Brisbane Writers Festival – Minds Wide Open




We’re challenged this year to keep our minds wide open at Brisbane Writers Festival! #bwf15


Bright, curious minds will be connected for a city wide conversation. Festival Director/CEO Julie Berveridge said, “BWF continues its proud history of connecting writers, artists, thinkers and innovators this year.


“BWF will create a vibrant forum, along with the time and space to deep-dive for ideas.”




The Brisbane Writers Festival has held the place of Queensland’s premier literary event for over a decade. It brings the world of writing and ideas to Brisbane, and showcases the best of local, national and international writing to Brisbane, and to the world. For five days in September each year the festival takes over the spectacularly re-developed State Library of Queensland (next to the iconic Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery) in the South Bank cultural precinct alongside the Brisbane River. Book for all ticketed events here. Don’t forget the many FREE events. There is truly something for everyone at this year’s Brisbane Writers Festival.



Possum Magic cupcakes by Megan Daly childrensbooksdaily.com



Alphabet Zoo is back! BWF’s program for young children and families is back!


Explore Mem Fox’s world of Possum Magic in the arts and crafts play-scape!



10.00AM – 4.00PM




Are you a Young Adult fiction fan? Dress the part! Get Lily Collins’ Shadowhunter style.


Celebrating all things YA, Love YA! brings together fans, readers and writers of YA fiction to talk about love, community and Shadowhunters. From how to be happy to how to get published, Love YA! has you covered. Cosplay encouraged!


12.00 – 7.00PM




Tuesday September 2 (9:45am – 10:30am)

& Sunday September 6 (1pm – 2pm)

David Burton’s funny, sad and serious memoir of his journey through adolescence, How To Be Happy, tackles the big teen topics and shows young people that even if they feel different or awkward during high school, everyone can find their true self, follow their dreams and be happy!



Check out where we’ll be during the festival via Twitter and Instagram – follow @BrisWritersFest & @xsentertainment #bwf15




Thursday September 3 – Opening Address

Jon Ronson is a curious man. Here he investigates festivals, and their audiences. What it means to engage and the dizzying highs and sobering lows of entering a conversation with your mind wide open.

Author of The Psychopath Test, Men Who Stare At Goats, and most recently So, You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Jon opens this year’s festival with his trademark investigative satire, taking a can opener to the brain, he tilts the lid in a bit to disguard and strain its juice.






Friday September 4 (3:30pm – 4:30pm)

Imagine waiting for your parents to pass away in order to investigate a suspicion that the man who raised you wasn’t your biological father. Ramona Koval did just that. She talks with Fiona Stager about her quest to find the truth about her parentage and what she discovered about herself in the process.






Friday September 4 (5pm – 6pm)

It’s a tough time to be a woman on the internet. Over the past two generations, the political map of human relations has been redrawn by feminism and by changes in technology. In this brave new world, old-style sexism is making itself felt in new and frightening ways. In Cybersexism, Laurie Penny goes to the dark heart of the matter and asks why threats of rape and violence are being used to try to silence female voices, analyses the structure of online misogyny, and makes a case for real freedom of speech – for everyone.





Friday September 4 (6:30pm – 7:30pm)

Ever made a joke on Twitter that came out wrong and as a consequence been torn apart by a crazed mob? Or been part of a crazed mob tearing someone apart for telling a joke on Twitter? Jon Ronsonhas spent the past three years with people who have, and now he’s ready to tell the tale. Hilarious and powerful, this is an illustrated one-man show about the renaissance of public shaming, and our very scary part in it. Following Jon’s wildly successful book The Psychopath Test, this time around we are the crazy people.





Saturday September 5 (10am – 12pm)

Barbara Arrowsmith Young defied all odds and changed her brain. Abdi Aden arrived in Australia with no family, no money, no education and overcame. Li Cunxin believes that if we strive, we will succeed. Be inspired by three very different stories that show us if we want change our lives, the power is within us.






Saturday September 5 (11:30am – 12:30am)

From Jane Eyre and Hester Prynn to Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen, literature has known some fine leading ladies. Who are the greatest heroines of all time, and how do their contemporaries stack up today?

Sarah Waters, Jane Caro, Kate Grenville and Sophie Hannah debate the women we’ve grown to love, laud, obsess over and idolise, and how characters and writers can help us be the heroines of our own lives.






Saturday September 5 (1pm – 2pm)

What makes sex in fiction so sexy? What is the difference between romance and erotica, erotica and porn? Anne Buist, Krissy Kneen and Susan Johnson explore experiences of human connection and discuss representations of relationships and sex in literature.







Saturday September 5 (2pm – 3:30pm)

Naomi Alderman created Zombie Run, an app for people who struggle to engage with exercise, Jessica Rowe has endured a career in the spotlight and Andy Jackson was born with Marfan’s Syndrome. What do these three have in common? They all love their body.






Sunday September 6 (11:30am – 12:30pm)

Journalist, celebrity, television presenter, author, ambassador for beyondblue, Member of the Order of Australia, passionate mother and wife, Jessica Rowe is an extraordinary woman. Jessica Rowe discuss her memoir Is this My Beautiful Life?, love, motherhood, career, and the idea of ‘having it all’.






Sunday September 6 (1pm – 2pm)

With over 25 years experience in perinatal psychiatry, Anne Buist works with Australia’s legal services in real-life cases of abuse, kidnapping, infanticide and murder. Join Anne in conversation about mothers who kill and her new psychological thriller, Medea’s Curse.








Sunday September 6 (4pm – 5pm)

Some of the greatest stories ever told are from so far back we no longer know if they are fact, fiction, or something far more mysterious. Join authors Sjón, Holly Black, and Kelly Link, who bend genres and borrow from myth, as they talk with Angela Slatter about the tales that continue to enchant and haunt us.








Sunday September 6 (5:30pm – 6:30pm)

The Chaser’s Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen present an unsparing send-up of every earnest “In Conversation” you’ve ever had to sit through. The inept moderator, temperamental microphones, and inane audience questions… all this and more will greet the famously prickly genius Lionel Corn as he takes the stage to discuss his life’s work.



See you at Brisbane Writers Festival!





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