With Melbourne Writers Festival just a couple of weeks away, it’s a big hello from me. As one of your intrepid MWF Digital Reporters, we’re here to make your life a whole lot simpler – finding and reporting on the surprising, the quirky, the innovative and the insightful throughout the ten days of the Festival. My hope is that our discoveries will leave you with more questions than answers, and that we offer you the opportunity to construct your own MWF experience.

For me, as a broadcaster and producer working across various shows on ABC Radio National, Deutsche Welle, and FBi Radio, and as a music writer and critic for Fairfax Media, I’m passionate about finding and sharing stories that challenge or deepen our understanding and relationship with the world around us.

With that in mind, I thought at this stage, I’d give you just a brief smattering of my top picks for the forthcoming Festival. I’ve scoured the program for you, and have pored over the various streams of activity: either cherry-pick from my selections, or do the full immersive experience. I recommend the latter. Here goes!

If you’re the type who is always on the lookout for “interestingness”, then you might have come across the highly successful site, Brain Pickings. Bulgarian writer, blogger and critic, Maria Popova is the mastermind behind the human powered discovery engine and she joins MWF this year to reveal the behind the scenes ethos – a highlight of the Festival not to be missed.

Whilst most Melbournians take trams on regular basis as a mode of transport, an adventure on the 96 tram during the Festival will enable you to explore and connect with Melbourne’s independent, emerging and fringe writing scene. I’m super excited to be jumping on board Lit Hop – will you come and join me?

If you’ve ever considered the impact of sound within the context of radio making and storytelling, then there are two particular MWF events to book into your diaries. The Radio Hour will be an experience of documentary making that you’ll have never seen before, whilst Benjamen Walker, Jessie Borrelle and Miyuki Jokiranta will delve into the growing popularity and impact of ‘sound stories’ and the effect on journalism today, with Sound is the New Story.

For those of you who’ve been following the developments surrounding Edward Snowden, the political tensions between Russia and the rest of the world, and thinking about the political ramifications of secrets, privacy, government spying and the interwebs, Luke Harding will be presenting The Snowden Files – a fascinating account about the people and the events that are shaping these contemporary contentious issues.

Plus, you’ll have to come and meet us when we go live for the EWF Digital Reporters’ Mid-Festival Round-Up at the Festival Club – Optic Kitchen + Bar on Wednesday 27 August. We’re planning one very special gig for you and I can’t promise there won’t be interpretive dancing!

I’d love to hear what you think of these ideas or suggestions. If you’d like to get in touch, I’m on all the usual socials. Find me @joelcarnegie, and my production company @spacecompanyAU on Twitter or on Instagram, @thespacecompany. Make sure to hashtag #MWF14!

See you at the Festival.

Digital Reporters is run in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival.