Sat 15 Aug

First up, brand new writing from Helen Garner as part of our Read All About It series.

Authors Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue) and Megha Mujumdar (A Burning) join MWF to discuss their breakout debuts, and we’ll talk about our nation’s response to climate change.

Literary bestsellers Brit Bennett, Mikki Kendall and Elizabeth Strout will delight, inspire and empower audiences, making this the perfect Saturday, really.


Sat 15 Aug | Podcast

Portrait of Lou Wall.

Dramageddon is a genre-bending choose- your-own-adventure podcast created by playwright Jean Tong and comedian Lou Wall. Each episode pits two queer people against the climate apocalypse in 2050. This MWF-themed special tests Candy Bowers and Nevo Zisin on their survival skills, forcing them to address ethical questions such as: write or run? Publish or punish? Paperback or zombie snack?

It’s the end of the world; bring on the Dramageddon!

Produced by Xen Nhà with Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, published by Broadwave


Casey McQuiston: Red, White & Royal Blue

Sat 15 Aug | 10–11 am AEST

Portrait of Casey McQuiston.

Casey McQuiston loves stories with big, beating hearts. Her bestselling novel, Red, White & Royal Blue is a delicious, frothy, very queer romantic comedy, and also one of the sharpest books you’ll read all year.

The US author sits down with Will Kostakis to talk about why we need escapism, the pure joy of the rom-com, and what it’s like when your debut novel goes viral.

How Crises Shape Literature

Sat 15 Aug | 11am – 12pm AEST

Close-up portrait of James Bradley.

During times of crisis, we often turn to literature to make sense of the incomprehensible. But what is it like to author such a work?

Join James Bradley (Ghost Species) and Caoilinn Hughes (The Wild Laughter), as they discuss the growing genre of crisis literature, the turbulent events that informed their latest books, and the responsibility writers have to record and reflect on these troubled times. With Astrid Edwards.

Supported by the City of Greater Dandenong

Mikki Kendall: Hood Feminism

Sat 15 Aug | 12–1 pm AEST

Portrait of Mikki Kendall.

‘Real feminism (if such a thing can be defined) isn’t going to be found in replicating racist, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, or classist norms,’ writes Mikki Kendall in Hood Feminism.

In this session, author and cultural critic Kendall discusses how mainstream feminism fails to consider how race, class, sexual orientation and ability intersect with gender – and offers practical guidance on how we can do the work to enact meaningful change. With Santilla Chingaipe.

Australia's Response to Climate Change

Sat 15 Aug | 2–3 pm AEST

Portrait of Victor Steffensen.

As we struggle to recover after last summer’s devastating bushfires – and with the next fire season less than six months away – urgent questions must be addressed. What is missing from Australia’s climate change response? How can First Nations’ knowledge and practices help us? And what must change in the way we talk about climate change?

Join Ketan Joshi (Windfall), Rebecca Huntley (How to Talk About Climate Change In A Way That Makes A Difference), and Victor Steffensen (Fire Country) in conversation. With Adam Morton.

Supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Megha Majumdar: A Burning

Sat 15 Aug | 3–4 pm AEST

Environmental portrait of Megha Majumdar.

In this propulsive and mesmerising debut, a young Muslim woman’s Facebook post lands her in jail on terrorism charges – and the story that follows is a vivid portrait of contemporary India’s social and political complexities.

Join author Megha Majumdar for a discussion of power, nationalism, corruption and justice in a work that is both gripping literary thriller and compassionate social commentary. With Roanna Gonsalves.

A Brighter Future

Sat 15 Aug | 4–5 pm AEST

Monochrome of Jess Scully.

Everywhere we look, we’re faced with dire predictions about the future of the planet. How can coming from a place of hope give us the tools we need to create a better, fairer and more equitable world?

Join Damon Gameau (2040: A Handbook for the Regeneration) and Jess Scully (Glimpses of Utopia) as they discuss the importance of optimism in creating concrete solutions for a more sustainable future. With Connor Tomas O’Brien.

KYD: New Australian Fiction

Sat 15 Aug | 5–6 pm AEST

Portrait of Laura McPhee-Browne.

An extraordinary showcase of emerging and established voices, New Australian Fiction 2020 is the second anthology of its kind curated by literary journal Kill Your Darlings. These stories, by writers from all around Australia, explore some of the most intriguing and urgent issues of our time, including genetic experimentation, nuclear fallout and white-settler colonialism.

In this showcase, contributors Elizabeth Flux, Laura McPhee-Browne and Mirandi Riwoe present readings from their work and discuss their craft with Kill Your Darlings editor Alan Vaarwerk.

Writing That Unforgettable Scene

Sat 15 Aug | 5–8.30 pm AEST

Portrait of Caoilinn Hughes.


There’s only so much exposition, interiority and descriptive prevarication a writer can get away with before a novel dies on the page. As in Caoilinn HughesThe Wild Laughter, the beating heart of fiction resides in its scenes.

In this workshop, Hughes shows how scenes function at both the micro and macro levels, and demonstrates how to create unforgettable scenes through details, setting, dialogue, action, and sensory precision.

Brit Bennett: The Vanishing Half

Sat 15 Aug | 7–8 pm AEST

Close-up portrait of Brit Bennett.

Stella and Desiree, identical twin sisters, run away from their small southern town in search of self-determined futures. Both light-skinned Black women, their lives take strikingly divergent paths as one passes as white, while the other marries ‘the darkest man she could find.’

Brit Bennett sits down to discuss The Vanishing Half, an expansive, multi-generational saga that dramatically exposes racial inequality and the emotional stakes of identity. With Areej Nur.

An Evening with Elizabeth Strout

Sat 15 Aug | 8–9 pm AEST

Portrait of Elizabeth Strout.

No one observes the beauty of ordinary lives quite as astutely as Elizabeth Strout. Ten years after she won a Pulitzer Prize for Olive Kitteridge, she has returned to small-town Maine – and her awed, cantankerous and much-loved heroine – in the delightful Olive, Again.

The master storyteller sits down to discuss her career, her craft, and what compelled her to revisit Olive after all these years. With Kate Torney.