The Top 13 Events You Can't Miss at Melbourne Writers Festival

Published May 7, 2024

The Melbourne Writers Festival is off to an exciting start, and this year's lineup, curated by the outgoing artistic director Michaela McGuire, is especially poignant. Although the festival is more concise this time, it promises meaningful conversations and engaging sessions across its six-day span. Most activities are concentrated over the weekend, so planning ahead is crucial to catch the most anticipated events.

An Evening with a Literary Giant

The festival commences with an evening featuring Michael Cunningham, the celebrated author of The Hours. Cunningham will discuss his latest novel, crafted in the shadow of the recent pandemic, during the festival's opening night. This special night also heralds the announcement of the 42nd Age Book of the Year awards.

Pulitzer Prize Awardee Graces the Stage

Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his novel The Sympathizer, steps up to discuss his life journey from being a Vietnamese refugee to an acclaimed author. His session promises to be a profound look into identity and belonging.

A Fusion of Fiction and Reality

Authors Bryan Washington and Christos Tsiolkas are set to delve into their latest works, exploring the complex intricacies of modern relationships and culture in a session titled Ghosted: Bryan Washington and Christos Tsiolkas.

Literary Hope and Solidarity

The event Let It Bring Hope showcases a powerful lineup of Aboriginal and Palestinian poets reading pieces that signify solidarity and commitment amidst controversy.

Literature's Healing Waters

In Aqua Profunda, three authors congregate to discuss their novels that explore the theme of water as a healing element for grief and past traumas.

The Ghosts of Future and Past

With the festival's theme of 'Ghosts,' the session Ghost Cities and Ghost Futures brings forth novels that satirize societal issues and blur the boundaries between human and animal consciousness.

Creation in Isolation

Lauren Groff and Charlotte Wood share their narrative techniques on crafting stories revolving around solitude and silence in the panel, Silence is Golden.

Stella Prize Celebration

Meet Alexis Wright, the recent Stella Prize recipient, as she discusses her extraordinary novel Praiseworthy, which humorously tackles climate change and Indigenous life.

A Journey Through Time

Japanese author Toshikazu Kawaguchi takes audiences on a temporal adventure as he talks about his bestselling series that starts with Before the Coffee Gets Cold.

Philosophical Questions About the Cosmos

A.C. Grayling stirs a cerebral discussion on the ownership of celestial bodies in his latest inquiry, Who Owns the Moon?.

A Profile in Narrative Nonfiction

Don't miss a captivating dialogue with Andrew O'Hagan, a Scottish author known for his absorbing storytelling in both his novels and his journalistic work.

A Glimpse of a Dystopian Ireland

Although slightly apart from the main festival dates, Paul Lynch, the recent Booker Prize laureate, will offer insights into his novel Prophet Song, portraying Ireland under authoritarian rule.

Despite many events selling out rapidly, additional tickets may become available. The festival presents a unique opportunity for literary enthusiasts to engage with the written word and the minds that craft it.

literature, authors, festival