Festival Program

Thursday 1st January 1970

Free but please RSVP here for catering purposes. Venue – Williamstown Library. This special festival pre-event is proudly presented by Homegrown Hobsons Bay. Books hold fate-changing moments of communication between writers and readers. They can inspire, inform and turn our…

Location: Auditorium
Free | Readings & Performances | Pre-Event

This event is SOLD OUT! You’ve probably heard Stig in your car on one of those long trips… he’s no doubt kept your kids entertained and intrigued with his readings of wonderful books and now he’s coming to Williamstown! Stig…

Location: Upstairs Studio
For Children & Young Adults | For Children | Readings & Performances | $15 and under

Much has been written about the lives and art of Heide, but finally the remaining members of the inner circle have entrusted the full story to be told through this intimate biography of John and Sunday Reed. Part romance, part…

Location: Supper Room
Festival Highlights | In Conversation | $20 and under

Find, craft and tell stories from your life. We are delighted to welcome Kate back to Willy Lit Fest. In 2015 this wonderful workshop sold out so don’t delay getting tickets! Before there were books, there were storytellers. Led by…

Location: Downstairs Studio
Workshop

What does it mean to grow for older in our youth-obsessed world? Join Renata Singer, author of Older and Bolder, the rallying guide to ageing audaciously, and Melanie Joosten, author of A Long Time Coming, in this provocative discussion with…

Location: Council Chamber
In Conversation | $15 and under

This event is SOLD OUT! Unlock the mystery of writing stories with Sally Rippin and discover more about Billie and Jack along the way. Using a combination of Sally’s ideas and yours, we’ll brainstorm the spookiest Billie Mystery ever! Bring…

Location: Festival Hub
For Children

The Unseen Anzac – How an Enigmatic Polar Explorer Created Australia’s World War 1 Photographs PLEASE NOTE THIS SESSION HAS SOLD OUT!  WE HAVE SECURED A REPEAT SESSION on Sunday 19 June from 2.00pm to 3.00pm. During his lifetime, Australian…

Location: Choose Room
Politics, History & War | Author Talk | $15 and under

Free event, no bookings required, just come along! Bring ideas and respectful opinions! Do you sometimes wish you could have a good old chat about issues and ideas? Books, politics, travel, sustainability, what makes a civil society? Once a week…

Location: Festival Hub
Free
12.00am - 1.00pm

An exploration of big ideas: faith, doubt and redemption, the delicate fault-lines of being human. All these things and more held in the small moment of a poem. Join Donna Ward, Arnold Zable, Leah Kaminsky and David Tacey as they…

Location: Council Chamber
In Conversation | $20 and under
12.00am - 1.00pm

What’s your favourite Morris Gleitzman book?  Is it Bumface or Blabber Mouth?  Once, Then or Now?  Or are you a Misery Guts?  Kids of all ages (even big kids) are invited to enter Morris’ world as he talks about these…

Location: Supper Room
For Children & Young Adults | For Children | $15 and under
12.00am - 3.00pm

Father-child relationships can be testing at the best of times, but what happens when migration adds a whole new dimension to it? Greek-Australian writers Konstandina Dounis, Dmetri Kakmi, Dean Kalimniou and Helen Nickas discuss their funny and sad stories published…

Location: Council Chamber
Panel | In Conversation | $20 and under

This event is SOLD OUT! Writer and walker Nick Gadd has spent two years walking around Melbourne and its suburbs in a big circle, writing as he goes. On the way he has uncovered ghostsigns, lost greyhound racing tracks, derelict…

Location: Downstairs Studio
Politics, History & War | Author Talk | Environment | $15 and under

This event is SOLD OUT! Stephen King says of writing, “What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” Writing courses abound and are a great starting point. Join Sherryl Clark and Enza Gandolfo…

Location: Upstairs Studio
Free
12.00am - 3.00pm

  Steve Bracks AC talks with Tim Watts, George Megalogenis, and Frank Bongiorno about Australia’s past, its future and books that take a look at who we are, and what we can become. Two Futures: Australia at a Critical Moment,…

Location: Supper Room
Festival Highlights | Politics, History & War | Panel | $20 and under

Ever wonder where ideas for everyday items come from? Did you know that the banknotes you pull from your wallet or the Wi-Fi you use every day were invented by Australians? What are the challenges facing innovators and inventors in…

Location: Auditorium
Festival Highlights | Politics, History & War | Panel | $20 and under
12.00am - 3.30pm

Each week the Loom Room Williamstown welcomes craftspeople of all ages to meet and share their skills with thread of every kind. They knit, they felt, they crochet, sew, spin, sculpt and weave! Join us as Willy Lit Fest President…

Location: Festival Hub
Free

In this session for adults, Sherryl Clark talks with Andy Griffiths, best-selling writer of more than 30 books for children. But why is this a session for grown-ups? Andy’s books have been contentious over the years and we’ll be talking…

Location: Supper Room
Festival Highlights | In Conversation | $20 and under

This event is SOLD OUT. A journal is a great way to gather your thoughts and keep a collection of inspirations for your writing.  From the blank page to inspiration, Anna Brasier will give you tips on how to nurture…

Location: Festival Hub
Workshop | $15 and under
12.00am - 4.30pm

Industries in Melbourne’s west are part of our lived experience. But like a novel or a biography, a good history can tell us not only about the people who founded the industry, the people who worked there and the products…

Location: Council Chamber
Politics, History & War | Panel | Environment | $20 and under
12.00am - 4.30pm

Anna Ciddor’s latest book, The Family With Two Front Doors, describes her epic hunt to uncover the lost world of her late grandmother’s 1920s childhood – an emotional, surprise-filled quest that lasted four years and carried the author across the…

Location: Downstairs Studio
Author Talk | $15 and under
12.00am - 4.30pm

Author and human rights advocate, Arnold Zable speaks with Donna Ward about his new book The Fighter: A True Story. Henry Nissen was a champion boxer, the boy from Amess Street in working-class Carlton who fought his way up to…

Location: Upstairs Studio
Author Talk | $15 and under

Join us at the Williamstown Town Hall Supper Room as we get the real the real story of the man behind the bands. Rhys Muldoon will chat with Stuart Coupe about his book, Gudinski – The Godfather of Australian Rock…

Location: Supper Room
Festival Highlights | In Conversation | $20 and under

Jimmy Flick is not like other kids – he’s both too fast and too slow. He sees too much, and too little. Jimmy’s mother Paula is the only one who can manage him. Sofie Laguna talks with Bruno Lettieri about…

Location: Council Chamber
Festival Highlights | Festival Event | In Conversation | $20 and under
12.00am - 10.00pm

This event is SOLD OUT! Grab a gang of family and friends and enjoy a night to remember – Stereo Stories Live at Williamstown Town Hall. Stereo Stories. A Song. A Place. A Time. Memoir with soul, rock and pop;…

Location: Festival Hub
Festival Highlights | Festival Event | Readings & Performances
12.00am - 11.30am

Please note, this session commences at 10.00am. Bookings are required.   Curiosity Killed The Cat – But Will It Kill Us? Join students from Bayside Secondary College and Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College as they debate the nature of curiosity…

Location: Auditorium
Children & Young Adult | Free
12.00am - 11.30am

Author and bibliophile Dr Stuart Kells will discuss what makes a book rare, desirable and valuable. Participants can bring along a book from their own collection for discussion and appraisal.  Stuart speaks regularly on the history and value of printed…

Location: Upstairs Studio
Author Talk | $15 and under
12.00am - 11.30am

Once the domain of the domestic, craft has now infiltrated every creative sphere – including food, fashion, fine art and architecture. Join bonafide craft gurus Rebecca Jobson and Ramona Barry as they talk with Gemma Jones about the craft renaissance…

Location: Supper Room
Festival Highlights | Author Talk | In Conversation | $20 and under

Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down captures that moment when being young and invincible gives way to being open and vulnerable. The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky tackles survival, terror, death and love.  Dr Natalie Kon-yu talks with these talented…

Location: Council Chamber
Panel | In Conversation | $15 and under

This event is SOLD OUT! Go on a journey with children’s author, Andy Griffiths, through his wonderful world of creativity and story-telling. Andy will be signing books after his talk. Expected to sell out quickly – bookings essential!  

Location: Festival Hub
For Children | Festival Event

Where do ideas for books come from? Often from small, obscure stories that make us realise that history is so much more than dates and statistics. History is people. History is their stories. In this session, Claire Saxby (My Name…

Location: Auditorium
In Conversation | $15 and under

Join David Astle for a fun and challenging session that will get kids thinking, talking and giggling about language.  David will whip up a flurry of riddles, puzzles, and lateral-thinking games that’ll have young minds penning puns and trying out…

Location: Supper Room
For Children & Young Adults | For Children

What is happiness, and how does the pursuit of happiness shape our lives? Happiness appears to be a simple emotion, individual and pleasurable, yet the problems associated with happiness in politics, economics and philosophy suggest that it is perhaps more…

Location: Council Chamber
Festival Highlights | Panel | Author Talk | $20 and under
12.00am - 1.00pm

Helen Cerne’s obsessions include creativity, collaboration and the way the past imprints on the present. Join Helen and Enza Gandolfo as they discuss writing habits and routines, obsessions and Helen’s latest book Shifting, a collaborative autobiography written with her late…

Location: Upstairs Studio
Author Talk | $15 and under
12.00am - 3.00pm

Authors Nicole Hayes, Angela Pippos and Michael Hyde are all mad for footy.  They write about it, and they talk about it.  It’s much more than a game!  In a session that is suitable for all ages, they chat with…

Location: Council Chamber
Panel | In Conversation | $15 and under

Australia loved The Dressmaker, the smash hit comedy-drama film based on Rosalie Ham’s bitter-sweet novel of the same name.  Bruno Lettieri talks with Rosalie and film producer Sue Maslin about revenge, love and creativity and the journey from book to…

Location: Supper Room
Festival Highlights | In Conversation | $20 and under

Penguin and the Lane Brothers: The Untold Story of a Publishing Revolution – Stuart Kells “Penguin and the Lane Brothers is written in a conversational style, wearing the enormous amount of Kells’ research lightly. It will be essential reading for all…

Location: Downstairs Studio
Author Talk | In Conversation | $15 and under
12.00am - 3.00pm

Please note that due to demand, this session is a repeat of the Saturday event of the same name. The Unseen Anzac – How an Enigmatic Polar Explorer Created Australia’s World War 1 Photographs During his lifetime, Australian polar explorer…

Location: Upstairs Studio
Politics, History & War | $15 and under
12.00am - 5.30pm

A much loved festival favourite where local writers from the western suburbs read a piece of poetry or prose (up to four minutes long)  which they have written.  At the end of the event the audience votes on whose work…

Location: Supper Room
Free | Readings & Performances

This event is SOLD OUT. Please note this session ends at 5.00pm not 4.30pm as advised in the print program. In this literary lecture styled after PT Barnum, Dr Michael Kitson and Tony Thompson, author of Summer of Monsters, celebrate…

Location: Upstairs Studio
Politics, History & War | Readings & Performances | Author Talk | In Conversation | $15 and under
12.00am - 4.30pm

A little girl disappears in the wilderness. Two years later her mother is arrested for her murder. A provocative and unflinching literary novel of love, guilt and grief set against the wilderness of the Australian coast. Award-winning writer, teacher and…

Location: Downstairs Studio
In Conversation | $15 and under

    Willy Lit Fest is delighted to bring you a very special workshop with multi award winning author of fifty books – the very wonderful Claire Saxby. Why are stories like There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a…

Location: Festival Hub
Workshop | $15 and under
12.00am - 4.30pm

  The Footpath Library is a Willy Lit Fest favourite.  Shayne Francis brings us some of Australia’s best loved actors to read writings that have touched their hearts and their lives.  Join Alison Whyte, Richard Piper, Rhys Muldoon, Rod Mullinar and…

Location: Council Chamber
Festival Highlights | Readings & Performances
12.00am - 7.30pm

  After an epic journey that started with a story of the human cost of exposure to asbestos and took local artist and director Donna Jackson around Australia with her provocative show Dust, she returns to launch the book inspired…

Location: Festival Hub
Festival Highlights | Free | Festival Event | Environment