Emerging Leaders - Meg Vann

5 May 2015

Meg Vann (Bachelor of Arts ’90, Graduate Certificate in Arts (Writing, Editing and Publishing) ’07, Graduate Diploma in Arts (Writing, Editing and Publishing) ’09) has trekked over glaciers while both pregnant and with a toddler in tow, talked her way out of a New York mugging and been detained for no apparent reason at Uzbekistan airport.

In her current role as CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre (QWC), Vann shows the same determination to help Australian writers develop sustainable careers, and to be read and enjoyed throughout the world.

“I go to great lengths to follow my curiosity,” Vann said.

“I have been to some amazing and forbidden places, as well as having met and learned from extraordinary people.”

While deciding on her career path, Vann describes her writing apprenticeship as anything but a clear and determined path, as “writers tend to be restless and searching, hungry for experience”.

“My studies at UQ shaped who I am and gave me the education, inspiration and contacts I needed to develop my career,” she said.

“I studied parts of law, psychology, politics and philosophy before I settled on postgraduate studies in writing, editing and publishing.

“To an outside view – and my longsuffering family – this mishmash must seem a rudderless journey. As it turns out, it’s quite the perfect academic record for a budding crime and thriller writer and arts manager.”

During her time at UQ, Vann met good friend and role model Dr Kim Wilkins.

“As a woman aspiring to make a contribution through leadership roles in the arts, it’s vital to connect with women who demonstrate that it is possible,” Vann said.

“Kim remains an inspiring source of advice and encouragement.”

Vann, who formerly led The Australian Writer’s Marketplace unit at QWC, has flourished in her current role. “This truly is my dream job. I meet hundreds of incredible writers each year.

“I am keenly aware of the weight and substance of my responsibilities here at the helm of QWC. It is a vibrant community created by Queensland visionaries over 23 years, and I lead it with great joy and much care.”

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