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Melbourne Writers Festival Events to Advance Your Career

MWF has gone digital in 2020 and there are heaps of great events on offer. Here are our picks.

Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) looks a little different in 2020, with the annual event running its program as an all-digital festival for the first time. To ensure money is not a barrier for accessing the program, the festival is ticketing most sessions on a “pay what you can” basis, which means you can opt to pay between $5 and $50 per ticket (or even make a free booking), depending on your circumstances.

There are 100 Australian and international speakers on the line-up, hosting a range of talks, panel discussions, workshops and more. Here are our picks for anyone looking to take a step forward in their writing career.

The Craft of Short Fiction

Hosted by Irish Writer Jan Carson (Children’s Children, Postcard Stories), this workshop teaches the skills you need to develop ideas in fiction writing, including how to conduct research for a novel; grab a reader’s attention; and master plot and character development.

The Craft of Short Fiction is on Saturday August 8, online, from 5pm.

Let Me Be Brief

Writers Yumna Kassab (The House of Youssef), Jo Lennan (In The Time of Foxes) and Elizabeth Tan (Smart Ovens for Lonely People) will discuss their experiences writing non-fiction. The trio will explore the challenges of writing non-fiction, share wisdom they’ve learnt and explore why the form captivates so many readers. Perfect for any aspiring journalists, authors or fans of the form.

Let Me Be Brief is on Sunday August 9, online, from 5pm to 6pm.

Julia Gillard: Women and Leadership

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and economist and international development expert Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala know all about the complexities of gender and leadership; the pair wrote a book together on the topic, Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons. This discussion unpacks some of those ideas, including gender bias, politics and the road to gender equality.

Juila Gillard: Women and Leadership is on Tuesday August 11, online, from 8pm to 9pm.

MWF Gala: Are You Paying Attention?

Six of Australia’s most insightful writers, including Jess Hill, Michelle Law and Leah Jing McIntosh, discuss what writing grabs our attention, what fails to and why. As part of the main event gala at MWF, this panel discussion promises to deliver priceless insights and advice from industry experts.

MWF Gala: Are You Paying Attention? is on Wednesday August 12, online, from 7pm to 8pm.

Following the Evidence

Join investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe and ABC radio host Raf Epstein for an exploration on building long-form, non-fiction narratives. Keefe will share stories from a career in researching stories and following evidence. This conversation between two experienced journalists promises to be a wellspring of wisdom for aspiring writers.

Following the Evidence is on Sunday August 16, online, from 5pm to 6pm.

Photography: Pete Dillon

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