Forte’s Picks to Make the Most of the Bendigo Writers Festival

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Forte’s Picks to Make the Most of the Bendigo Writers Festival

Inspiration can come in many forms, but there’s no greater way than hearing from those you idolise – and the Bendigo Writers Festival is full of people who fit the mold perfectly.

Below is a day-by-day rundown of how Forte would be spending our time. We’ll see you there!

Friday, August 12

Enjoy opening night with Ita Buttrose, Benjamin Law and David Astle 

As part of opening night event Brave Enough, special guests Ita Buttrose and Graeme Simsion join David Astle and Benjamin Law, with host Chris Kotur to discuss the risks they take with their writing.

Read our interview with Benjamin Law here.

Where: Ulumbarra Theatre – 7.30-9pm

Saturday, August 13

Stop by for breakfast at the Bendigo Wholefoods.

Learn the strength behind lyrics with Mick Thomas 

We’ve often wondered, what do these lyrics mean? What are its strengths? And how did the come about? In What Music Says, Jo Roberts talks to musician writers Doug Falconer, Peggy Frew and Mick Thomas about the lyrics they admire, those they’ve written and those they’d like to write.

Where: Trades Hall – 2.15-3.15pm

Discuss the concepts of Nationalism

In Nationalism Peter Doherty, Benjamin Law and Anne Summers talk to Louise Adler about the uses and abuses of Australian nationalism.

Where: Capital Theatre – 4.45pm


Stop by for some dinner and drinks at Mr Beebe’s and a few more drinks at Handle Bar.

Hear from WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, via videolink

Perhaps one of the most debated icons in Australian history to date, was what he did right or wrong? In According to Assange , live via videolink from London, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange talks to Robert Manne, about the impact this cyberpunk revolution has had on international political power.

Where: Ulumbarra Theatre – 8pm


Sunday, August 14

Get up bright an early for the Sunday festival breakfast

Start your Sunday in style, with a tempting buffet breakfast in the beautiful foyer of Ulumbarra Theatre and a timely discussion about what makes a “good” restaurant.

Where: Ulumbarra Theatre – 8.30am

Social Justice

Where does the line lie between individual freedom and what’s right for society? In Social Justice, Frank Brennan,Tasneem Chopra and Samuel Wagan Watson talk to Ken Marchingo about how writers engage with social justice issues and what they believe are the priorities for debate.

Read our interview with Tasneem here.

Where: Trades Hall – 10am-11am


Celebrate the work of Anne Summers

To celebrate this remarkable achievement, in Still Sassy,  Sharon Kemp talks to Anne Summers about feminism, social equality and quality in cultural debate.

Where: Capital Theatre – 11.15am

Find out the tips to get started 

Getting started is often the hardest part of writing a novel. In Where it Starts, Briohny Doyle, Peggy Frew, and Kate Mildenhall talk to Penelope Curtin about where they found the inspiration for their books.

Where: Engine Room – 1.45pm

Celebrate the end with internationally acclaimed Swiss soprano

Accompanied by pianist Robert Greene from Opera Australia, Ms Nadelmann will guide her audience through a program sure to leave a smile on your face and a song in your heart for the closing concert.

Where: Capital Theatre – 4.30-6pm

To see the full program and to purchase tickets, visit the website.