Grab your specs, all you book worms and literary nerds out there, because the program for this year's Melbourne Writers Festival has finally been unveiled. Running from August 25 until September 3, this year's festival lineup is packed cover-to-cover with authors, journalists, activists, historians, bloggers, playwrights and more.
The festival will begin with an address on Australian Identity by two-time Miles Franklin Literary Award winner Kim Scott. The evening will continue with an opening night party featuring music by Indigenous and Torres Straight Island artists curated by DJ Sovereign Trax. Scott is one of a number of prominent local guests; others include ABC journalist Stan Grant, social commentator and writer Jane Caro, author and journalist Benjamin Law and engineer and author Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
Major international guests, meanwhile, include journalist and transgender activist Janet Mock, National Book Award winning author Joyce Carol Oates, young adult writer Angie Thomas and former UN Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor. The festival will wrap up with a talk from Robert Fisk, a journalist for The Independent who has reported from battlefields in Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Plus, there will be a glorious day filled with free Harry Potter activities, including readings, performances and a Sorting Hat. It says it's "for families" but we doubt they'd kick you out.
"Literature has always been a platform for revolutionary ideas and a way to escape the politics of despair," festival director Lisa Dempster said. "Melbourne Writers Festival will explore the darkness of discrimination, oppression and war, but the program is threaded through with hope. We're listening to voices too long shut out, searching for the ideas that can bring us out of dark places and into the light."
The Melbourne Writers Festival will take place on August 25 till September 3. Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Friday, July 21. For the full program visit mwf.com.au.