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A Writers Festival Like You’ve Never Seen it Before

‘Tis upon us, friends! The thing! The glorious Festive thing!

Under the creative guidance of our artistic director, Marieke Hardy, 2018 sets MWF on a light yet deliberate art-kook tilt. Along with the talks, ideas and sharing of passions from some of the world’s most talented authors, artists, thinkers and performers that you’ve come to expect from the Festival, we’ve expanded the program to encompass the myriad ways words can be explored, from music and oration to immersive art and performance.

Through the lens of this year’s theme, A Matter of Life and Death, we invite you to interrogate the rich, important motifs that come under such an emotional umbrella. Survival, fluidity, impermanence, joy, grief, loss, love, determination, empathy – there’s a wealth of human experience on offer.

In our Conversations stream, we’ll scrutinise the issues that matter to us all, from overcoming adversity, grief and crisis in our ‘How I Survived‘ series, to ‘Dream Dinner Parties‘ where power, politics, sexuality and death take center stage.

In our coveted Special Events, get up close and personal with some of the Festival’s biggest names as they reflect on some of the world’s most topical issues – or provide some much-needed comic relief between heavy conversations.

At our Performance sessions, immerse yourself in the words of poets, podcasters, puppets and performing artists in our new ‘Staged‘ series, as well as ‘Duets‘ of music and creative conversation live from the stage.

For those looking to heal their practice and write a prescription for a better future, our Workshops will help participants harness the power of words to heal and get happy, both for themselves and their works in process.

In two new venues, we’re inviting audiences to experience the cathartic power of art. Catching the tram down Flinders Street to the heritage-listed Mission to Seafarers, discover a world of literary sing-alongs, dance parties, poetry jams and of course, live tattoos taking place across the venues’ nautical-themed bar, chapel and iconic dome.

Celebrating the role of non-human creatures as muse in art and literature, Animal Church at 524 Flinders Street will present five days of animal-related programming. Authors and artists will pay tribute to animals beloved, eulogise for species lost, and consider their roles in matters of spirituality, symbolism and sustenance.

For ten days from 24 August to to September, allow yourself to be curious, allow yourself to explore, and allow yourself to listen.

MWF18 will be a writers festival like you’ve never seen it before. And that’s okay, right? Change is inevitable. Together, we’ll connect through words and experience, consider our own mortality and what it is to lead a good life. It will be okay. Today we are all alive at the same time. Let’s open our ears and hearts.

Browse the full program now.