15 August 2017

The Canberra Writers Festival - why you should go

| Suzanne Kiraly
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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr Seuss.

If you are a reader or indeed a thinker, then you will love the fact that at the end of this month you can go to places you may never have been before. You may think about things you have never thought about before and could meet extraordinary people you may never have the chance to meet again.
On the heels of a very successful inaugural Canberra Writers Festival in 2016, excitement is building as we again have the unique opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best writers in the country. And I mean the best!

In terms of pure entertainment, think about the irreverent Kathy Lette, the sassy Tracey Spicer, the spicy Nikki Gemmell, and the hilarious Jean Kittson, to start with. Add to the mix our own Sulari Gentill, and Jack Heath and then some national icons in David Marr, Sarah Ferguson, Virginia Haussegger, Tony Jones, Garth Nix, Clive Hamilton, James Bradley, Michael Robotham, George Megalogenis, Paul Kelly, Graeme Simsion, Anne Buist, John Safran and Richard Fidler – plus many, many more besides!

There are family-friendly sessions too, with The Harry Potter Show making an appearance as well as Robyn Williams reading his favourite children’s book.

For those who have never been along to a writers’ festival before, this is a unique opportunity to dip your toes in without having to leave Canberra. Why not scan the program for sessions that may well be of interest to you?

There is enough cerebral fare for the informed: discussions on war, peace and insecurity; secrets and codebreakers; China matters; the war on terror; some gripping war yarns; and panel talks on the state of the nation.

Then you can balance that out with a Hoi Polloi Buffet Dinner and a little Literary Trivia hosted by our very own highly talented Craig Cormick. The Keynote on The Ministry of Truth sounds interesting too.

Other delectable extras to whet your appetite include an After Dark Tour ‘Ghost Hunters’ at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and the satellite event ‘Tales After Dark’ (storytelling for grownups). If you have been listening to ABC Canberra’s Big Book Club, you’ll also want to catch up with Laura Tchilinguirian and the team on Sunday.

It’s edutainment at its finest.

Festival Chair, Allan Behm said quite rightly: “The Canberra Writers Festival Writers team has brought you….variety, fun, humour, and a few serious moments as well. The opportunity to talk, listen, converse, question and generally make themes of what Canberra does best: to help build and sustain an engaged and inclusive nation – Power, Passion, and Politics.” It’s compelling and it’s your opportunity. So don’t miss out!

There are some Special Events, workshops and Non-Canberra Writers Festival Events. The organisers have done much work over many, many months and we are the beneficiaries.

Over 100 events will be held at eight iconic venues over the three days of the festival, which runs from Friday, August 25 to Sunday, August 27. The festival will not only delight visitors to the capital (and there will be many) but will draw local crowds as it did last year.

The season tickets sold out a long time ago, but there are still good tickets left for individual events, so go and check their availability on the Festival’s website at http://www.canberrawritersfestival.com.au

If you’ve ever read a book, or aspire to, the Canberra Writers Festival is for you!

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