Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 23, 2015

Meet you at the Bendigo Writers Festival August 7-9, 2015

The theme of this year’s Bendigo Writers Festival is The Good Life, and it promises to be a treat for booklovers of all kinds.  I went to this festival last year and it was, as you might recall from my blog post, a wonderful weekend with sessions that appealed to both The Spouse (who likes non-fiction) and to me.   All the festival venues are within walking distance of accommodation in central Bendigo, and there are so many nice eateries, we were spoiled for choice.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to be asked to participate as a panellist: I will be presenting two sessions there.

My two sessions are both on Saturday:

Bahasa Indonesia, with Lily Yulianti Farid.  Lily is an Indonesian writer and journalist, currently based in Melbourne, and founder of the Makassar International Writers Festival. Her short story collection, Family Room, is published by Lontar Foundation, and she’s also been published by Affirm Press in Joyful strains : making Australia home.  I found it in my library: it’s a collection of memoirs about the expat experience of living in Australia, edited by Kent MacCarter & Ali Lemer, and Lily’s memoir is an intriguing piece about the difference between wet kitchens in Indonesia and kitchens in Australia.  LOL It has been far too long since I’ve had occasion to use Indonesian in conversation, so our chat will – despite the title of this session – be conducted in English and we’ll be exploring cultural contrasts in The Good Life between our neighbouring countries. .

The Chronicler of Oz, in conversation with Roger McDonald, the Miles Franklin winning author who christened me ‘Ambassador for Australian Literature’.   Roger is the author of nine novels, including 1915, (see my review), The Slap (see my reviewMr Darwin’s Shooter and The Ballad of Desmond Kale, which won the Miles Franklin Award in 2006. His most recent novels are When Colts Ran (see my review) and The Following, (see my review)  and his non-fiction includes Shearers’ Motel (which is on my bedside table) and The Tree in Changing Light (on my TBR)I am looking forward to talking about how his novels interpret The Good Life in contemporary Australia… 

There are so many other excellent sessions on offer I haven’t yet been able to decide what to go to myself, except that I definitely want to go to Almost True with Adrian Mitchell (whose book The Profilist I’ve just read (see my review) and on Sunday, People I Know with stunning new talent Jane Rawson whose book Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists has one of my all-time unforgettable characters (see my review).  There are heaps of writers reviewed here on this blog including Amanda Lohrey,  Nam Le,  Alice Pung, Alice Robinson, Brenda Niall,  Cate Kennedy, Geraldine Wooller, Graeme Simsion, Ilka Tampe, Jane Sullivan, Janet Butler, Kirsten Krauth,  Latika Bourke, Kristina Olssen, Nicholas Jose, Paddy O’Reilly, and other authors I’ve read before I started blogging including Carmel Bird, Tariq Ali, Don Watson, John Marsden, Judith Brett, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Robert Dessaix, Raymond Gaita, and Robyn Davidson.  I haven’t seen a roll-up of Australian talent like this at a festival since the old days of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival when it was at The Malthouse.  And if that’s not enough, there’s comedian John Clarke, and writing workshops as well.

Don’t miss this festival – Bendigo is an easy drive from Melbourne or beyond, and an even easier and cheaper train journey.  If you can tear your eyes away from the lovely scenery you can even read a book on the way!  You can buy festival passes or single tickets – tickets and information is all here.

Come up and say hello if you see me about, I’d love to meet you:) I’ll be wearing my ANZ LitLovers name badge or you might be able to recognise me from a slightly more recent photo than the one on my About page.


  1. Good for you Lisa. And it sounds like a great program. If I weren’t just returning from a trip away on August 6 I’d have seriously thought about attending. As it is I’ll just have to read your blog posts instead. Enjoy.


  2. Sounds wonderful. And how brilliant to be a panellist! (I’ve never been asked.)


  3. Wouldn’t that be a terrific panel, if we had the three of us all talking non-stop about the books we want people to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would love to go to that panel. Instead, I’ll go to the ‘Chronicler of Oz’. Thanks for the kind words, Lisa!


  5. As you say Bendigo is an easy trip from Melbourne, but unfortunately I will be away. I read the Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists. An enjoyable and different read. Have a good time at the Writers Festival.


    • What a pity – unless you’re going somewhere wonderful on your travels?! I’m glad you liked Jane’s book:)


  6. […] already know that I am presenting two sessions at the festival, but there are so many other sessions you will be hard pressed to choose what to attend. Check out […]


  7. […] by Indonesian author Lily Yulianti Farid, with whom I will be ‘in conversation’ at the forthcoming Bendigo Writing Festival.  (If you haven’t got your tickets yet, here’s the link: you can buy a session ticket, […]


  8. […] going to double-dip: I’ll be in Bendigo for the Bendigo Writers Festival, expecting to be seduced by much that’s in the festival bookshop, but I still need to support […]


  9. […] you know if you read my recent post about the Bendigo Writers Festival, one of the sessions I’m presenting there is The Chronicler of Oz, in conversation with Roger […]


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