This year’s Brisbane Writers Festival is almost here, with a diverse line-up of speakers ranging from musician Tim Rogers to scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and children’s author Mem Fox. These headliners will join 140 writers in September to share their deepest thoughts on healing the world.
Writers transcend the page at Brisbane Writers Festival, offering insight, igniting debate and scaffolding emerging ideas with new vocabulary. This year they’ll traverse topics ranging from ending epidemics through to politics and the environment, and culture and identity.
These sessions are part of the festival’s lofty curatorial ambition – to address what the world needs now.
“We all have an idea about what the world needs now. It’s something we’re all talking about; be it at home over the dinner table, at work or online,” says Acting CEO Ann McLean. “The 2018 program gives audiences the chance to think about the future they would like to create for themselves and come away with real, actionable ideas for positive transformation.”
The diversity of ideas that play into this central theme is reflected in the selection of speakers, with human rights barrister, activist and author Geoffrey Robertson Q.C opening the festival and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki delivering the closing address.
The full program is now online, and to ensure you don’t miss the top picks from the 150+ events, we have curated a shortlist of highlights.
Detours: Tim Rogers
Raconteur and former You Am I frontman Tim Rogers has released Detours – a collection of essays about his life. Discussing his memoir – which looks at masculinity, self-acceptance, drinking, footy, fatherhood and music – Rogers will appear in conversation with Robert Forster.
Speaking with us late last year, Rogers said of the book: “I have been asked to write for about 15 years and three years ago I said to my agent, ‘I’m not going to write an autobiography.’ And she said, ‘Well I am not interested in your autobiography, I want you to write different pieces.’ We swapped essays and memoirs back and forth and I took it on as a job. I just hope I did a good job.”
When Life Gives You Lululemons: Lauren Weisberger
Author of The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger is appearing at the festival to mark the release of her latest book, When Life Gives You Lululemons. The book is set in affluent Greenwich, Connecticut, where an infamous new neighbour has set tongues wagging. Weisberger will also be taking part in a dinner event at Gerard’s Bistro.
Irvine Welsh: Dead Men's Trousers
Best known for his cult novel Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh is a pop culture hero. His new release, Dead Man’s Trousers brings you the latest instalment of the Trainspotting crew. Welsh will appear in conversation with Andrew Stafford to discuss the book as well as music, culture, gender and democracy – and the discussion will be followed by a screening of Trainspotting .
On Writing: Eggshell Skull with Bri Lee
Local author and former lawyer Bri Lee has just released her debut book, Eggshell Skull – a first-hand examination of how the legal system responds to sexual assault claims. In this event, Lee will discuss how she worked with her editors and publisher to produce her first book.
In our recent chat with Lee, she offered the following advice to emerging writers: “It’s going to feel for a little while like you are just busting your guts and not getting anywhere, but – if you can – just put in those miles at the beginning. Once you do start seeing those wins, they will keep coming.
The Trauma Cleaner: Sarah Krasnostein
The Trauma Cleaner has been one of the breakout books of the last 12 months. Author Sarah Krasnostein tenderly profiles the real life of trauma cleaner Sandra Pankhurst, who finds herself in the thick of desperate situations and desolate lives. Krasnostein will appear in conversation with Paul Barclay.
The Adani Show
Backbone Youth Arts has developed a show about the future, from the perspective of the young people who will have to bear the consequences of today’s decisions. The Adani Show, which was created by young artists and a small troupe of 10–12 year olds, mixes together music, performance, video work and trivia.
Other events to keep on your radar:
State Library Queensland
More information and tickets
Brisbane Festival's massive 2018 program is here
Music opens and closes this year’s Brisbane Festival, and what comes in-between will unfold in true theatrical fashion: three themed acts spread across three weeks. Here is what you can expect. MORE ...