‘To read is to fly’, says A.C. Grayling, and for many of us, fiction never fails to make us soar. This year’s Byron Writers Festival offers up a cavalcade of talent, embracing millennials and new-wave internationals who will join favourite Australian authors in a diverse range of sessions.
On the morning of Friday 4 August, meet the faces of contemporary Indian literature, at the ABC RN Books & Arts session, when Sarah Kanowski interviews Indian novelists Kunal Basu and Vayu Naidu. The first in a series of panels exploring crime fiction will take place on Friday afternoon. Catch Mirandi Riwoe, Michael Robotham and Jock Serong discussing their craft and its place within the wider literary landscape in ‘Crime fiction: Not Just a Genre’. The first day of the Festival will also feature conversations with beloved writers Hannah Kent and Kim Scott and debut novelist Kayla Rae Whitaker. Close the day with Robert Drewe’s launch of his new novel Whipbird, a contemporary Australian family saga.
Continuing the conversation on Saturday 5 August, Robert Drewe will join Sophie Hamley, Ashley Hay and Eka Kurniawan in ‘Just Like Us: Creating Fictional Families’. Literature in all its forms finds a place on the program, with poets, short story writers and novelists taking to the stage in ‘Mixing it up: Writing Across Forms’. Saturday afternoon wraps up with an homage to reading, with Barry Jones, Tracey Spicer and Susan Wyndham telling us which books changed their lives and why. Wyndham will also launch a new collection of poetry: Thea Astley: Selected Poems preceding the annual ‘Thea Astley lecture’, this year delivered by Peter FitzSimons.
For those interested in the nitty gritty of novel writing, Sunday 6 August is your day to tune in with a host of sessions on this visceral craft: Hannah Kent, Kunal Basu and Eka Kurniawan discuss writing in ‘A Sense of Place’. Kent is later joined by Melissa Ashley and Ian Townsend for a session on ‘Historical Fiction’, while Michael Sala and Jock Serong examine ways of ‘Negotiating a Violent World’ in storytelling. Later in the day we hand the mic to the blokes for ‘Men of Fiction’, with Kim Scott, A.S. Patric and Steven Lang.
We’re delighted to be bringing such a feast of fiction to our sandy shores this August. Bookworms, bring your book bag, you’ll need it to lug home all your new (and old) favourites!
Buy tickets and learn more at byronwritersfestival.com