Melbourne Writers Festival

Melbourne Writers Festival 2016: The Plus Ones’ guide to the must-see events

Yep, our favourite time of year is back. The Melbourne Writer’s Festival is beloved by readers and writers alike, and this year looks to be a good ‘un. Take a peek at some of the events we’re most looking forward to and grab your tickets before they run out.

Opening Night (Friday 26 August 6.30pm)

Featuring a keynote from poet, journalist, children’s author and advocate for diversity in literature Maxine Beneba Clarke, the MWF Opening Night is an event not to be missed. Come for the literature, stay to schmooze and booze with some of Melbourne’s finest writers.

Feminist Writers Festival (Friday 26 – Sunday 28 August)
This year’s MWF will see include the inaugural Feminist Writers Festival, featuring discussions such as Artistic Lives of Women, Feminism Online, Muslim Feminism, and more. The three days of the festival will be dedicated to bringing feminist readers and writers together.

TV Comedy Then & Now (Friday 2 September 11.30am)

Watch two of comedy TV’s big names as Alexei Sayle (The Young Ones) and Steve Hely (30 Rock, The Office, How I Became a Famous Novelist) as they trace over how the industry has changed over the past 30 years. A must-see for comedy lovers and writers alike.

Helen Garner: Everywhere I Look (Saturday 27 August 8.30pm)

If you’re not familiar with her already (and let’s face it, you probably are), Helen Garner is an icon of Australian non-fiction. She’ll be at in conversation with John Freeman at this year’s Melbourne Writer’s Festival to talk about her latest book, Everywhere I Look.

The Writers’ Room (Friday 2 September 4pm)

Ever wondered what it’s like inside the writers’ room of some of TV’s best shows? Now’s your chance to get behind the scenes with Steve Heley (American Dad!, The Office) and Australia’s own Benjamin Law (The Family Law).

Workshop: Zine Making
(Saturday 27 August 11am)

Making zines is cool, and so is zinemaker Brodie Lancaster. Join her for a creative afternoon of cutting, pasting and collaborating in this super exciting workshop.

Wickedly Funny (Sunday 28 August 2.30pm)

They say that humour is a way of coping with trauma, but how do writers tackle serious topics with humour? Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies, The Dressmaker) will discuss whether it can be done, and explore how humour can make dark stories sing.

Seminar: Personal Journalism (Wednesday 31 August 6pm)

Alan Attwood (The Big Issue) and Clementine Ford (Daily Life) discuss the art of turning personal experience into compelling journalism. How can our life writing be used to provoke change, and how do we uncover the shared experience in our personal histories?

Charlotte Wood: The Natural Way of Things (Sunday 4 September 10am)

Charlotte Wood won the Stellar Prize (and our hearts) this year with her book The Natural Way of Things, which explores misogyny, rape culture and corporate control in her breathtaking novel. Read her, love her, then come see her at MWF.

Grab your pen, grab your paper, and most importantly, grab your tickets. This festival is all about learning from some of the greatest literary minds. Who knows? You might even be inspired to write that novel you’ve been thinking of.

– Emma
Emma Hardy is a writer, a dreamer, and a comedy lover. You can find her tweeting at @bitesizedfem, or furiously scribbling notes at this year’s Melbourne Writer’s Festival.

The Melbourne Writers Festival runs 26 August to 4 September 2016.

Image credit: Melbourne Writers Festival.