By Nalini Haynes Benjamin Law introduced Tara Moss, starting by acknowledging the traditional owners, then going to the moment we’ve all been waiting for: HOUSEKEEPING. ☺ Throughout this session, Law provided a little comic relief while also taking issues seriously, drawing Moss out on a wide range of subjects, mostly related to her latest novel, The Fictional Woman.
If anything's going to get you out of bed on a Sunday morning, it's a panel featuring Dave Eggers, Lachlann Carter and Alicia Sometimes. The foyer of the Wheeler Centre was the busiest I'd ever seen it for a MWF event. Clusters of twenty-somethings, uni-students with their parents and lone wolf professional types all jammed in together, eager to get stuck into 'Creativity, Childhood and Reading'.
By Emily Tatti When I studied creative writing, my teachers all said the same thing: given the choice, they would prefer to sign with an independent publisher, even if it wasn’t the most lucrative option. Why?
By Jacqueline Lademann In October this year Sir Salman Rushdie will be awarded the Pen Pinter Prize, given each year to a British writer or a writer resident in Britain of outstanding literary merit who, in the words of Harold Pinter’s Nobel speech, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world, and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies’.
By Caroline Petit Alissa Nutting is a charming American writer whose debut novel Tampa tells the story of 26-year-old Celeste Price, a beautiful wicked teacher who seduces one of her grade eight boys. Tampa is funny, provocative and wonderfully written, breaking all the rules about what women should be writing.
By Liz McShane Trying to crack the writing industry, but don’t know where to start? 'Pathways to Publication' was crammed with advice for writers on the make. Chaired by Mary Masters, General Manager of the Small Press Network and chair of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the session was divided into three parts: meet the critics, meet the editors and meet the publishers. Here are a few highlights from the session.
The room is packed. On stage sit Jo Case, author of Boomer and Me and Sonya Hartnett. Case offers an abridged version of Hartnett’s successes and awards - the complete version would take too long. From here an easy conversation begins; audience members laugh along with those on stage. It's inclusive rather than voyeuristic - the perfect tone for a conversation with the author of Golden Boys.
By Tenaya Laird The eccentric, funny and distinctly English Philip Hensher stepped on stage. Immediately the crowd of (seemingly) older women roared their approval. His humour spans generations. This session, on the topic of handwriting, had me feeling a little apprehensive: how could one man spend an hour discussing handwriting? But Hensher did it, and he made it interesting too!
Creator of successful blog, 'Brain Pickings', Maria Popova is an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large. In conversation with Esther Anatolitis, we discover the workings of the brain behind the blog.
I have to confess: it’s been well over a year since I last read a book. It’s a pretty hard thing for someone who presents herself as a lover of literature to admit, but it’s true. If I had to give a note from mother at this point it would say “Please excuse Imbi from reading any books. She has been far too busy pretending to write her own book to spend any time reading anyone else’s.”
During last year’s federal election campaign, I was (an unpaid) part of the political party machine that Stephen Mills writes about in his new book, The Professionals: Strategy, Money and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia, and I enjoyed every minute of it!
Burial Rites is a book I found hard to put down. It allowed me to escape into a passionate world of solitude, imagination and regret. I became obsessed, making the book my companion while travelling to work, at play and even in bed. I found it very hard to return to the real world after I had finished. So you can only imagine my joy when I was slated to review Hannah Kent’s session at MWF14.
When I was young (and even now, to be honest) the mere hint that my parents had a love life sent me scurrying for cover, hands over ears. For similar reasons, Gabrielle Wang says her young adult novel Little Paradise, based on her parents’ love story, was the most difficult book she’s ever written.
Brave and daring souls Isobelle Carmody, Leanne Hall, Will Kostakis, Michael Pryor and Penny Tangey ventured into the uncharted realm of ‘firsts’, taking the audience with them on an unpredictable adventure filled with laughs and deep nostalgia.
Usually when I'm sitting in a cinema on a Sunday afternoon I'm wolfing down a choctop or munching on popcorn, but today at ACMI I'm here to engage in a thoughtful and illuminating intellectual discussion between Arnold Zable, writer, and today’s subject, Tony Birch, writer, historian and teacher.
Do you know your HEA from your GMC? Your
protagonist from your antagonist? Or exactly when it's appropriate for your
characters to get down and dirty (the answer is not too soon)? If you don't,
"How to Break into Romance" will help you fill in the blanks.
My favourite book, when I was a child, was a hardcover
edition of Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm. It was the thickest book we had in
the house, and in between its pages were hibiscus and frangipani flowers that
had been pressed flat by stories of love and violence, betrayal and redemption.
You’d expect a writer’s festival audience attending “Shakespeare’s Secret” to enjoy the promised ‘songs, sonnets and soliloquies’, and you’d be right. The real joy was in the performers, though, and it was their revelling in Shakespeare that lifted this night. That, and the rock and roll. . .
By Julie Marlow Emily Nussbaum is the fast talking, smart
and seriously influential TV critic for The New Yorker. She's often asked how she landed that dream
job and the answer is: Buffy. The
Vampire Slayer was the show that got her talking, discussing and analysing
American television as an art form at a time of momentous change in that
By Lee Kindler While the emergence of TV as an art form has been widely celebrated, its daggy uncle—the wireless—has been experiencing a quiet renaissance of its own. Panellists Benjamen Walker (Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything) Jessie Borrelle (Paper Radio) and Miyuki Jokiranta (Radio National) are at the forefront of this golden era of radio.
Professor Bruce Scates, eminent historian and brother of Bob Scates who went to jail rather than be conscripted to serve in the Vietnam War, hosted this fascinating discussion with Wesley Enoch, a proud Noonuccal Nuugi man, and the director of Tom Wright's critically acclaimed play, Black Diggers.
By Jacqueline Lademann Forgive the cheesy title, but I felt there was no other way to introduce a discussion about this great storm which brought about so much change in so many unexpected ways. In Sophie Cunningham's new book, Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy, much is made of the impact that Cyclone Tracy has had, and the lessons that have been, and are still to be learned from it.
One of the first events at this year's Melbourne Writer’s Festival was ‘Limits of storytelling’, a talk between Melbourne writers Maria Tumarkin and Wayne Macauley discussing whether storytelling takes us closer to the truth of our lives or further away.
Australia’s perception of those seeking asylum has been shaped via the scrounging of votes in political elections and the filtering of information through the media. Access to the places where asylum keepers are kept, such as the notorious Nauru detention centre, is near impossible to gain; the conditions of the centre kept secret from all, except those inside.
According to Don George, “passion connection” is a condensed expression of a journey compressed into one or two words. Emerging from our five hour intensive masterclass, "cathartic" is the only word that sums up the journey we have just undertaken. George's warmth enveloped our session illuminating the subtle, serendipitous nature of travel writing better than even the most unseasonably bright Melbourne day could. He didn't miss a beat. Pretty good for a guy fresh off the red eye from San Francisco.
Self-help books get a pretty bad rap. I know I feel pretty sheepish when looking through the self-help section of my local book shop, checking over my shoulder to make sure nobody I know can see me. So it was with a sense of trepidation that I went along to Books That Heal at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. Was it going to be a bunch of lonely people looking for the secret to finding happiness?
Is AIDS dead? Could we ever ‘end HIV’? Facilitated by writer Dion Kagan, and featuring long-term AIDS activist Colin Batrouney and epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani, these were the questions addressed in the provocatively titled session ‘AIDs is Dead! Long Live HIV!’.
The adage that one should never let the truth get in the way of a good story is once again turned on its head by Helen Garner in her new book The House of Grief, where she painstakingly gets to the truth and in doing so creates a very good story.
Successful applicants to 'Reviewer for a Day' are reminded to attend a pre-event workshop with Melbourne Writers Festival Director, Lisa Dempster: Wednesday August 20
6.00 - 7.30pm
Victoria University, City Flinders campus
Level 9 Rm 9.15, 300 Flinders Street, Melbourne