Jessica Alice is a writer, activist and artistic director/CEO from Melbourne’s west living on Kaurna Yerta in Adelaide, South Australia.
Jessica is the Director of Writers SA, the peak organisation for writing and literature in South Australia, and Chair of the Arts Industry Council of South Australia, the state’s independent, sector wide representative arts body.
She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Cultural Leadership from the National Institute of Dramatic Art.
Having worked across literature, festivals, media, theatre and visual arts, she was formerly Program Manager of Melbourne Writers Festival, Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, in Newcastle, New South Wales, and a member of the executive leadership team at Regional Arts Victoria as Marketing & Publicity Manager.
Jessica is a member of the Creative Industries Think Tank in South Australia, University of South Australia’s Creative Industries Advisory Panel, and a committee member and former Chairperson of the Kat Muscat Fellowship—a mentorship prize for young writers and editors. Jessica was previously Deputy Chair of the Melbourne International Arts Festival Shadow Board, a Board Member of SYN Media, and a member of the RMIT School of Creative Writing Programming Advisory Committee.
She was elected to the Arts Industry Council SA Executive Committee in 2019, elected Deputy Chair in 2020 and Chairperson in 2021.
In 2018, Jessica was one of 20 arts leaders from Australia and Asia selected to take part in the Australia Council for the Arts’ Future Leaders Program. As part of this program, the Australia Council supported Jessica to undertake a secondment at BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada, in April 2019.
In 2020, she travelled to India with the Australia Council on the India Literature Exploratory, a gathering of four Australian literature and publishing sector professionals on a week-long research, engagement and networking program. Jessica appeared alongside international festival directors at the Jaipur BookMark Festival as part of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Jessica is a regular guest on ABC Radio. She previously presented and produced 3CR’s Women on the Line—Australia’s longest-running women’s current affairs radio program—and the Spoken Word poetry program for 3CR Melbourne. She presented a regular segment on Triple R’s weekly literature program Aural Text, and was Radio Adelaide Breakfast’s ‘feminist insider’.
Writing & Editorial
Jessica’s poetry, commentary, and criticism is published in The Guardian Australia, Metro Magazine, Overland, VICE, The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, and Australian Poetry Journal, among others. She has contributed art essays to exhibitions at BLINDSIDE gallery, Mailbox Art Space, MOD., and ACE Open. Her poem ‘Landmarks’ is published in the anthology Solid Air: Australian and New Zealand Spoken Word (University of Queensland Press).
She has previously held editorial positions as the Sex & Gender Columnist for Spook Magazine, the Poetry & Short Prose Editor of The Lifted Brow, Poetry Editor of Scum Mag, Literature & Books Editor of Lip magazine, Deputy Online Editor for Kill Your Darlings, and Poetry Editor of Voiceworks.
Jessica acts as a judge of numerous literary prizes and fellowships, including the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, Kat Muscat Fellowship, MUD Literary Prize, Carclew Youth Fellowships, and the 2021 Red Room Poetry Fellowship.
She tweets @jessica_alice_. Contact via jessicaaliceau[@]gmail[.]com. Photo by Sia Duff.