My top ten MWF events

I’ve got a couple of really wonderful Be My Guest posts coming up this week, but to start off with I thought I’d share my top ten Melbourne Writers Festival events, most of which I hope to get to (and review) later in the month.

Stories Unbound is a fabulous program of events and you can check it out here. Here’s my initial picks…

In Conversation: Kate Grenville
The quintessential Australian author, Kate is always interesting and most often enlightening. I’ve listened to Kate’s wise words on all things writing since university, so it’s only fitting I get along to this.

The Glue of Good Fiction
Gail Jones, Elizabeth Stead, Jane Smiley and Marion Halligan discuss how relationships lie at the heart of their fiction. I’m keen to hear more about what makes fiction tick.

Why I read
This session focuses on where the love of reading comes from, specifically as it relates to childhood reading. A topic close to my heart.

Big Ideas: John Button Oration
Something a bit different, this Big Ideas session provides the opportunity to hear from the Honourable Michael Kirby, on his reflections on values, purpose and leadership. I love the Big Ideas podcasts, so it’ll be great to hear one in person.

Dissecting Gender
This session will consider the evidence for there being scientific differences between the male and female brain and how gender difference informs our culture. I’m pretty sure this discussion will spark some pretty heated debate, looking forward to it!

Big Ideas: A Long Long Way to Go
A provocative presentation by writer and feminist Sophie Cunningham, this session puts fire in my belly just thinking about it. Again, much room for heated discussions I’m sure, but overall I’m interested in hearing Cunningham’s suggestions for how to move women out of their increasingly marginalised positions.

Assange: Man and Myth
It always fascinates me when a creator of an idea, a book, a business – becomes larger than life. Thanks to WikiLeaks, Assange has become mythical, both demonised and hero-worshipped. This session will investigate the how and why of this transformation.

In Conversation: Shaun Tan
Few people who’ve encountered Tan’s work would say that it is anything less than magical. I’m very much looking forward to hearing from the man behind the art and the sincerest of stories.

Switching to Fiction
This session is largely research for me. Featuring a number of successful authors who’ve made the transition between non-fiction writing to fictional work. This is a transition that I find frustratingly difficult and look forward to hearing of their experiences and hopefully, advice.

The 22nd Century Bookshop
As a lover of both technology and books, I’m looking forward to tripping into the future to explore the possible future of the bookshop as e-books and ink-and-paper learn to co-exist (or do they?)

That’s my selection of ‘must-sees’ and I’m hoping to make it to a number of others as well. You’ll notice that most of these are weekend events, but trust me there’s plenty to see during the week too and I’ll post a few working-week suggestions in a few days time.

My other suggestion to help you to get the most out of the festival…check out the festival’s App! It includes a full program, including ‘selling fast’ and ‘sold out’ markers and locations and is perfect to making sure that you don’t miss a thing.


Tomorrow is the last day to enter to win tickets to see keynote event, Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. Find out how to enter here

Wednesday will be lots of fun, as I share with you an entertaining and informative post from Jo at Little Melbourne. So pleased she’s happy to be my guest…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Dando
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 07:27:07

    Switching to Fiction sounds fascinating. I’ve never been to this festival…maybe I’II join you!


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