Blak & Bright Literary Festival returns to Melbourne, celebrating First Nations stories

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Blak & Bright Literary Festival returns to Melbourne, celebrating First Nations stories

Words by Staff Writer

Hailed as the largest festival of its kind in Australia, Blak & Bright is gearing up for its fourth instalment since its inception in 2016, and this year's lineup is set to be the most extensive yet.

Melbourne’s vibrant cultural scene is about to get even more dynamic as Blak & Bright, the biannual First Nations literature festival, makes its highly anticipated return from the 13th to the 17th of March.

This celebration of Indigenous voices promises an enriching experience for all, with a programme packed with over 30 events featuring 80 talented First Nations artists.

Blak & Bright

  • Blak & Bright First Nations Literature Festival returns from 13-17 March 2024.
  • Over 30 events featuring 80 First Nations artists.
  • Key venues include The Wheeler Centre, The Capitol, Fed Square, and State Library Victoria.

Stay up to date with what’s happening within the region’s art scene here

With events taking place across Melbourne’s major venues including The Wheeler Centre, Fed Square, State Library of Victoria, and The Capitol, as well as live-streamed sessions online, the festival is ensuring accessibility for all audiences.

The theme for 2024, “Blak Futures Now”, resonates with urgency and relevance, highlighting the imperative nature of Indigenous voices in literature. Festival Director Jane Harrison expressed the festival’s commitment to fostering dialogue, celebration, and envisioning diverse Blak futures. “We want Blak stories to be shared and valued within the community,” she said, inviting audiences to join them on a transformative journey.


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The programme boasts an array of captivating events, from keynote speeches to panel discussions, workshops, and performances. Screen icon Leah Purcell AM will deliver a keynote reflecting on her multifaceted career, while other highlights include “Through Our Lens”, where six writers share images defining their stories, and “Stories Behind the Songs”, exploring the fusion of music and storytelling.

For those keen to hone their craft, there are opportunities aplenty with sessions such as “Pitch Blak”, offering aspiring writers a chance to pitch their stories to major publishers, and “The Craft of Writing”, where esteemed writers share their methods. Additionally, there’s a special focus on empowering young artists with sessions like “Yung, Blak & Bold” and “YA Awesome!”.

Blak & Bright is not just about entertainment; it’s about activism and positive change too. Thought-provoking talks on social justice issues, as well as explorations of LGBTQIA+ narratives, underscore the festival’s commitment to inclusivity and representation.

With a belief that Blak stories are relevant to everyone, Blak & Bright aims to broaden the readership and audience for First Nations writing and storytelling. Whether you’re a literature enthusiast, aspiring writer, or simply curious about diverse narratives, this festival offers something for everyone.

To explore the full programme and book tickets, visit the website.