UPLIT- The Brisbane Writers Festival

August 9, 2017

Readers and writers of Brisbane rejoice as it is soon one of our favourite times of year. This September 6-10 sees over 100 writers converging on Brisbane for the annual Brisbane Writers Festival. UPLIT- The Brisbane Writers Festival is celebrating 55 years (even older than me) of bringing stimulating ideas, debate, discussion and some cracking good authors to our beautiful river city. This year the theme is – The big stories and the little ones in between. It will be difficult to choose which sessions to attend as you will be treated to 16 international guest authors, 49 Australian writers and a large contingent of Queensland authors.

The Program

Whenever the program for The Brisbane Writers Festival comes out my Writers Group and I pore over it as though it is the Ekka showbag supplement. There is much debate about which sessions we should attend, the masterclasses we would like to participate in and which authors are unmissable. In 2017 it will be no different.

This year a highlight will be exploring Angel’s Palace, a literature experience which brings to life Alexis Wright’s novel- Carpentaria, through a large scale artwork by Gordon Hookey. There will be a program of performance, storytelling and talks exploring indigenous art, history and culture.

International Authors

There is an impressive list of international authors landing at South Bank this September including Anosh Irani- Indian-Canadian author who will look at how reading can transcend our world view. British journalist and documentary maker -Adrian Levy will be sharing his landmark work and the extraordinary inside story of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Korean/ American author Min Jin Lee will explore how the past can impact on the future. A session I am really looking forward to is Argentinian born Mariano Sigman, a neuroscientist whose book – ‘The Secret Life of the Mind’ unlocks the processes that control how we learn, reason, feel, think and dream.

Local Authors

Home grown favourites are well represented with 50% of the 2017 program either originating from or currently living in Queensland including Benjamin Law, Ashley Hay, Ben Hobson, Quentin Bryce AD CVO, Krissy Kneen and Lucy Clark. Proud Queenslander, activist, respected leader and advocate for Aboriginal rights – Alec Doomadgee will open and be a keynote speaker at the festival.


The ever popular workshops for writers are back such as ’20 pages in 20 minutes’, as well as a new one ‘Literary Speed Dating’ which allows you 3 minutes to pitch your work to a room full of publishers. Sounds like a great opportunity for Brisbane writers! There will be free events at many Brisbane and Logan City libraries which are always popular. Love YA promises a free day of interaction with young adult fiction superstars. This year there are more ticketing options than ever
before with single and multiple day passes which allow you to see your favourites as well as allowing you to stay on and explore something new.

The Brisbane Writer’s Festival is on at the State Library of Queensland and various suburban libraries. I am already looking forward to the launch of Quentin Bryce’s book ‘Two Ways Strong’ and to seeing Nikki Gemmell and all my favourite local Brisbane authors – Frances Whiting, Rebecca Sparrow, Krissy Kneen and Kimberley Freeman. To plan and book your visit to the 2017 Brisbane Writers Festival click here!

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