New Voices #4 featuring David Benn and Bronwyn Birdsall

Mon, 18 May 2020

New Voices episode #4 featuring David Benn and Bronwyn Birdsall

The plight of the single white male... the search for a moral compass in rearing children ... and unwittingly finding your writer's voice.

By Maria Issaris, Presenter/Producer 2RPH.

In this episode of New Voices, we explore the intricate pathways to the art of writing as a mode of tribal story-telling. For sure, writing is creative self-expression and catharsis; no doubt at all. But some of us go beyond secret journals and diaries, and start developing a form of writing that begs to be shared - and it is not always a matter of choice or design!

Part-time parent and single dad, David Benn, is interviewed about unexpectedly finding a treasure trove of writing plots - all surrounding his experience of bringing up two boys. They are straightforward stories describing commonplace events - which suddenly and surprisingly throw up gems of insight and wisdom. Some are moving, others just plain funny. Without proselytising – in an almost artless way – David deals steadily with all the curlicues of the curveballs being belted at him by the experience of being a single father. Parenthood - it teaches you to be humble and breaks you down. Just like writing, David muses.

Astute and focussed professional writer, Bronwyn Birdsall, critiques his piece. Without knowing him, nor being a parent herself, she immediately related to the poignancy of David's stories and storytelling style. The theme they share in the interviews is finding your "writer's voice”, which according to both is the result of unstinting self-examination. She recognises it in David and recounts how she too went through a process of “unpeeling” herself and learning humility in order to write her first novel (currently doing the rounds of publishers). The reward? Feeling the fluidity and ease of writing that comes with finding your groove - and starting to recognise the relationship you are building with your reader and listener.

Tune in to listen to both these interesting writers share experiences and tips on developing your writing style.

Maria Issaris,

David Benn: Day Job - Jeweller and business owner


[Image caption: David Benn... unwavering self reflection? Or simply a selfie?]

Writing: a book of short stories on bringing up two boys as a single dad.

David: I was born in Gatton, Queensland and attended St Joseph’s College Nudgee before completing a Bachelor of Business at the Queensland University of Technology. Graduating in the midst of a declining economic environment I moved to Sydney looking for work and briefly followed a career in banking and finance. A redundancy gave me the opportunity to buy a house or travel. I chose to travel.

Returning to Sydney, I pursued a career in jewellery, buying the old family company Arthur C Easy & Son in 2001. I have two sons, a crazy ex-wife and a string of old girlfriends with eating disorders.

On being interviewed for New Voices:

“It was a lot of fun reading in the intimacy of a studio. It was easy to forget that my words would be projected to a wider audience.”

Bronwyn Birdsall: Day-job - Communications and marketing


[Image caption: Bronwyn Birdsall]

Writing: literary fiction and essays.

Brownwyn: I’m a Sydney-based writer and digital strategist. Sweet Trouble is my first novel and has been selected for numerous work-in-development programs. I am currently working on a collection of non-fiction essays, Personal Mythologies and a novella. My writing is enriched by my lifelong love of reading, cinema and people watching.

Here are some links to my digital media profile, website, and a recent article on moving in with my mum when COVID hit. |

On being interviewed for New Voices?

“I really enjoyed the chance to recreate the spontaneity of a writers' group in the New Voices program.”