20 August 2015
The 30th anniversary of the Melbourne Writers Festival will kick off tonight at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Centred on the theme 'For Everyone Who Reads', the Festival will feature more than 500 guests in 530 events across the city, a third of which are free. The program includes events for all ages and aims to celebrate all aspects of reading and writing with events featuring scientists, screenwriters, comedians and musicians alongside much loved and best-selling authors and illustrators.
Keynote guests include UK activist and author Naomi Klein, UK author Louis de Bernieres (Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Red Dog) and local authors John Marsden and Graeme Simsion, whose 2013 novel The Rosie Project has been sold in 40 countries and plans for a Hollywood film adaptation have recently been announced.
To honour the 30th anniversary the Festival will look to the future with a special '30 under 30' program of events to introduce audiences to 30 writers, editors, bloggers, publishers, songwriters and illustrators aged 30 and under.
New programs for 2015 include book club style events, late night activities and festival pop-ups. The Festival has established a partnership with the Sydney Opera House's Festival of Dangerous Ideas which will be embedded into the Writers' Festival program for the first time. Another partnership with Yarra Trams invites commuters to enjoy stories that are 17 minutes long – the perfect length for an average tram ride, while the festival has paired up with Deaf Arts Network and Arts Access Victoria to deliver programming for members of the deaf community.
The festival's long-running schools program is expected to attract more than 15,000 students.
The 2015 Melbourne Writers Festival will run from 20-30 August.