22 May 2023

Spreading the word: Sydney Writers' Festival to be livestreamed to South Coast and Riverina

| Albert McKnight
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Jane Harper’s crime novels have sold more than three million copies. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

While it might be traditional to make the trek to Sydney to attend the Writers’ Festival, book lovers from the South Coast and Riverina have the option to remain closer to home this year.

Conversations, debates and discussions from the festival will be livestreamed to libraries in the Eurobodalla, Bega Valley, Wagga Wagga and Griffith when the event is held from 25-28 May.

The festival brings together writers from around Australia and the world. Novelists, poets, journalists, public intellectuals, economists, politicians, podcasters and scientists discuss some of the most pressing issues of our times.

Eurobodalla Libraries coordinator Samantha Fenton said the line-up for this year’s livestream promised to be a cracker.

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“Whether you want to listen to Jane Harper talk about her new book, Exiles, or enjoy fabulous foodie banter between Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer, Eurobodalla Libraries has a session for you,” she said.

“The conversations, debates and discussions feature some of the world’s finest writers and thinkers – prepare to be engaged and invigorated.

“There’s also audience participation with live Q&A sessions from livestream participants right to the Sydney stage.”

The livestream line-up this year includes Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Geraldine Brooks, who will talk about her novel, Horse, a saga of spirit, obsession and injustice.

Focusing on historical fiction, Brooks, Pip Williams (The Bookbinder of Jericho) and Sally Colin-James (One Illuminated Thread) will discuss how they intertwine fact and fiction in their work.

Eleanor Catton was the youngest winner of the Booker Prize, in 2013, for The Luminaries and will talk about its follow-up, Birnam Wood, a psychological thriller set in rural New Zealand.

When it comes to crime and justice, author Helen Garner and The Teacher’s Pet podcaster Hedley Thomas will explore the compelling nature of crime and the pressing question of what happens when justice takes a lifetime.

First Nations thinkers Stan Grant and Teela Reid will talk about what it means to be a First Nations person in a country that is yet to reconcile historical wrongs, while Indigenous Australian leader Thomas Mayo and journalist Kerry O’Brien will discuss what a Voice to Parliament will actually mean.

Also, ABC journalist Barrie Cassidy will lead a group dissection of Australian politics.

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Attendance to the Eurobodalla livestream is free, but places are limited and bookings are essential. To book, visit the SWF livestream page.

The Bega Valley’s sessions at the Tura Marrang Library cost $5 each. For times and to book, click here.

Tickets are free to the Wagga Wagga City Library sessions, but places are limited. Click here for the program and to book.

Bookings are not required for sessions at the Griffith City Library. Click here for more details.

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