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Melbourne Writers Festival
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Melbourne Writers Festival

The Melbourne Writers Festival is another cultural event catering to writers and readers. It includes a diverse schedule of educational programs, workshops, interactive sessions, and entertainment options for all participants.

Writers, bloggers, online publishers, political activists, and journalists are a few of the many who participated in this event.

Melbourne Writers Festival 2024 Dates & Program Events

The Melbourne Writers Festival also draws international attention to Melbourne, with international travel journalists, groups, and online writers coming to the city to participate.

The festival started in 1986 to reflect and encourage writers in Melbourne’s diverse community. Later, it became a popular event that promoted new publications and encouraged new writers to learn, expand their experiences and grow within the industry.

The Melbourne Writers Festival also offers a range of diverse programs for writers and online publishers. Workshops are conducted during this event, which help writers learn valuable skills. For instance, bloggers can learn to write fantasy, and journalists can acquire the writing skills of romance novels. Those working on a special project can also expand their horizons by participating.

An Evening with Michael Cunningham

In a Melbourne Writers Festival exclusive, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours, Michael Cunningham, takes to the stage at Melbourne Town Hall to discuss Day, the celebrated novel we’ve been waiting ten years for.

One of the great fiction writers of our time, Michael Cunningham, appears exclusively at the Melbourne Writers Festival to introduce his first novel in ten years, Day.

Showcasing a culmination of talent honed across eight novels – including the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Hours – the family saga follows the lives of three haunted New Yorkers around an unnamed yet familiar pandemic. Exploring unconventional forms of kinship and love, the ghosts of unrealised dreams, and the persistence of desire, it has drawn praise as ‘unsparing and tender’ (Colm Tóibín) and a ‘quietly stunning achievement’ (Ocean Vuong).

Cunningham talks with Ailsa Piper about his timely yet timeless tale of sustaining each other through crisis and change.

The Age Book of the Year Awards will also be announced, briefly accompanied by speeches.

Leslie Jamison: Splinters

Join New York Times bestselling writer Leslie Jamison for a discussion of her new memoir, Splinters. Never one to shy away from challenging material, Jamison’s exacting thinking, deep feeling, and electric prose have drawn comparisons to Joan Didion and Susan Sontag.

Exploring motherhood, art, and new love, she deploys the powerful thinking, scorching honesty, and magnetic prose that made The Empathy Exams and The Recovering instant classics. Jamison shares the stage with Rebecca Harkins-Cross to discuss her literary tour de force, which showcases her ability to ‘stitch together the intellectual and the emotional with the finesse of a crackerjack surgeon’ (NPR).

Paul Murray: The Bee Sting

To close out this trio of literary brilliance, Booker-nominated Irish author Paul Murray joins us to discuss his dazzling 650-page tragicomic triumph, The Bee Sting – the buzziest book of the summer, which sold out in bookstores across the country.

The dazzling tragicomedy charts the undoing of a once-prosperous Irish family haunted by the ghosts of the past through the perspective of multiple characters and has been hailed as a ‘650-page soap opera with a clockwork plot whose delicate mechanism you can’t hear tick’ (Guardian).

Murray appears in Melbourne to introduce his wise, witty and heart-punching saga to Australia in conversation with Michael Williams.

Writers, thinkers, illustrators, and performers of all ages are welcome to participate in and celebrate this event in Melbourne.


Click Here to Ask a Question

    • Hi Barbara,

      I can see why you are having issues with the official website’s planner.

      I have found a digital version of the program and have uploaded it to my website. This version may be easier to follow, but at 56 pages long, it’s not really suited as a printable copy.

      It does mention on the festival’s website that “If you would like a printed copy, send an email to [email protected] and they’ll pop it in the post”. So if you would like a printed copy, you could try that option, but as the festival is already started, you may miss a number of quality events waiting for it to arrive.


    • Hi Ruth,

      Here is some information available on the Melbourne Writer’s Festival website:

      “Our printed Festival Planner includes a selection of Festival events, and is available from our box office, as well as Readings bookshops… A limited number of Festival Planners are available by post if you’re unable to access it in the ways outlined above. Please call 03 9094 7859 and we will post a copy, subject to availability.”

      “We take into account many factors when sharing our program with the public – aiming for the most effective and accessible options available. In recent years, we’ve found that more and more of our audience prefer to access our program information online. This has grown so that now the majority of our audience access the program online rather than in print. Producing a full printed program for insertion into The Age used significant resources, and was inefficient considering many people didn’t use it. The best way to access the full Festival program is via our website or mobile apps – these include all Festival events and the most up-to-date information.”


What date is the Melbourne Writers Festival?
What time is the Melbourne Writers Festival?
An Evening with Michael Cunningham
Wed 8 May: 6pm

Leslie Jamison: Splinters
Sun 12 May: 3pm

Paul Murray: The Bee Sting
Fri 10 May: 6pm

Please visit our website for more information on the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Where is the Melbourne Writers Festival located?
What is the Melbourne Writers Festival address?
- Athenaeum Theatre - Melbourne Town Hall - Conversation Quarter, State Library Victoria, Melbourne, VIC

Please visit our website for more information on the Melbourne Writers Festival.
What are the Melbourne Writers Festival entry prices?
An Evening with Michael Cunningham
Standard: $35
Concession: $30
Premium: $60

Leslie Jamison: Splinters
Standard: $25
Concession: $20

Paul Murray: The Bee Sting
Standard: $40
Concession: $35

Please visit our website for more information on the Melbourne Writers Festival.
What is the Melbourne Writers Festival phone number?

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