Inaugural Victorian Indigenous Literary Festival to launch in Melbourne
A new writers’ festival dedicated to Indigenous writing will be held at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne from 19-21 February.
Blak & Bright, the inaugural Victorian Indigenous Literary Festival, will present three days of panels, performances, keynotes and workshops from more than 60 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander novelists, oral storytellers, poets, songwriters, playwrights, comedians, and more.
Festival director and Victorian Indigenous literature officer Jane Harrison told Books+Publishing that in addition to showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature ‘in all its forms’, Blak & Bright will aim to ‘help increase the profile and readership of all Indigenous writers and writing’. ‘Indigenous writing is relevant and exciting to literature lovers and readers everywhere. We hope that this will become an annual event—there is so much to celebrate, explore and enjoy,’ said Harrison.
The festival will kick off with an ‘Industry Insider’ afternoon that examines the opportunities available to Indigenous writers in the industry and looks at how publishers and editors are currently engaging with Indigenous writers. It will be followed by an evening event featuring a line-up of singer-songwriters.
Other highlights include sessions on oral storytelling and new writing, a ‘sampler’ of theatre writing, a premiere performance entitled ‘Native Dignity’, and programming for children.
The festival will also include three masterclasses held at the Koorie Heritage Trust led by authors Anita Heiss, Ellen van Neerven and Kate Howarth.
The full program will be launched in January.
Blak & Bright is presented by First Nations Australia Writers Network with the resident organisations of the Wheeler Centre. For more information, visit the festival website here.