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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Perth Writers Festival 2011

Well it's that time of the year again! Yesterday, the program for the Perth Writers Festival, an off-shoot of the Perth International Arts Festival, was announced. While personally I'm a little disappointed with the line up, there are a few good YA authors involved.

For those of you who are not familiar with this event, the PWF runs over the long weekend at the beginning of March and features a selection of authors across the board participating in readings, talks, workshops and a family day.

While there are authors from all different writing genres, since I am a YA blog, I'm only going to talk about the YA authors who will be attending. If you are interested in seeing the whole program or for more information, click here (all links lead to the relevant pages on the PWF website).

The shining light for me at the festival is Melina Marchetta! For those living under a rock, Melina is the amazing author of Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca and the most recent The Piper's Son, amongst others. She will be taking part in three events over the weekend. The first will be a Writing Fiction Workshop on Saturday. Then on Sunday morning she will be taking part in a discussion with authors Sophie Gee and Toni Jordan about the distinction between popular and literary fiction and then in the early afternoon, she will discuss writing for teenagers with New Zealand YA author Bernard Beckett.

Unfortunately, Melina Marchetta and Bernard Beckett's talk happens to be on at the same time as a discussion with Margo Lanagan and Stephen Dedman about the anthology Zombies vs. Unicorns in which Lanagan contributes a short story. The question is, which is better, zombies or unicorns? And what side are you on? Margo from Team Unicorn and zombie advocate Stephen, discuss the good and evil sides of fantasy writing.

There are many other YA authors participating in talks and all are doing multiple events. The easiest way to find out who and what they are doing is to visit the festival website and get yourself an electronic version of the program. Along with Marchetta, Beckett and Lanagan, other children's and YA authors include Brain Falkner, Sandy Fussell, Cristy Burne, Ursula Dubosarsky, Anthony Eaton, Wendy Orr, Will Elliot and Lev Grossman.

You may even find some adult authors of interest including Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter series, Annie Proulx, Leah Giarratano, Joanne Harris and Tim Flannery.

Unfortunately (well not unfortunately but you know...) I will be working at the festival this year so I'm not sure if I will be able to make it to any of the talks I am interested in but fingers crossed! Maybe I could get my lunch break to coincide....

Here are the nitty-gritty details...

When: Friday 4th to Monday 7th March 2011
Where: The University of Western Australia
Cost: Free- $62.50
Signing: The festival bookshop, partially run by yours truly, will be where authors will be signing their books immediately after their events.
Festival Website: http://perthfestival.com.au/events/pwf/


  1. Jess have fun at the festival. And I really hope you have a chance to go see some authors especially my favourite Melina Marchetta :)

  2. I'm really excited this year about the line up! I got my program in the mail this week and have circled everything I want to go to, now comes the tricky part of choosing the one's I'll actually get to!

  3. Just found out I have to work during the Marchetta talks :( I'll be in the same building but wont be able to listen. grrr


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