2017 Program

Pre-Festival Event

Backstory – Homegrown Hobsons Bay

Homegrown Hobsons Bay writers, Nicholas Abdilla, Erin Landells, Rachel Buchanan and Helen Penrose explore backstory: what happens behind the scenes of the writing and the writers. Be informed, inspired, challenged and maybe shocked at what makes a great story and a great writer. Enjoy light refreshments. This is a free event co-presented by Hobsons Bay City Libraries, bookings are required. Go here to book your seat.  
Erin Landells
Helen Penrose
Nicholas Abdilla
Rachel Buchanan
Day 1
17 Jun 2017
Day 2
18 Jun 2017

The Ada Cambridge Prizes and Official Festival Opening

Join us for the announcement of the prestigious Ada Cambridge Prizes for Biographical Prose and Poetry and The Young Adas Short Story Prize, and the official opening of the Festival. This is a free event but bookings are required.

Beyond the Bestseller – Markus Zusak and Andy Griffiths – SOLD OUT!

Please note that this session has sold out. If you’ve missed out on tickets to Beyond the Bestseller you can catch Andy and Markus performing in Stereo Stories on Saturday night 17 June. More info and tickets for Stereo Stories here. In 2005 Markus Zusak released The Book Thief and...
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Andy Griffiths
Markus Zusak

The Wayward Witch and The Feelings Monster – SOLD OUT

Please note this session has sold out. Come along and hear about Polly, the witch, and Buster, the feelings monster, and learn all about their secret friendship. Everyone knows that witches don’t mix with monsters, but Polly and Buster have been best friends forever. Somehow they have managed to keep...
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Sally Rippin

Living Footy

Fans live footy. They fall into its clutches and are happy to be tossed about in a state of battered uncertainty. It’s all about hope and joy and other important stuff. No wonder footy is such an attractive topic for writers and thinkers! Join Yvette Wroby, Kerrie Soraghan and John...
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John Harms
Kerrie Soraghan
Yvette Wroby

Friends of Williamstown and Newport Libraries Book Sale

Pick up a pre-loved treasure at the Friends of Williamstown and Newport Libraries Book Sale.  Book sales are held on a regular basis, and all funds contribute towards library equipment, events and activities.

Story Time

Join Hobsons Bay Libraries for songs, stories and activities. Story time encourages imagination and a life long love of books and libraries. Suitable for pre-school children over two years of age.

Noisy Nonna in the Kitchen

Join Noisy Nonna (Georgina Adamson) in this very interactive show with story telling, music and children playing in a kitchen band, with Noisy Nonna on her ukulele! Best for ages 3 – 8 but enjoyed by all. Georgina’s greatest joy is spending time with her grandchildren, especially cooking, playing ukulele...
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Georgina Adamson

Australian Noir – Dark Story Meets Morality Tale?

Meet three authors who take undeniably Australian characters on a moral journey where not everyone ends up the better for it. Join Janice Simpson, Fiona Capp and Jock Serong as they explore strong writing that bends genre – not crime fiction or literature as we’ve known it. Janice Simpson –...
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Jock Serong
Fiona Capp
Janice Simpson

Pathways to Writing – Sold Out!

Please note this session 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 make a great starting point, but what more does a writer need to know? Join Sherryl Clark and Enza Gandolfo for...
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Enza Gandolfo
Sherryl Clark

The Original Food for Thought

How does an impassioned, determined health professional, who is not a professional writer, pen an engaging and informative self-help book for the wider community? Hear Rowena Gray and her co-author (and mother) Anne Hillis discuss the challenges of turning their expertise and passion for their subject into a book that...
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Brad Collis
Anne Hillis
Rowena Gray

The Modern Memoir -Truth and Dare?

Memoirs these days are often shockingly revealing – but at what cost to the author? In her new memoir, Death By Dim Sim, author Sarah Vincent bares all about the struggle to take control of her morbid obesity. It’s a hard enough task at the best of times, but add...
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Sarah Vincent
Sian Prior

Pana Chocolate, The Recipes. – Please note session cancelled. See details below.

Please note this session has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control. If you purchased a ticket in person at the Williamstown Library we do not have your contact details. Please be in contact at info@willylitfest.org.au and quote your ticket confirmation number to receive a refund or swap your...
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Stella Kinsella
Pana Barbounis

Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour – Story Reading

Be enchanted as Catherine Anicic reads from her book Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour. This delightful story of two witches who are weary of always wearing black and want some colour in their lives is suitable for children aged 3 to 9. Tickets -This is a free...
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Catherine Anicic

Writing Your Children’s Stories

A workshop for parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles who would like to learn about writing stories based on their interactions with their children. A fun, very rewarding and easy process which brings great joy to both children and adults. Georgina Adamson began writing for her grandchildren when she became a...
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Georgina Adamson

Untold Stories – The Lives of Judith Wright and Dymphna Clark – SOLD OUT!

Please note that this session has sold out. Poet and activist Judith Wright and Dymphna Clark, wife of Manning Clark, were friends and correspondents but they led very different lives. Authors Georgina Arnott (The Unknown Judith Wright) and Judith Armstrong (Dymphna) talk to Stuart Kells and delve behind the public...
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Georgina Arnott
Dr Stuart Kells
Judith Armstrong

Inspiring Courage: The Power of Young Adult Literature

Young adult literature is daring, courageous and emotionally charged. Its honesty and fearless scrutiny of the world and the human condition inspires, informs and connects its readers. Demet Divaroren will be in conversation with award winning writer Cath Crowley and debut novelist Mark Smith as they discuss how their writing...
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Mark Smith
Demet Divaroren
Cath Crowley

Poetic Medicine: Writing and the Body

“Shaping the Fractured Self takes trauma and experience head on, showing how poetry expands our sense of community and beauty.” Andy Jackson. What power does the act of writing have for those facing chronic illness and disability? Does suffering inhibit or inspire a creative response? Is poetry therapy, exploration, liberation...
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Leah Kaminsky
Rachael Guy
Andy Jackson

Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour – Colour Workshop

A hands-on, fun workshop discovering the magic of colour mixing. The children’s picture book Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour, created by the kids are raw talent team, is used as a reference. The workshop is designed to introduce the primary colours and how to make secondary colours...
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Catherine Anicic

Jane Harper: The Dry

Jane Harper’s novel first came to notice when it won the Victorian Premier’s Award for an unpublished manuscript. Published by Pan Macmillan, The Dry has now sold to more than 20 countries, is a best seller in Australia and has been optioned by Reece Witherspoon’s film production company. A federal policeman...
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Jane Harper
Sherryl Clark

The Writer’s Journal – Sold Out!

Please note this session has 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 your creative seeds in this mini workshop on...
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Anna Brasier

Finding Sanity – John Cade

AUSTRALIAN doctor John Cade changed the course of medicine with his discovery of lithium, yet most people have never heard of him. In 1946 John was a man in a hurry. Later in life he wrote: “I returned from three and a half years as a POW of the Japanese...
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Lucia Nardo
Greg de Moore
Ann Westmore

The Age of Experience

It’s never too late to debut. While many people think ‘young writer’ when they hear ’emerging writer’, Jenny Ackland, Christy Collins and Paul Dalgarno each had their first book published after 35. Jenny’s first novel, an intriguing mash-up of the great Australian legends of Ned Kelly and Gallipoli called The...
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Christy Collins
Jane Rawson
Paul Dalgarno
Jenny Ackland

So You Have an Idea for a Book…Now What? – SOLD OUT!

Please note this session has sold out. If you missed out on tickets to this session you might enjoy Insider Tips for the Children’s Writer with Claire Saxby and Sue Lawson. You have an idea for a book. So how do you get started putting words to paper? How do...
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From Local Boy to Laureate with Leigh Hobbs

When Leigh Hobbs was a little boy, his father gave him an alarm clock. The deal was that it would be set for 6am and only after it went off was Hobbs allowed to start drawing. He doesn’t know what happened to the clock, but his father also gave him a drawing board...
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Sally Rippin
Leigh Hobbs

Living on Hope Street – Book Launch with Demet Divaroren

Living on Hope Street is a big-hearted, compassionate work. Divaroren is a ferociously good storyteller and every character breathes life, every character convinces. This book is an absolute joy to read.’ -CHRISTOS TSIOLKAS. Living on Hope Street is set in Melbourne and is a deeply moving, unflinching portrait of modern...
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Demet Divaroren

NAMEfluence – Book Launch with Louise Karch

Join Louise Karch for the funny and entertaining book launch of NAMEfluence: How to Name Your Brand for Success. Raise a glass and celebrate words with Victorian luminaries including Chris Botha, Victoria Government’s Business Development expert, shOUT Youth Chorus and more. Yes, there are prizes! This is a free event. ...
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Louise Karch

Stereo Stories in Concert at Williamstown Town Hall

Stereo Stories returns to its home ground with ten new stories. Backed by the ever-versatile Stereo Stories Band, writers will narrate short memoirs inspired by OzRock, Chicago blues, Neil Young, Elliot Smith, Van Morrison and more. Guest writers Andy Griffiths, Markus Zusak, Stephen Andrew, Maria Majsa (NZ), Lucia Nardo, Chris...
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Vin Maskell
Lucia Nardo
Andy Griffiths
Markus Zusak

The Willy Lit Fest Debate

There may be such a thing as junk food but there’s no such thing as junk reading.  Does all reading have value? Join students from Bayside College and Mount St. Joseph Girls’ College as they debate the merits and pitfalls of reading at whim. This is a free event but bookings...
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Interviewing Techniques for Memoir and Family History – SOLD OUT!

Please note this session has sold out.   Everyone has a story to tell, we just need to ask the right questions. In this workshop Anna Brasier will show you how to plan, prepare and conduct an interview; gather your facts, and create the story. Participants will research, prepare and...
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Anna Brasier

Andy Griffiths – Sold Out!

Please note this session has sold out! Come on a tour of the treehouse with children’s author, Andy Griffiths. All questions will be answered, (even the silly ones). Andy will be signing books after his talk. Expected to sell out quickly – bookings essential! Ticket Prices: Adults $7.50| Children $5
Andy Griffiths

My Year Without Meat

Ever thought of going vegetarian? How about vegan? What’s it like? Will you survive? Join author Dmetri Kakmi in this stimulating discussion as he chats to food writer and Epicure Good Food columnist Richard Cornish about ethical food production and eating well in a changing world. About the book –...
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Dmetri Kakmi
Richard Cornish

The Romance of Recipes

Recipes are instructions: they list what you need in the order you need it, tell you how to combine it all and what temperature the oven should be to cook it. But sometimes, they’re a whole lot more than dinner. They can be mementos and memoir, travel souvenirs, family chronicles;...
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Michelle Fincke

Insider Tips for the Children’s Writer

Kids are all the same, right? Sue Lawson and Claire Saxby are award-winning authors of books for young people. Although they both write books for young people, they are not writing for a single audience. Write for adults and you can assume all your readers are adults. Write for ‘young...
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Claire Saxby
Sue Lawson

The Mouth That Roared – Les Twentyman

Award-winning writer, Robert Hillman, has collaborated with one of Australia’s best-known youth outreach workers and social campaigners, to bring his story to the public in that wonderful storytelling style that Robert and Les share. He has a big mouth and a huge heart and Les Twentyman uses them both in...
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Les Twentyman
Robert Hillman

A S Patrić – Black Rock White City

Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2016 Three years ago, Melbourne’s A.S. Patrić couldn’t even get a response, let alone a rejection slip, for his book, Black Rock White City. Then small publisher, Transit Lounge, accepted and published it, and it won the Miles Franklin. Is this a fairy tale?...
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Sherryl Clark
Alec Patrić
Barry Scott

The Editing Hat – Why Editing Is So Important for Good Writing – SOLD OUT!

Please note that this session has sold out. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction – short or long – all writing can be improved by editing. In this workshop you will learn helpful and practical editing tips that can improve your work. What makes prose strong and compelling? Why do...
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Jenny Ackland

Dark Emu: A Discussion with Bruce Pascoe

In Dark Emu, Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident? author Bruce Pascoe challenges the long held belief that Australia’s first people were hunter-gatherers at the time of colonisation. Join Bruce as he discusses his award-winning book with Jason Gibson and takes a new look at Australia’s past. Dark Emu attempts to...
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Jason Gibson
Bruce Pascoe

The Game of Their Lives

“…But to those wise enough to recognise it, the message of the war’s impact on sport was clear: the simple joy of kicking a football was about to be challenged by the expectation of young, fit men doing their national duty. Nothing – least of all football – would be...
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Nick Richardson
Michael Gleeson

Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art

Celebrated for her vibrant and distinctive pictures of indigenous flowers, artist Margaret Preston was an equally colourful and outspoken personality. Less well known is her legacy as a generous and insightful teacher and keen cook, and her deep sense of civic duty. She was passionate about the need for a...
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Georgia Moodie
Lesley Harding

Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour – Story Reading

Be enchanted as Catherine Anicic reads from her book Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour. This delightful story of two witches who are weary of always wearing black and want some colour in their lives is suitable for children aged 3 to 9. This is a free event....
Read More
Catherine Anicic

Before There Were Books There Were Storytellers – SOLD OUT

Please note this session has sold out. The Gentle Art of Storytelling – join six of Victoria’s most talented storytellers as they recount fabulous tales. Storytelling Australia Victoria has been nurturing the art of oral storytelling in Victoria for over 40 years. With the advent of the written word, the...
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Matt McArthur
Durgah Devi Palanisamy
Jackie Kerin
Mary O’Meara
Sarah Depasquale
Dave Davies

We’re All Going to Die – SOLD OUT!

Please note this session is SOLD OUT! Everybody is going to die. Yet as a society we’ve come to deny this fact – we ignore it, hoping it will go away. Join award-winning writer and GP, Leah Kaminsky as she discusses We’re All Going to Die, her joyful book about...
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Leah Kaminsky
Bruno Lettieri

Are You Ready to Be Strong? – Exploring Buffy as a Feminist Icon

‘We will never not be fighting’. Joss Whedon “Buffy is a Girl’s Own clarion call to keep fighting the good fight, and a poignant exploration of how to stay human in the process. As Joss Whedon indicates, this fight is an ongoing one, but Buffy shows us the pleasures of...
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Patricia Pender
Clementine Ford
Dr Jenny Lee

Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour – Colour Workshop

A hands-on, fun workshop discovering the magic of colour mixing. The children’s picture book Helga and May Discover the Magic of Colour, created by the kids are raw talent team, is used as a reference. The workshop is designed to introduce the primary colours and how to make secondary colours...
Read More
Catherine Anicic

The Dust of Uruzgan

Fred Smith has been described as ‘Australia’s secret weapon’ in international diplomacy. As a career diplomat, he served for two years in southern Afghanistan. Working alongside Australian soldiers in Uruzgan Province, Fred’s second career as a musician came to the fore, his guitar serving as a bridge not only to...
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Fred Smith

Come to the Table

Shayne Francis Sidhu talks with Maria Haughey about the joys and tribulations of producing and publishing a fund raising community cookbook. A moment of temporary insanity in a parent meeting launched a year-long odyssey that came with a carnival of characters, a very steep learning curve and culminated in a...
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Maria Haughey
Shayne Francis Sidhu

The Attachment: Letters From a Most Unlikely Friendship

When priest and Sydneysider Tony Doherty emailed Melbourne-based writer and performer Ailsa Piper to say how much he had enjoyed her latest book, he was met with a swift reply from a similarly enquiring mind. Soon emails were flying back and forth and back again. They exchanged stories of their...
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Bruno Lettieri
Ailsa Piper
Tony Doherty

Great Libraries – Food for Heart, Mind and Soul

The world’s great libraries reflect the visions and foibles of the men and women who made them. Stuart Kells takes a fascinating look at the little-known stories of two privately founded American libraries: the Morgan and the Folger. Both institutions exemplify the role of libraries as food for heart, mind...
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Dr Stuart Kells

Grow a Poem with Sherryl Clark

Grow a poem (or ten) in your classroom.  Studies show that poetry stimulates language use in the classroom like no other activity. Reading and writing poems gives students the gift of imagery and metaphor, promotes confidence, and brings language to their fingertips. In this two hour session teacher and award...
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Sherryl Clark

Let’s Talk Books

Meet with like minded readers to talk about the books and authors of this year’s Willy Lit Fest.  Get together with new friends, share ideas, literary memories and reading recommendations.  Whatever you like to read, we would love to hear about it.  This event is facilitated by Hobsons Bay Libraries. ...
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People’s Choice Awards

A much loved festival favourite where local writers from the western suburbs read a piece of poetry or prose which they have written.  At the end of the event the audience votes on whose work they enjoyed the most – who was the most interesting/entertaining/talented.  Hosted by Chris Ringrose and...
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Dr Chris Ringrose
Anna Brasier

Poison Ivy – Book Launch with Stella Kinsella

Ivy Mason.  Forty.  Female flâneur.   A representative of an unofficial emerging class of post modern women- indelibly single, highly educated and unlikely to breed.A solo life has never been a problem for Ivy but when her neighbour, and unlikely best friend, Audrey, is rehoused at the local retirement village for...
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Stella Kinsella

The Footpath Library Readings

Join us as we close the 2017 Festival in fine style.  The Footpath Library readings have become a much-loved Festival favourite as Shayne Francis Sidhu brings us some of Australia’s best loved actors to read writings that have touched their hearts and their lives.  This time they’ll be sharing them on...
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Shayne Francis Sidhu
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