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Jan Fran’s Best of the Fest

Discover Walkley Award–winning journalist, TV presenter and social commentator Jan Fran’s picks of the Festival! Jan Fran will speak with Bernardine Evaristo in a sold-out show at Melbourne Writers Festival.


What are your top three picks of the Festival?

Alison Roman: The Roman Empire
Fri 5 May, 8.30pm 
Melbourne Town Hall
$45 general / $40 conc. 

I don’t get fandoms around cooks, which is why this event is in my top three recommendations. I want in, dammit! I, perhaps like some of you, first heard about bestselling author and foodfluencer (not a word) Alison Roman after her very public spat with celebrity, Chrissy Teigen. Nowwwww, I pretend I’m not one for internet drama but I very much am and if I know the hot goss monger that is Benjamin Law – he’ll go there. If he doesn’t, we’ll still get a fun, zany open-book conversation that’ll help us better understand why the world loves chefs and Caramelised Shallot Pasta.



Running Writing
Sun 7 May, 10.30am 
State Library Victoria, Conversation Quarter
$25 general / $20 conc. 

Now this is one eclectic panel and I am interested (and yes, I am currently picturing all three panellists on the Stairmaster. It’s unedifying but necessary and I salute them). Writers festivals can often focus on the subject matter of books but I find it’s just as important to examine the scaffolding that allows these books to get made. Also, as someone who was meant to finish writing a book some years ago, I’m really hoping to learn a thing or two here.



Stan Grant: The Queen is Dead
Sat 6 May, 12pm
The Capitol
$35 general / $30 conc. 

You know how some people tediously begin their sentences with “As a mother…” wellllll let me one up The Momz™ among us by admitting that I now begin every sentence with “As a Republican …” It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Try it. As a Republican, I enjoy coffee in the mornings. As a Republican, how much does this avocado cost? As a Republican, I would absolutely show up to see Stan Grant speak about his very timely new book at the Melbourne Writers Festival. No doubt, some very pertinent subject matter will be covered in this discussion. I’m in.



What have you been away from for a while?

In (very) early 2020 I went skiing for the first time ever in the French Alps. It was the best. I vowed to ski every year henceforth. A global pandemic and one baby later I have been away from skiing for a while.