‘When We Talk About Love’ is the heart-interrogating theme of this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival, which runs from 30 August to 8 September, with sessions that explore ‘our love for people, sex, politics and country through conversations, new writing, music and immersive events’, as well as a full day of romance programming. This is the second festival from director Marieke Hardy, who said of the theme: ‘Love stirs our creative spirits, brings us to our knees, inspires songs and sonnets and paintings and volumes, and breaks us into tiny pieces and glues us back together again with gold adhesive.’
Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award has been announced (see awards), with rights interest and a screen deal swiftly following. Melissa Lucashenko, who won for her novel Too Much Lip, is the third Indigenous author to win in the award’s history.
The shortlist for the Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) has also been revealed. This unique award aims to ‘uncover and celebrate the hidden gems of Australian publishing’. ‘It is often small presses who take risks and the results—evident in this year’s shortlist—are richly rewarding and worthwhile reads,’ said the judges. The winner will be announced at the Small Press Network’s Independent Publishing Conference in November.
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