A guide to Bendigo Writers Festival

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A guide to Bendigo Writers Festival

Words by Staff Writer

From the poets to the paperback writers, literacy comes in all forms but the one common denominator is words. These bad boys are on celebration each and every year the Bendigo Writers Festival, which makes its triumphant return this August.

I don’t know what a Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe is. The band who wrote the 1993 song, ‘Whale’, would say: “We’re the crappiest lyric writers in the world. We don’t pretend to understand anything about it. But people have been getting too clever in this business. So we’ll just be stupid”. Still, it’s a fun, catchy song. From the great Russian writers to crappy lyrics from a Swedish alternative-rock outfit, there is a place for all writing. All words have meaning.

Established in 2012, the Bendigo Writers Festival has become an annual celebration of words. With an assortment of panel discussions, keynote speakers, workshops, sessions for young people, book launches and performances, the festival is a meeting of writers, readers and critical thinkers.    

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.

Friday highlights

ABC Live Outside Broadcast

From atop the steps of the Capital Theatre, ABC Central Victoria’s Fiona Parker will broadcast across Victoria on Statewide Mornings.  

Word Spot: All About Illustration

Led by local illustrator Liz Duthie, illustrators Chris Kennett (Family Disasters, Cross Bones) and Daniel Gray-Barnett (Grandma Z, Katarina Cruikshanks) share their tips, tricks and techniques.

Saturday highlights

Poetry + Arts

Poets and artists Jazz Money and Chunxiao Qu, along with curator Amelia Wallin, will explore how the artists move between writing and creating visual art. 

Writing Queer Lives

With Dr Yves Rees, Sam Elkin (Detachable Penis), Dylin Hardcastle (A Language of Limbs) and Dr Geraldine Fela (Critical Care) consider the complexities of rendering queer lives on page. 

Comfort Eating:  How Food Can Be a Salve in Mental Health

Jenny Valentish leads a discussion with Julie Goodwin, Bernadette Green and Kon Karapanagiotidis about how what we eat, and the company we share food with, can impact our mental health.  

Performance: A Day at a Time in Rhyme 

Jane Clifton uses the four seasons as a framing device as she performs around 35 of the original 365 poems in a dramatised monologue.

Sunday highlights

Behind the Biographies

Hosted by Sam Kane, Kate Grenville (Restless Dolly Maunder), Iain McCalman (John Büsst) and Ross McMullin (Life So Full of Promise) discuss their research and inspiration behind their subjects.

The Soul

Award-winning historian Paul Ham sits down with Steve Kendall to discuss his latest book, The Soul, and his quest to restore the idea of the soul to the human story.

From Stage to Page

What happens when acclaimed playwrights turn novelist? Sit down with Finegan Kruckemeyer (The End and Everything Before), Jane Harrison (The Visitors) and Jordan Prosser (Big Time) to find out.  

The Bendigo Writers Festival takes place from August 16-18. Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 13. Further information is available through https://www.bendigowritersfestival.com.au/