Time to get excited about the 2015 Brisbane Writers Festival

Are you a book lover living in South-East Queensland? If so, it is time to get excited.

The full 2015 Brisbane Writers Festival program will be made public on Saturday 25th July. Tickets go on sale the same day.

From 2-6 September, Brisbane Festival connects bright and curious minds – writers, artists, thinkers, innovators – for a city-wide conversation.

Festival Director/CEO Julie Beveridge challenges us to “add your voice but come with your mind wide open and be inspired by the storytellers and wordsmiths who seduce, elevate and change us.”

Mind Wide Open Banner

The heart of the Brisbane festival lies at the State Library and Arts Precinct at Southbank, but festival speakers will also be engaging us at universities and a local library near you.

From Saturday 25th July, the full festival program will be available online at the Brisbane Writers Festival website. But if you’re like me and would prefer a printed copy that you can pour over and start highlighting your favourite authors names on, make sure you get yourself a copy of the Saturday Courier Mail that same day which will include a special full festival program lift-out. Along with details of each and every session, that colour lift-out includes a very helpful index of all guest speakers plus a calendar/grid colour-coded by session type (e.g. lectures, conversations, panels) showing at a glance which sessions will be held in each venue every hour in the State Library and Arts Precinct over the festival weekend.

Wait a minute… how do I know what is in the festival program lift-out?

I was one of the lucky people invited to a sneak peek at what will be on offer this year. So with the Brisbane Writers Festival Team’s permission I’m now able to share with you just some of the talented people we can look forward to seeing at the festival.

Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test, Men Who Stare At Goats and So, You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, will be giving the festival opening address.

Bestselling international authors Sarah Waters and Sophie Hannah will be there, as will several of the authors I’ve interviewed or whose titles I’ve reviewed here at Booklover Book Reviews – Gary Kemble, Graeme Simsion, John Marsden, Oliver Mol, Patrick Holland, Sarah Holland-Batt.

Many authors of titles on my reading/wishlist are featured in the program pages also, such as Jonathan Galassi, Robert Gott, Anne Buist, James Bradley, Debra Oswald, Sjorn Sigurdsson, Miles Allinson, Fiona McIntosh and many more.

There are great line-ups in the non-fiction and young adult genre also, plus some wonderful speakers booked for the festival’s Inspire Series such as Li Cunxin, Tim Flannery and Jessica Rowe.

Brisbane Writers Festival - Photo by L Dunne

I cannot possibly do the program’s breadth and depth justice in this one short article, so I urge you to get yourself a copy as soon as it becomes available and see which events have special meaning and interest for you.

Many of these sessions are going to be very popular so ensure you get your tickets quickly to avoid disappointment. It’s also worth keeping in mind that despite many great sessions being made available at no cost this year thanks to festival partners, in many instances bookings are still essential.

I had a fantastic time at the Brisbane Writers Festival last year and am looking forward to booking my tickets to several of this year’s author conversations and panel sessions when they become available on Saturday.

As Julie put it so well, this is “a cultural experience that is owned by the entire city” so I urge you to get involved.

The festival vibe is a welcoming, inspiring and inclusive one — Minds Wide Open.