2018 Adelaide Writers’ Week program announced

Adelaide Writers WeekSome of the world’s most fascinating literary minds will come together for this year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week. 84 writers from Australia and around the world are on the program for the six day event from Saturday 3 March as part of the 2018 Adelaide Festival.

20 local and international names have been added to the program, including journalist Julia Baird (AUS), screenwriter and novelist David Foenkinos (FR), Justine Larbalestier (AUS), Robert Wainwright (UK), Melanie Cheng (AUS), Wendy Orr (AUS), Clive Hamilton (AUS) and best-selling science-fiction writer, Cory Doctorow (CAN).

They join previously announced names including award-winning novelist and environmentalist Barbara Kingsolver (US), philosophers and public intellectuals, AC Grayling (UK) and Peter Godfrey-Smith (AUS), best-selling crime novelist Louise Penny (CAN), Miles Franklin winner Sophie Laguna (AUS) and Booker Prize winner Alan Hollinghurst (UK).

Adelaide Writers’ Week also welcomes memoirists Patricia Lockwood (US), Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (US) and Tim Rogers (AUS) for six days of readings and thrilling conversation in Adelaide’s leafy Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden.

The award-winning event will bring together a diverse range of contemporary writers and thinkers to discuss subjects of climate change, radicalisation, political strife, trauma, personal transformations and the power of memory, both collective and individual. The program will feature writers from a broad range of disciplines presenting works of cultural and political criticism, fiction, biography, memoir and poetry.

In her seventh and final year as Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week, Laura Kroetsch is maintaining her strong dedication to creating a challenging and thought provoking program for audiences. “In 2018, the program explores the idea of change: changes that we all feel in the world around us, changes in the individual or changes in the literary landscape,” said Ms Kroetsch.

“There’s a real balance of fiction and non-fiction and the program is full of opportunities for readers and writers to discover something they may have never come across. Throughout my time at Writers’ Week I’ve wanted to challenge and excite the community. To encourage them to think about issues that affect people all over the world and to expand the audiences frame of reference. I’m excited to see that happens through the 2018 program.”

The 2018 event is dedicated to one of Australia’s most beloved writers, Mem Fox, who joins previously honoured dedicatees Elizabeth Harrower, Brenda Neil, Robert Dessaix and Margo Lanagan. A household name, Fox has worked as a writer and educator for over 34 years, publishing over forty books for children and adults.

Among them are her award-winning works Possum Magic, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Where is the Green Sheep?, Hattie and the Fox and most recently I’m Australian Too. Her work for adults includes the best-selling Reading Magic. Captivating the imaginations of people all over the country with her whimsical stories that uniquely capture Australian life, Fox has been a passionate advocate for literacy throughout her career. She will be joined on stage on Monday 5 March by author Ruth Starke.

Kids’ Weekend (Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March) is set to return in 2018, with two days of interactive art, stories, parades and more. The Story Tent will feature an all-star lineup including Mem Fox, Jackie French, Kate and Jol Temple and the Little Big Book Club. Story Trove is back in 2018 to give more magical performances of books.

Also featured will be the giant inflatable Nylon Zoo, art and craft projects with Nest Studio and Indian designers Ragini Siruguri and Dhwani Shah, who will invite children to create a giant mural based on their book Twins. Students from Walford Anglican School for Girls will again volunteer at the Kids’ Weekend, assisting children with art and craft projects, including colourful hand fans to keep the crowds cool throughout the week.

With the support of presenting partner Southern Cross Care and Office for the Ageing, Writers’ Week will be livestreaming selected sessions (Monday, March 5 to Wednesday, March 7) to nursing homes, schools and libraries around South Australia to ensure as many members of the community have access to the event as possible.

ABC Radio Adelaide’s Sonya Feldhoff will continue the tradition of broadcasting live at Writers’ Week from Monday to Thursday, featuring exclusive interviews and talk-sessions. In an event first, Writers Week will extend into Rundle Mall from Monday 5 to Wednesday 7 March with Australian performer Eliza Lovell chatting with authors ahead of their appearance at Writers’ Week.

2018’s only ticketed session, Sport in Australia – will see storied sports writer and historian David Hill chatting to presenting partner Channel Nine’s Tom Rehn about his latest book The Fair and the Foul at Adelaide Oval’s Cathedral Room (Thursday, 8 March).

The Fair and The Foul is a searing exploration into our country’s fascination with sport, giving insight into what goes on behind closed doors. David will take guests through the shift in sport from the relative innocence of the amateur era to its commercialisation, which, through the years, has undoubtedly contributed to the uglier sides of our national obsession: the corruption, the drugs, the sexism and racism.

Adelaide Writers’ Week is a free event, giving writers, readers and lovers of literature the opportunity to spend a week expanding their mind while being immersed in stories and experiences from around Australia and the world. For more information and complete program, visit: www.adelaidefestival.com.au for details.

Image: Adelaide Writers’ Week (supplied)