The program for the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival was released yesterday (you can check it out here) and I picked up my copy and spent most of the afternoon poring over it and deciding what events I wanted to see. There’s actually a lot of events I’m keen on this year, more than last year which is nice. Obviously I won’t be able to attend all of the ones that interest me, for both time and economic reasons, but these are the ones I’m tossing up between.
Malcolm Fraser & Bob Carr: In Conversation, Friday 22nd August 1pm
Some people will see that and think “Politics? How boring!” but my background is in politics. My degree is political science and international relations and I think this is a time when most Australians should be interested in politics, given what is happening both locally and also abroad. I grew up in NSW so Bob Carr was an institution there – he was the Premier of NSW for 10 years from 1995-2005. I’m interested in what he has to say. And I find Malcolm Fraser intriguing too because he’s a former Liberal Prime Minster who seems to pull no punches criticising the current Liberal regime.
In Conversation With Hannah Kent, Friday 22nd August 4pm
This event had actually already sold out by the time I had re-downloaded the MWF app to my phone and updated it to the 2014 version. It’s scheduled to take place in one of the smaller venues so I hope they actually move it to a bigger location, if they can, and release more tickets. I read Burial Rites last year and really loved it and I’d love to know more about how it came to be.
Tiddas, Saturday 23rd August 10am
I read Anita Heiss’ book Tiddas early this year and really enjoyed it and I also really like hearing her voice on Indigenous issues, especially the ones faced in modern times. Tiddas addressed this really well so I’m keen to hear more from her.
Modern Love, Saturday 23rd August 11:30am
This is really the only ‘romance’ panel at the festival and I always make a point to support them and attend in the hope that they program more in the future. This one has Rachel Herron and Su Dharmapala talking about what makes a good contemporary romance novel and how the genre has evolved. I’ve read books by both authors so I’m definitely going to be attending this one.
Local Libraries: Library at the Dock, Saturday 23rd August 2:30pm
I’ve heard about the Library at the Dock down in Docklands and this event is with Alex Miller, who is one of those authors that I’ve always meant to read but never quite gotten around to doing so! It’s also a freebie and I’m already going to be in the city on this day so I’m thinking I’ll add this one to my schedule.
Lad Lit, Sunday 24th August 10am
This session has Chris Flynn who I saw at MWF 2 years ago (when he released his previous novel, A Tiger In Eden) who was really good and very funny and also Omar Musa. I have a copy of Musa’s book, Here Come The Dogs and I’m always trying to read more male authors.
Anyone who has ever read this blog even in passing would know that I love Isobelle Carmody, especially her Obernewytn series which I have been reading for nearly 20 years. The final book is still to come and I am dying to find out what happens and how it all ends. I’ve always missed Carmody whenever she’s done events near me before but this will be the first session I officially book! Without a doubt.
What I Learned About Sex From Reading, Friday 29th August 1pm
With Alissa Nutting and Jessie Cole. I read Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa and found it both interesting and really disturbing. I also have Jessie Cole’s new novel to read as well and I’m really keen to hear what they both have to say about approaches to writing sex and what they learned from it. Apparently there’s things readers can learn too! This is also a freebie session.
Book Launch: When The Night Comes by Favel Parrett, Friday 29th August 5:30pm
Loved Favel Parrett’s first novel, Past The Shallows and this one sounds right up my alley! This one is a freebie too. And is a good prep for the next even which is….
In Conversation With Favel Parrett, Saturday 30th August 2:30pm
So keen for this event! As I mentioned, I can’t wait to read her new book and maybe I’ll get a chance to do that between the launch and this event, lol. Her new novel revolves around a young girl from Tasmania who meets a crewman on an Antarctic supply ship. Favel Parrett was actually awarded an Antarctic Arts scholarship to go to Antarctica for researching this novel and I love novels that feature Antarctica in any way. And she writes so beautifully, I can’t wait.
In Conversation With Alissa Nutting, Saturday 30th August 4pm
I’m not 100% sure if I’ll be able to attend this event, it’s going to depend on my numbers and I’m already attending another event with Alissa Nutting but if I do have a space spare, I’ll book into this one and learn a bit more about Tampa.
True Crime, Sunday 31st August 1pm
This session has John Safran and Julie Szego talking about their Truman Capote moments. I haven’t read Julie Szego’s book but I have read John Safran’s, Murder In Mississippi and found it fascinating. Plus John Safran is really funny so I think this session would be great to attend. I don’t read much true crime (or non-fic in general) so it might also be great to see if there are some recommendations.
So these are the sessions that I am mostly musing on so far – some are no brainers (Isobelle Carmody!) and there are others I may not get in to, such as the Hannah Kent session. There are a couple of other sessions that are on at the same time as that session (In Conversation with NoViolet Bulawayo and Seeking Asylum) and if the Hannah Kent session doesn’t get changed, I may choose one of those. There’s also a couple of sessions on the schools program that I wouldn’t mind sneaking in to!
Anyone else heading to the festival? What are you seeing? Let me know!