-generation identity, online dating and social alienation—and one of them, our narrator, has just lost her father.
How do you inhabit a space where the landscape is shifting around you, when your sense of self is unravelling? What meaning does time have in the midst of grief?
PRAISE FOR FRIENDS & DARK SHAPES
"Bedford is a talented writer with a wonderful eye for detail, and her crisp, measured sentences are genuinely impressive. After grief, alienation and loneliness suffuse the novel, the story earns its way toward a sense of hope."
—The New York Times
“An intimate, epiphanic portrait of millennial city life...Bedford, filtering her Didionesque prose (and her protagonist’s Didionesque generational cataloguing) through a wider emotional lens, excels at.
Like Helen Garner and Christos Tsiolkas’ own debuts, Bedford’s is more concerned with taking the pulse of young, artistically-minded people alive and struggling through the city’s struggle, slipping and sinking through the every-nothing days of urban anomie and insecure work and relationships”
“Bedford writes extraordinarily moving sentences and it's exciting to see this level of talent in a first novel”
“Bedford weaves a blanket of words that fans of complex literary fiction will fall into and savor.”
“Astonishingly assured and full of razor sharp observations about what it means to live precariously in a changing city. It’s hard to believe this is Bedford’s first novel.”
—Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation and Weather
“This is a book steeped in the hedonism and the angst of youth and it carries an overwhelming flavour of the present age – one of self-absorption, emotional disconnection, anxiety about the future. The zeitgeist, of course, is always the last thing anyone needs right now. And the narrator swims against it, with some of the most affecting passages involving the submerged grief of recent bereavement. ”
—The Sydney Morning Herald
My major themes of exploration dwell on place—drawing on how the organization of space and architecture are connected with the politics and lived experience of place and urban experience—and the perspective of the ‘outsider’ and migrant voices in literature.
THE POINT MAGAZINE
Former Editor and journalist for The Point Magazine, a community-based and youth-focused digital publication that looks at countering violent extremism and the impact of international events on local multicultural groups in Australia.
Photo credit: George Voulgaropuolos
MAPPING FRICTIONS: STORIES FROM WESTERN SYDNEY
Creative Producer for a storytelling project dedicated to celebrating stories from Western Sydney. These are people with diverse stories to tell. Despite this, sensationalist tales have dominated the media headlines have been of high crime rates, violence, and religious extremism.
Photo credit: George Voulgaropuolos
"And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
to call myself beloved,
to feel myself beloved on the earth"
The Guardian, The Modi Express: a modern spectacle, and an attempt to leave the leader's dark past behind
The Guardian, To prevent homegrown Islamist radicalism, drop the media hysteria
Roads & Kingdoms, Detained in Suburbia
Griffith Review, Smiling Faces of Integration
Women's International Perspective, A voice for the people: Chile's Mural Art
Tharunka, The Rice Barn Is Now Empty: practices of stealing and divorcing women in Lombok
Junkee, Three Stories from Western Sydney you will never read in the Daily Telegraph
Crikey, This is our community’: inside the real Lakemba that Blair ignored
Struggle Street review: poverty porn and the problem with FIFO journalism
The Point Magazine, Pepe the Frog and the rise of alternative-right memes
The evolving threat of violent extremism
Can Denmark's Aarhus approach help Australia combat violent extremism?
Deng Adut Thiak’s journey from child soldier to Australia Day Hero
Film Review: Ali's Wedding
South Sudan: Hope amid the heartache
The human sound project
From Robespierre to ISIS: the Eras of Extremism
Straight Black Atcha: lessons from black comedy
Thank you for visiting my site.
For publicity enquiries relating to Friends & Dark Shapes (AUS) please email my publicist Jane Watkins: Jane.Watkins[at]textpublishing.com.au
For publicity enquiries relating to Friends & Dark Shapes (USA) please email my publicist KRIsti bontrager: kristi[at]europaeditions.com
For general author enquiries please email my agent Mary Krienke at Sterling Lord Literistic: mary[at]sll.com
For all other enquiries and if you want me to write for you, please email me at: kavitabyds[at]gmail.com