I haven’t been this excited about the Melbourne Writers Festival in like, forever, and I haven’t been to anything at any festival for ages. No offence to previous organisers, but this year is pretty dang fabulous and I’ve diarised a total of 16 spots. This is what caught my interest this year:
There are various ticketing/pass options. An Edinburgh World Writers Conference Pass gets me in to see people like MJ Hyland, Tony Birch and Junot Diaz talking on Post-National Literature, and a Style versus Content session with Margo Lanagan and Kirsty Gunn. A Paperback Pass gets me into a total of 5 standard-priced events as well as two free standard-priced Friday events.
I’m booked into MJ Hyland’s Masterclass (on writer as editor) AS WELL AS Colm Tóibín’s one: Writing Fiction. There are several ‘Morning Reads‘ with Thuy On talking to various local writers, including Balli Kaur Jaswal, talented poet and novelist Alice Melike Ülgezer, Sean Condon, lovely twitter acquaintance Annabel Smith, Brendan Shanahan and Lucy Neave amongst others. I’m going to a Michelle de Kretser and Jason Steger session on Questions of Travel, an in-convo with Laurent Binet. Graeme Simsion and the smart and warm Jo Case for On the Spectrum, and there’s also a couple of Stella Events including A Year of Stella and a trivia night. A meet the editors session, then an in-convo with Alex Miller, then a session called 10 Ways the Novel Can Change Your Life with Chandrahas Choudhury, and a couple of magazine launches. I doubt I’ll make it to the closing party but you never know. There are plenty of free events as well.
Also in August, separate to the MWF, a Carrie Tiffany/Mateship with Birds event, as well as a Chris Womersley/launch of his new novel Cairo, AND new small press Inkerman & Blunt launch their Australian Love Poems on Wed 14 August in Middle Park.
So many options. Love it.