Festival Highlights

Meet the international icons and local legends heading up this year's Highlight sessions.

Highlight Event

Watching Them Grow: From Page to Screen

Sat 31 Aug, 1pm
Wishlist

What does it feel like to see your novel transformed into something new on the screen? Three powerhouse authors discuss adaptation.

Highlight Event

Sloane Crosley: Look Alive Out There

Sat 7 Sep, 2.30pm
Wishlist

New York Times bestselling essayist Sloane Crosley discusses her new essay collection Look Alive Out There, covering warring with her neighbour's teenagers to climbing in Ecuador.

Highlight Event

Eve L Ewing: Ironheart

Wed 4 Sep, 7pm
Wishlist

Writer of Ironheart Eve L Ewing speaks about what it’s like to work at Marvel, and what heroism and justice mean to her.

Highlight Event

Closing Night: Last Goodbye

Sun 8 Sep, 7pm
Wishlist

Bid farewell to MWF19 with four brilliant artists reading a new piece about their own last goodbye – followed by live music.

Matters of the Heart

Through the lens of this year's theme, When We Talk About Love, hear stories of resilience, of heartbreak and letting go, of family bodies and home.

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The Politics of Disgust

Sat 31 Aug, 11.30am
Wishlist

Three writers unpack what it means to be labelled ‘disgusting’ and how it informs the queer experience. Can it be reclaimed? Should it?

Highlight Event

Bodies for Sale

Sat 31 Aug, 11.30am
Wishlist

Authors Emiliano Monge and Joanne Ramos discuss the politics of the body and their recent books about trafficking and the ‘fertility economy’.

Highlight Event

Love Letter to the Future

Sun 8 Sep, 1pm
Wishlist

What would your perfect future look like? A thoughtful panel pen pieces on their dream tomorrow.

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Leave the Lights on Please

Fri 6 Sep, 11.30am
Wishlist

Why aren't more artists exploring the concepts of sex, desire and the body past middle age? Dennis Altman, Patricia Cornelius, Andrea Goldsmith and Alex Miller discuss.

The Creative Craft

As well as celebrating a love of words, Melbourne Writers Festival is an examination of what fuels our creative craft – and the personal costs of creating art.

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Salon X

Thu 5 Sep, 5pm
Wishlist

An intimate evening of embodied storytelling and performances from artists including Lay the Mystic, Ryuichi Fujimura and Aniva collective on themes of self-love, body positivity and intersectionality, alongside museum exhibitions that explore tattoo, community and identity from Samoa, Japan and locally.

Wishlist

Melanie Cheng takes you on a personal discovery, sharing her own reflections on Melbourne Museum’s fascinating Gut Feelings exhibition.

Highlight Event

Labour of Love

Sun 1 Sep, 11.30am
Wishlist

Being an activist can be costly in terms of career, family and mental health. Four campaigners share how to best survive.

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The Personal in Art

Fri 6 Sep, 10am
Wishlist

All art initiates from a kernel of truth or experience – but what is the artist's responsibility to contextualise their work? Four artists discuss.