Sun 16 Aug

Jenny Odell (How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy), will propose radical strategies for thinking beyond efficiency, attention and value to preserve our inner lives.

Authors Michael ChristieChris Flynn, Laura Jean McKay, and Lisa Fuller discuss their brilliant works.

Author and creator of the hit podcast, Wind of Change, Patrick Radden Keefe talks about his thrilling new book, Say Nothing.

Sign up to the MWF eNews to read written commissions and interviews, including today’s piece by Ali Cobby Eckermann.

Closing Remarks: Jenny Odell

Sun 16 Aug | Podcast

Portrait of Jenny Odell.

Jenny Odell’s How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy proposes radical strategies for thinking beyond capitalist narratives of efficiency, attention and value, and preserving our inner lives through reflection, research, grounding and intentional networks.

In the Festival’s closing address, Odell applies this framework to our current moment of historical urgency, illuminating how ‘resisting in place’ – existing within, but not accepting the condition of the present – can offer a throughline to liberation.


Real Pigeons Meet Gavin Aung Than

Sun 16 Aug | On Demand 8am – 8pm

Portrait of Gavin Aung Than.

Join Real Pigeons creators Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood and bestselling author Gavin Aung Than for fun storytelling and drawing activities in this two-part video series!

This fun and interactive series will make kids laugh, gasp, think and wonder.

Suitable for ages five and up.


Michael Christie: Greenwood

Sun 16 Aug | 11am – 12pm AEST

An environmental portrait of Michael Christie.

‘Genealogy isn’t a simple story,’ says Michael Christie. ‘In my own personal life and experience, families are built much more than they are born.’ A novel that reckons with legacy, inheritance, nature and sacrifice, Greenwood reveals layer by layer one family’s secrets – and the forest that binds them across generations.

Christie has constructed a time-hopping, world-spanning, page-turning family saga that’s as intricately constructed as the rings of a tree. With Sophie Cunningham.

The Language of Animals

Sun 16 Aug | 12–1 pm AEST

Portrait of Chris Flynn.

What would happen if we could understand what animals were saying? Chris Flynn (Mammoth), Erin Hortle (The Octopus and I) and Laura Jean McKay (The Animals in That Country) have each explored this question in their latest books – with fascinating results.

Harnessing both the surreal and the serious, these works pose inventive and urgent questions about our place in the world and what it means to be human. With Elizabeth McCarthy.

Readings YA Prize: Lisa Fuller

Sun 16 Aug | 2–3 pm AEST

Portrait of Lisa Fuller.

Lisa Fuller, a Wuilli Wuilli woman and descendent of Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka peoples, weaves her culture and spirituality into her storytelling. Her new book Ghost Bird is a page-turning thriller about a girl’s search for her missing twin, and was recently named the winner of the Readings YA Prize 2020.

Fuller sits down to discuss her action-packed novel, her writing process, and the importance of First Nations Australian representation. With Amie Kaufman.

In Which Two Friends Discuss Reading

Sun 16 Aug | 3–4 pm AEST

Portrait of Charlotte Wood.

Books are often seen simply as a source of diversion and pleasure. But they are more than that. They can offer not an escape from real life, but a richer engagement with the business of living.

Two great readers – Charlotte Wood (The Weekend) and Tegan Bennett Daylight (The Details) – sit down to discuss how they find comfort, refuge and power in both reading books and writing them. With Nicole Abadee.

Marlee Silva: My Tidda, My Sister

Sun 16 Aug | 4–5 pm AEST

Portrait of Marlee Silva.


Marlee Silva is a 24-year-old Gamilaroi/ Dunghutti writer, podcast host and the co-founder of social media phenomenon Tiddas 4 Tiddas. Her debut book My Tidda, My Sister showcases the voices of First Nations women, celebrating and acknowledging the resilience, strength and beauty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across the country.

Hear Silva talk about developing this powerful book and her ongoing goal to elevate Indigenous female excellence. With Bridget Caldwell-Bright.

Patrick Radden Keefe: Following the Evidence

Sun 16 Aug | 5–6 pm AEST

Monochrome portrait of Patrick Radden Keefe.

Patrick Radden Keefe (Say Nothing) takes complicated histories and transforms them into riveting works of narrative journalism – whether a deep-dive podcast into the alleged CIA origins of a 90s power ballad or a sweeping, switchblade-sharp account of the 1972 disappearance of Jean McConville in Northern Ireland.

Join Radden Keefe as he reflects on a lifetime of following the evidence, and the fascinating, compelling, and sometimes outlandish stories he’s uncovered along the way. With Raf Epstein.