I was lucky enough this year to be able to get tickets to this years Melbourne Writers Festival – an utterly fabulous, and finally in person (after two years online) annual event. Perchance, I was scheduled on the night shift this past weekend so during the day I could book myself into various Writers Festival events and leave myself completely exhausted by Sunday night. Totally worth it though!
Thurs 8th Sept – ‘The Boy in the Dress’ – Author Jonathan Butler in conversation with Yves Rees
This was such a wonderful start to the week. Butler talked about his debut book – part memoir, part investigation – which started as an investigation into the murder of a relative in 1944. It was so interesting listening to Butler talk about his research process and the different avenues it took him on over the ten years he was doing so.
Fri 9th Sept – ‘Love, Factually’ – Trent Dalton & Clementine Ford in conversation with Elizabeth McCarthy
Was I expecting to be in tears at 10:30 in the morning? No. Was I in tears though? Big yes! And for the best possible reason too. Love, Factually brought heartfelt stories, life advice, and a lot of laughs into one room. I found the whole conversation both inspiring, and emotional. There was a great, effortless dynamic between the three on the panel which was so interesting to listen to.
Fri 9th Sept – ‘Small Town Thrills’ – JP Pomare and Dinuka McKenzie in conversation with Fi Wright
I’ve always loved books set in small towns, especially crime fiction novels. There is something in the closeness and community that you can only find in a small town that makes crime fiction set there so much more intense. I loved listening to the two authors talk about why they chose small towns as the settings for their novels, and how they went beyond the small town tropes to make it their own. So keen to read their books!
Sat 10th Sept – Talking About a Revolution – Yassmin Abdel-Magied in conversation with Roj Amedi
After a day in the city with a friend of mine, it was great to go to this event in the evening. I listened to Yassmin Abdel-Magied talk quite a few years ago at another Writers Festival in Melbourne and absolutely loved hearing her speak. For this event she was talking about a new collection of essays she has published. As always she was engaging to listen to, and managed to be humorous around the more serious topics of conversation.
Sat 10th Sept – Queerstories – Hosted by Maeve Marsden, with stories from Shane Jenek aka Courtney Act, Krystal De Napoli, CS Pacat, Yves Rees, and Omar Sakr.
Queerstories was the most wonderful end to the festival for me. While I had gone to the writers festival before, I hadn’t attended a Queerstories night before, I am so glad to have now done so. Queerstories asks leading LGBTQI+ voices to share a story they’ve always wanted to tell, but have never been asked to before. This led to a night of both humorous and emotional stories, all told with a strong presence and with heart. I also discovered that there is a Queerstories podcast so I will be giving that a listen to soon!
It really has been such a fun and insightful few days! I am excited to get stated on these books by some of the wonderful people I met.
I’ve realised as well that I have a new goal in my writing: to be one of the people to talk about my writing and my books at one of these writers festivals. It would be amazing!
In the meantime, I will always be booking tickets to these events, as it is always such a fun weekend.