The program for the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival has been released, and it’s a good one.
The program represents Australian writers at various stages in their careers, from national gems to new kids on the block, as well as bringing some fantastic international writers to our city. This year’s MWF program also involves audiences in exciting ways, making the most of technologies and good old fashions chats. This program also gives people who aren’t in Melbourne proper some great opportunities to hook into the festival life. There are also plenty of free events, for students like me.
A huge congratulations to the whole MWF team for putting out such a balanced, inspired and exciting program.
Festival times are usually pretty hectic times, and I plan to be soaking it all up. Here are a few of my picks, one from each day of the festival:
21st August, 6:30pm -
Helen Garner’s presenting this year’s opening address. I’ve seen her open other things, and she speaks well. She’s both ridiculously famous and very warm, which is a unique and winning combination. I can’t wait to see her speak again.
22nd August, 1pm -
As a writer of personal essays and memoir, I’m pretty self-involved. MY INTERESTING LIFE! ‘Selfie Culture’ brings Ronnie Scott and Anne Manne together to talk about the inward-looking trend.
23rd August, 11:30am -
Ruth Reichl, the food writer, is known and loved for her food memoirs which detail her foodish experiences from childhood to her editorship of Gourmet magazine and beyond. Earlier this year, Reichl published her first novel, Delicious.
24th August, 5:30pm -
Super-short storeis are hard to do, and Oliver Mol and Angela Meyer are both great at it. I can’t wait to see them in conversation.
25th August, 7:30pm -
Do you remember the first time? A brilliant group of writers share stories of first at the Toff in Town.
26th August, 6:30pm -
The DIY food movement pares back all the packeted shit and manufactured ease, in favour of a connection with real, actual food. Alla Wolf-Tasker and Phillippa Grogan, and wine and canapes.
27th August, 7pm -
One of the many events that leave the city square is the poetry slam with Maxine Beneba Clarke at the Caroline Springs Library. She’s a treat, do yourself a favour and go.
28th August, 8:30pm -
Maria Popova at Brain Pickings is an absolute champion, who achieves much with very little. Her commitment to amazing content is so admirable, and she always posts worthwhile and interesting stories. She’ll also be talking to Jason Steger at an event called ‘Why I Read’ on 29th August.
30th August, 2:30pm -
Luke Ryan makes me laugh. Elizabeth Flux makes me feel like I’m not doing enough. Both these people are fantastic, and they’ll be answering questions like “How did you get where you are?”
31st August, 6:00pm -
DAVE EGGERS! The founder of McSweeney’s and author of the much-loved genre-bending A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius returns to Melbourne to deliver the closing address for #MWF14.
I’m also really looking forward to the ‘On Board Book Club’, where MWF encourages us to put down our phones and pick up our books, providing reading recommendations for the duration of the festival. I also look forward to ‘Memory Makes Us’, a collaborative live-writing event in the Atrium at Fed Square.
This isn’t an exhaustive list. Please do chase up other events that I’m really excited for including events with Nic Low, Alissa Nutting, Philip Hensher, Benjamin & Michelle Law, James Ley, Omar Musa, Chris Flynn and Eli Glasman. And more. I actually just can’t express how excited I am about all this, and not a little overwhelmed by it all. Main, take-home message: DAVE EGGERS!
Happy booking, I hope to see you around the festival!