BRISBANE’S FESTIVAL OF OPEN MINDS

For all the hype around Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane is a city with an equally thriving and diverse creative community. 2015 is shaping up to be a massive year for our local writers, with a range of new projects hitting the shelves and garnering rave reviews. Our writers are due a well-earned celebration. Each year, Brisbane celebrates the best in local, national, and international storytellers at the Brisbane Writers Festival. From the 2nd to the 6th of September, the State Library and surrounds will be the go-to space for lovers of reading, writing, and sharing ideas.
This year’s festival theme is ‘Minds Wide Open’, and event organisers have brought the best voices in a range of fields together to share their ideas. Whether it’s YA royalty Cassandra Clare and Holly Black talking shop and shadowhunters, writer and comedic thinker Jon Ronson on the internet’s love of public shaming, or Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty on the importance of being, and staying, informed, there’s something for everyone.

For the political intriguists, former Premier Anna Bligh, alongside Federal MP Andrew Leigh and Crikey’s Bernard Keane, will be discussing the call to political life and maintaining the balance between party rhetoric and personal ideology. Beloved Australian cartoonists Michael Leunig and First Dog on the Moon will also be sharing their wisdom on a range of topics political, social, and personal. For the teachers, educational practises will be explored in “Inspiring Creativity in Education” on Thursday September 3rd.

The BWF prides itself on its school-focused events, and as well as a host of local and national speakers, this year international writing powerhouse Cassandra Clare, creator of the Shadowhunter universe, will be talking with school groups about creative writing and world building. All of the authors will be on hand to sign books and answer student questions after the events, letting children get up close and personal with some of their literary heroes.
Beloved local author Nick Earls will be on hand to discuss his latest children’s book, New Boy, and the importance of creativity for children. Avid Reader’s own Krissy Kneen (poetess and eroticist) and Trent Jamieson (unapologetic vampire sympathiser) will be talking about their latest works, as well as chairing events.

Over recent years, the festival has broadened its presence beyond the Cultural Precinct, and this year will see events at the Brisbane Square Library in the CBD, as well as a variety of BCC Libraries outside of the city.
There is no doubt that this year’s festival is going to be huge, and tickets are selling out fast. You can explore the full festival program, including off-site events, or buy tickets, at www.bwf.org.au

By Kylie Thompson

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