Victoria University has welcomed the opportunity to promote the arts in Melbourne's west as a major sponsor of the Williamstown Literary Festival, which will be held over the weekend of 1-3 May.
This is the third year VU has been a major sponsor of the festival, a unique celebration of books and writing from the region. The volunteer-run event has gained widespread recognition over the past six years for its impressive line-up of authors, comedians, editors and actors, as well as its workshops.
Celebrated writers in 2009 include author of Underbelly and Chopper, Andrew Rule, children's author Andy Griffiths, crime writer Kerry Greenwood, and Footscray's own Alice Pung.
Sessions will include book and poetry readings, authors in conversation, practical workshops with editors, freelancers and scriptwriters, and popular sessions for young people.
Professor Peter Creamer, VU Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community and Industry) spoke at the unveiling of the festival program on 8 April.
"We see the festival as a great opportunity to promote literature in Melbourne's west, as well as to highlight our own very well regarded writing courses," he said.
A popular feature of the festival is the Ada Cambridge Short Story Competition, which offers a $5000 prize for biographical writing. VU Professional Writing teacher Sherryl Clark won the inaugural contest in 2005, and VU graduate Annette Signori won in 2006. VU has several student entrants in this year's competition, as well as event management and public relations students involved in the actual running of the event.
Professor Creamer said: "The festival is a good fit with many VU activities and we are pleased to be involved with such an important cultural event in Melbourne's west."
The Williamstown Literary Festival will be held in two venues, the Town Hall and the Williamstown Mechanics Institute.
For full program details, visit www.willylitfest.org.au