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Special Feature

For everyone who reads

25 August — 3 September Book now #mwf17

Joyce Carol Oates Kim Scott Janet Mock Robert Fisk Angie Thomas Stan Grant Reni Eddo-Lodge Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Julian Burnside Yassmin Abdel-Magied and more

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Ten days that shake Melbourne


Revolution and resistance are at the forefront of an unmissable Festival, writes Jason Steger. Revolution is in the air. This year’s Melbourne Writers Festival is focusing on uprisings past, present and – who knows? – perhaps future, and the ideas that drive them.

LET’S GET IN FORMATION From musicians and writers to activists and mothers, women have led political actions in countless ways. Join some of the Festival’s most fearless women, including Clementine Ford and Nayuka Gorrie, for a lively evening of performance celebrating revolutionary women. Hosted by Namila Benson. 26 AUGUST, 8PM

It was John Reed who captured events 100 years ago in St Petersburg (then Petrograd) in his book Ten Days that Shook the World. Next month, with umpteen guests and 300 events, the Festival aims to provide ten days that shake Melbourne. The focus is not on that one hugely significant revolution – think of more recent uprisings in different countries and cultures, and protest movements such as Black Lives Matter and Occupy. Writers of every sort play their parts in movements of change; have always been there in the crucible of new ideas.

Jane Caro

SHIREEN MORRIS: CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION How might recognition empower the First Nations to take their rightful place in Australia’s constitutional arrangements? Shireen Morris draws on her expertise as a lawyer, constitutional reform fellow and editor of A Rightful Place: A Road Map to Recognition to explore Indigenous constitutional recognition, the Uluru Statement and creating an Australia that is fair for all Australians. 28 AUGUST, 6PM

Stan Grant

‘We want to look at what’s happening, the sense of a developing crisis in the world today and the politics of despair,’ Festival director Lisa Dempster says. ‘Explore how literature could be a platform for new ideas. We want to interrogate the big issues of the moment.’ So in the guest list you’ll find a striking mix of novelists and thinkers, activists and protesters, poets and advocates of change, new ideas and challenges to the status quo. The Festival continues its strong record of attracting stellar international and Australian guests. The presence of the astonishingly prolific American novelist Joyce Carol Oates will delight fans, with a chance to hear the five-time Pulitzer Prize finalist deliver a keynote on the role of fiction and novelists in society. Joyce Carol Oates: Bearing Witness 26 August, 6.15pm She is joined by overseas writers such as Tracy Chevalier, Elizabeth Kostova, Megan Abbott, David Grann, Sean McMeekin, Nir Baram, Gabi Martínez, Jennifer Ackerman and Dirk Kurbjuweit. Tuning into the theme of the Festival come activists, commentators and writers such as Shashi Tharoor, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Robert Fisk, Micah White, Laurie Penny, Janet Mock, Amani AlKhatahtbeh, and Rutger Bregman. Local guests include Robert Dessaix, Tony Birch, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Tom Keneally, Christos Tsiolkas, AS Patric, Hannah Kent, Stan Grant, Tony Jones, Clementine Ford, Maxine Beneba Clarke, George


Janet Mock

Kim Scott

Megalogenis, David Marr, John Safran, Ellen van Neerven, Steven Carroll, Robert Drewe, Omar Musa, Chris WallaceCrabbe, and Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Double Miles Franklin winner Kim Scott (Benang, That Deadman Dance), a Noongar man from Western Australia, delivers the Festival’s opening address in which he considers questions of history, identity and connection to language and land. Kim Scott: Opening Night Gala 25 August, 6.30pm You can bank on provocation emerging from the special polemics gala in which Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Jane Caro, Stan Grant, Tony Jones and Omar Musa will put forward their unique ideas to make our society better for all. Gala: A Better Tomorrow 31 August, 6pm In her first Australian appearance, transgender rights activist Janet Mock, author of memoirs Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty, will tell us



about growing up ‘poor, mulitracial and trans in America’ and the importance of storytelling in popular culture. Janet Mock: Visibility & Voice 31 August, 8.30pm And the final event will be a challenging address by The Independent newspaper’s longtime foreign correspondent, Robert Fisk. Bouncing off his experience covering the Middle East, he will argue that the West’s foreign wars are coming home to roost; no longer free of charge, a reckoning is on the way. Robert Fisk: Closing Night Address 3 September, 6.30pm Ten days that shake Melbourne? At the very least, it looks as if the Festival will stir up debate and new ideas to make us think about the future.

The full Festival program is online at Sessions sell fast, so book now to ensure you don’t miss out.




READINGS FESTIVAL BOOKSHOP International Bookstore of the Year 2016 Australian Independent Book Retailer of the Year 2017 NATAGE S002

Open daily in the Atrium at Fed Square during the Melbourne Writers Festival

STEPHEN DUPONT: DON’T LOOK AWAY Against a backdrop of arresting photographs and film footage, multiaward-winning war photographer Stephen Dupont takes viewers on a powerful journey to the frontlines of Afghanistan, Rwanda, Vietnam and more. The haunting visual presentation is followed by a conversation with Dupont and accompanied by a photographic exhibition. 30 AUGUST, 6PM GALA: A BETTER TOMORROW MWF’s sharpest minds deliver an invigorating evening of polemics. This gala event will see writers including Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Jane Caro, Stan Grant, Tony Jones and Omar Musa make individual cases against values and institutions. Nothing is off-limits for these bold, outspoken thinkers – hear their visions for a brighter, more equal tomorrow. With a performance by host Clare Bowditch. 31 AUGUST, 6PM TEX PERKINS: TEX From The Cruel Sea to Beasts of Bourbon, Tex Perkins is a prolific force in Australian music. The rock icon discusses his life and career as chronicled in his memoir, TEX – then puts his musical prowess on show with a live performance. 1 SEPTEMBER, 8.30PM


READ. Find Readings bookshops in Carlton, Hawthorn, Malvern, St Kilda, Westfield Doncaster and State Library Victoria.




Some of the greatest stories are told through music


MID-SEASON GALA A rollercoaster of purity, piety and lust. Featuring Erin Wall, ‘the Thaïs of one’s dreams’ Sir Andrew Davis conductor

26 AUGUST | 8pm Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall

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Festival’s fresh new voices Bold young writers offer their take on the Festival’s theme of revolution, writes Jane Sullivan. Three years ago, British journalist and activist Reni Eddo-Lodge was exhausted with the effort of talking to white people about racism. So she wrote in her blog that she wasn’t going to do it any more. The result was extraordinary. The blog went viral, and Eddo-Lodge found she was talking to white people more than ever. But the quality of the conversation was changing. Instead of angry, defensive challenges from a place of ignorance, she began to meet curiosity and interest. That response fired up Eddo-Lodge to do some research and write her first book, Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race. It’s been hailed as one of the most important books of the year, vital reading, and a punch to the jugular. ‘A lot of people look at the title and say “Oh my god, reverse racism”’, she says on the phone from London. ‘But publishing that blog changed everything for me. And the book has provided a strong base from which to start these conversations.’ Reni Eddo-Lodge has been named as one of the 30 most exciting people under 30 in digital media (The Guardian). She’s on the 100 Inspirational Women list (Elle magazine) and one of the 30 black viral voices under 30 (The Root). She joins three other outstandingly bold, combative and innovative young writers coming to the 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival: Micah White, Angie Thomas, and Amani Al-Khatahtbeh. Each has a fresh and unique perspective, whether on race, Islam, feminism, politics or protest, and an individual take on the Festival’s theme of revolution. At a particularly challenging time when those who hope to affect social change can easily become entrenched in the politics of despair, one thing all four writers have in common is a defiance and a determination to speak truth to power.

When Eddo-Lodge was four, she asked her mother when she would turn white, because she saw on TV that the bad people were black and brown and the good people were white. At an older age she was taught that she would have to work twice as hard as white people for half the reward – a hint of the sys systemic discrimination she has found in her research. ‘What I’m interested in is not necessarily black experience, it’s in interrogating whiteness and how it continues to maintain a itts power,’ she says. ‘Racism is a white problem.’ w Re eni Eddo-Lodge: On Race, 1 September, 11.30am; Towards Inclusivity, 2 September, 10am; Decolonising Feminism, 2 September, 2.30pm One rising voice on social, religious and political issues is Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editorin-chief of Muslim Girl, the largest platform for Muslim women’s voices in the West. She’s been hailed by Teen Vogue as a ‘new face of Te fe eminism’ and by The Economist as a ‘generation prophet’, and a Michelle Obama invited her M tto speak at the inaugural US State of Women summit. S Inspired by growing up in America, visiting her father’s native homeland of Jordan and her experience of feeling marginalised and neglected as a Muslim woman at a time when all the media could talk about was Muslim women, she wrote her first book, Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age. It was released last year and selected as an editor’s pick on the New York Times bestseller list. Towards Inclusivity, 2 September, 10am; Living in Trump’s America, 2 September, 2pm; Pop Culture & Feminism, 2 September, 4pm; Muslim Girl, 3 September, 10am Micah White is the man behind the global social movement Occupy Wall Street, which spread from New York to 82 countries. Named by Esquire as one of today’s most influential young thinkers, his book The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution heralds the future of activism and declares the end of protest as you know it.

Reni Eddo-Lodge

Micah White

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Angie Thomas

Mass protests no longer change society, White argues. But he is optimistic that activists will still reshape society by forming a global political party. He’ll be speaking at the Festival on democracy, Trump’s America and the new wave of activism. Will Democracy Win? 1 September, 2.30pm; Living in Trump’s America, 2 September, 2pm; The End of Protest, 2 September, 4pm Angie Thomas became an instant sensation when her YA novel The Hate U Give hit the New York Times bestseller list. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the novel tells the story of a teenage girl who becomes an activist after seeing her best friend shot by a police officer. It’s been described as a ‘stunning, d g, b gut-wrenching brilliant, novel’ and ‘a vital new contribution n to the white-dominated publishing in ndustry’. Salon magazine said it should be ‘required reading ffor clueless white people’.

Thomas uses her deeply personal writing as a way of inspiring action. The Hate U Give is not an ‘anti-cop book’, she told Cosmopolitan, but it shows up a systemic problem in the US in which black lives do not matter enough. YA AMA, 27 August, 11am; Angie Thomas: YA & Activism, 27 August 4pm Festivalgoers inspired and galvvanised by these speakers will no doubt be asking ‘What can we do?’. It’s a question that co omes up often from her white re eaders, Reni Eddo-Lodge says. ‘M My advice is always going tto be vague, because I don’t know them or their areas of k expertise, and there’s little I can do apart from diagnose the problem. So I say “Do something! Anything!”’.

View the full program and book at

Discover a brilliant mind at MWF 2017 How far would you go to protect your family? When Randolph’s friendly neighbour turns into a nightmarish stalker he must battle his urge towards violence. A thought-provoking psychological thriller for fans of Lionel Shriver, S. J. Watson and Herman Koch. ‘Fear makes us accessories to murder.’ HE R M A N KOCH

‘Smart, psychologically complex and morally acute.’

Catch Dirk Kurbjuweit at MWF: ‘Fact to Fiction’ 2.30pm on Sunday 27 August. Journalists Dirk Kurbjuweit (Der Spiegel) and Tony Jones discuss how the real world inspires their gripping works of fiction.


Supported by the Goethe-Institut This project has been assisted by the Australian Government NATAGE S004

T E X T P U B L I S H I N G . C O M . AU



5 What is the ethical and social duty of a novelist when it comes to writing about fraught social issues? How can bearing witness as an invisible, sometimes impartial, narrator help both readers and writers gain a holistic understanding of the complex world around them? These questions lie at the heart of Joyce Carol Oates’s Melbourne Writers Festival keynote address. A five-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author of over 40 novels, Oates has inhabited the minds of gang rapists, serial killers and even the devil in disguise in her daring oeuvre, forcing herself and her readers to consider new perspectives that are often morally reprehensible, but nonetheless real and pervasive. She will discuss the challenges and responsibilities that come with writing this kind of fiction, as well as the importance of literature as a social commentary tool. Oates’s work often explores multifaceted, complex and controversial social issues – and in her latest book, A Book

narrates the stories of evangelical Luther Dunphy, who assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town, and of the grieving family of Augustus Voorhees, the doctor who is killed. Weaving between these narratives, Oates paints a rounded portrait of how real lives can be affected by the discussions that heat up television screens and Twitter feeds – and how communities and nations are driven apart by these debates, which often manifest in violence and hatred.

Bearing witness

Through her characters, Oates explores the abortion debate with great empathy and sensitivity, providing alternate perspectives on an impassioned, fraught topic that is especially relevant right now, as laws are made stipulating that aborted and miscarried foetuses be buried and cremated, and women fight harder than ever for their right to bodily autonomy.

Joyce Carol Oates Bearing Witness 26 August, 6.15pm The Dark Side of Womanhood 27 August, 2.30pm

of American Martyrs, she tackles the ongoing abortion debate head-on, through the eyes of two very different, but inextricably linked, American families.

Over the 700-plus pages of this sprawling, confronting work, which The Washington Post described as ‘an ultrasound of the contemporary American soul’, Oates

Oates is one of a host of Festival guests whose works examine and critique modern society, and this will be a timely conversation that will highlight how fiction is more important than ever in our turbulent times. It is a tool through which we can start important conversations as both readers and writers – conversations that can drive real social change. View the full program and book at


1 Asia What? A day of free discussion, performances and workshops exploring Asian narratives with Melanie Cheng, Eugenia Flynn, Dominic Golding and more. 2 Queer Literary Salon With Hera Lindsay Bird, Norman Pasaribu, Laurie Penny, Raina Peterson and Omar Sakr. 3 Towards Inclusivity With

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Renni Eddo-Lodge and Sami Shah. 4 Aboriginal Literature Now

With Claire Coleman, Jane Harrison and Kim Scott. 5 Beyond Clichés: Women,

Religion & Culture With Amal Awad and Susan Carland. Benjamin is an author, journalist and screenwriter. He will appear in Binge Culture with Megan Abbott and Brodie Lancaster.

Jamila Rizvi

1 Let’s Get in Formation A lively evening of performance celebrating revolutionary women. Guests include Namila Benson, Clementine Ford, Nayuka Gorrie and Sukhjit Khalsa. 2 Women of Substances

With Jenny Valentish and Kate Holden. 3 Beyond Clichés: Women,

Religion & Culture With Amal Awad and Susan Carland. 4 Rise of the Right Wing

With Anna Broinowski, Stan Grant and David Marr. 5 Revolutionary Women

With Ali Alizadeh and Julia Baird. Jamila is a writer and broadcaster, and will appear in Media & Society, Intergenerational Warfare and Women & Success.

Jason Steger

1 David Grann: Killers of the Flower Moon The New Yorker writer discusses his new book about an appalling conspiracy and series of murders that says much about the development of the United States.

Amie Kaufman

1 Angie Thomas: YA & Activism Be inspired by the young, outspoken author of outstanding YA novel The Hate U Give, as she mixes the personal and the political.

Elizabeth Kostova and Heather Rose.

2 #LoveOzYA With Danielle Binks, Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Ellie Marney and Alice Pung.

3 Sarah Ferguson: John Button Oration

3 The Bone Season With Samantha Shannon.

4 Shashi Tharoor: Colonialism in India

4 Reality & Fantasy With Claire Coleman, Garth Nix, Sami Shah and Samantha Shannon.

2 The Art of Life With

5 Mark Baker: Thirty Days

Jason is the books editor of The Age and The Sunday Age, and regular panellist on ABC TV’s The Book Club. He will be moderating discussion in Robert Drewe: Whipbird and Sofia Laguna: The Choke.

5 Teens at Signal Workshops and activities from Still Nomads collective, Angie Thomas, Danielle Binks, Melissa Keil, Hayley Adams and the Starving Artist podcast.

Amie is the co-author of the bestselling Illuminae series, and is appearing in #LoveOzYA and the MWF Schools’ Program.






Conflict comes closer As Syria endures its seventh year of conflict, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to rage, it seems that the world is in a state of constant bloodshed and violence. With hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians dead from these conflicts, some of which have no end in sight, the horrors and realities of war are no longer avoidable, especially in the modern age – they appear on our television screens and social media feeds, overwhelming in their scope and despair. Here in Australia, and indeed in the West generally, wars have often been fought on foreign soil. As the death toll rises and these confronting images continue to be broadcast, there is a singular, difficult truth: the Western world is no longer safe from war. Melbourne Writers Festival is centred, this year, around the theme of revolution – how we can learn from the past to look into the future. Closing out the Festival, The Independent’s renowned Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk will explore the West’s crumbling relationship with the Arab world, as a result of constant wars being fought abroad, and what that means for the future of our world and international relations. Living in the Middle East for over 40 years, Fisk has covered conflicts and invasions including Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Algerian

Big ideas take centre stage Big Ideas presented by The Monthly You’ve heard these topics debated on air, read about them in the papers and scrolled through Twitter hashtags – now, delve deeper as revolutionary ideas are explored in depth.


civil war, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the Bosnian and Kosovo wars and the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. His wealth of experience has given him a firsthand insight into the inner workings of war from multiple perspectives, which he will also share in a Festival session about foreign political involvement in Syria, and the future of American power in the Middle East – is it getting stronger, or are ties weakening? The Fifth Estate: American Power in the Middle East, 1 September, 4pm; Robert Fisk: Closing Night Address, 3 September, 6.30pm Fisk’s talks at the Festival will see him examine and analyse the impact and implications of war, but another of the Festival’s guests will pry open the beating heart of humanity in wartime in a completely different way. Sydney photographer Stephen Dupont’s Don’t Look Away exhibition leaves nothing to the imagination, depicting the horrors of over two decades of war – Afghanistan, Rwanda, Vietnam and beyond – from the frontlines. The award-winning photojournalist, who describes himself as an ‘anti-war photographer’, presents this new body of work as a live theatrical experience, in order for audiences to be able to fully immerse themselves in the shocking reality of war. Haunting and confronting, the visual presentation and accompanying photographic exhibition are Dupont’s

The rebellions of the past are full of lessons for the present and future. In the current climate of social uncertainty, the story of the Bolshevik rise to power – and its upheaval of class structures and international relations – is more relevant than ever. Delving into never-before-used files from the Tsarist military archives, historian Sean McMeekin presents a new perspective on the Russian Revolution and the two decades following, painting strong character portraits of the main players leading the charge and illustrating the ways in which individual countries sought to benefit, politically and economically, from the chaos. How did communism win? How can we learn from past mistakes to move forward peacefully? In the tempestuous times of Putin and Trump, this conversation is not only illuminating, but crucial. Sean McMeekin: The Russian Revolution 27 August, 6.15pm

Robert Fisk artistic protest – a tangible manifestation of the responsibility of photojournalists to capture the truth and bring it to the world. He explained to The Sydney Morning Herald’s Henry Zwartz in March, ‘By not looking away you’re honouring the dead and the living, a kind of memory to the suffering of others. I want people to feel my photographs; if they don’t feel them then I have failed as a photographer.’ Premiering at MONA FOMA over the summer, Don’t Look Away will make its Victorian debut as a part of Melbourne Writers Festival. Audiences will experience the same gripping, devastating

Last year’s American election results raised many questions about the state of democracy in the United States. Despite Hillary Clinton’s 2.8 million popular vote lead, Donald Trump was still elected President – what does this tell us about power structures in America? In Democracy in Chains, US academic Nancy MacLean traces the American radical right’s political agenda back to the 1950s, when economist James McGill Buchanan spearheaded a 60-year strategy that brought libertarianism to the mainstream. This tireless campaign has culminated in the undermining of voter influence in a country founded on the principle of ‘we the people’, and the entrenchment of corporate control and power. If this is the backbone on which the contemporary model of American democracy is based, what is the way forward? MacLean’s fascinating research into the intellectual power and deception behind radicalism provides sharp insights into how we got here – and where we’re going next. Nancy MacLean: Democracy in Chains 1 September, 6.15pm

Stephen Dupont performance, and also hear from Dupont himself as he is interviewed following the visual presentation. Stephen Dupont: Don’t Look Away 30 August, 6pm It is easy to lose hope in a world full of war, but we must face reality head-on in order to fight for justice and social revolution, rather than hide behind the politics of despair. These conversations are only the beginning.

View the full program and book at

Closer to home, the Australian justice and legal system is often the cause of frustration – for all of its influence and reach, it also has severe shortcomings. Barrister and former Liberty Victoria president Julian Burnside’s forthcoming book, Watching Out, delves into the history of the law in Australia, covering everything from legal aid and class actions to counter-terrorism and asylum seeker issues. An eloquent defence of civil society, as well as a critique of past wrongdoings, Burnside’s reflections also provide a blueprint for how legal liberalism can light the path that lies ahead. Julian Burnside: Injustice 3 September, 4pm

View all Big Ideas sessions and book at




Book club favourites Get your book club chatting with these timely and topical events. From pageturning murder mysteries to discussions on genre, we recommend getting the gang together for these sessions, then discussing what you’ve heard over a glass of wine or two. Exploring the dark, often violent inner lives of young suburban women, Megan Abbott is one of the world’s most exciting domestic noir writers. Join the award-winning US author as she discusses her work, including her latest novel, You Will Know Me – a gripping tale of murder and suspense within a tightknit small town sporting community. Your book club will love this prolific genre writer and her atmospheric work. Meet Megan Abbott 26 August, 10am Jordi Magraner was a charismatic young Spaniard who made his home high up in the Hindu Kush, settling in among the locals before he met his untimely death there in 2002. How did this nomadic man live and die? Join dynamic Spanish writer Gabi Martínez as he traces Magraner’s footsteps in In the Land of Giants – part travel memoir, part murder mystery. You’ll be left with plenty to ponder about this mysterious life, and Martínez’s bold new take on travel writing. Gabi Martínez: In the Land of Giants 26 August, 11.30am

Family fun and a magical celebration Meet bestselling author Min Jin Lee as she discusses her latest novel, Pachinko – a sprawling epic spanning four generations of a m family, taking them from Korea to Japa an. Exploring themes of love, death and survival, the book is closely tied in with Lee’s own heritage and identity as a Korean American. Hear about the novel with your book club – then delve back into Lee’s other novels and short stories in subsequent meetings. Min Jin Lee: Pachinko 3 September, 1pm Miles Franklin Award winner Sofie Laguna (The Eye of the Sheep) is back with The Choke – a haunting and claustrophobic vision of a child in danger and a society in deep trouble. Slated for release in September, the book follows a small girl navigating a dark and uncaring world of male power, guns and violence, finding comfort only in nature and animals. Sofie Laguna: The Choke 27 August, 11.30am Birds Art Life follows author Kyo Maclear’s life over one year, as she chases after birds and finds comfort and meaning through these avian friends and the natural world around her. Hear her speak about the personal illumination that came from connecting with nature – then discuss among yourselves what unexpected things have nurtured and changed you. Kyo Maclear: Birds Art Life 2 September, 2.30pm

Bring your book club to MWF! Save 15% on standard tickets when you book in a group of six or more.

WIN Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

It’s been 20 years since the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – the first instalment in the legendary fantasy series. Since then, over 400 million books have been sold, a multi–million dollar film franchise has blown up the box office and most recently, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film series has begun. Cultural phenomenon is an understatement. Melbourne Writers Festival celebrates two decades of Harry, Ron and Hermione with a free familyfriendly day at Fed Square devoted to their magical adventures. Harry Potter Day will feature live performances, a Sorting Hat, story time and more, under the guidance of Professor Frankie Falconette. Costumes and cosplay are encouraged, with prizes on hand for best-dressed. Kids and kids at heart are all welcome – mischief managed! Crafty kids will have plenty to keep their hands full at ArtPlay, with fun workshops designed for children aged 5 to 12. Join The Grimstones creator Asphyxia for a session on creative journaling, or get active with Ben McKenzie’s live narrative games. Music lovers can bust a move in Zohab Zee Khan’s hip hop class, while wordier types can settle in with Kiwi cult poet Hera Lindsay Bird to learn the art of verse.

Signal’s free workshops for teens return to the Festival this year over the first weekend. Get up close and personal with YA novelists, including critically acclaimed US author Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), at a live ‘Ask Me Anything’ session or join African artist collective Still Nomads for a creative writing workshop. Meet i Can’t Even creator Hayley Adams to learn how to conceptualise a webseries and bring it to life or watch a live recording of Honor Eastly’s Starving Artist podcast, with guests including Brodie Lancaster. Celebrate the best of local YA with #LoveOzYA authors including Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Ellie Marney and Alice Pung, as they discuss the importance of representation with Danielle Binks. Other authors appearing at free sessions in ACMI’s The Cube include Kyo Maclear, Shaun Tan and Bruce Pascoe. Melbourne Writers Festival is a great way for kids and teens to meet their favourite authors and illustrators – keep an eye out for live illustrating sessions at Fed Square, as well as opportunities for book signings after events.

For the full Children & Teens program, visit Bookings required for some events.

Subscribe to our e-news, the Wheeler Weekly, before August 18 and you could win the ultimate book-lover’s getaway for two to Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2017. Enter now at For festival details go to Terms and conditions at





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MWF 2017 Festival Guide – The Age Special Feature  

Your guide to #MWF17 | Special Feature in The Age's Spectrum | Book now at

MWF 2017 Festival Guide – The Age Special Feature  

Your guide to #MWF17 | Special Feature in The Age's Spectrum | Book now at