• 14 June 2019, 6:30pm to 16 June 2019, 8:30pm
Williamstown Town Hall, Williamstown Library and other locations in Williamstown
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Attend the Williamstown Literary Festival 2019 to hear from some of Melbourne's most colourful commentators, and talented authors.

The Willy Lit Fest is a big-hearted festival that brings the local and wider Melbourne community together. The theme for the 2019 is ‘Choose your own adventure’ - moving beyond comfort zones and taking bold new steps into unknown territory.

VU staff & students take part

VU has been supporting the event since inception and is once again delighted to be part of this year’s Festival. As well as a major sponsor to the event, VU academics and students are once again part of the festival program.

VU’s Honorary Professor in Creative Writing and Stella Prize nominee Enza Gandolfo is in conversation with author and journalist Helen Pitt. The House: Edifice as Icon discusses arguably the best-loved building in Australia, the Sydney Opera House, and how it nearly didn’t get off the drawing board. When it did, the lives of everyone involved in its construction were utterly changed.

Enza Gandolfo joins VU Polytechnic’s Professional Writing and Editing teacher Lucia Nardo in a free session titled Pathways to Publishing (bookings essential).

VU Poly students are supporting the judging of the Ada Cambridge Awards. This year will be the first time submission to the prose and poetry sections were open to all Victorian writers. VU sponsorship has provides more opportunity for recognition to inspiring writers and the VU judging panel certainly had their work cut out for them.

Program line-up

New Program Director Stella Kinsella said this year’s program has a line-up of some of the brightest titles publishing has in Australia for many years from across the country alongside the best of the west.

The festival will kick off with an opening night event at the luscious Sabastian Beach Grill overlooking the Bay, with a special Festival guest, the international bestselling author Caroline Overington.

It will welcome multi-Walkley-award–winning journalist and ABC Stalwart Kerry O’Brien to share some of the private life lived in the public eye, wrapped in nearly three quarters of a century of social and political theory.

Adults wanting to unpack what the banking royal commission exposed will be enthralled by the man behind The People vs The Banks – journalist, Michael Roddan, in conversation with George Megalogenis.

Clementine Ford, author, social commentator and feminist will chat with author of Into the Fire, Sonia Orchard on the fires of female friendship, exploring why we betray our friends, our ideals, ourselves and what we have learnt from the #metoomovement.

WLF will proudly welcome back Stereo Stories in Concert at Williamstown Town Hall. The concert promises a feast of music and memoir, that will feature stories by Arnold Zable, Andy Griffiths, Melanie Cheng, Brian Nankervis and more. With music by Marlon Williams, The Indigo Girls, Eurythmics and Australian Crawl, Stereo Stories is an evening like no other.

For families, the festival presents Imagination. Tumble down the rabbit hole with George Ivanoff speaking with Claire Saxby and Judy Horacek to fathom the role imagination plays in the development of young minds. Budding authors can take a workshop into story building with in The Hero Went Thataway; Write Your Own Adventure session.

  • Ahmed Yussuf, writer and author of Growing Up African in Australia, takes a look at the stories of African-diaspora Australians.
  • Mary K Pershall, in conversation with Amanda Dunn on her personal descent into horror. In conversation with Amanda Dunn, Mary discusses her Herculean effort to keep her daughter, her Gorgeous Girl alive.
  • Out of The Shadows: True Crime Comes of Age explores the rise and rise of true crime. How does the public’s interest in true stories affect their reading habits? Where will this brave new world lead us? Viki Petraitis grills Claire Halliday, Helen Thomas and Liz Porter to find out.
  • Three of Australia’s best selling YA authors, Rebecca Lim, Michael Pryor, Gabriel Bergmoser and Elena Turner will debate the merits of Sci Fi vs Fantasy; which genre delivers the better cautionary tail?
  • Amanda Dunn wants to talk about puberty – The New Puberty. In conversation with Stella Kinsella, discussing the natural collision course when teen meets menopause in a pitched battle with all the feels.
  • Meg Keneally and Jack Serong travel broiling seas and hostile countryside with two titles to re-imagine history in the heart of Williamstown’s historic docks.
  • Free EventAn Adventure in Regret: Bad Diary Saloon. No-one will ever hear your cringeworthy, most inner thoughts… Or will they? A unique performance that is raw, unedited, original and candid.
  • Andy Griffiths is ready for shenanigans, taking kids (and grown ups to) one a very special tour of the treehouse. Bookings essential!
  • Workshop: Indie Publishing in a Digital World What are the pros and cons of self-publishing, vanity presses and mainstream publishing? An insightful workshop exploring the different publishing options as well as the processes to self publication.
  • Film buffs will love the wild ride into cinema when Matt Norman discusses how a family story sparked the remembrance of a great and forgotten man and the start of a journey into screen with filmmaker Sue Thompson.
  • Endangered: Writing to the Eleventh Hour – Explode the myths at this critical session that brings the scientific minds behind fiction, non fiction and children’s authors together with astonishing stories of survival and the crucial field work in the fight against extinction.

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