Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 1, 2018

Coming up in June: ANZ LitLovers with Shokoofeh Azar at the Williamstown Literary Festival

I’ve been busy, busy, busy over the last twenty-four hours and now I can tell you why: I’m going to be interviewing Shokoofeh Azar at the Williamstown Festival on Sunday 17th of June.  I loved her book The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree which was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and I am really looking forward to chatting with her about her very special journey to publication.  There’s been a bit to do behind the scenes but the program is live now on the festival website, and you can buy your tickets as of today! has gone to print and you will be able to buy your tickets soon.

I much prefer smaller LitFests to the big ones: I like the intimate scale that are a feature of festivals that don’t have to fill huge auditoriums in order to break even.  Local Australian authors seem to get more opportunities at smaller festivals, and because these festivals don’t have a large professional paid staff, it’s genuine booklovers who are behind the programming decisions.  Smaller Litfests have more personality!

I like the WillyLitFest because they feature authors I want to hear.  There are 80 authors over 50 events, including Josephine Wilson (author of the Miles Franklin winning Extinctions); Enza Gandolfo (author of Swimming and a new novel called The Bridge which I have just finished reading); Michelle Scott Tucker (author of Elizabeth Macarthur, a Life at the Edge of the World); Jenny Ackland (author of The Secret Son and her new one,  Little Gods);  and Dennis Glover (author of The Last Man in Europe). And that’s just the ones whose books I’ve read.  I’ll be checking out the program to make some difficult choices too: the non-fiction sessions are very strong and there are also some really good workshops for aspiring authors, including some for cartoonists and picture book illustrators.  (Check out the program to see who these very well known artists are!)

So, if you’re in Melbourne, put the dates in your diary now –  I look forward to meeting you there!





  1. This sounds wonderful. And yes, small festivals are so very enjoyable. Once upon a time all festivals were small…


    • Remember when the MWF was at the Malthouse? I loved it back then. It has no soul at Fed Square, and the reasons are simple, the auditoriums are too big and the eating areas are Balkanised…


  2. I agree there were some great festivals in WA in the 80’s.


    • I’ve always wanted to go to the Perth festival: I’ve read so many of their great writers and I’d love to hear them in person. But it’s the weather that defeats me. If they held in June or July, heading over there for the warmth and sunshine as an escape from Melbourne’s winter would be wonderful. But no, they hold it in summer when it’s just too, too hot!


      • You mean, when it’s beautifully warm? Haha. Do I want to come to Melbourne in June? Not really! My first memory of Melbourne was June (or July – whenever the Melbourne Film Festival was on), and it turned me off Melbourne for decades – until my kids moved there and I had no choice! Still, I try to come in late spring, late summer and/or autumn, not June/July. So, sorry, I’m very impressed, again, that you are doing this (really, I am, because I keep shying away from this sort of role), but I won’t make the trip – unless, that is, a certain baby arrives early and I find myself in the vicinity with a day to spare.

        PS I do like small festivals too. I’m a big “small is beautiful fan”.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How wonderful! My mum is from Williamstown and I was born there! I would love to go to this festival but sadly a little too far to travel 🤣 I hope your session goes well; it’s exciting to know you’re one of the events Lisa!


    • Hi Kim, Williamstown itself is one of the attractions:) Last year I parked some distance from the venue just for the pleasure of walking and admiring the lovely old cottages all beautifully renovated and with such pretty gardens. It’s such a lovely suburb:)


  5. […] Coming up in June: ANZ LitLovers with Shokoofeh Azar at the Williamstown Literary Festival […]


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