For writers and thinkers

Whether you’ve got a book and you want to self-publish, or you’ve lost the plot… or perhaps you’re interested in exploring ideas like where Australia is headed, of fierce Australian women past and present… The Words and Ideas program of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival has 10 events you can choose from.
Here’s a three-word slogan for you: Advance Australia Where?
Just weeks after we’ll all know the federal election result, join the explainer-in-chief George Megalogenis, The Guardian‘s Gabriele Chan and Michael Bachelard for a fearless interrogation of what our options are for the future. And speaking of elections, in Freedom to Vote, Freedom to Choose Sally Warhaft will be joined by Clare Wright (latest book – You Daughters of Freedom on Australian suffragists) and author Elizabeth Kleinhenz whose latest book (Germaine: The Life of Germaine Greer) on that other famously fierce Australian will no doubt generate much discussion about the voices of women in social change and politics.
Celebrate 30 years of Victorian Writing with a Writers Victoria panel facilitated by Angela Savage and including award-winning authors Mark Brandi (Wimmera and The Rip), Kelly Gardiner (The Firewatcher Chronicles, 1917 and Goddess), Eliza Henry-Jones (In The Quiet, Ache and P is for Pearl), Robert Gott (The Holiday Murders and the newspaper cartoon series The Naked Man). Or get along to the panel The Past is Present with Toni Jordon, Robert Hillman and Jan McGuinness, Toni and Robert discuss how they have each juggled duel storylines.
Speaking of writing know-how, two writers’ workshops – one for plotting and one for blogging – with local professional writer, editor and story coach Ann Bolch. Lost your plot is a full day to help bring that story into order, while Blogs and Beyond will pool the talent in the group and get your blog or article ready to publish stat!
And if you’re thinking going it alone is your thing, then Simple affordable ways to self-publish with local author Dee White will set you on a path to avoid being ripped off. She should know – she’s been published the traditional way, and has done it on her own and lived to tell the tale.
Perhaps it’s a bit of a cliché, but maybe writing and discourse on the meaning of it all is best accompanied by a glass of something and a chance to express opinions. Easily one of the most popular festival events in recent years, Poetry at the Pub is back upstairs at The Vic with word wranglers Ben Oost and Myron Lysenko (Free – but bookings absolutely essential). If you’re a budding academic writer, author, composer, poet of philosopher who wants to test your idea, then this Salon-style event at The Cravat Club is for you – Viva, Voce, Vino is presented by duo David and Sara Gormley-O’Brien (Free – but bookings needed – and a little homework if you want to present your idea.
And finally, for the kids, two free events.
Mr Chicken Comes to Woodend… or rather, Leigh Hobbs will be, for the long-held festival children’s session at Woodend Library. Most famous for his creation of Old Tom (which made it to French and Australian TV), he is also author and illustrator of Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig, The Freaks in 4F, Mr Badger and of course, Mr Chicken.
This event is following by a chance to meet the author of 12 children’s books and illustrator of 80 books, Judith Rossell, thanks to the support of local book seller New Leaves. Judith recently she has finished the third instalment of the popular Stella Montgomery series, this one entitled Wakestone Hall. The first two, Withering-by-Sea and Wormwood Mire, have attracted numerous awards.
Full details of the festival program (including these events) and ticket purchases are available at

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