It's exciting times for book lovers when the Melbourne Writers Festival comes to town. Even more exciting to know that along with ticketed events come 88 freebie events in various venues and suburbs that gives the wallet some relief. The only problem you'll have is, how to squeeze it all into ten days from 24 Aug - 2 Sep 2018, amongst some amazing ticketed events with perhaps your favourite author, performer, theatre, music and art event. For instance, Australian rock icon Jimmy Barnes. You'd want to see him, just to be in the presence of a legend. He has written a few books himself and he's heading to Fed Square to reveal all to major music buff and public figure Myf Warhurst, as he spins 7" records.
However, there are some pretty great events amongst the freebies. How about meeting your favourite lawyer turned Masterchef Winner (second series) and television presenter of Destination Flavour, who has also authored five cookbooks. We speak of none other than Adam Liaw: First We Eat. To him, cookbooks are 'not a matter of life and death, but the matter of life and death'. He'll be sitting with Sonia Nair to explain how to keep the rest of the world alive. Please note that freebie events may have very limited seating, but with lots of standing room available. Click on each event to make sure they require no bookings (some do), and you're on your way.
There are some pretty serious subjects that have an impact on all of us being covered amongst the freebies too. Assisted Dying: What's Next? and what legislation will mean for Victorians. Representatives from nursing, medicine, disability rights and bioethics will discuss the right to end our own lives. Do note this session contains content related to death. Not an easy subject, however, it does stand tall in aid of expanding our sphere of consciousness of what is going on in the world we live in. The Death (and Rebirth) of Sex also contains content related to death, but perhaps of a different kind; in a different partnership?
It's not all about doom and gloom, and anger, as some of these events can be constructive tools. Brow Talks: Michelle Law embraces anger, its values and its uses, so her writing can rise like a phoenix from the fiery ashes. Sounds like a good one for the fledgeling writer with a story to tell. Perhaps a wine-fuelled chat about the connections between music and words in Andrew P Street's Literary Singalong is more your style. On a lighter note, head for a night of performances from spoken word artists and poets in Storytelling Live: Futures. Hear from international and local performers in the heart of Dandenong on the theme of Futures. This is one free session that requires bookings. The Writers Festival is also quite happy for you to donate at all events to enable them to keep bringing wonderful events like this to you.
If you're feeling a little feisty and physical, Let's Get Physical at the Mission to Seafarers Main Bar, one of the new venues this year, will be the destination to shake off Melbourne's winter. Join a dance class to a book-inspired soundtrack; naturally. The Dance Magic Dance collective will get your blood pumping as you move through words and shape-shift through pages. Do you love Randy? Then Staged: Randy Writes a Novel Q&A is right up your alley as Australia's most celebrated felt-face comedian discusses his new life as an author. Then let loose with The Boon Companions Cocktail Hour: Science Fiction and celebrate the celestial allure of all things sci-fi.
Perhaps Poetry and celebrating all things poetic, from delightfully macabre sonnets to richly erotic couplets is more your thing. Discover special guest readings and secret artists appearances at many of these shows. Uncomplicated and simple, the local Cheltenham Library could be where it's at for you. Join Mara Wilson as she discusses her memoir Where Am I Now? and gives you an honest and hilarious insight into her life, along with Nadia Bailey. Who is Mara Wilson? She was thrown into the spotlight as a child actor in her starring role in the film adaption of Matilda. You may also recognise her from her role as Natalie Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire or as Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street.
Whether you want to feel inspired, delighted, informed, adventurous, provoked or challenged, there are 88 events on 8 pages of freebies to sift through at this wonderful event.