Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival (MRRWF), presented by Arts Margaret River, is geared up for an inspiring, intriguing and thought-provoking 3-day event from 15-17 May 2020, featuring Los Angeles-based Australian author Matthew Reilly.

The author who has given his readers dragons, hovering cars and ancient wonders, will visit Margaret River to talk about his latest book The Secret Runners of New York, a riveting time travel story centred on rumours of a coming global apocalypse – in sync with this year’s festival theme Future Tense.

The festival’s line up of literary talent also includes Walkley Award winning Australian columnist, author, broadcaster and social commentator Jane Caro who will speak about her latest book Accidental Feminists. Jane Caro will be joined by author and journalist Tracey Spicer AM and Russian-born, Israeli-Australian writer Dr Lee Kofman for a glimpse into the future from a female perspective and the power of the hashtag in creating social change.

Lifelong activist, acclaimed author and former leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown will share his inspirations and thoughts as told in Planet Earth, at a breakfast event to be held at Voyager Estate. He will also be taking the stage at the Margaret River HEART with his partner Paul Thomas, to give festival-goers the chance to see the spectacular Australian landscape through the eyes of two of our environment’s greatest activists.

Fellow Tasmanian, Heather Rose, the Australian author of eight novels including The Museum of Modern Love which won the 2017 Stella Prize, will also join the line-up to speak about her latest book Bruny. Bruny is a fictional near-future novel about family, love, loyalty and the new world order and prompts you to ask yourself what you would do to protect the place you love.

Hong Kong-based Australian writer and lawyer Antony Dapiran will share his insights on the Hong Kong riots as told in his latest book City on Fire, and Professor of Artificial Intelligence Toby Walsh will speak about 2062: The World that A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Made.

Claire G. Coleman who wrote her black&write! fellowship-winning book Terra Nullius while travelling around Australia in a caravan will talk about her second novel The Old Lie which is set in a futuristic fictional world, where Indigenous Australian characters have one desire: to return to their home, to country.

Festival Creative Director Tanya Perdue said the program reflects on the current concerns and aspirations of many Australians with writers set to speak on a range of topics from climate change to consumerism, artificial intelligence, equality and political affairs. “This festival is a fabulously intriguing blend of fiction, fact and fiction based on fact,” she said.

“Literature and the arts has such a huge role to play in the way we look at and tackle the future and I’m thrilled that we have so many fabulous writers coming to the region to bring their books to life,” she said. “Rest assured though, if future-gazing is not your thing we have lots of exciting sessions on everything from the origin of fairy tales to crime fiction, women’s fiction and more.”

“With writers from overseas and across Australia, including top WA and local talents, this year’s program is sure to spark curiosity and ignite debate,” she said. “We look forward to welcoming festival-goers to the newly opened Margaret River HEART as well as holding feature events at much-loved venues across the region including Voyager Estate, Swings Taphouse, Morries, Riversmith Café and more.

Tickets to the 2020 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival will be available for purchase online from 10am on Tuesday 3 March at www.mrrwfestival.com, by phone 08 9758 7316, or from the Arts Margaret River Box Office, Margaret River Community Centre, Tunbridge Street, Margaret River.

The State Government is proud to support the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival as part of its Regional Events Scheme.  

The project is also supported by the Australian Governments regional arts program, the Regional Arts Fund, which gives all Australians better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. The Regional Arts Fund is administered in Western Australia by Regional Arts WA.