2021 Adelaide Writers’ Week announces first round of authors and programs

It is only fitting that next year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week, the third from Director Jo Dyer, seeks to immerse us all in the healing power of literature as we reflect on the tumult of the year through which we’ve lived, look to what might be ahead of us and contemplate the Unstable Ground on which we stand.

Running from Saturday 27 February to Thursday 4 March as part of the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week will be one of the first literary festivals in the world to return with authors and audiences gathering together in person. An expanded Australian line-up will appear live in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden while international authors will appear in the Gardens via real-time digital livestream.

77 local and international authors have confirmed for the program to date, including:

Arundhati Roy (IND)
Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy is India’s pre-eminent author and thinker and is celebrated globally for her novels, essays and activism.

William Gibson (USA/CAN)
Visionary speculative fiction author and renowned chronicler of the future, William Gibson is credited with having coined the term “cyberspace”.

Maaza Mengiste (USA/ETH)
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King tells of Ethiopia’s forgotten women soldiers in the first conflict of WWII.

Richard Flanagan (AUS)
Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan’s masterful new novel The Living Sea of Waking Dreams is a poetic meditation on love, loss and beauty.

Trent Dalton (AUS)
After the runaway success of Boy Swallows Universe, crowd favourite Trent Dalton returns with his new novel All Our Shimmering Skies.

Julia Gillard (AUS)
Australia’s 27th Prime Minister Julia Gillard is now the inaugural Chair of Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College in London. Her latest book, co-written with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is Women and Leadership.

Malcolm Turnbull (AUS)
Australia’s 29th Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reflects on his time in office and his post-political life in his first live appearance promoting The Bigger Picture.

Sigrid Nunez (USA)
New York Time-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author whose work has been translated into twenty languages.

Anne Applebaum (POL) 
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist. She is a staff writer for The Atlantic, where the ideas explored in her acclaimed new book Twilight of Democracy first appeared.

Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week Jo Dyer said:

Since we packed up the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden in March 2020, our world has been transformed by a pandemic that rages across continents and demographics, wreaking havoc on our health, economies and confidence. The ground shifted beneath us as we scrambled to comprehend this silent, invisible, potentially deadly new foe, to develop strategies to combat it and comprehend its implications. But we are thrilled, relieved and inspired that we will be able to come together to ask the big questions: what just happened and what happens next?

It won’t quite be business as usual with international authors to appear virtually via digital livestream into the Garden and COVID safety protocols will be observed across the site, requiring scanning prior to entry, but the six days of free open air readings, panel sessions and literary conversations will be back in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.

Writers’ Week will return with its successful early evening program which in 2021 will be an all-Australian line up for Twilight Talks over two nights. Guests can relax with a glass of wine before hearing from a line-up of the most provocative, engaging and erudite Writers’ Week authors. On Monday, some of the country’s best minds consider the critical and compelling issues of our times in the Writers’ Week’s live chat show, Authorial Voice. Tuesday night sees an all-star line-up ruminate in an intimate and personal way on the Unstable Ground on which we stand.

In 2021, the Plane Tree Stage will be active all week for the first time. Alongside events for younger readers on the weekend, and the ABC’s live broadcasts on Wednesday and Thursday, Writers’ Week presents two brand new series. On Monday, learn How to be an Author where publishers, booksellers, agents and authors explain the business of writing in a series of events specifically curated for aspiring authors. Activism and advocacy are the order of Tuesday. Audiences are invited to Be the Change they wish to see in the world as some of Australia’s leading activists reveal how to be effective change-makers.

Another blockbuster program for children and young people takes place on the opening weekend with a jam-packed program designed for the youngest of book readers. Kids’ Day on Saturday features an all-Australian line-up of some of the brightest names in children’s literature including current Australian Children’s Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky (The Terrible Plop and Brindabella), Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Under the Love Umbrella and All The Ways To Be Smart), and Gavin Aung Than (Super Side Kicks series). With an abundance of free activities in the shade of the Plane Trees, the Kids’ Day events will delight and inspire the under 12 crowd.

For the Middle Grade, YA and Spoken Word fans, a stellar lineup of contemporary authors for young people will be at this year’s day for Middle Grade & YA Readers. The day will kick off with perennial crowd favourite R.A. Spratt (The Peski Kids and Friday Barnes; Girl Detective series), followed by teen superstar Will Kostakis (The Monuments series) and local legend Vikki Wakefield (This is How We Change the Ending). Seminal Cli-Fi author James Bradley (The Change series) will be joined by debut non-fiction author Jess Scully (Glimpses of Utopia), and the inspiring Davina Bell (The End of the World is Bigger Than Love)  are also included on the day. It’s a relaxed environment for tweens and teens to enjoy author talks and conversations as well as the dynamic talent of Australia’s most powerful spoken-word performers in Hear Me Roar.

With the support of Office for Ageing Well and Seniors Card, Writers’ Week will be livestreaming selected sessions (Monday March 1 to Thursday March 4 inclusive) to schools, libraries and retirement villages around South Australia to ensure as many members of the community have access to the event as possible.

Full program will be announced January 2021

Adelaide Writers’ Week has been made possible by the generous support of Channel 9.


ADELAIDE WRITERS’ WEEK 2021

Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, King William Road, Adelaide
Saturday 27 February – Thursday 4 March
FREE – scanning will be required for COVID-tracing prior to entry to the Gardens. Pre-registration will be possible for expedited entry.

For Younger Readers
Kids’ Day: Saturday 27 February, 9.30am – 3.30pm
A Day for Middle and YA Readers (Tweens and Teens): Sunday 28 February, 10am – 4.30pm
FREE – scanning required prior to entry

Plane Tree Stage
How to be an Author: Monday 1 March, 12pm – 5pm
Be the Change: Tuesday 2 March, 12pm – 5pm
FREE – scanning required prior to entry

Twilight Talks
Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden, King William Road, Adelaide
Monday 1 March, 6.30pm: Live chat show Authorial Voice
Tuesday 2 March, 6.30pm: Unstable Ground
FREE – no bookings required scanning required prior to entry

 

FIRST LIST OF GUESTS

Debra Adelaide is an author and academic who has published six works of fiction, including The Household Guide to Dying, Letter to George Clooney, The Women’s Pagesand Zebra, as well as many edited collections. She works at the University of Technology Sydney, where she is an associate professor in creative writing.

Patrick Allington is a writer, editor and lover of food. Patrick’s fiction includes his most recent novel, Rise & Shine, and Figurehead, which was longlisted for the 2010 Miles Franklin Literary Award, as well as short stories published in Meanjin, Griffith Review, The Big Issue, and elsewhere.

Anne Applebaum is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist. Her books include Gulag: A History, Iron Curtain:The Crushing of Eastern Europe,1944-1956 and, most recently, Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Democracy and the Parting of Friends. She is a columnist for The Atlantic and a senior fellow of the Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Katherine Tamiko Arguile is a Japanese-British-Australian arts journalist and author. A graduate of Cambridge University, she holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide and her award-winning short stories have been published in anthologies in the UK and in Australia. The Things She Owned is her first novel.

Robbie Arnott’s widely acclaimed debut Flames was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award, a Queensland Literary Award, the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and Not the Booker Prize. His second novel is The Rain Herron.

Dr Julia Baird is a globally renowned author, award-winning journalist, host of The Drumon ABC TV and columnist for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. Julia’s most recent book is the bestselling Phosphorescence and her biography of Queen Victoria, Victoria: the Queen, was one of The New York Times’ top ten books of 2016.

Davina Bell is an award-winning author of books for young readers of many ages. She writes picture books (including Under the Love Umbrella and All the Ways To Be Smart), as well as junior fiction, middle-grade fiction and YA.

James Bradley is the author of five novels: Ghost Species, Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist and Clade, and a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus. His books have won or been shortlisted for a number of major Australian and international literary awards and have been widely translated.

Danielle Clode is a zoologist and award-winning author. She has written seven books, including Voyages to the South Seas, which won the 2007 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Nonfiction, and, most recently, In Search of the Woman Who Sailed the World.

Anita Collins PhD is an award-winning music teacher and researcher in brain development and music learning. She wrote one of the most-watched TED Education films ever made and appeared on the ABC TV series, Don’t Stop the Music. Anita is music teacher and conductor at Canberra Grammar School, and Associate Fellow of Music, Mind and Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne.

Allison Colpoys is an award-winning designer and illustrator, and the Associate Art Director at Scribe Publications. As well as receiving numerous Australian Book Design Awards for her illustration and cover design, she has won the CBCA Crichton Award for Best New Talent and an Australian Book Industry Award.

Steven Conte‘s debut novel, The Zookeeper’s War, won the inaugural Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction. It was also shortlisted for the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and for the 2007 Christina Stead Award for Fiction. The Tolstoy Estate is his second novel.

Trent Dalton’s bestselling debut novel, Boy Swallows Universe, broke records to become the fastest selling Australian debut novel ever, winning many major Australian literary prizes including a record-breaking four ABIA Awards. His second novel All Our Shimmering Skies was published in September 2020.

Tegan Bennett Daylight is a writer, teacher and critic. Her books include the Stella Award shortlisted Six Bedrooms and the novels Safety and Bombora. She lives in the Blue Mountains with her husband and two children.

Robert Dessaix is a writer of fiction, autobiography and essays. Previously an academic of Russian language and literature at the ANU and UNSW, Robert presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC Radio National for over a decade. His most recent book is The Time of our Lives.

One of Australia’s most prolific and celebrated authors, Garry Disher has published fifty titles across multiple genres. He has won numerous German Crime Prize and Ned Kelly awards, including the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award, the judges of which described him as ‘a giant not only of crime fiction but of Australian letters’. His latest book is Consolation.

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin. She studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University. Exciting Times is her first novel, an excerpt from which was published in The Stinging Fly.

Ceridwen Dovey is a writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, essays and profiles. Her debut novel, Blood Kin, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award, and her second book Only the Animals won multiple awards, including the inaugural Readings New Australian Writing award and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Ceridwen’s latest novel is Life After Truth.

Ursula Dubosarsky is the current Australian Children’s Laureate for 2020-2021. She is the author of over 60 books for children and her most recent novel, Brindabella, was short-listed for the 2019 CBCA awards.

Best known as the presenter of Conversations on ABC Radio, Richard Fidler is the author of the best-selling Ghost Empire, and, with Kári Gíslason, co-author of the award winning Saga Land. His new book is The Golden Maze, a biography of Prague, inspired by his experience of the city’s 1989 Velvet Revolution.

Richard Flanagan‘s novels have received numerous honours and are published in forty-two countries. He won the Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North and the Commonwealth Prize for Gould’s Book of Fish. A rapid on the Franklin River is named after him. His most recent novel is The Living Sea of Waking Dreams.

Andrew Fowler is an award-winning investigative journalist and a former reporter with Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners, and chief of staff and acting foreign editor of The Australian. His books include The Most Dangerous Man in the World, The War on Journalism and Shooting the Messenger: Criminalising Journalism.

William Gibson is credited with having coined the term “cyberspace” and having envisioned both the Internet and virtual reality before either existed. He is the author of many books including his first book, the seminal Neuromancer, which won the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and the Nebula Award. His most recent book is Agency. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife.

Julia Gillard served as Prime Minister of Australia from 2010-13. She is currently the inaugural Chair of Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College in London and Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and Beyond Blue. Ms Gillard’s memoirs, My Story, were published in 2014 and her most recent book is Women and Leadership, co-written with former Nigerian Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Geoff Goodfellow has worked as a writer in schools, jails, youth detention centres, drug and alcohol rehabilitation units, building and construction sites and factories, as well as universities in Australia and overseas. His collection Poems for a Dead Father was shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year award in 2002. His poems have appeared in Best Australian Poetry (2009) and in Best Australian Poems four times.

Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her international bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries. Other books include the Orange Prize winner, The Idea of Perfection and her most recent book, A Room Made of Leaves, her first novel in nearly a decade.

Victoria Hannan is a writer, photographer and creative director living in Melbourne. Her writing has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, 3:AM Magazine and in her monthly TinyLetter about swimming pools. Her first novel Kokomo was the 2019 winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster from the UK. She is the author of The Amber Fury, which was shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize; The Children of Jocasta, a feminist retelling of the Oedipus and Antigone stories; and a non-fiction book about Ancient History, The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. She has written and presented four series of the BBC Radio 4 show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics. In 2015, she was awarded the Classical Association Prize for her work in bringing Classics to a wider audience. A Thousand Ships is her third novel.

Jean Hinchliffe is a teen climate activist and lead organiser with School Strike 4 Climate. Her activism began at age 13 when she volunteered with the Vote Yes campaign for marriage equality, and she now campaigns for legislative action against the sourcing and usage of fossil fuels, along with pushing for Australia to become fully carbon neutral. Jean’s first book is Lead the Way: How to change the world, from a teen activist and school striker.

Jenny Hocking is emeritus professor at Monash University, Distinguished Whitlam Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, and Gough Whitlam’s award-winning biographer. Her case against the National Archives of Australia, seeking access to the ‘Palace letters’ between the Queen and the Governor-General at the time of the dismissal of the Whitlam government, succeeded at the High Court of Australia in May 2020, and her book on this subject is The Palace Letters.

Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia’s most experienced social researchers and former director of The Mind and Mood Report, the longest running measure of the nation’s attitudes and trends. How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way That Makes a Difference is her sixth book.

Julie Janson is a Burruberongal woman of Darug Aboriginal Nation and a playwright, novelist and poet. Julie was co-recipient of the 2016 Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize and winner of the 2019 Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and her novels include The Crocodile Hotel, The Light Horse Ghost and, most recently, Benevolence.

Malcolm Knox is the former literary editor and award-winning cricket writer of The Sydney Morning Herald, where he broke the Norma Khouri story, for which he won one of his three Walkley Awards. He is the highly acclaimed author of seven novels and numerous works of non-fiction.

Will Kostakis is a writer of all things, from celebrity news stories that score cease and desist letters, to tweets for professional wrestlers. He’s best known for his award-winning YA novels, The First Third and The Sidekicks. Monuments is his new fantasy series.

Royce Kurmelovs is a journalist and writer whose work has been published by the ABC, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera English, VICE, and The Guardian. Royce’s bestselling first book, The Death of Holden, was published in 2016, followed by Rogue Nation and Boom and Bust. His new book is Just Money.

Andrew Kwong was born in Zhongshan in the Pearl River Delta, China, and educated in China, Hong Kong and Australia. He works as a family physician on the Central Coast of New South Wales. He has published many short stories and has been the recipient of numerous writing awards and fellowships. His upbringing during the Great Leap Forward was seminal and is detailed in his memoir, One Bright Moon.

Sofie Laguna is an award-winning author of books for adults and young people.  She won the 2015 Miles Franklin Award for her second novel, The Eye of the Sheep, and the 2018 Indie Book Award for Fiction for her third novel, The Choke, and her books have also been shortlisted for awards including the Stella Prize, the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.  Her latest novel is Infinite Splendours.

Christina Lamb is a multiple award winning journalist and author and is currently Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the UK’s The Sunday Times. Her books include the best-selling The Africa House as well as The Sewing Circles of Herat, My Afghan Years and, most recently, Our Bodies, Their Battlefield.

Hugh Mackay is a social researcher and a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Society of NSW. He has had a 60-year career in social research, and was a weekly newspaper columnist for over 25 years. He is the bestselling author of 21 books, including What Makes Us Tick, The Good Life, Australia Reimagined and, his most recent book, The Inner Self: The Joy of Discovering Who We Really Are.

Megha Majumdar was born and raised in Kolkata, India. She moved to the United States to attend college at Harvard University, followed by graduate school in social anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. She works as an editor at Catapult. A Burning is her first book.

Emily St. John Mandel was born in Canada and studied dance at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She is the author of the novels Last Night in Montreal, The Singer’s Gun, The Lola Quartet and Station Eleven and is a staff writer for The Millions.  Her new book is The Glass Hotel.

Kate Manne is an associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University and in 2019 was voted one of the world’s top ten thinkers by Prospect Magazine (UK). In addition to academic journals, her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement and The Washington Post. Her first book, Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, was awarded the 2019 PROSE Award for Excellence in Philosophy and in the Humanities and also won the American Philosophical Association Book Prize.  Her new book is Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women.

Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories. His most recent novels, Apierogon (2020) and TransAtlantic (2013) were both longlisted for the Booker Prize, and his previous novel, Let the Great World Spin, won the National Book Award and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Charlotte McConaghy has worked in script development for film and television for several years and is the author of a number of speculative fiction books. The Last Migration is her first literary novel.

Maaza Mengiste is an author, Fulbright Scholar and professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation program at Queens College. Her most recent novel, The Shadow King, was short-listed for the 2020 Booker Prize, and her first novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was named one of The Guardian’s Ten Best Contemporary African Books. Her work can be found in The New Yorker, Granta, and The New York Times, among other publications.

Fernanda Melchor is widely recognised as one of the most exciting new voices of Mexican literature. In 2018, she won the PEN Mexico Award for Literary and Journalistic Excellence and in 2019 the German Anna-Seghers-Preis and the International Literature Award for Hurricane Season.  Hurricane Season was also shortlisted for the International Booker Prize.

Kate Mildenhall is a writer, teacher and co-host of The First Time, a podcast about the first time you publish a book. Her debut novel Skylarking, was named in Readings Top Ten Fiction Books of 2016 and longlisted for Best Debut Fiction in The Indie Book Awards 2017 and the 2017 Voss Literary Prize. The Mother Fault is her second novel.

Alex Miller is one of Australia’s most celebrated authors. He has won multiple literary awards, including the Miles Franklin Literary Award (twice), the Melbourne Prize for Literature and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and he is the recipient of the Manning Clark Medal for an outstanding contribution to Australian cultural life. His most recent book is Max.

Shannon Molloy is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience working for major media outlets spanning print and digital, covering business, entertainment, celebrity and human interest.

Rick Morton is an award-winning journalist and the author of One Hundred Years of Dirt, which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the National Biography Award.  He is currently the Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper and his recent books are On Money and My Year of Living Vulnerably.

Patrick Mullins is a Canberra-based writer and academic who has a PhD from the University of Canberra. Tiberius with a Telephone, his first book, won the 2020 NSW Premier’s Non-Fiction Award and the 2020 National Biography Award. He is also the author of The Trials of Portnoy: how Penguin brought down Australia’s censorship system.

Sigrid Nunez is the author of several novels including the New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner The Friend, and, most recently, What Are You Going Through?. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Maggie O’Farrell is the award-winning author of the bestselling memoir I Am, I Am, I Amand eight novels including The Distance Between Us, The Hand That First Held Mine, Instructions for a Heatwave and This Must be the Place.  Her most recent novel, Hamnet, won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai was born in Việt Nam in 1973, and grew up witnessing the war’s devastation of her country. She worked as a street seller and rice farmer before winning a scholarship to attend university in Australia. She is the author of eight books of poetry, short fiction and non-fiction in Vietnamese. Her writing has been translated and published in more than ten countries and has received many honours, including the Hà Nội Writers Association’s Poetry of the Year 2010 Award.

Vivian Pham is a Vietnamese-Australian fiction writer, closet poet, amateur screenwriter, university student and hopeful dropout if any of the aforementioned ventures take flight. Her debut book, The Coconut Children, was published in March 2020.

Cassandra Pybus is an award-winning author and a distinguished historian. She is author of twelve books and has held research professorships at the University of Sydney, Georgetown University in Washington DC, the University of Texas and King’s College London. She is descended from the colonist who received the largest free land grant on Truganini’s traditional country of Bruny Island.

Christopher Pyne is the former Member for Sturt. He started on the Opposition backbench before rising through the ranks to become Minister for Defence and Leader of the House, serving as a minister across the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments. He is the author of two books, including his recent memoir, The Insider.

Geoff Raby was Australia’s ambassador to China (2007–11); ambassador to APEC (2003–5); and ambassador to the World Trade Organization (1998–2001). He is chairman of VisAsia at the Art Gallery of NSW and chairman of the Australia–China Institute of Arts and Culture at the University of Western Australia. Raby was awarded the Order of Australia in 2019 for services to Australia–China relations and to international trade.

Christopher Raja is an Indian-born Australian author of short stories, essays, a play and a novel. He co-authored the play The First Garden with Natasha Raja, which was performed in botanical gardens throughout Australia and published by Currency Press in 2012. His debut novel, The Burning Elephant, was published in 2015. It was written with the assistance of an Australia Council New Work grant. Christopher has been twice shortlisted for the Northern Territory Writers’ Centre’s Chief Minister’s Book of the Year award. He migrated from Calcutta to Melbourne in 1986, and spends his time between Melbourne and Alice Springs.

Georgia Richter has an MA (Creative Writing) from the University of Western Australia and is an IPEd Accredited Editor. She has taught creative writing, professional writing and editing at the universities of Melbourne and Western Australia, as well as at Curtin University. Georgia joined Fremantle Press in 2008 as the fiction, narrative non-fiction and poetry publisher.

Mirandi Riwoe is the author of the novella The Fish Girl, which was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Queensland Literary Award for Fiction. Her work has featured in many publications including Best Australian Stories, Meanjin, Griffith Review and Best Summer Stories. Her new book is Stone Sky Gold Mountain, which won the 2020 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and the ARA Historical Novel Prize.

Arundhati Roy is the author of The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize and has been translated into more than forty languages. She also has published several books of non-fiction including The End of Imagination, Capitalism: A Ghost Story and The Doctor and the Saint.

Sally Rugg is an LGBTQI rights activist, writer and public speaker. She is Executive Director at political activist group change.org, and was previously Campaign Director at GetUp where she led the campaign for marriage equality for five years. How Powerful We Are is her first book.

Philippe Sands is Professor of Law at UCL and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He has been involved in many of the most important international legal cases of recent years, including those on Pinochet, Yugoslavia Rwanda and Iraq. He is the author of Lawless, Torture Team, East West Street, which won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction, and The Ratline. He is President of English PEN and a member of the board of the Hay Literary Festival.

Ronnie Scott writes essays and criticism for newspapers, websites and magazines. He is a Lecturer in the Writing and Publishing discipline at RMIT University. The Adversary is his first novel.

Jess Scully is an advocate for the creative economy and the role of cities in a fair future. She is the Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney: previously, Jess curated projects including Vivid Ideas and TEDxSydney, worked as a public art curator, policy advisor and magazine editor. Glimpses of Utopia is her first book.

Craig Silvey’s most celebrated novel, Jasper Jones, won and was shortlisted for many Australian and international literary awards, and was adapted for the stage and screen. His highly anticipated follow up is Honeybee.

R.A. Spratt is the author of The Peski Kids, Friday Barnes and The Adventures of Nanny Piggins. Unlike the Peski kids, R.A. Spratt never fights with her brother, but only because he moved to Tokyo. R.A. lives in Bowral, NSW, where she has three chickens, five goldfish and a dog.

Gavin Aung Than’s webcomic Zen Pencils, has been featured by The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Slate, Buzzfeed, Gawker and Brain Pickings, and has also been collected into New York Times bestselling books. His first series for children, Super Sidekicks, grew out of Gavin’s long-time obsession with superheroes.

Jessie Tu trained as a classical violinist for more than 15 years and has taught music at schools in Sydney and refugee camps in the Middle East. She has won several poetry and writing awards and now works as a journalist at Women’s Agenda. Her first book of poetry was released in 2018 and A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing is her first novel.

Malcolm Turnbull served Australia’s Prime Minister from 2015 – 2018. Prior to entering politics in 2004, he enjoyed successful careers in journalism, law and business.

Vikki Wakefield writes realist fiction for young adults. Her work explores coming-of-age, family, class, relationships and the lives of contemporary teens. Vikki lives in Adelaide, Australia.

Don Watson is the author of many acclaimed books, including the bestselling Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PM and The Bush. His many awards include The Age Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Walkley Non-Fiction Award. His latest book is Watsonia.

Marian Wilkinson is regarded as one of the most distinguished journalists in Australia. A member of the Australian Media Hall of Fame, Marian was a pioneer in the resurgence of Australian investigative journalism and has worked as a senior reporter for organisations including Sydney Morning Herald and Four Corners. She was a co-author with David Marr of Dark Victory and the author of The Fixer: The Untold Story of Graham Richardson. Her most recent book is The Carbon Club.

Pip Williams is co-author of the book Time Bomb: Work Rest and Play in Australia Today, and the author of the memoir, One Italian Summer. The Dictionary of Lost Words is her first novel.

Karen Wyld is a freelance writer and author living on the coast south of Adelaide. Born in South Australia, her Grandmothers’ Country is in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. As a diasporic Aboriginal woman of Martu descent, she writes fiction and non-fiction that seeks to contextualise colonisation, displacement, the Stolen Generations, homecoming, resistance and rights. She’s currently a Masters candidate, exploring how magic realism is used to articulate time, belonging and Country in Aboriginal-authored text. Where the Fruit Falls is her first novel.

Born in Beijing and now living in the United States, C Pam Zhang has lived in thirteen cities across four countries and is still looking for home. She has been awarded support from Tin House, Bread Loaf, Aspen Words, and elsewhere, and currently lives in San Francisco. Her first novel, How Much of These Hills Is Gold was long-listed for the 2020 Booker Prize.

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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