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Book People News: Mark Your Calendar with these Festival Updates

August 12, 2019

Two big festivals are coming up – so mark your calendars. 

The Brisbane Writers Festival

The Brisbane Writers Festival is held 5-8 September at the State Library of Queensland (QAGOMA). This is the 57th year for this festival that celebrates and champions the work of writers who contemplate the big issues facing the world; climate, race, gender and digital. In recognition of the UN Year of Indigenous Languages the festival will also explore the powerful ways in which Australia’s Traditional Custodians convey story now and in the past.

There are so many wonderful events on the program for all ages.

John Marsden, Jane Caro, Kevin Rudd, Tony Birch, Claire G. Coleman, Anita Heiss, Sarah Maddison, Ruth Blair, Ashley Hay, Melissa Lucashenko, Clementine Ford, Benjamin Law, Oliver Phommavanh, Cal Wilson, Hedley Thomas, Jack Charles, Phil Barker, John Birmingham, Ben Hobson, Ann Weisgarber, Richard Glover, Jasper Fforde and many more.

This year Brisbane Writers Festival has dedicated events for families to be held in a new venue, The Rumpus Room. Sessions will include conversations with international bestselling author Jessica Townsend, (Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow) and beloved Australian author John Marsden, story time with Sophie Beer, a funny story session with Oliver Phommavanh and an educational discussion on raising readers with Megan Daley.

Also, not to be missed is a children’s performance of Carpentaria held on Sunday 8 September in Angel’s Palace. Angel’s Palace is an immersive literary experience first presented at BWF 2017.

YA fans can also rejoice! Love YA is back at Brisbane Square Library on Saturday 7 September with a full day of free programming celebrating Young Adult fiction. YA stars including Claire G. Coleman, Alison Evans, Benjamin Law, Jax Jacki Brown and Michael Earp explore identity and community, magic and responsibility, the universality of love, with some of Australia’s best LGBTQ+ writers and much more. All sessions are held at Brisbane Square Library.

Brisbane Writers Festival will be held from 5 – 8 September 2019 at the State Library of Queensland and QAGOMA. Visit the website for all the Festival news. 

Melbourne Writers Festival

This year’s Melbourne Writers Festival is focussing on Matters of the Heart. Through the lens of this year’s theme, When We Talk About Love, authors, journalists, playwrights, poets, songwriters and artists will tell stories of resilience, of heartbreak and letting go, of family and bodies and home.

Held across the Festival’s new literary precinct from 30 August to 8 September, there will be talks, oration, music, immersive art and performance that explore the myriad ways that words move and inspire us.

International guests include DeRay Mckesson, Eve L Ewing, Val McDermid, Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Becky Albertalli, Patrick deWitt, Tayari Jones and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark. Local guests include Richard Flanagan, Jane Caro and Denise Scott, Tony Birch and Bruce Pascoe, Sophie Cunningham and Greenpeace’s David Ritter.

To choose from are A Day of Romance, Graphic Art Day and Blak & Bright, where Blaktivists vs Blakademics argue the toss: should Australia Day happen on 26 January – or not – and why? Also, there will be the official opening of the second Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival, with Daniel Browning and Evelyn Araluen Corr.

YA events include authors such as Randa Abdel-Fattah (When Michael Met Mina) and Melina Marchetta (The Place on Dalhousie, Looking for Alibrandi) discussing why they write for YA audiences.

The Family Day is filled with fun activities. Join Oliver Phommavanh for a laugh-out-loud lesson on how being your wacky self is all that’s needed to be happy.

For updates and more information, visit the MWF19 site here.







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