From 1 - 5 September over 250 writers and participants will gather in Brisbane and light up the city as they take part in more than 150 sessions, (including 24 workshops), as part of this year's Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF).
BWF 2010 is so much more than the name suggests...This is an opportunity for people who love reading to come together; to listen to their favourite authors speak; receive feedback on their own work; to make new discoveries as well as share their own thoughts and connections to the stories.
In announcing her program for BWF 2010, Festival Director Jane O'Hara said, "Less than a year ago a colleague unwittingly gave me a gift that would end up underpinning my vision for the 2010 Brisbane Writers Festival.
The gift was 10 stories written by the winners of The Caine Prize for African Writing, a literary prize awarded each year for the best original short story by an African writer.
I devoured all 10 stories and with a renewed passion embarked on a journey to find out more. It is therefore very exciting for me to confirm that the winner of the 2003 Caine, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor will be attending the Festival as well as the 2009 winner E.C. Osondu, who will in fact give the opening address."
The program includes 29 outstanding international writers, and is full to bursting this year, alongside a terrific line up of much-loved nationals and locals.
O'Hara goes on to add that "one of the most important things we do as a Festival is to nurture and support local talent".
A great example of this is Writers on the Make which showcases the hottest creative writing talent from our universities in the south east on the Friday and Saturday nights and where better to house that young talent than at The Edge, the new digital space at SLQ.
Matt Condon, a firm Brisbane favourite, will be sharing his thoughts on Brisbane, and home more broadly, with other Brisbane devotees, Robert Forster and William McInnes.
Jessica Watson will be back on dry land sharing her story of how she sailed into history while Jessica Rudd will take us behind the scenes of her debut novel Campaign Ruby - an interesting chat given the current state of politics.
Benjamin Law invites you to meet The Law Family - eccentric, endearing and hard to resist...Join him as he tries to answer some puzzling questions such as: Why won't his Chinese dad wear made-in-China underpants?
Linda Neil shares with Jana Wendt, a deeply personal story of her return home to Brisbane to care for her ailing mother and how as her mother's illness progresses their shared musical passion helps them to make sense of what is happening and finally to accept it.
Lovers of crime will be happy to hear best selling author Val McDermid and creator of the hugely popular character Dr Tony Hill, will be sharing the secrets of her success; taking part in a panel discussion on the facts and fictions of crime writing and also teaming up with Australia's top crime writer Michael Robotham to discuss the rise of criminal profiling in fiction.
Also weighing in on the crime scene will be Jake Adelstein author of Tokyo Vice: which tells the story of a Western reporter on the police beat in Japan, providing a unique, firsthand, revelatory look at Japanese culture from the underbelly up.
Canadian journalist and father Ian Brown will have you crying an equal measure of tears of laughter and sadness as he takes us into the world of his 11 year old autistic son. Showing there is always more to someone than meets the eye Brown will also be discussing his current food challenge blogging his way around Canada eating something new every day. Brown will take part in a discussion with Indian born Jaspreet Singh whose novel Chef tells the story of the India Pakistan conflict from the point of view of an apprentice chef.
BWF audiences will be lucky enough to be among the first in the world to chat with Simon Winchester following the launch of his new book Atlantic: A Biography of the Ocean. Winchester will also be part of our exclusive Visiting Writer events along with American political commentator Joe Bageant and Norwegian writer and former philosophy teacher Jostein Gaarder.
Elif Batuman, whose book Possessed has been described as a personalised, intelligent, humorous exploration of Russian literature, is obsessed with Russian writers and Jean-Francois Vernay is fascinated by Australian literature together they will discuss the role of obsession in producing productive work.
Brisbane bloggers Fiona Crawford and John Birmingham will be joined by China's wild-child of literature Mian Mian, (who sued Google for breaching copyright and won!), to talk about the world of new media.
Bob Hawke and Blanche d'Alpuget let us in on the secrets behind surviving life in the public eye and on the page while Kate Howard and Ross Fitzgerald also get personal and talk about memoirs, often the hardest writing of all.
One of Australia's foremost songwriters and storytellers Shane Howard will take to the stage with Archie Roach and Neil Murray for a very special event as they sing from Howard's songbook.
Festival favourite Dr. Norman Doidge will return to update us on the patients whose lives have been forever changed by the neuroplasticity revolution, and also give the closing address for the festival.
The final day of BWF falls on Fathers Day and what better way to celebrate than a BBQ breakfast for Dad, entertainment for the kids, comedian Anh Do sharing hilarious anecdotes from his new book The Happiest Refugee, Bettina Arndt discussing her recent book What Men Want In Bed...and last but by no means least some "cave time" with the boys (William McInnes, John Birmingham and Simon Winchester) tackling the big topic that men's business should be taken seriously!
The above list is just a taste of a Festival program that truly delivers something for everyone. So whether your interest lay in science, sport, humour, thrillers, chick lit, politics, cooking, architecture, music, climate change, sex or poetry head to www.bwf.org.au to find out more and secure your spot at BWF 2010!
Brisbane Writers Festival acknowledges the assistance of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Department of Education and Training, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.