'Tis the season to be wordy. In the coming weeks a bunch of literary festivals will unfold across our fair shores, and rest assured, we’ve got ‘em covered. Whether it be discussions with some of your favourite authors, spelling incomprehensible words at a spelling bee, knocking out a lazy 30,000 words in three days or just a good ol’ fashioned book launch, you can bet ya socks there’s something for everyone. Literature has never looked so good.
WordStorm & The National Poetry Festival
: Brown’s Mart and Civic Park, Darwin, NT
May 10 - 13
Peter FitzSimons, William McInnes, Judith Lucy, Marieke Hardy, Henry Reynolds
The setting of WordStorm is as unique as the festival itself. The dry season and outdoor ambience that Darwin provides makes for a fantastic atmosphere for literary minds from across the country to meet. The festival is renowned for its strong emphasis on indigenous writing, and the Indigenous Editing Forum aims to promote and develop writers of indigenous decent. Plus, this is the first year that the festival encompasses the National Poetry Festival, where everything from slams, sonnets and performance will go down.
Sydney Writers’ Festival
The festival hub is at Walsh Bay, Sydney, with events held across the city
May 14 - 20
Hisham Matar, Jeff Kinney, A.C Grayling, Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle, Jeffrey Eugenides, Kathy Lette, Dava Sobel
A heavy-hitter in the literary world, this festival boasts a week of events that take place anywhere from the mystic Blue Mountains to the bustling streets of the city. There are over 300 events scheduled with more than 400 participants, ranging from a High Court Judge to a former CIA interrogator to a Pultizer prize-winner to web bloggers and the Chaser boys. With current affairs, age-old debates and everything in between, you can laugh, learn and admire in a celebration of literature.
Emerging Writers’ Festival
May 24 - June 3
: Anita Sethi, Fiona McGregor… oh, and about 80 others
This is a festival created by writers, for writers. Its aim is to take the often solo act of writing and bring into the public sphere - connecting authors with each other and their audiences. As well as numerous opportunities for budding scribes to refine their craft with lectures, discussions and workshops from industry professionals, there’s also a lighter side to this 11-day program. Nerdy authors reveal their secret passions via slide nights, brave writers aim to punch out 30k words in three days and Twitter-heads unite at the cinema.
Gold Coast Libraries, QLD
May 25 - 26
James Moloney, Sally Breen, Marianne De Pierres, Trent Jamieson
A chance for readers and writers on the Gold Coast to come together and talk, listen and celebrate all things literature. The first day of the program is tailored to the industry, with a series of workshops held across various libraries and talks from those in the trade. The second day is an opportunity for bookworms to meet with authors as they spin a yarn, discussing their knowledge, passion and chosen careers. Thanks to the folks of Literati, a great deal of this is free of charge too.