Bendigo Writers Festival returns with glittering lineup of household names, commentators, writers and more

Bendigo Writers Festival returns with glittering lineup of household names, commentators, writers and more

Brian Nankervis, Michael Holding, Elizabeth Gilbert

Pop in a bookmark (or dog-ear it, we won’t judge) and give your latest read a short breather as May welcomes the Bendigo Writers Festival.

In its twelfth outing, more than 100 presenters will undertake some seventy events under the theme of ‘flourish’.

The festival will kick off with an opening night dinner at Ms Batterhams at Mackenzie Quarters. Joining opening night will be Matthew Evans, author of a dozen books and the host of the long-running SBS series The Gourmet Farmer. Matthew’s latest read is Soil, or the incredible story of what keeps the earth, and us, healthy. The four-course meal will be matched with wines throughout. 

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

Guests across the festival’s run include Janet Bromley, Christine Silvestroni, Stefano de Pieri, Terri Janke, Thomas Mayor, Alice Grundy, Brandon Jack, Mark Willacy, Elizabeth Knox, Eben Kirksey, Eliza Hull, Mimi Kwa, Cath Moore, Stephanie Alexander, Damon Young, Hannah Moloney, Jade Miles, Norman Swan, Andrew Pippos, Yumna Kassab, Richard Denniss, Annika Smethurst, Rachel Menzies, Ross Menzies, Belinda Probert, Karen Viggers, Michelle Tom, Gideon Haigh, Brian Nankervis and Jon Faine.   

Highlights include a headlining event with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, who will stream a conversation via New York. An international best-seller, Eat, Pray, Love has sold more than 12-million copies and has been translated into more than thirty languages. The festival will also showcase Australian literary talent including Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss, and John Marsden, best-selling author of the Tomorrow series.

Former cricketing great Michael Holding will also stream an event. Playing for the West Indies between 1975 and 1987, Holding will discuss his work Why We Kneel, How We Rise, which won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2021.  

School groups are not forgotten, either. Wordspot for Schools is a free program designed for younger minds and features Anna Ciddor, Sofie Laguna, Nicholas J. Johnson, Favel Parrett, Chris Kennett, C. S. Pacat and Vanessa Len. Wordspot takes place on Thursday, May 12. 

Festival host, Claire Flanagan-Smith: “Bendigo Writers Festival brings brilliant writers to the city every year, always surprising audiences with its packed theme.

“It’s good to have internationally recognised writers such as Elizabeth Gilbert taking part, alongside such a diversity of speakers. There’s no doubt the city has a very strong reputation for delivering quality events and the Bendigo Writers Festival is an important part of that.”

The Bendigo Writers Festival takes place from May 12 through to May 15. 

For the full program, check out the website.