Art & Design


Milk Bar’s Melbourne Writers Festival Picks

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The 2011 Melbourne Writer’s Festival hits Federation Square this Friday, featuring more than 400 writers and gracing a whopping 300 events scattered over 11 days. Following its ‘Stories Unbound’ theme, the 2011 organisers have continued the trend of recent years and ditched the long weekend junket, adopting a more flexible lazy Susan program of literary-inspired events suited to the tastes of a wider audience.

While getting a glimpse of keynote speaker Jonathan Franzen’s infamous spectacles will of course be a must, it’ll take more than just scratching to chip the surface of this mammoth program.

For your literary staples head to the day session on publishing and writing A Book’s Journey on Aug 27 and Irresistible Book Design on Sept 4.

Learn more about Nazis and Anna Funder’s life in communist East Germany on Sept 2 or enjoy everything short story with writers Tim Richard and Wayne McAuley with The Long and Short of It.

For a peek at the future, attend the transmedia ‘unconference’ Bookcamp which is led by the Future of the Book Institute (Sept 2). State of the Literary Nation and New News is a two day interactive conference uncovering the future of journalism (Aug 26).

For those concerned about the more literal future, Things They See Coming (Sept 4) should brighten your horizon. The panel features post-apocalyptic writers Steven Amsterdam, Meg Mundell and Max Barry.

TV Tales sees 30 Rock and The Office writer Steve Hely and presenter Wendy Harmer host dinner at Union Dining (Aug 28), while Vue de Monde chef Shannon Bennett takes diners on a New York Culinary Adventure on his home turf on Aug 30.

Rounding out the after dark schedule is Shaun Tan’s The Arrival ‘sonic-scape’ performance (Aug 26), Liner Notes a spoken word remake of INXS album ‘Kick’ at the Toff in Town (Sept 3), and Friday Night Live (Aug 25 and Sept 3) with Rockwiz’s Julia Zemero, featuring festival guests and house band The Bamboos.

ACMI and the NGV host the bulk of events and double as the festival hubs, promising nightly events at The Cube, book launches and author signings. The festival newspaper, featuring illustrations from artists attending the festival, hits Metro train stations on Aug 26.

Melbourne Writers Festival runs from August 25 to September 4.
For a full listing of events and tickets visit:


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