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Our picks for the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival

by Kill Your Darlings , August 18, 2014Leave a comment

KYD Drinks @ MWF

We at Kill Your Darlings are getting very excited about the upcoming Melbourne Writers Festival, which begins this Thursday 21 August and runs until Sunday 31 August.

Every year MWF brings together an impressive range of local and international writers, speakers and thinkers to share and discuss literature, writing and ideas. We’ve collected our picks for the best of the fest – the must-see events and writers we’re most looking forward to over the coming weeks. We’ll also be bringing you coverage of MWF events throughout the festival.

We’re holding a special KYD event for our writers, contributors, readers and friends, and we’d love to see you there. Find us at the Festival Club on the last night of MWF, and get yourself warmed up for the closing night party with a few cheeky drinks.

Kill Your Darlings MWF Drinks
Sunday August 31st, 4.30pm
Optic Kitchen + Bar (MWF Festival Club)
Level 1 ACMI, Federation Square

Our Festival Picks

Brigid Mullane, Editor

Chris Hadfield: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life
Chris Hadfield has been to space. That’s pretty cool and would be enough for me to be weak-kneed over this event. But, not only has he been to space, he also sang ‘Space Oddity’ in space, and made a tortilla sandwich in space and (my favourite) squeezed out a washcloth in space. He’s my hero.

What I Learned About Sex From Reading
Alissa Nutting’s book Tampa was a harrowing read and, initially, I was sure that I loathed it. But it’s a book that has stayed with me, and I am interested to hear from the writer behind such a provocative and visceral book. Also, knowing Beth Blanchard’s interviewing skills, and her passion for this book, I think the audience will be getting a real insight into Nutting and her work.

The Rereaders Live Podcast
Our very own pop culture columnist, Steph Van Schilt, will be hitting the stage with Dion Kagan and Sam Twyford-Moore for a live recording of the Rereaders podcast. I am a voracious listener of podcasts and this one is now high in my rotation (along with the KYD podcast, of course!). They’ll be joined by special guest author Willy Vlautin.

Veronica Sullivan, Online Editor

Opening Night Address: Helen Garner
Garner
 is the Australian Janet Malcolm, gifted with a gimlet eye and an ability to dissect the flaws and foibles of real lives in all their mess and glory. Her new book, This House of Grief, explores the circumstances and ramifications of the Father’s Day murder of three young boys by their father in 2005. Like her writing, Garner the woman is warm and confidential, but sharp and fierce. She will no doubt bring her usual surgical precision and ruthless honesty to bear on this devastating story and in her MWF opening night address.

Pussy Riot: A True History
For years, erudite and softly-spoken journalist and LGBT activist Masha Gessen has been quietly and tirelessly warning the world of the dangers of Putin’s anti-democratic government. And, whoopsy, we’re just figuring out she’s been right all along! I can’t wait to hear Gessen speaking about her new book Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, which explores the political and social significance of the mini-revolution sparked by feminist punk-protest group Pussy Riot.

Meaghan Dew, Editorial Assistant

Creativity, Childhood and Reading
Earlier this year I convinced a friend to attend a signing halfway across the world in my place so he could carry a (now signed) copy of A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius safely home to me. So you can imagine how excited I am that Dave Eggers will be attending three different events at MWF this year. If you’re already familiar with his writing (and his work at McSweeney’s) then I’d recommend this session. It seems likely to focus on his work with 826 Valencia, an organisation dedicated to supporting students with their writing skills and getting them excited about the literary arts. He’ll be in conversation with Lachlann Carter, whose 100 Story Building pursues similar goals.

Nostalgiarama: Revisiting Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If like most of us you need to match every paid session with a freebie you can’t go past Buffy. I would say that regardless of the writers involved (did you see the word Buffy in the title?) but with Estelle Tang and Stephanie Van Schilt at the helm it’s sure to be an entertaining, insightful start to the first festival weekend.

 




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