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MWF Heads Online for 2020

An important message from Melbourne Writers Festival.

15 April 2020

Melbourne Writers Festival will transition to an online program for 2020 to ensure the safety of artists and festivalgoers during the COVID-19 crisis.

The profound impacts of the pandemic have made it impossible to proceed with events planned for 7–16 August in venues at the heart of the city’s literary precinct, including the newly renovated State Library Victoria and the Wheeler Centre.

However, MWF is determined to deliver a smaller online program to keep literary arts audiences connected as COVID-19 cuts a swathe through the cultural and artistic life of the city.

The Festival’s head of programming, Associate Director Gene Smith, said his thoughts were with the hundreds of writers, artists and thinkers whose work and income would be affected by the change.

‘The unprecedented nature of this pandemic is difficult to reckon with, as a people and as an industry. MWF cannot be all that we had planned for it to be in 2020, but we are committed to delivering literary programming online before returning to our full format in 2021,’ Smith said.

‘Our team is at home thinking, reading and preparing for a very different MWF20.’

‘We will work with writers, publishers and our valued partners and supporters, and look forward to sharing news about our online program in coming months. In the meantime, we urge MWF audiences to continue supporting writers by engaging with their online work, their digital events, and by buying their books from independent booksellers.’

The Festival will contact all pass and voucher purchasers in the coming week to discuss the provision of full refunds.

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Image: Timothy Herbert