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26 August — 4 September For everyone who reads

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Essential Information CONTENTS Highlights 6 Friday 26 August 10 Saturday 27 August 11 Sunday 28 August 20 Monday 29 August 23 Tuesday 30 August 23 Wednesday 31 August 23 Friday 2 September 26 Saturday 3 September 31 Sunday 4 September 35 Children & Teens 42 Festival Guests 44





The work of one of Australia’s greatest writers, Helen Garner, is unflinchingly real. Her latest book, Everywhere I Look, spans 15 years, from raging against ageist condescension to personal diary extracts. Iconic editor John Freeman is a fan – he’ll interview her about her life and work.

Full Price

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1307 

Concession Price


Use the key below to identify Festival streams and look out for the free events.

Event time



Session Code

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The Agenda

Live & Social

Children & Teens


Free events

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26 August — 4 September



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Concessions apply to children (16 years and under), full-time students, Health Care Card holders, pensioners and seniors.

Phone 03 9999 1199 during box office hours, please have booking codes ready Mobile Download the MWF App for iOS and Android Advance box office 22 July – 25 August Level 1, 176 Lt Lonsdale St The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne 10am – 5pm, Monday to Friday Festival box office 26 August – 4 September MWF Box Office, Atrium Entrance, Flinders St, Fed Square, Melbourne 9am – close (30 minutes after last session commences), daily Visit mwf.com.au or call 03 9999 1199 for booking terms and conditions.

FESTIVAL PASSES 5 Pack Lovers of literature can save 15% on five standard Festival events (usually $22/$19 each) and choose a bonus weekday session for free. Price: $95/$85

10 Pack For true Festival fanatics: save 20% on 10 standard Festival events (usually $22/$19 each) and choose two bonus weekday sessions for free. Price: $175/$160 For full details of Festival Passes and Packs, please visit mwf.com.au.

COMPANION CARDS Companion Card holders may book in person at our box office, via phone on 03 9999 1199 or email to ticketing@mwf.com.au. A copy of your valid Companion Card is required.

ACCESS MWF welcomes people with access requirements. If you are buying tickets online, please enter any access requirements when prompted at checkout. Alternatively, call 03 9999 1199 to book seats with wheelchair access or to discuss your needs. Most venues have wheelchair access, selected events have Auslan interpreters and many venues provide hearing loops. Visit mwf.com.au for full details.

GETTING TO THE FESTIVAL Fed Square is easily reached by public transport. The closest train station is Flinders Street. Tram routes 1, 3, 3A, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 and 72 go to stop 13 on Swanston Street (Flinders Street Station); 35, 70 and 75 go to stops 5 (Flinders Street Station) and 6 (Russell Street) on Flinders Street, near Fed Square. Timetable information is available from Public Transport Victoria by calling 1800 800 007 or visiting ptv.vic.gov.au. Free bike racks are available in and around Fed Square. Public car parking is available at Fed Square and in Flinders Lane. A taxi rank is located outside Flinders Street station.

EVENT TIMES Please note Festival events are one hour duration, unless otherwise stated.

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26 August — 4 September

This year, we’re delighted to welcome Australia’s preeminent literary voices including Maxine Beneba Clarke, Richard Flanagan and Helen Garner, as well as internationally renowned writers and artists including PJ Harvey, Yann Martel, Alexei Sayle, Lionel Shriver and Tracy K Smith.

Gathering the best writers and thinkers from Australia and around the world, Melbourne Writers Festival is an annual celebration for everyone who reads.

Join us to explore the meaning of identity, from bodies and communities to relationships, laws and what it means to be Australian.

Creativity is a key part of Victoria’s identity and writers play a significant role across our creative sector. I am particularly proud that this year’s Festival focuses on cultural diversity. It is through understanding the stories of others that we build a new shared narrative for our community and state.

The Melbourne Writers Festival story is one the Victorian Government is proud to be part of. Through our Creative State strategy, we are shaping a new chapter for Victoria and events like this festival help highlight the central role creativity plays in all of our lives. See you there.

The Hon Daniel Andrews MP Premier of Victoria

Across more than 350 events covering everything from philosophy and politics to comedy and crime, readers of all interests will enjoy the unique opportunity

The Hon Martin Foley MP Minister for Creative Industries

to explore a universe of ideas with some of the world’s brightest minds. Our free family events and activities will thrill kids and parents alike, with plenty to do for toddlers and teens. From books and journalism to TV and the internet, if you love reading, writing and bold ideas, MWF has something for you. See you in August! Lisa Dempster Festival Director / CEO

For more than 30 years, literature lovers have celebrated their passion at Melbourne Writers Festival. This year’s program is set to challenge, inspire and delight ‘everyone who reads’ and the opening keynote address by local luminary Maxine Beneba Clarke is sure to captivate. The City of Melbourne is proud to once again support Australia’s premier writing festival. Robert Doyle Lord Mayor

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Highlights Events

World-class talent and bold ideas are on the cards at this year’s MWF, with literary heavyweights and household names taking centre stage.


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Hear from one of Australia’s fiercest contemporary voices, Maxine Beneba Clarke, or the writer widely considered the finest Australian novelist of his generation, Richard Flanagan. Review the politically turbulent 1980s through the lens of British comedy legend Alexei Sayle, or consider bestselling author Lionel Shriver’s perspective on gender. See a different side to music icon PJ Harvey as she presents a haunting poetry and photography collaboration with photojournalist Seamus Murphy. These are the Festival celebrations and conversations you definitely won’t want to miss.

Events Highlights

26 August — 4 September

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Richard Flanagan



Give MWF a warm welcome at our opening gala. Hear a keynote from one of the country’s boldest voices, Maxine Beneba Clarke, and celebrate the best in Australian literature with the presentation of the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Then join us for a drink as we toast the winner and the Festival ahead! Hosted by Sky News presenter Ashleigh Gillon. Ticket price includes event and opening party. Melbourne Writers Festival Opening Night is presented in partnership with Perpetual and Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, proud supporters of the Miles Franklin Literary Award Fri 26 Aug, 6.30pm until late Deakin Edge, Fed Square $45/$35 | Code 1001

Richard Flanagan delves deep into the Australian psyche in his novels and journalism. Who better – in his first public lecture as the University of Melbourne’s founding Boisbouvier Chair of Australian Literature – to answer the question: does writing matter? Supported by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne Thu 1 Sep, 6pm (75 minutes) Athenaeum Theatre $45/$35 | Code 1805

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Highlights Events

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PJ HARVEY & SEAMUS MURPHY: THE HOLLOW OF THE HAND Experience groundbreaking musician PJ Harvey in a new way. She shares her poetry in The Hollow of the Hand, paired with Seamus Murphy’s striking photography from their travels together. Join them for this electrifying visual presentation and conversation: an extraordinary chronicle of our life and times. Thu 1 Sep, 8.30pm (75 minutes) Athenaeum Theatre $60 | Code 1806

PJ Harvey & Seamus Murphy

ALEXEI SAYLE: THATCHER STOLE MY TROUSERS As the first MC of London’s Comedy Store, and writer and actor on The Young Ones, Alexei Sayle spearheaded the transformation of British comedy throughout the politically turbulent 1980s. The funnyman speaks to Richard Fidler about his captivating new book, Thatcher Stole My Trousers. Sat 3 Sep, 6pm (75 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $45/$35 | Code 1106

Alexei Sayle


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Events Highlights

26 August — 4 September

Lionel Shriver

LIONEL SHRIVER: CLOSING NIGHT ADDRESS Award-winning author Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Mandibles) closes MWF with a keynote address arguing for a post-gender world. Exploring the concepts of personal and social identity, Shriver asks: does the self have a gender at all? Sun 4 Sep, 6pm (75 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $45/$35 | Code 1116

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Events Friday 26 August 2.30pm

FORUM: THE RIGHT TO BELONG What is the future of multiculturalism in Victoria? How can we ensure Australia is as inclusive as possible? Kick off your MWF with this exciting community forum, where you can have your say on place, belonging and identity alongside leading thinkers. (90 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square   9am – 7pm daily

INSTALLATION: BELONGING AND PLACE Experiences of place, belonging and identity come to life in a special installation in Fed Square. Curated by leading museums, the installation shares the stories of culturally diverse Victorians, past and present. 26 Aug – 4 Sep Fed Square  


FESTIVAL CLUB Discover the Festival Club at ACMI, at the heart of our Festival Hub in Fed Square – the meeting place for readers, writers and Festivalgoers. Mingle with writers, warm up with our Starward Whisky Festival Hot Toddy, and fuel your Festival with great food and drinks. Don’t miss happy hour from 4pm to 7pm weekdays. Open 8.30am til late Monday to Friday, and 9am til late Saturday and Sunday. Visit mwf.com.au for full details.

SILVER SCREEN SCIENCE Hollywood loves science, from mutations to viruses. But what are the facts behind the fiction? Silver Screen Science picks apart the actual from the absurd in films and documentaries with the help of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research experts and Melbourne’s talented writers, journalists and critics.

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Ticket price includes drink on arrival. Visit mwf.com.au for full details and session times. 26 – 28 Aug ACMI Cinema 1 & 2 $10 


26 August — 4 September

Saturday 27 August 12pm

ILLUSTRATOR IN RESIDENCE In these three-hour sessions, see leading illustrators work live from 12pm in the Fed Square Atrium. Visit mwf.com.au for full details. Sat 27 & Sun 28 Aug, Fri 2, Sat 3 & Sun 4 Sep Atrium, Fed Square  







Following the presentation of the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award on MWF’s Opening Night, be the first to hear from the winner as they discuss their novel, the prize and Australian literature with Sky News correspondent Jim Middleton.

What can travel tell us about the world – and about ourselves? Recounting his fascinating adventures and pilgrimages around the globe with a mixture of memoir and fiction, renowned British author Geoff Dyer asks existential questions about place, self and life in White Sands.

Start your MWF morning with the perfect pick-me-up: a shot of caffeine and the day’s news, with senior journalists and editors from The Age – as well as some of the Festival’s most interesting writers and thinkers. Supported by The Age MWF Festival Club Admission free to The Age subscribers, bookings required. $10 | Code 5301 

Supported by Perpetual and Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, proud supporters of the Miles Franklin Literary Award

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4301 

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3301 

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Events Westside Words Connect with a world of ideas in the west. MWF celebrates the cultural richness of the Footscray community with this series of activities and events that inspire readers and writers of all backgrounds. Supported by the Besen Family Foundation

EARLY HARVEST TOP SECRET TOUR Early Harvest’s Office of Comma Integrity and Grammar Realignment is usually open for postal submissions only, but for two hours they’re accepting special MWF visitors! Make an appointment to discuss your literary ambitions, check your eagle-eyed editorial vision and tour the Early Harvest Office.​ Ages 8+ Sat 27 Aug, 10am (120 minutes) 100 Story Building  




How are Muslim women fighting sexism and working for change? Eliza Vitri Handayani and Shakira Hussein explore the subject in their writing, while psychologist Monique Toohey helps patients access culturally appropriate services. In this session, they dissect the intersection of feminism and Muslim identity.

How do national policy issues play out locally? Focusing on Melbourne’s culturally diverse western suburbs, Indigenous academic Gary Foley and Federal Labor MP Tim Watts explore local impacts of migration, education and Indigenous issues, and unpack how suburban experiences are considered in national conversations.

Supported by Victoria University and presented in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre Sat 27 Aug, 1pm Footscray Community Arts Centre  

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Supported by Victoria University and presented in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre Sat 27 Aug, 2.30pm Footscray Community Arts Centre  


26 August — 4 September




How is the working class explored in fiction? How do writers represent declining metropolitan areas and industries? Angela Flournoy (The Turner House) talks to Jacinda Woodhead about writing urban decay.

Prolific Indian writer Tishani Doshi has explored travel and womanhood through her expansive body of work. In this event, she reveals the inspirations and processes behind her writing – from train rides across India to reaching back into her childhood.

Supported by the US Consulate General and Overland. Presented in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre

Sun 28 Aug, 3pm Footscray Library Free, bookings required Code 6404   

Explore the inner west with Nick Gadd as he guides you through the backstreets of Footscray on this psychogeographic walk. From rundown factories to ghost signs, learn how urban history can influence writing, as you hear Gadd read work inspired by Melbourne’s wild west.

Sat 27 Aug, 4pm Footscray Community Arts Centre  


WESTSIDE STORYTELLING LIVE: CHANGE Some of life’s most interesting things happen when we’re on the brink of change. In this night of live storytelling, writers and performers from around the world – including Alan Brough, Alice Pung and Lawrence Lacambra Ypil – will share their stories of transformation.

Step into the complex emotional world of mums and their teenage daughters with Kylie Ladd’s new novel. Through four different mother–daughter relationships, Mothers and Daughters explores how to nurture young women while also encouraging independence, and navigating adolescent turbulence.

The walk departs from outside the Arts Centre, near the Happy River Cafe at 45 Moreland Street. Ticket price includes afternoon tea at Happy River Cafe at the conclusion of the walk. Sat 27 Aug, 11am (90 minutes) Footscray Community Arts Centre $40 | Code 5308 

Tue 30 Aug, 6pm Braybrook Community Hub Free, bookings required Code 6604   

Presented in partnership with Footscray Community Arts Centre Sat 27 Aug, 6.30pm Footscray Community Arts Centre $12 | Code 9304 

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Events Saturday 27 August MWF at M.A.D.E: Creating Change History is made when we create change. How has Australia changed in terms of race relations, gender, politics and poverty? Where are we heading? And how can knowledge of the forces of the past inform our thinking about the future? Explore these ideas over a day of events at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E), Ballarat. Supported by Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka 9am




Start your MWF morning with the perfect pick-me-up: a shot of caffeine and the day’s news, with some of the Festival’s most interesting writers and thinkers. (45 minutes)   10am

FROM DISTANT WARS TO OUR SHORES Arnold Zable is a respected advocate for social change, giving a voice to Australia’s underclass in his work. His new book, The Fighter, tells the story of an ex-boxer living in the shadows of his mother’s post-Holocaust trauma. How do wars elsewhere impact Australian lives? $12 | Code 0302 

How can poetry reflect political and social discontent? Can it affect change? Poets Nathan Curnow and Joel Deane reveal how they use their craft to express frustrations with the state of contemporary Australia – from politics to culture and language. $12 | Code 0303  1pm

GENERATION FUTURE What kind of Australia have today’s young people inherited? How are they striving for future change? Join Youth Without Borders founding chair Yassmin Abdel-Magied as she reveals the motivations behind her own work as one of Australia’s most inspiring youth leaders. $12 | Code 0304 


DENNIS ALTMAN: QUEER WARS How has the queer rights movement evolved in Australia? Is marriage equality on the horizon? How can we sensitively and effectively agitate for queer rights internationally, without imposing Western attitudes on other societies? Dennis Altman explores how we can meaningfully create change. $12 | Code 0305  4pm

FIGHTING POVERTY WITH FAITH Baptist minister and World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello is one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice. He’ll talk about how faith – not just religion, but hope that it’s possible to create change – has powered his life and career. $12 | Code 0306  5.30pm

ANNE SUMMERS: 40 YEARS OF FEMINISM Four decades since the publication of Damned Whores and God’s Police, Anne Summers reflects on Australian feminism past, present and future. Domestic violence is one of the chief issues facing feminists today – what can we do, and what are the challenges ahead? $12 | Code 0307 


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What is Melbourne’s creative future?

The City of Melbourne is proud to support major and emerging arts organisations through their 2015–17 Triennial Arts Grants Program. Aphids Arts Access Victoria Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Blindside Artist Run Space Chamber Made Opera Circus Oz Craft Emerging Writers’ Festival Ilbijerri Theatre Koorie Heritage Trust La Mama Little Big Shots Lucy Guerin Inc. Melbourne Festival

“A city of leading festivals that invites citizens to step out of their everyday routines into spaces that disrupt, enliven and enrich.” Lisa Dempster Festival Director / CEO Melbourne Writers Festival

Melbourne Fringe Melbourne International Comedy Festival Melbourne International Film Festival Melbourne International Jazz Festival Melbourne Queer Film Festival Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Melbourne WebFest Melbourne Writers Festival Multicultural Arts Victoria Next Wave Festival Polyglot Theatre Poppy Seed Songlines Aboriginal Music Speak Percussion The Wheeler Centre West Space Wild@heART Community Arts


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Events Saturday 27 August 10am




World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello explores the notion of belief in the challenging modern world in his new book, Faith. From refugees and corruption to war, global warming and poverty, Costello reflects on the shared humanity that brings us all together in trying times.

What is the future of Australian schooling? Assessing the country’s history of public education and the impacts of current government policies, education experts Sara Glover and Richard Teese discuss where we’re headed – and whether the Gonski model is coming to an end.

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1301 

Supported by Victoria University


ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4302 



A baptismal card falling out of a book changed Marie Munkara’s life when it revealed her origins in Arnhem Land, sending her on an extraordinary quest for family and truth. She shares her story in Of Ashes and Rivers That Run to the Sea.

Women and children are being killed and injured at alarming rates in Australia today – yet the causes of family violence are still widely disputed. Rosie Batty, Tasneem Chopra and Anne Summers make the case for ending domestic abuse by addressing gender inequality.

ACMI The Cube  

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1302 



What happens when an 18-year-old Irish drama student, newly arrived in London, falls for an older actor? The answer lies in Baileys Prize winner Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians – the long-awaited follow-up to her mind-blowing debut, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 4303 


LEV GROSSMAN: THE MAGICIANS Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy is an exhilarating journey with unexpected twists and turns. Join the man behind the fantastical series described as Harry Potter for adults, as he dives into his engrossing fictional world. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 3302 

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WRITING MEMOIR How do writers deal with their personal histories? Poets Maxine Beneba Clarke and Tracy K Smith both write about growing up as women of colour. How do their stories – and the worlds in which they’re told – come to life through their work? Supported by the US Consulate General ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3303 

BEING GEOFF DYER Heralded as one of the world’s most original contemporary writers, Geoff Dyer blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction in his esoteric works. The British wordsmith talks through his career, discussing technique and exploring personal identity through writing about place. Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1303 


26 August — 4 September

Saturday 27 August 2.30pm






Prolific and controversial, Jia Pingwa is one of China’s most widely read and influential contemporary writers – yet his work remains largely untranslated into English. What does this say about how Chinese literature is consumed in the West?

Join Australian Book Review as we celebrate the 2016 Jolley Prize (now worth a total of $12,500). Hear readings from the three shortlisted stories before a special guest announces the winner – chosen from nearly 1,400 entries from Australia and overseas.

Supported by Chinese Writers Festival and Writers Victoria

Supported by Australian Book Review

ACMI The Cube  

ACMI The Cube  



Justin Cronin’s bestselling dystopian vampire trilogy, The Passage, came to a thrilling close with this year’s epic The City of Mirrors. Sink your teeth into an alternate world of catastrophe and survival, as this awardwinning author invites you in.

Liane Moriarty’s gripping books on the hidden complexities of family have sold six million copies worldwide and been adapted for TV (Big Little Lies). She talks about her latest novel, Truly Madly Guilty, and its exploration of the depths of parental remorse.

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3304 

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4305 



Melinda Tankard Reist (Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade) and Ruth Wykes (Invisible Women: Powerful and Disturbing Stories of Murdered Sex Workers) explore the devastating impact of prostitution on the lives of sex workers. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4304 

East West Street author Philippe Sands delivers a musical lecture exploring the parallels between prominent Holocaust figure Hans Frank and Hersch Lauterpacht, one of his prosecutors. Accompanied by a violinist, Sands will dissect the ideas of good and evil – and the music bridging both. Supported by Liberty Victoria Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1306  8.30pm

HELEN GARNER: EVERYWHERE I LOOK The work of one of Australia’s greatest writers, Helen Garner, is unflinchingly real. Her latest book, Everywhere I Look, spans 15 years, from raging against ageist condescension to personal diary extracts. Iconic editor John Freeman is a fan – he’ll interview her about her life and work. Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1307 

AUSTRALIA THROUGH TIME How is Australian history represented through fiction? From research to process, historical fiction writer Anita Heiss, novelist Kate Mildenhall and romance writer Tricia Stringer share their wisdom on all things Australia, and the importance of representing different time periods. ACMI The Cube  

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Events Big Ideas presented by The Monthly

Anna Funder

Unpack the topics setting the media ablaze with leading literary and academic voices. From climate change to public policy and autism research, experts including Michael Marmot, Yann Martel, Steve Silberman and Sheila Watt-Cloutier will lead conversations surrounding the most thought-provoking issues of today.

Michael Marmot



How do books make you a better person? Can literature influence political judgment? Anna Funder (All That I Am) and Yann Martel (Life of Pi) prescribe books they think world leaders should read in order to make better policy decisions.

Social injustice and socioeconomic status have direct impacts on health worldwide, but the discrepancy is not as simple as rich vs poor. World Medical Association President Sir Michael Marmot (The Health Gap) explores these complexities and suggests possible ways forward.

Sat 27 Aug, 4pm (75 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $30/$27 | Code 1305 

Supported by The Monthly


Yann Martel

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Sun 28 Aug, 4pm (75 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $30/$27 | Code 1406 


Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Jared Thomas

26 August — 4 September

Don Watson

Sarah Ferguson



In global discussions about climate change, Indigenous voices are often overlooked. Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier and Indigenous Australian writer Jared Thomas discuss the right for their communities to have a say in international decision-making.

It’s a big year in politics, with major elections in the US and Australia. Seasoned commentators Sarah Ferguson and Don Watson trace the evolution of leadership, comparing election processes and voter disillusionment in both countries.

Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts Wed 31 Aug, 6pm (75 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $30/$27 | Code 1705 

Fri 2 Sep, 6pm (75 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $30/$27 | Code 1906 

Steve Silberman

STEVE SILBERMAN: THE FUTURE OF NEURODIVERSITY Societal attitudes towards autism have come a long way, but still have a long way to go. Learn about the history of autism research and discover the growing movement of neurodiversity, empowering those with cognitive differences, with NeuroTribes author Steve Silberman. Supported by the Ian Potter Foundation Sat 3 Sep, 4pm (75 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $30/$27 | Code 1105 

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Events Sunday 28 August Eye on YA From teens to teens-atheart, lovers of YA fiction of any age are in for a treat, with some of the biggest names in the business set to take the stage. Journey inside the minds of international favourites David Levithan and Rainbow Rowell, and hear from leading Australian YA authors including Jared Thomas, Vikki Wakefield and Claire Zorn. 11.30am

YA SUPERSTARS Internationally renowned young adult authors David Levithan (Every Day) and Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl) get together to talk about the genre and their work. What makes a good YA novel? Why do stories about young people resonate so much with readers of all ages? Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/19 | Code 1402 

Rainbow Rowell

David Levithan





Janis Joplin once sang that you learn the truth at 17. YA authors Vikki Wakefield (Inbetween Days) and Claire Zorn (One Would Think the Deep) compare how their protagonists, Jacklin and Sam, face life’s challenges on the brink of adulthood. ACMI The Cube  

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3405 




The Australia we read about is often blindingly white – unlike Australia itself. How can writers reflect diverse cultural and social backgrounds, without co-opting the experiences of others? Jared Thomas (Songs That Sound Like Blood) and Vikki Wakefield (Inbetween Days) wrangle with the politics of representation.

Magical worlds come to life in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Carry On. What lies behind writing fantasy fiction? Join the two authors as they discuss how they bring these universes from the imagination to the page.

ACMI The Cube  


David Levithan’s tender tales of heartbreak and hope put LGBTI characters front and centre, cementing him as a modern YA favourite. Diving into his latest novel, You Know Me Well, Levithan will reveal the art of writing captivating queer fiction.

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ACMI Cinema 2 $22/$19 | Code 2405 


26 August — 4 September

Sunday 28 August 11.30am

THE FIFTH ESTATE: LAURA SECOR ON IRAN Laura Secor spent over a decade researching and reporting on post-revolution Iran. In Children of Paradise, she paints a moving portrait of a nation and its people striving for change. Discover the country’s turbulent political past, present and future in this session. Supported by the Wheeler Centre ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3402  10am




In the wake of the Third Reich, the legal world was transformed. How did the lives of the two Jewish men who coined the terms ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ intersect? Personal meets political in Philippe Sands’s fascinating postWWII memoir, East West Street.

Miles Franklin Award winner Anna Funder’s poignant fiction resonates deeply with readers. Drawing on her works All That I Am and The Girl with the Dogs, she talks to fellow novelist Hannah Kent (Burial Rites) about creating immersive fictional worlds rooted in history.

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3401 

Supported by Kill Your Darlings

WRITING FAMILY Families are where identities are first made: from genetics and birth order, to circumstances and environment, they intrinsically shape us. Freeman’s: Family contributors Angela Flournoy and Tracy K Smith keep it all relative with the journal’s editor extraordinaire, John Freeman. Supported by the US Consulate General ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4401 

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1401 

SMALL TOWN CRIME When violent crimes shake small towns, the victim is more than just a name on the news. Jane Harper (The Dry) and Emily Maguire (An Isolated Incident) investigate motivations for murders, and the impact they have on those left behind. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4402  1pm

MELINA MARCHETTA: TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi) is one of Australia’s most celebrated authors. Her new thriller, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil, follows a cop investigating a complex crime involving a family of suspects – and finding his own life and past increasingly intertwined. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4403 

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Events Sunday 28 August 1pm

AUSTRALIAN ASYLUM How have asylum seeker policies shifted over time? Madeline Gleeson (Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru) and Emeritus Professor Robert Manne trace Australia’s history of asylum, assessing the human impact of policy and ruminating on what lies ahead – and whether there are any alternatives. Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1403  2.30pm

WICKEDLY FUNNY How do writers tackle serious topics with humour? Rosalie Ham, author of The Dressmaker, and Big Little Lies bestseller Liane Moriarty discuss how they bring subversive and dark stories about women to life on the page in a wickedly funny way. ACMI The Cube  

YANN MARTEL: THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF PORTUGAL From the Man Booker Prize–winning author of Life of Pi comes a sprawling new novel, interweaving three families’ stories from across a century to explore the timeless quest for meaning. Discover The High Mountains of Portugal with bestselling storyteller Yann Martel. ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3404 






How do politics affect economics? Where is society heading, and how can individual policymakers influence the outcome? Join political journalist George Megalogenis (Australia’s Second Chance) and narrative nonfiction writer George Packer (The Unwinding) as they compare and contrast Australian and US economic climates, societies and futures. Supported by the Wheeler Centre Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1407 

WRITING THE UNDEAD Vampires and zombies: what’s the appeal? How do writers create fictional worlds in which the undead can feasibly exist? Tony Ayres (producer of Glitch) and Justin Cronin (The Passage) explain the art of bringing legends to life on the page and screen. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4404 

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Don’t miss the 21st Ned Kelly Awards, celebrating the best in Australian crime writing. Enjoy the awards ceremony, live storytelling, live music from The Hired Guns, door prizes and an open bar, all tied together by MC Jane Clifton. Doors and bar open 3.30pm for preevent drinks. Limited seating with plenty of standing room available. 18+ event, ID may be requested. Supported by the Australian Crime Writers Association The Toff in Town (180 minutes)  

ANGELA FLOURNOY: THE TURNER HOUSE Detroit, ghosts, family and race: they’re all intrinsic to Angela Flournoy’s sensational debut novel The Turner House, shortlisted for the National Book Award. Explore the book’s themes of love, inheritance and decline with this exciting new voice out of America. Supported by the US Consulate General ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4405 


26 August — 4 September

Sunday 28 – Wednesday 31 August Monday 6pm

AMERICA IN DECLINE George Packer’s immersive narrative about American decline, The Unwinding, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He talks to Don Watson about how the US has changed politically and socially in the last 30 years, and that change’s effect on individual American lives. Mon 29 Aug Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1505  Tuesday 6pm


Sunday 6pm

Sunday 7.30pm



Iconic Aboriginal authors Stan Grant and Anita Heiss are both from the Wiradjuri nation. They’ll yarn about the politics, passion and creativity that drives their work, as well as the central influence of their community – and their sense of accountability to it. Sun 28 Aug Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1404 

From Galileo to Descartes and Newton, discover the century that shaped humanity’s modern outlook. Renowned British philosopher AC Grayling explores the groundbreaking evolution of the human mind throughout the 1600s in his new book, The Age of Genius.

Political journalist George Megalogenis makes a compelling case for the strong link between migration and economic prosperity in this session. Tracing the country’s history from first migrant contact in 1788, he suggests possible ways to ensure Australia remains in a ‘boom’ period. Supported by the John Button Fund within the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne Tue 30 Aug Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1605 

Supported by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne Sun 28 Aug Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1408 

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details


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Events Feminist Writers Festival Celebrating writers and thinkers from Australia and abroad, the inaugural Feminist Writers Festival explores the critical issues facing women today. Hear from leading feminist voices including Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Shakira Hussein, Eimear McBride and Anne Summers.

MUSLIM FEMINISM See page 12. Sat 27 Aug, 1pm Footscray Community Arts Centre  

See page 27. Sun 28 Aug, 11.30am ACMI The Cube  



Baileys Prize winner Eimear McBride (A Girl is a Half-formed Thing) and 2016 Stella Prize winner Charlotte Wood (The Natural Way of Things) discuss their acclaimed novels, sources of inspiration, how gender informs their writing and the importance of literary prizes.

How has feminism evolved over the last 40 years? What legacies have past trailblazers left on the current movement? Seasoned feminist activist and publisher Anne Summers and new generation voice Yassmin Abdel-Magied weigh in on feminism past, present and future.

Supported by the Stella Prize Sat 27 Aug, 2.30pm Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1304 



Sun 28 Aug, 1pm ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3403 

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FEMINISM ONLINE How does the internet foster community and conversation for women? Is writing about your personal life a feminist act? Disability and queer rights activist Jax Jacki Brown and Daily Life columnist Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen talk feminism online with Cristy Clark. Sun 28 Aug, 5.30pm ACMI The Cube  


26 August — 4 September

From publishing sensations to Day 00 August award-winning films, instant kids’ classics to poetry for a new generation, creative Victorians continue to deliver a winning hand.


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Check out more home-grown success stories and find out how we are backing creative Victorians at creative.vic.gov.au #creativevictorians #creativestate

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details


mwf.com.au #mwf16

Events Friday 2 September 11.30am

IMAGINING THE ARCTIC The Arctic has long captured imaginations with its dazzling landscapes, 24-hour sunlight and the fact that it’s so very far away. How do different writers approach this intriguing place in their work? Ivan Coyote, Elizabeth Hay and Sheila Watt-Cloutier invite you into their Arctic circle. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Consulate General of Canada, Sydney





Get the lowdown on this year’s election with BuzzFeed’s political editor, Mark Di Stefano. In What a Time to Be Alive, he uncovers the everyday minutiae of the campaign trail, from flashy public appearances to the bizarre underhanded dealings behind the scenes.

Dive into the world of narrative nonfiction with Siri Carpenter (editor of Open Notebook), Nick Feik (publisher of The Monthly) and other special guests. How are longform stories created? Why is this type of journalism important – and how does it impact society?

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3901 

Supported by the Finkel Foundation and Cosmos


Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1901

From Justice of the High Court to President of the UN General Assembly to ALP leader, HV Evatt was a prominent – and polarising – figure. Joel Deane talks to biographer John Murphy about the politician’s private life and controversial career within the context of 1950s conservatism. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4901 


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ACMI The Cube  

TV COMEDY THEN & NOW Trace the evolution of TV comedy with two major names from then and now. Alexei Sayle made waves in the 1980s on The Young Ones, and Steve Hely’s credits include 30 Rock and The Office. How has the industry changed over the last 30 years? Supported by Film Victoria ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3902 

A GOOD DEATH What defines a good life – and a good death? In his novel The Easy Way Out, nurse Steven Amsterdam asks moral questions about euthanasia, while doctor Ranjana Srivastava interviews her patients about life, death and the ethics of both in Tell Me the Truth. Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1902 


26 August — 4 September

Focus on India Supported by Monash University



Indian writers Rosalyn D’Mello and Tishani Doshi are inspired by the body as a site for exploration: erotic, artistic, linguistic, political. Both have written about their relationship with their own bodies, and defying stereotypes, in Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian Women Tell Their Stories.

How is creativity in women nurtured – or rejected – in different cultures? Emily Bitto’s The Strays explores creative communities in Melbourne, while Rosalyn D’Mello is an award-winning writer based in India. They dissect cultural attitudes towards creativity and gender in this session.

Sat 27 Aug, 1pm ACMI The Cube  

Sun 28 Aug, 11.30am ACMI The Cube  



Exploring self and the world around us, noted Indian writer Tishani Doshi and the UK’s Geoff Dyer have written challenging, immersive accounts of travel. They discuss building identity through literature, and how cultural understanding is shaped through blurring the lines between memoir and fiction.

In Walking Towards Ourselves: Indian Women Tell Their Stories, Urvashi Butalia writes about her mother’s work helping women in need. Anjum Hasan describes the life of a social worker who lives in a home for abandoned girls. How can Indian women empower each other?

Sat 27 Aug, 4pm ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3305 

Sat 3 Sep, 2.30pm ACMI The Cube  

READING INDIA Discover India’s rich literary culture with Indian literature experts Urvashi Butalia, Mridula Nath Chakraborty and Anjum Hasan. Where does Indian writing sit alongside world literature? What are the classic titles, and the little-known treasures? Sun 4 Sep, 1pm NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6113 

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Events Friday 2 September 11.30am


Women at QVWC

Peggy Frew (Hope Farm) and Olga Lorenzo (The Light on the Water) have both written about mothers coping with loss, grief and isolation. They reflect on the intricacies of writing non-traditional family relationships, and the effects of class and trauma on parenting.


ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4902  1pm

LINDSAY TANNER: COMFORT ZONE Ex-ALP member Lindsay Tanner has gone from politics to the page, drawing on his career experiences to explore Australian racism in his first novel. Comfort Zone follows a small-minded Melbourne man who falls into crime – and in love with a Somali woman. ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3903 

MATTI FRIEDMAN: A SOLDIER’S STORY Pumpkinflowers is a gripping portrait of life in a Lebanon warzone, told from a soldier’s perspective. Matti Friedman leads a new generation of nonfiction writers in Israel, a country frequently discussed but often misunderstood. Learn about this pivotal Middle East conflict, direct from the source.

What do you do when life keeps coming at you? Sometimes, laughter is the best defence. Toni Jordan and Meg Rosoff talk life’s hilarious chaos: from fortysomethings navigating marriage, kids, affairs and childlessness, to a twentysomething in a soul-sapping job and the wrong relationship. Supported by Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Thu 1 Sep, 6pm $22/$19 | Code 6804 

What does success mean to women today? Are there growing pressures, and how do women respond to them? Lucy Clark and Fiona Wright put the gendering of success under the microscope, examining how women’s lives and careers are affected. Supported by Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Fri 2 Sep, 6pm $22/$19 | Code 5902 





What do writers gain from reading other people’s books? Join Magda Szubanski and philosopher Damon Young (The Art of Reading) as they reveal their personal histories of reading, and share the books that have inspired and influenced their own literary output. Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1903 

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4903 



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Contemporary Australian poets Lisa Gorton, Benjamin Laird and Ellen van Neerven, and chair Jacinta Le Plastrier, respond to the classic Australian poem My Country with new poems of their own, challenging clichés and notions of what it means to be Australian. Also includes the announcement of the 2016 Scanlon Foundation Prize. Supported by Australian Poetry ACMI The Cube  


26 August — 4 September

Friday 2 September 2.30pm



THE MARRIAGE ENIGMA What makes a marriage work – or fall apart? In Eliza Henry-Jones’s In the Quiet, a dead woman watches her husband move on without her. Tim Parks explores a 30-year marriage, tracing its decline through accumulated moments of connection and disconnect, in Thomas and Mary.



When journalist Luke Williams set out to investigate crystal meth addiction, he never expected to become addicted himself. He delves into his confronting journey of addiction and recovery, as well as exploring ice’s history and ongoing social impact, in The Ice Age.

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3904 

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4904 

Do we live in a shrinking democracy? Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs was personally and politically attacked following her damning 2014 report on our offshore detention centres. Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr argues that despite fracturing party systems, parliamentary democracy remains our best option. Supported by the Australian Communities Foundation Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1904 

Book Launches

From well-known publications to emerging writers, check out the future of Australian writing at a Festival book launch at Beer DeLuxe, Fed Square. Tickets are free. Visit mwf.com.au for full details.

The Bone Sparrow Zana Fraillon Sat 27 Aug, 11am

Evatt: A Life John Murphy Sat 3 Sep, 5pm

We. Are. Family. Paul Mitchell Sat 27 Aug, 1pm

Heterogenous Anthony Anaxagorou Sat 3 Sep, 7pm

The Island Will Sink Briohny Doyle Sat 27 Aug, 3pm

Burnt Umber Paul Hetherington Sun 4 Sep, 11am

Songs That Sound Like Blood Jared Thomas Sat 27 Aug, 5pm

The Science of Appearances Jacinta Halloran Sun 4 Sep, 1pm

Verge 2016 Sat 3 Sep, 11am Supported by Monash University

The Near and Far David Carlin, Alice Pung, Francesca Rendle-Short Sun 4 Sep, 3pm

The Easy Way Out Steven Amsterdam Sat 3 Sep, 1pm Right Now Adolfo Aranjuez, Eugenia Flynn, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Fatima Measham Sat 3 Sep, 3pm

Moments in Time Tamasine Loves Sun 4 Sep, 5pm

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details 29

mwf.com.au #mwf16

Events Friday 2 September 6pm

Industry Insights


Want to take your writing career to the next level? Have all your questions answered by the creators of some of the world’s best literature. Editors, agents, publishers and writers will give you the lowdown on the biz, from writing criticism to developing characters. From masterclasses to seminars, these hands-on events will educate and inspire writers, publishers and editors at all career stages. Visit mwf.com.au for full details and session times.

All aboard! Enjoy a night of drinks, canapes and storytelling along the Yarra River. Whisky in hand, delight in the storytelling of Tony Birch, Ivan Coyote and Josephine Rowe as they riff on the elements – fire, water, air and earth.



The Yarra Queen departs from Southgate Promenade, Berth 5 (opposite Flinders Street Station) at 6pm sharp. Please arrive 10 minutes prior to departure.



18+ event, ID may be requested.

Why does it feel good to be bad? What if your natural inclination is to be good, but the only way to be yourself is to rebel? Jo Case, Lee Kofman and Jamila Rizvi explore the allure (and consequences) of being rebellious daughters.

How do publishers shape the face of diversity in books? Indian feminist publisher Urvashi Butalia, Spinifex Press’s Susan Hawthorne and YA publisher Marisa Pintado discuss the importance of bibliodiversity, giving a behindthe-scenes look at how publishers curate stories and storytellers from different walks of life.

Supported by Starward Whisky

Supported by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne

ACMI The Cube  

THE WRITERS’ ROOM Steve Hely’s CV includes screenwriting credits on American Dad! and The Office. Benjamin Law went from page to screen with the television adaptation of The Family Law. Step into the writers’ room and hear about making TV in both the US and Australia. Supported by Film Victoria Deakin Edge $22/$19 | Code 3905 

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 1905  5.30pm

WRITERS ACROSS BORDERS How does cultural exchange in writing and ideas work? Fan Dai, Eliza Vitri Handayani, Michele Lee, Alice Pung, Maggie Tiojakin, Xu Xi and Lawrence Lacambra Ypil share their experiences of WrICE, an immersive intercultural program. See WrICE in action in this lively, performative session. ACMI The Cube  


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Yarra Queen (90 minutes) $50 | Code 5901  8.30pm

MOLLY CRABAPPLE: DRAWING BLOOD Molly Crabapple has been called ‘equal parts Hieronymus Bosch, William S Burroughs and Cirque du Soleil’. For over a decade, she’s chronicled our changing world through her art, from Occupy Wall Street to ISIS to Guantanamo Bay – and now, in her memoirmanifesto Drawing Blood. Supported by the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre and 3RRR 102.7FM Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1907 


26 August — 4 September

Saturday 3 September 10am

Focus on Indonesia

READING ITALY From Dante to Tabucchi, Italy has a rich literary history. Join translator Tim Parks, who’s called Italy home since 1981, as he dives deep into the best of Italian literature. You’ll hear about classic and contemporary staples, as well as discovering hidden gems.

Supported by Monash University

PROTEST & REBELLION Artist Molly Crabapple came to prominence when she was arrested during the Occupy movement. Eliza Vitri Handayani’s From Now On Everything Will Be Different caused controversy in Indonesia for its critical stance on the government. They discuss the power of art as a protest tool. Fri 2 Sep, 1pm ACMI The Cube  

GOENAWAN MOHAMAD: ON INDONESIA Goenawan Mohamad has been at the forefront of Indonesian intellectual and artistic life for over 50 years. To mark the publication of In Other Words: Forty Years of Essays, the prolific writer talks to translator Jennifer Lindsay about the complexities of Indonesia, past and present. Sat 3 Sep,2.30pm ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3104 


ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4101 

COFFEE & PAPERS Start your MWF morning with the perfect pick-me-up: a shot of caffeine and the day’s news, with senior journalists and editors from The Age – as well as some of the Festival’s most interesting writers and thinkers. Supported by The Age MWF Festival Club Admission free to The Age subscribers, bookings required. $10 | Code 2101  10am

INTERGENERATIONAL TRAUMA From the Holocaust to Vietnam, war can impact not just those involved, but their children, too. Novelists Leah Kaminsky (The Waiting Room) and Josephine Rowe (A Loving, Faithful Animal) examine how later generations deal with the ghosts of their families’ pasts. ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3101 

PUBLISHING NOW What is the future of Australian publishing? Assess the state of the industry with Cate Kennedy, Henry Rosenbloom and Mark Rubbo, as they trace its evolution and examine critical issues – from writing and publishing to bookselling and public policy. Supported by Scribe Publications Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1101 

THE ARTISTS’ SKETCHBOOKS How is visual art used to make political statements? In this presentation, Occupy artist Molly Crabapple and Guardian cartoonist First Dog on the Moon will give you a glimpse into their sketchbooks, explaining how they take their artworks from concept to publication. NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6101 

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Events Saturday 3 September 11.30am

FROM SHADOW GAME TO SECRET CITY Discover Australia’s own House of Cards, casting Canberra as a setting for underhanded dealings and political intrigue. Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann take us deep inside the political trilogy that concludes with The Shadow Game, sharing how the story was adapted to the screen for Secret City. 11.30am




When an Afghan woman is accused of her husband’s murder and imprisoned, her peaceful life is turned upside down. From cellmate sisterhood to an unlikely friendship with an American lawyer, Nadia Hashimi’s A House Without Windows is a gripping examination of Afghan womanhood. ACMI The Cube  

SARAH FERGUSON: DOCUMENTARY JOURNALISM Documentary journalism is on the rise – just look at the phenomenal popularity of Making a Murderer and Serial. Join ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson as she explores the intersection of journalism and documentary, revealing the process of making her own three-part political docu-series, The Killing Season.

At 30, Juliet Jacques underwent sex reassignment surgery. In the gripping and intimate Trans: A Memoir, she recounts her search for self-definition in a world where transgender identities are often unacknowledged, misunderstood or worse. She invites us on her personal journey. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4102 

BRETT WHITELEY: ART, LIFE AND THE OTHER THING Larger than life both in personality and art, Brett Whiteley remains one of Australia’s most revered artists for his impressive, challenging body of work. His muse, Wendy Whiteley, and biographer Ashleigh Wilson reflect on the late avantgarde artist’s life and work. Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1102 

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3102 


See more and save — buy a Festival 5 or 10 Pack

NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6102  1pm

MY MELBOURNE My Melbourne asked the international students of Victoria to reflect on their time and experience in Australia. Presented in both visual and written form, join us as we announce the shortlist and winners of this competition with an afternoon tea. Supported by Study Melbourne ACMI The Cube  

TALKING TEXT CLASSICS What makes a classic book? Text Publishing’s Michael Heyward sits down with Elizabeth Harrower and Fiona McFarlane to dissect the books that have earned the honour within the publishing house’s Text Classics, and their place within Australian literature. Supported by Text Publishing ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3103 


26 August — 4 September

Saturday 3 September 1pm






In The Fighter, Arnold Zable has created a poetic portrait of Henry Nissen, from his heyday as a champion boxer to his current work providing support to disaffected people on Melbourne’s streets. Zable discusses this intriguing man’s colourful, and often devastating, life.

Experience classic Australian poetry as you’ve never heard it before, with readings by some of the country’s best actors. Renowned actor William McInnes leads a cast including Grant Fraser, Andrew Gilbert and Alison Whyte, bringing to life the words of Slessor, Wright and more.

Bittersweet and heartbreaking, The Paper House is a harrowing fictional portrait of one woman’s emotional crisis and its effects on herself and her family. First-time novelist Anna Spargo-Ryan tells Kate Richards about writing on the realities of mental health.

NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6103 

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1104 

ACMI The Cube  




How can we move forward on climate change? Societally and politically, what roadblocks prevent us from accepting that there’s a crisis? In this Griffith Review event, Cathy Alexander, Sam Alexander and Robyn Eckersley join Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute director Brendan Gleeson to ruminate on the future of climate change.

Five novellas – one a month since May 2016. Five separate stories – all linked in subtle, intriguing ways. Award-winning author Nick Earls unpacks his bold new series, Wisdom Tree, and its exploration of place, belonging and the small things that connect people worldwide.

Australia has a history of heading easily into war, without properly considering the consequences or costs. Renowned historian Henry Reynolds traces our history of unnecessary wars, from the Boer War to Iraq and Afghanistan.

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4103 


ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4104 


From the makers of The Slap comes Barracuda, an affecting new TV series based on Christos Tsiolkas’s novel. Tsiolkas and producer Tony Ayres talk through the process of taking the story from page to screen, as well as discussing its themes of failure, class and adolescence.

A century after the Easter Rising transformed Ireland, expat and award-winning photojournalist Seamus Murphy came home to document the country’s contemporary spirit in The Republic. Discover Ireland through the eyes of a returning emigrant as Murphy showcases his visual work and ruminates on homeland history.

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1103 

NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6104 

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3105 

AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP What does citizenship mean in Australia? How difficult is it to attain? And is it an exclusionary process? Join political experts Abdi Aden, Peter Mares and Fatima Measham as they combine personal experience with critical examination to dissect citizenship and equality. ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4105 

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details


mwf.com.au #mwf16

Events Saturday 3 September MWF at Dandenong Express yourself through words and storytelling. MWF celebrates the cultural richness of the Dandenong community with this series of free activities and events that inspire readers and writers of all backgrounds. Supported by the City of Greater Dandenong and the Besen Family Foundation



Bring your child or grandchild along to the library, where you’ll see Valanga Khoza and Sally Rippin perform their entertaining new story, Gezani and the Tricky Baboon – then take part in a workshop, where kids will create their own stories with your help.

Short-story collection Holiday in Cambodia explores the electric zone where local and foreign lives meet. Author Laura Jean McKay discusses discovering Cambodia through the eyes of a tourist – and coming face to face with the country’s haunting past.

10am (90 minutes) Dandenong Library  

2pm Springvale Library  

DANDENONG STORYTELLING LIVE: CHANGE Celebrate the oral tradition of storytelling with Zaika Baig, Nadia Hashimi, Diana Nguyen and Angela Pippos, who’ll present stories in a form of their choice on the theme of change. With varied perspectives and tales, this is sure to be an entertaining night to remember. 6.30pm Walker Street Gallery & Arts Centre Free, bookings required Code 0103   







Join artist JW Clennett for this engaging visual presentation and talk on his unique new work, The Diemenois. Flexing his creative muscles, Clennett reimagines the life of infamous historical figure Napoleon in the stunning graphic novel, tracing his adventures through French colonial Tasmania.

What does it mean to live in the Asia Pacific in a literary context? Join Briohny Doyle, Cath Ferla, Rajith Savanadasa and Lawrence Lacambra Ypil as they discuss how connections between Asia and Australia have influenced their narratives and writing voices.

Join David Astle and Nick Caddaye for a riotous MWF special edition of Letters and Numbers. With a star-studded lineup, drinks and plenty of brain teasers to solve, this interactive evening is a must for puzzle-loving fans of the SBS game show.

NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6105 


ACMI The Cube  

See more and save — buy a Festival 5 or 10 Pack

(90 minutes) Deakin Edge, Fed Square $30/$27 | Code 1107 


26 August — 4 September

Sunday 4 September 11.30am

CAN THE REFUGEE NARRATIVE BE SHIFTED? From media to politics, Madeline Gleeson, Abdul Karim Hekmat and Jamila Rizvi deconstruct the public perception of refugees and asylum seekers. How can we shift the narrative – and the language we use when talking about asylum seekers – to become more welcoming and positive? Supported by Save the Children 10am




Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 3112 


We’ve all cringed at awkward audience questions at writers festivals – but these seemingly inane queries can provide fascinating insight into the diverse relationships between authors and audiences. Tim Parks (The Novel: A Survival Skill) explores the relationship between writer, reader and text.

Winner of the 2016 Stella Prize, The Natural Way of Things is a searing exploration of misogyny, corporate control and the sisterly bond between strangers in strife. Home-grown literary favourite Charlotte Wood delves deep into her provocative, fearless novel.

Money talks – and it says a lot about humanity. Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin) discusses her latest novel, The Mandibles – a gripping exploration of the impact of a sovereign debt on four generations of a once-wealthy family. With 774 ABC Melbourne’s Rafael Epstein.

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3111 

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1111 

Supported by 774 ABC Melbourne



Is Australia’s history revisionist? Bruce Pascoe argues that the widely taught perspective inaccurately represents pre-colonial Indigenous life, while Henry Reynolds focuses on the conflict between European settlers and Indigenous Australians. Why do white historians so often recount Australian history without Indigenous voices? ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4111 

How are issues of masculinity and femininity explored by authors? Why do authors choose to write certain characters? Nick Earls, Jacinta Halloran and CS Pacat dig deep into writing gender, from research and risks to the politics of representation. NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6111 

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4112 

THE JOURNALIST AS SUBJECT When memoir and reportage meet, how do writers fairly represent themselves and their communities? Neil Strauss tracks his fallout from the world of pickup artistry in The Truth, while Luke Williams’s The Ice Age recounts his journey from investigating meth addiction to becoming an addict himself. ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 1112 

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details


mwf.com.au #mwf16

Events Sunday 4 September 11.30am






What is the meaning of success? What do you do when the system says your child is a failure? Beautiful Failures author Lucy Clark talks to Rachel Power about how to nurture kids who struggle to succeed in the rigid and competitive education system.

After publishing four novels between 1957 and 1966, Elizabeth Harrower withdrew from writing, and her books went out of circulation. In 2014, Text Publishing began reprinting her work. Meet the masterful writer who’s been called Australia’s F Scott Fitzgerald.

A great coming-of-age novel reminds us of the often awkward process of stumbling over the border into adulthood – and remaking yourself along the way. Award-winning authors Elizabeth Hay, Sofie Laguna and Meg Rosoff talk about characters in transition.

NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6112 

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1113 

Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts





Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1114 

Australia’s pervasive drinking culture has had troubling personal consequences for many, including the death of Elspeth Muir’s brother, chronicled in her memoir, Wasted. Join her and Jill Stark (High Sobriety) as they analyse the impact of alcohol on individuals and society. ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3113 


In Not Quite Australian, Peter Mares charts the lives of Australia’s one million temporary migrants. Investigative reporter Adele Ferguson won the Gold Quill for her exposé of 7-Eleven’s exploitation of foreign workers. Join them to discuss the changing face of Australian migration. ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3114 


Therapist Ester makes a living helping others find happiness, but her own family is fractured. What makes a good life – and a good marriage, mother, daughter or sister? Renowned writer Georgia Blain unpacks her powerful novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog, with Charlotte Wood.

In The Game, Neil Strauss shared his wisdom on the world of seduction. A decade on, he tells The Truth about taking on life’s next big challenge – committed relationships. Join him as he retraces the steps of his life-changing journey.

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4113 

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4114 


See more and save — buy a Festival 5 or 10 Pack

KIM MAHOOD: MAPPING COUNTRY How do places shape people? In Position Doubtful, Kim Mahood explores the different ways in which white and Indigenous people conceptualise and experience Australian land. Journey to the heart of the writer’s relationship with the country, and uncover the connection between place and belonging. NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6114 

Walks Experience MWF in a totally different way – by going for a walk! From street art to Indigenous history, take your feet to discover Melbourne’s past and present. Visit mwf.com.au for full details.


26 August — 4 September

New Australian Fiction presented by Readings Start your day right with Readings each weekend morning across the Festival, with half-hour interviews from new Australian writers. Free in The Cube at ACMI. Supported by Readings Jennifer Down (Our Magic Hour) and Rajith Savanadasa (Ruins) Sat 27 Aug, 10am Liam Pieper (The Toymaker) and Laura Woollett (The Love of a Bad Man) Sun 28 Aug, 10am Kate Mildenhall (Skylarking) and Lucy Treloar (Salt Creek) Fri 2 Sep, 10am This special session shines a spotlight on two authors shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction 2016. Sat 3 Sep, 10am Micheline Lee (The Healing Party) and Josephine Rowe (A Loving, Faithful Animal) Sun 4 Sep, 10am

Caravan Conversations Intimate and surprising, Caravan Conversations are a must for bookworms who love spontaneity and adventure. Just five people will attend each session in Dumbo Feather’s Airstream caravan, with the guest writer kept secret until they take the stage. Visit mwf.com.au for full details. Supported by Dumbo Feather

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Events Local Libraries



Don’t miss international and local Festival guests at a library near you.

Well-loved for YA books such as Looking for Alibrandi, Australian author Melina Marchetta has released her first adult novel. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil follows a cop investigating a crime involving a family of suspects – and finding his own life increasingly intertwined.

What makes a good crime novel? How do writers represent victims and perpetrators, in both life and death, on the page? Aoife Clifford (All These Perfect Strangers) and Jane Harper (The Dry) dissect the art of writing crime fiction.

TONI JORDAN Our Tiny, Useless Hearts is a hilarious new novel following the entangled misadventures of a motley crew of ex-lovers, friends and family. Join bestselling author Toni Jordan as she talks through writing about the chaos of divorce, new love and friendship. Sat 27 Aug, 1pm Frankston Library Free, bookings required Code 9305   

TRAVEL WRITING See page 13. Sun 28 Aug, 3pm Footscray Library Free, bookings required Code 6404   

HOW TO WRITE Discover the tips, tricks and challenges along the path to becoming a writer in this workshop with Emily Maguire (An Isolated Incident). Drawing on her vast experience in the industry, Maguire will share her writing processes and practices, from craft and development to publication.

Sun 28 Aug, 5pm Doncaster Library Free, bookings required Code 9402   

KYLIE LADD See page 13. Tue 30 Aug, 6pm Braybrook Community Hub Free, bookings required Code 6604   

PEGGY FREW Shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize, Hope Farm is a devastatingly beautiful story about the broken bonds of childhood, and the enduring cost of holding back the truth. Author Peggy Frew is interviewed by Toni Jordan about her masterful second novel. Wed 31 Aug, 6.30pm Camberwell Library Free, bookings required Code 9703   

Sun 28 Aug, 3.30pm Glen Eira Town Hall Theatrette  


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Thu 1 Sep, 6.30pm Julia Gillard Library Tarneit Free, bookings required Code 9801   

REBECCA LIM What happens when a teenage girl, whose life has fallen apart following the death of her parents, becomes unwittingly involved with a ghost? Rebecca Lim (The Astrologer’s Daughter) dives into the eerie world of her new YA novel, Afterlight. Fri 2 Sep, 10.30am Caroline Springs Civic Centre Library Free, bookings required Code 9901   

STORYTIME See page 34. Sat 3 Sep, 10am (90 minutes) Dandenong Library  

Events ELSPETH MUIR After losing her brother in a drinking accident, Elspeth Muir wrote Wasted. Part memoir, part reportage, the book examines alcohol’s role in Australian society, centred on Muir’s personal tragedy. She talks to Liam Pieper about the joys and sorrows of drinking. Sat 3 Sep, 11am St Kilda Library Free, bookings required Code 9101   


26 August — 4 September



How do you tell your own stories – live? Author Lee Kofman taught a memoir course at Library at The Dock. Join Kofman, Miles Franklin winner Sofie Laguna and the students as they perform their stories on stage, followed by a conversation between Kofman and Laguna. Sat 3 Sep, 2pm (90 minutes) Library at The Dock Free, bookings required Code 9102   


Discover the life of former boxer Henry Nissen, who currently spends his days helping disaffected people on Melbourne’s streets. Biographer Arnold Zable explores Nissen’s colourful, touching and often tragic life in The Fighter, and shares his research and process in this session.

How much of our behaviour is determined by genetics, and how much of it is learned? How does this play out when it comes to gender? Feminist science and social history writers Monica Dux and Christine Kenneally talk genes and gender.

Sat 3 Sep, 1pm Sunshine Library Free, bookings required Code 9902   

Sun 4 Sep, 11am St Kilda Library Free, bookings required Code 9111   



See page 34. Sat 3 Sep, 2pm Springvale Library  

For centuries, the mystery of the Aleppo Codex – a sacred Hebrew text – has puzzled the world. Matti Friedman’s nonfiction thriller about this enigma is a real-life The Da Vinci Code. Join him on a journey of discovery. Sun 4 Sep, 2pm Glen Eira Town Hall Auditorium  

STEVE SILBERMAN Leave conventional thinking about autism at the door as you enter the world of NeuroTribes. In the groundbreaking book, author Steve Silberman explores the history of autism research and changing societal attitudes over time, as well as the growing movement of neurodiversity. Supported by the Ian Potter Foundation Sun 4 Sep, 2pm Geelong Library Free, bookings required Code 9115   


From the hospital to the writing desk, nurse Steven Amsterdam (The Easy Way Out) and doctor Leah Kaminsky (We’re All Going to Die) draw on their professional experiences to explore the complexities of life and death through both fact and fiction.

What happens when a smallminded Melbourne man falls into crime – and in love with a Somali woman? Drawing on decades of experience as a federal politician, Lindsay Tanner explores Australian racism in his first novel, Comfort Zone.

Sun 4 Sep, 1pm Beaumaris Library Free, bookings required Code 9112   

Sun 4 Sep, 3pm Newport Library Free, bookings required Code 9114   

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details 39

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Events Sunday 4 September







How does where you’re from influence who you are – and who you become? Tony Birch (Ghost River) and AS Patrić (Black Rock White City) use Melbourne as a backdrop for their stories, exploring the intersection of circumstance and opportunity, and living rough in the big city.

Satisfy your wanderlust with comedy writer Steve Hely (30 Rock, The Office) as he recounts his riotous journey through Central and South America. Blending travel writing with memoir and pop history, The Wonder Trail paints a warm portrait of the colourful world around us.

ACMI Studio 1 $22/$19 | Code 4115 

NGV Australia, Theatre $22/$19 | Code 6115 




Tell-all journalism is on the rise – but how does it impact writers’ lives? How much should be divulged – or kept private? And where’s the line between writing and therapy? Juliet Jacques (Trans: A Memoir) and Fiona Wright (Small Acts of Disappearance) talk self-confessional writing.

Part memoir, part historical research, ABC Radio presenter Richard Fidler’s Ghost Empire is an extraordinary feat. Charting a journey to Istanbul with his teenage son, Fidler delves deep into the mysteries of the Byzantine Empire, exploring its turbulent, fascinating history.

ACMI Cinema 1 $22/$19 | Code 3115 

Deakin Edge, Fed Square $22/$19 | Code 1115 

Join the Australian Centre with the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts in congratulating the winners of this year’s literary awards. Prizes are awarded in the fields of Australian fiction, poetry and life writing. Hosted by Professors Ken Gelder and Denise Varney, codirectors of the Australian Centre. ACMI The Cube    


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POETRY OF THE SELF Following its success in Sydney, AVANT GAGA is coming to MWF. Around the central theme of self, 10 talented poets, including Michael Farrell, Gig Ryan and Jessica Wilkinson, will read their latest experiments in this special event, hosted by Toby Fitch. Supported by Australian Poetry ACMI The Cube  


26 August — 4 September

Sunday 4 September





Come out with us and celebrate queer culture in a literary salon that combines revelation with revelry. Join special guests Adolfo Aranjuez, Ivan Coyote, Amy Middleton and Rebecca Shaw for interviews, readings, true tales and live illustrations. Hosted by Geraldine Hickey.

It’s been a huge MWF with lots of discussion, thinking, memorable moments and socialising. Now, join us to shake it all off with drinks and dancing as we farewell yet another brilliant Festival in style.

Doors and bar open at 5pm for pre-event drinks. 18+ event, ID may be requested.

18+ event, ID may be requested. Bella Union  

Supported by Star Observer Bella Union (90 minutes) $30/$27 | Code 6116 

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Children & Teens Children & Teens From toddlers to teens, there’s something for kids of all ages at MWF. Hands-on workshops at ArtPlay will delight young ones, while performances and exhibitions are heaps of fun for all the family. Meet beloved children’s writers and illustrators at free Fed Square events, take part in a celebration of storytelling giant Roald Dahl, or pop into the Story Peddlers Tent for roving tales. For kids who love to read, there’s no better place to be. Visit mwf.com.au for full details.



See page 12.

Dragons exist in Melbourne in the most unexpected places! Take the family for a walk with Carole Wilkinson as she introduces you to the city’s hidden dragons, from stone guardians to silken mascots, and explains the mythology of these fantastical creatures.

Sat 27 Aug, 10am (120 minutes) 100 Story Building  

EXHIBITION: OSCAR WILDE’S THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose is a hauntingly beautiful animated film. This free milestone exhibition showcases the collaboration between twotime Archibald Prize winner Del Kathryn Barton and acclaimed filmmaker Brendan Fletcher, and their compelling interpretation of Wilde’s iconic fairy tale.

Sat 27 Aug, 10am (120 minutes) MWF Box Office, Fed Square Adult $40, Child $30 Code 5307 

LOCAL LIBRARIES: STORYTIME See page 34. Sat 3 Sep, 10am (90 minutes) Dandenong Library  

21 Jun – 18 Sep, 10am – 5pm daily ACMI Gallery 2  


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FAMILY WORKSHOP: CREATING CHANGE MAKERS Racism is still a huge problem in today’s society. How do we encourage the next generation to be the change makers of our future? Hosted by Kids in Philanthropy, this free workshop focuses on privilege and our responsibility to give back to the community. Sun 4 Sep, 11.30am ACMI The Cube  

STORY PEDDLERS TENT The Story Peddlers Tent is heaps of fun for the whole family! Visit mwf.com.au to see when your favourite authors will be in the tent, and pop in for a lively, intimate storytelling session. Sun 4 Sep The Story Peddlers Tent, Fed Square  

Children & Teens

26 August — 4 September


Don’t miss two days of free creative workshops at Signal, just for teens. Visit mwf.com.au for full details.

STORYTELLING, LIVE! Gather ‘round as Danny Katz (Little Lunch) and Stig Wemyss (audiobook narrator for Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton’s Treehouse series) read and perform their beloved stories, live! This lively free event promises to be fun for the whole family. Sun 4 Sep, 1pm ACMI The Cube  

ENVIRONMENT AWARDS FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE You’re invited to celebrate excellence in environmental children’s literature with The Wilderness Society! Join us as we award the winners and celebrate the shortlisted books for the 2016 Environment Award for Children’s Literature. Supported by The Wilderness Society Sun 4 Sep, 2.30pm ACMI The Cube  

ROALD DAHL DAY Celebrate the 100th birthday of beloved children’s author Roald Dahl! This free event includes craft and writing workshops, an exhibition, food stands and more. Visit mwf.com.au for full details. Sun 4 Sep Fed Square  

ACTIVITIES AT ARTPLAY Draw, craft, make things and work with leading Australian authors and illustrators at ArtPlay. Suitable for ages 5 to 12. Visit mwf.com.au for full details. ArtPlay

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details 43

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Festival Guests Yassmin Abdel-Magied Abdi Aden Jordie Albiston

14, 24 33 mwf.com.au

Rosalyn D’Mello Lisa D’Onofrio Fan Dai

27 mwf.com.au 30

Cathy Alexander


Oslo Davis


Sam Alexander


Joel Deane

14, 26

Dennis Altman


Mark Di Stefano

Steven Amsterdam Anthony Anaxagorou Adolfo Aranjuez Asphyxia David Astle

26, 29, 39 29 29, 41 mwf.com.au 34

Tony Ayres

22, 33

Zakia Baig


Tishani Doshi Jennifer Down Briohny Doyle Monica Dux Geoff Dyer Nick Earls Robyn Eckersley

Stan Grant AC Grayling Lev Grossman Jacinta Halloran Eliza Vitri Handayani

23 23 16, 20 29, 35 12, 30, 31


Rosalie Ham

13, 27

Jane Harper

21, 38

Elizabeth Harrower

32, 36

37 29, 34 39 11, 16, 27 33, 35 33

PJ Harvey Anjum Hasan Nadia Hashimi Susan Hawthorne Elizabeth Hay


8 27 32, 34 30 26, 36

Cameron Baker


Meyer Eidelson


Anita Heiss

17, 23

Emilie Zoey Baker


Michael Farrell


Abdul Karim Hekmat

29, 35

Rosie Batty


Nick Feik


Steve Hely


Adele Ferguson


Eliza Henry-Jones


Tony Birch

30, 40

Sarah Ferguson

19, 32

Emily Bitto


Cath Ferla

Georgia Blain


Richard Fidler

Alan Brough


Michael Fikaris

Jax Jacki Brown


First Dog On The Moon

Urvashi Butalia

27, 30

Luke Beesley

Richard Flanagan

26, 30, 40

Paul Hetherington



Michael Heyward


8, 40

Geraldine Hickey

mwf.com.au 31 7


Fiona Hile


Leigh Hobbs


Mark Holsworth


Elise Hurst


Nick Caddaye


Angela Flournoy

David Carlin


Eugenia Flynn


Shakira Hussein

Siri Carpenter


Gary Foley


Juliet Jacques

Bob Carr


Zana Fraillon


Hunter Johnson


Toni Jordan

28, 38

Leah Kaminsky

31, 39

Jo Case Bonny Cassidy Tasneem Chopra Lucy Clark Maxine Beneba Clarke JW Clennett Aoife Clifford Tim Costello AO Ivan Coyote

30 mwf.com.au 16 28, 36 7, 16

Grant Fraser John Freeman

28, 38

Danny Katz

Matti Friedman

28, 39

Romy Katz

Anna Funder

18, 21


43 mwf.com.au

Christine Kenneally


Cate Kennedy


Helen Garner


Lisa Kennedy

Ken Gelder


Valanga Khoza


Madeline Gleeson

22, 35

Lee Kofman

Molly Crabapple

30, 31

Sara Glover


Kylie Ladd

Nathan Curnow


Lisa Gorton


Sofie Laguna


12 32, 40


Nick Gadd

26, 30, 41

17, 21

Peggy Frew

34 14, 16

13, 21, 22

See more and save — buy a Festival 5 or 10 Pack

mwf.com.au 34 30, 39 13 36, 39

Festival Guests

26 August — 4 September

Benjamin Laird


Bruce Pascoe

Benjamin Law


AS Patrić

Michele Lee


Liam Pieper

Micheline Lee


Jia Pingwa

David Levithan


Marisa Pintado

Steve Lewis


Angela Pippos


Anna Walker


Rebecca Lim


Alice Pung

13, 29, 30

Sam Wallman


Olga Lorenzo


Francesca Rendle-Short


Jessica Walton


Tamasine Loves


Henry Reynolds

Ania Walwicz


Emily Maguire


Christos Tsiolkas


Chris Uhlmann


Ellen van Neerven



Denise Varney



Vikki Wakefield

37, 39

33, 35

21, 38

Sally Rippin


Kim Mahood


Jamila Rizvi

30, 35

Robert Manne


Henry Rosenbloom




Don Watson

19, 23

Sheila Watt-Cloutier

19, 26

Tim Watts


Stig Wemyss


Melina Marchetta

21, 38

Meg Rosoff

Peter Mares

33, 36

Josephine Rowe

30, 31, 37


Rainbow Rowell


Ailsa Wild


Carole Wilkinson


17, 21

Jessica Wilkinson


Michael Marmot Yann Martel

18, 22

Gig Ryan

Eimear McBride

16, 24

Philippe Sands

28, 36

Wendy Whiteley

Fiona Mcfarlane


Rajith Savanadasa

William McInnes


Alexei Sayle

8, 26

Laura Jean McKay


Laura Secor


Tony Wilson

Fatima Measham

29, 33

Rebecca Shaw


Charlotte Wood

George Megalogenis

22, 23

Lionel Shriver

Amy Middleton


Kate Mildenhall

17, 37

Paul Mitchell Goenawan Mohamad Liane Moriarty Elspeth Muir John Murphy Aunty Joy Murphy


Seamus Murphy

8, 33



Xu Xi



Damon Young


Neil Strauss Tricia Stringer Anne Summers

35, 36 17 14, 16, 24

Magda Szubanski


Melinda Tankard Reist


Lindsay Tanner

Diana Nguyen


Jared Thomas

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen


Maggie Tiojakin

CS Pacat


Monique Toohey


Lucy Treloar


Gillian Triggs


22, 23

28, 40

Lawrence Lacambra Ypil 13, 30, 34 Ouyang Yu Arnold Zable Claire Zorn

mwf.com.au 14, 33, 39 20

28, 39


29, 31, 35


Ruth Wykes

Mridula Nath Chakraborty

Tim Parks

24, 35, 36

Fiona Wright

Richard Teese

George Packer

32 mwf.com.au

16, 21

Ranjana Srivastava

26, 29

Laura Woollett

29, 35

19, 39



Ashleigh Wilson

Tracy K Smith Anna Spargo-Ryan

36, 39

Marie Munkara

9, 35

Luke Williams

Steve Silberman

29 17, 22

34, 37

32 mwf.com.au

16 19, 20, 29 30

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details 45

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Official Bookseller





Government of the United States


See more and save — buy a Festival 5 or 10 Pack


26 August — 4 September



Cinema Nova City of Greater Dandenong

The Hart Line Fund attributed to the Australian Communities Foundation

Consulate General of Canada, Sydney


John Jerome Myers (Vice Chair)


Maria & Allan J Myers AO QC

Karen Monaghan (Treasurer)

Editors Victoria


Fahim Ahad

Evan Evans

John Jerome Myers

Film Victoria

Bernard Marin AM

Harrison Young

Jamila Rizvi


Nick Ruskin

Finkel Foundation

Jane Smith

Rosemary Geer


Creative Legal

Footscray Community Arts Centre Hargreaves Hill Ian Potter Foundation Liberty Victoria Moleskine

Michael Webster (Chair) Jill Campbell (Secretary)

Jayne Dullard

Bob Sessions AM

Save the Children Australia

BB & A Miller Fund attributed to the Australian Communities Foundation

Scribe Publications

Dr George & Rosa Morstyn

Starward Whisky


Study Melbourne


Text Publishing

Malcolm Broomhead

The Wheeler Centre The Wilderness Society

Sally Browne Fund attributed to the Australian Communities Foundation


Jill Campbell Michael & Ann Cohn Dominic & Natalie Dirupo Jayne Dullard

Our very special thanks go to CPR Communications & Public Relations; Festival Photographer Timothy Herbert; John Paxinos and Associates; the MWF, Schools and Youth Programming Committees; our Audience Advocates; plus each and every one of the wonderful staff and volunteers who are essential to the success of the Festival. Creative direction and design: Sweet Creative

Jo Grigg Irene Kearsey McLeod Family Foundation Karen Monaghan Mark Rubbo OAM Nick Ruskin Marion Webster Michael Webster

Visit mwf.com.au for full Festival program details


More MWF!

Visit mwf.com.au to discover full details of all Festival events, regional programs, writers and information. Sign up to MWF e-news to hear our latest news first. It’s easy to book online – anytime, anywhere.

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Profile for Melbourne Writers Festival

2016 MWF Festival Planner  

Melbourne Writers Festival is Melbourne's annual, two-week celebration for everyone who reads. With over 350 events, if you love reading, wr...

2016 MWF Festival Planner  

Melbourne Writers Festival is Melbourne's annual, two-week celebration for everyone who reads. With over 350 events, if you love reading, wr...