Canberra Writers Festival: something for every appetite

The Canberra Writers Festival kicked off on Thursday, our appetites whetted by chef Matthew Evans in an opening literary dinner.

But there's something for everyone to nibble on over the next few days, from workshops, to conversations, to silent reading time.

Given the theme is Power, Politics, Passion we thought we'd pick up on that, throw in something to keep the kids amused and something we thought crime fans might love.

Pauline Hanson in the new documentary directed by Anna Broinowski. Photo: Supplied

Pauline Hanson in the new documentary directed by Anna Broinowski. Photo: Supplied


Before One Nation's astonishingly successful return to Australian politics in 2016, multi-award-winning filmmaker Anna Broinowski had complete access to Pauline Hanson and her "Fed Up" election campaign. At the time, no one was taking Hanson and One Nation's political chances seriously, but Broinowski quickly realised that there was a movement forming behind her. Broinowski will talk about her book, Please Explain, a compelling, intimate look at how an Ipswich fish and chip shop lady changed our nation.

Anna Broinowski in conversation with David Marr, Sunday, August 25, 2.30pm, Museum of Australian Democracy.

Anna Snoekstra will speak at Millennials Strike Back.

Anna Snoekstra will speak at Millennials Strike Back. Photo: Elesa Kurtz


If you were born in the last part of the 20th century, you've already heard the standard criticisms: pampered; no commitment; no idea of how good you've got it compared to back in the day... Millennials Strike Back at this event, hosted by bright young things Yolande Norris, Cameron Muir, Frances Flanagan and Michael Newton. Anna Snoekstra will also be there, discussing the perils of coming of age in a world radically changed from that experienced by previous generations.

Millennials Strike Back, Saturday, August 26, 4pm, National Library of Australia.


Laura Tingle, George Megalogenis and Paul Kelly discuss the current state of democracy and whether the modern mess can be undone and put right. Think voter drift, policy backflips and leaders who are rolled with alarming regularity. Tingle is the political editor of the Australian Financial Review and will also present on Women's Defining Moments in Australian History. Megalogenis has spent the past 10 years in the parliamentary press gallery, he's also part of the sold-out Ministry of Truth.

In Search of Good Government, Saturday, August 26, 2.30pm, Museum of Australian Democracy.

For the kids

It's the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter books (and doesn't that make you feel old) so join Professor Frankie Falconette as she brings to life the characters, creatures and adventures from J.K. Rowling's best-selling series. A fun and interactive event for children aged 9-12, whether they are new to the books or dedicated fans. Come along dressed as your favourite character and bring your own books along too for an exclusive stamp.

Professor Frankie, Saturday, August 26, 11.30am and 1pm, National Library of Australia.

Lee Child is the subject of a session by Andy Martin.

Lee Child is the subject of a session by Andy Martin. Photo: Supplied

Criminal capers

A great program over the weekend for lovers of crime fiction but don't miss Reacher said Nothing. Lee Child started writing his 20th Jack Reacher novel, Make Me, at 2.26 pm on September 1, 2014. He finished it at 12.24 on April 10, 2015. From the first word (''moving'') through to the last (''needle''), Andy Martin sat in his office in Manhattan, and shadowed the author around America and Europe, and watched him write it. The result is the book Reacher Said Nothing, described as "literary criticism as never practised before, over the shoulder as the writer writes." Andy Martin is joined by thriller writer James Phelan as they discuss the Reacher phenomenon.

Reacher said Nothing, Saturday, August 26, 2pm, National Portrait Gallery.

This story Canberra Writers Festival: something for every appetite first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.