24th - 26th August 2018
Power, Politics, Passion

1st Artist Announce!

The Canberra Writers Festival is building on its remarkable debut in 2016, returning to the national capital from Friday 25th – Sunday 27th August with a sensational author line-up and new events including Wine and Crime shows, a program for young adults and more literary dinners and luncheons.
This year’s Canberra Writers Festival is on track to becoming the must-attend event of the national literary calendar, with its Power, Politics and Passion theme bringing in a diverse range of thought-provoking topics such as war, peace and insecurity.
Last year the Canberra Writers Festival was held across three precincts with the support and collaboration of Australia’s Canberra-based national institutions and other partners such as the National Press Club of Australia and Doma Hotels. With more than 5,000 guests, overwhelming positive audience feedback and 95 events, the Festival will build on this success by following the same format in 2017.
The Festival has also appointed former Australia Council CEO and General Manager of Musica Viva Australia Jennifer Bott AO as its new Artistic Director. “I am thrilled to be working with the Festival team and talented colleagues from our cultural institutions, bringing together outstanding Australian and international literary talent with skilled moderators and engaged audiences. Writers Festivals are ultimately festivals of ideas, and Canberra provides a fertile environment for such a feast,” Ms Bott said.
The first round of authors for the festival includes:
  • International bestselling author Maggie Alderson, author of nine novels including Evangeline the Wish Keeper’s Helper which was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Maggie’s most recent release The Scent of You is a novel of perfumes, exploring life, love, loss and forgiveness.  Before becoming a full-time author Maggie worked as a journalist and columnist in the UK and Australia, editing several magazines including British ELLE.
  • Richard Fidler – Presenter of Conversations with Richard Fidler, broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio, Richard is a most welcome addition to the Canberra Writers Festival program. His most recent book Ghost Empire tells of the clash of civilisations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust and murder. Richard’s book is a rare treasure – an utterly captivating blend of the historical and the contemporary, realised by a master storyteller.
  • Julia Baird – Journalist, broadcaster, columnist, political commentator and current host of The Drum on ABC TV, Julia Baird’s spirited biography of the world's most influential, intriguing and surprising ruler, Victoria: The Queen is a fascinating, provocative and authoritative new work of Queen Victoria which will make us see her in a new light.
  • Nikki Gemmell – Best-selling author of thirteen novels, including the international bestseller, The Bride Stripped Bare. Her new book, After, is a fiercely brave, poignant and powerful memoir which Nikki is writing in an attempt to understand the ‘death of choice’ of her mother.  It is also the story of Elayn Gemmell – and the often difficult, prickly relationship between mothers and daughter, and how that changes over time.
  • Robyn Williams AM – Author of more than 15 books and presenter of science programs on ABC radio and television since 1972. His most recent book In Love with Betty the Crow covers his 40 years as presenter of The Science Show on ABC RN.  In Love with Betty the Crow charts the fun and games, the big issues and the controversies surrounding a science program that won’t go away.
  • Jack Heath – Internationally bestselling author of action-packed thrillers for young people and local lad, Jack Heath is another outstanding addition to the first author lineup for the 2017 Festival. His latest work The Fail Safe is the sequel to the best-selling and multi-award-nominated thriller for kids aged 10+, The Cut Out.  Appearing across the weekend, Jack will also be a panelist in the live festival event of ABC Canberra Radio’s: Canberra’s Big Book Club on the Sunday of the festival.
  • Graeme Simsion – information systems consultant turned author, Graeme’s The Rosie Project which was published in Australia in January 2014, and has since sold more than a million copies in over forty countries around the world. A sequel to The Rosie Project, titled The Rosie Effect, was published on 24 September 2014. Graeme’s current writing projects include The Candle and Walk to the Stars – a love story set on the Camino de Santiago.
These talented authors will also be joined by brain expert Dr Nicola Gates; one of Australia’s favourite food writers Valli Little; writer of hardboiled action thrillers James Phelan; leading young adult fiction author Gabrielle Williams; foreign policy and intelligence expert Allan Gyngell;  Cameron and Samantha Bloom talking about a remarkable story of courage expressed through Penguin Bloom, the Odd Little Bird who Saved a Family; author and documentary maker Jeff Maynard; award-winning combat photographer Gary Ramage and psychological thriller writer Anne Buist.
With more authors to be announced over the coming months, the festival is shaping up to be even bigger and more action-packed than last year. We were overwhelmed by the response to the inaugural festival and our team is looking forward to building on last year, growing the festival and delighting audiences,” said Festival Director, Vickii Cotter.
The Festival is supported by additional funding from the ACT Government as well as ongoing support from Australia’s national institutions and other supporters including the National Library of Australia, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, the Australian National University, the National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Australia, National Press Club of Australia and Doma Hotels.
A range of early bird ticket options are now available, including season passes and day tickets.  Tickets can be booked online or by calling ticketek: 132 849. For further information including artist submissions visit the festival’s website: http://canberrawritersfestival.com.au/.
The festival dates: Friday 25th – Sunday 27th August 2017
For further information, artist interviews or event information, please contact:
Cathryn Buchanan- cathryn.buchanan@blueplanetpr.com.au  0414 543 662