The Melbourne Writers Festival is set to hit town at the end of this month, and book enthusiasts from far and wide will be flocking to Victoria to catch a glimpse of their favourite authors.
Running from August 22 to September 1, this is a fantastic opportunity to soak up a little literary culture. A range of activities will be taking place over this 11-day event, including panel discussions, workshops, film screenings and live performances.
All age groups and budgets are being catered for, with a number of events being organised specifically for children and some absolutely free to attend. Because these will be taking place all over the city, hiring a rental car in Melbourne might be a good idea!
On August 23, we recommend coming along to the 'Between Friends' panel discussion, which is being held at 10am in the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). This will bring together some of our nation's most popular female authors, who have just collaborated on a beautiful collection of stories, to discuss friendship.
On August 24, Tony Moore, a historian from Monash University, and John Arnold, editor of La Trobe Journal, will be leading a tour called 'Bohemian Melbourne'. If you attend, you will learn all about the fascinating life of Australian author Marcus Clarke and his wild nineteenth-century contemporaries.
It costs $40 to take part in this tour – a price that includes afternoon tea at the end of your walk!
If you're on a tight budget, you might want to check out the free event being held on August 25 at the Atrium. Called 'Illustrator in Residence', this three-hour session will feature world-renowned Australian illustrator Judy Horacek. Her quirky drawings have brightened the pages of many a children's book, and this event will give you the opportunity to see Ms Horacek in action!
There are a huge variety of exciting activities taking place, so make sure you visit the Melbourne Writers Festival website and book your tickets today.
Are you worried the Melbourne Writers Festival won't be enough to satisfy your literary appetite? Well, if you get your hands on a rental car at the Melbourne airport, what's stopping you from checking out the other book-related sites Australia has to offer?
You could go on an author-inspired pilgrimage, visiting the hometowns of your favourite Australian writers and discovering where they got their inspiration from!
Why not visit Canberra, where Bryce Courtenay, one of Australia's most successful authors, spent his twilight years. You've most likely heard of his novel The Power of One, which was adapted into a brilliant film. He also wrote a series of books inspired by Australia, titled The Potato Factory, Tommo & Hawk, and Solomon's Song.
Canberra is about an eight-hour drive from Melbourne, which gives you ample opportunity to immerse yourself in Mr Courtenay's books before you reach your destination.
Fans of Colleen McCullough, who continues to write novels to this day, may want to pay a visit to Wellington, New South Wales. Her books have been made into TV series (such as The Thornbirds) and films, and are beloved all over the world.
You may have heard of her controversial 2008 novel The Independence of Miss Mary Bennett. Its depiction of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, two of the literary world's most beloved characters, caused a fair amount of angst among stalwart Jane Austen fans when it was released. If you drive to Wellington, maybe you'll bump into Ms McCullough and discover her side of the story!
Get inspired by Australia's literature – stop by the Melbourne Writers Festival this August or plot a road-trip to find out more about your favourite authors!