As the capital of Victoria, Melbourne is a place where style, sport, culture and dining come out to play. This grand city often hosts wonderful events that bring together inspirational characters and inspiring performances. The Melbourne Writers Festival will last from August 21-31 and is sure to be just as good – if not better – than previous years.

What is this event all about?

This festival brings together writers, readers, thinkers and lovers of literatures. Books have the innate ability to capture worlds between their pages and this event showcases just that. The minds behind the books are acknowledged and appreciated, as well as the art form itself.

Hundreds of writers from all over the world come to partake in the festivities. The program consists of a variety of events, including storytelling, discussions, debates, educational programs and performances. Along with literature, an eclectic mix of art and music is also celebrated.

In 2013, the aim was to reach a larger and more diverse audience. The team worked toward this by creating a broader program. It was a success, with 55,000 people showing up, which is more than ever before. Thus the Melbourne Writers Festival will continue to create a program that is as mixed as it is innovative.

What are some highlights?

The opening address of the festival is to be done by none other than Helen Garner at the Melbourne Town Hall on August 21 at 6:30pm. This woman is a legend in the Australian literary world. She has written short stories, novels and non-fiction works that have been read by millions and influenced writers and readers throughout the country. 

Ms Garner will talk about her latest book, This House of Grief, which follows the story of Robert Farquharson after he is convicted of drowning his three sons on Father's Day in 2005. It's a compelling story that speaks of human resilience, unpredictable situations and the fight for justice. 

Another speaker who is sure to be a real highlight is Chris Hadfield. He is speaking after Ms Garner at 9:30pm at the Melbourne Town Hall. This vivacious character has had a fascinating life. His pursuit of becoming an astronaut has taken him to some unlikely places, as well as outer space. 

He will talk about his book, An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth, his experience as an astronaut and other amazing moments, and the life-affirming lessons he has learnt throughout it all.

What should I get in quick for?

Some events will be sold out before you know it and are definitely worth checking out. The closing address is one such event. This will be in Deakin Edge August 31 at 6pm by Dave Eggers. An American born writer, editor and publisher, Dave skyrocketed into fame with his first book, A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius.

This memoir was a finalist in the running for the Pulitzer Prize award for General Non-Fiction in 2000. It tells the story of how the death of his parents sent ripples through the family and has been called daring, big, bold and described as demonstrating uncensored authenticity. His next book will the topic of conversation with Lisa Dempster.

Another fascinating talk is Maria Popova: Brain Pickings, on August 28 at 8:30pm in the Dallas Brooks Centre. Ms Popova is the creator of the massively popular blog known as Brain Pickings. She will talk about her experience, how the idea came to be and how it developed into this blog space that draws in millions of people every day.