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EWF 2020 program; CWF plans for live events; BWF confirms ‘small online offering’

The program for the 2020 Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF), which usually takes place in Melbourne but this year will take place entirely online, has been announced. The event will run from 16–23 June.

The opening night event The Bogong: Blak Futures will see First Nations artists Travis De Vries, Stone Motherless Cold, Emily Munro-Harrison and Amy Thunig present their speculative visions for the future. Amazing Babes, the closing night event, will feature Veronica Gorrie, Maya Hodge, Raelee Lancaster, Tarneen Onus-Williams, Alice Skye and a live-streamed DJ set by Peta Duncan.

Events that will be live-streamed via Zoom include Kiss Me Thru The Phone, a ‘digitally intimate’ evening as six artists discuss love, loss, lust and longing; and Through the Looking Glass, in which five writers from Perth’s Centre for Stories will perform dramatic readings about the ‘wonderfully complex and chaotic’ world we live in. The Lunchtime Lit industry sessions will be live-streamed via YouTube, while the National Writers Conference will take place on Zoom and GoToWebinar.

The 2020 festival is the first for EWF artistic director Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh. This year’s ambassadors are Amy McQuire, J P Pomare, Omar Sakr and Carrie Tiffany, who will headline the National Writers’ Conference on Saturday, 20 June.

To see the full program, visit the EWF website.

CWF to include live events, BWF confirms  ‘small online offering’ in September

The Canberra Writers Festival (CWF) has confirmed a ‘reimagined CWF’ will be held from 12–16 August this year, and will include some live events, while the Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) will run a ‘small online offering to celebrate Australian artists’ in early September, with plans for its wider festival as yet unconfirmed.

BWF had been scheduled to run from 3–6 September under the direction of new artistic director Rachel Fry and guest curator Benjamin Law. A BWF spokesperson told Books+Publishing that in response to the Covid-19 pandemic an online offering called ‘Room to Dream’ would run ‘over the week we would have normally delivered our festival’. For this online program, which is supported by funding from Copyright Agency’s Covid-19 emergency funding, BWF is ‘asking artists to encapsulate the themes of awe, wonder, connection and community as we begin to dream a new reality into our post-Covid lives’.

A statement on the BWF website says the 2020 festival will be rescheduled to early 2021, however the spokesperson told Books+Publishing the organisation is in the process of appointing a new CEO and that it ‘will be left to the new CEO to research and decide on best dates for our rescheduled 2020 festival’, as well as to decide on whether an additional festival will run in September 2021.

In Canberra, CWF said in a statement that its 2020 program, to be announced next month, ‘is necessarily smaller than in previous years and will be a mix of real and virtual events’.

‘With the reopening of Canberra’s national institutions, we feel able to offer the festival’s signature events as live events,’ said the organisers. ‘Naturally, the health and wellbeing of our community comes first, but by August we will be well practised to follow the rules as they stand for public gatherings, and we anticipate a readiness for people to attend live events.’

CWF said the program ‘will include writers, activists and thinkers who will explore ideas for a more hopeful future. Under our theme ‘Power Politics Passion’, artists will explore activism, identity, politics, literature and change, there is something for everyone. All sessions will provide a forum for discussion and debate and a platform for diverse voices.’


Category: Local news