Brisbane Writers Festival has something for everyone!

Woven between the fiction, biography, poetry, memoir, politics, thrillers, romance, and non-fiction lays a thread of pure science set to excite even the most classical reader. With a premier line-up of science sessions this year, you can explore the creative passion shared by scientists and writers alike, traverse the rocky terrain between science-fiction and science fact, or even delve into the mind of a psychopath to discover the very nature of good and evil.

Jennifer Eggleton, Volunteers Co-ordinator, although not a scientist herself, has shared with you why she will not be missing this year's science line-up in her staff picks. Then keep reading to be in with a chance to WIN double passes in this week's giveaways.


Andrew Westoll

Canadian author and journalist Andrew Westoll continues his Australian adventures with four appearances at BWF.

A former biologist and primatologist, Andrew now works as a freelance writer specialising in travel, science, conservation and culture. He is a past Fellow of the Literary Journalism Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Andrew won gold at the 2007 National Magazine Awards for his first feature article, a story that grew into his first book The Riverbones:

Stumbling after Eden in the Jungles of Suriname

Sessions with Andrew Westoll include:

Thursday, 10 September 2009
5:30PM Environmental Sustainability vs. Economic Imperative.

Friday, 11 September 2009
6:45PM Tropical Forests on the Brink: Can we save them? Read more...

Saturday, 12 September 2009
2:00PM Adventurers: Moving on from the Boy Scouts.

4:00PM Rich AND Green.


Fred Watson

Fred Watson says he has spent so many years working in large telescope domes that he has started to look like one. He is Astronomer in Charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory at Coonabarabran, where his main scientific interest is gathering information on very large numbers of stars and galaxies. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, the University of Southern Queensland, and James Cook University.

Fred is well-known for his astronomy slots on ABC radio, and his recent books include Stargazer the life and times of the telescope, Why is Uranus upside down? (which won the 2008 Queensland Premier's Literary Prize for Science Writing), and the ABC's new blockbuster Universe, for which he was chief consultant.

Sessions with Fred Watson include:

Friday, 11 September 2009
2:45PM Creativity: Art or Science?

Marianne de Pierres


Local speculative fiction author Marianne de Pierres has penned several successful series including her Parrish Plessis novels, The Sentients of Orion stories, and her new Tara Sharp chick lit, written under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt.

An advocate of Australian speculative fiction, Marianne has mentored numerous sci-fi writers and was a founding member of the Brisbane writers group Vision.


Marianne joins national and international authors at this year's Festival to continue promoting her creative passion for science fact and fiction.

Sessions with Marianne de Pierres include:

Thursday, 10 September 2009
6:00 PM Science is Stranger than Fiction.

Saturday, 12 September 2009
3:45 PM Strong Women Write Strong Women.


Creativity: Art or Science
What do you get when you cross an author with an innovation advocate and a neuroscientist? I have no idea, but I certainly don't want to miss my chance to find out. It's easy to embrace the well-worn stereotypes scientists always wear white lab coats and square glasses and artists never collaborate with commercial corporations or governments however this revolutionary panel discussion, hosted by The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, illuminates a future where creativity and passion acknowledge no such restrictions.


Science is Stranger than Fiction
Ever come across a particularly strange detail or piece of trivia in a science fiction saga and wonder how the author invented something quite so incredible? Chances are, they didn't. The mysteries of science offer a limitless platform for creative output, and authors such as Marianne de Pierres and Peter McAllister bring us the best of both worlds by interweaving fact and fiction throughout their novels. These two talented writers join forces with physicist Paul Meredith for what promises to be a genuinely strange session!


Environmental Sustainability vs Economic Imperative
One of the things that I love most about Brisbane Writers Festival is the beautiful environment in which it is held. Even in the middle of my busiest days working at the Festival, I take a moment to appreciate the sparkling river, the rows of Australian trees lining the banks, and the warm, spring sun that (hopefully) shines down on Festival-goers. I believe in preserving this environment, and I look forward to learning about it from international guests Jeb Brugmann and Andrew Westoll, who have toured the world promoting environmental sustainability.


Strong Women Write Strong Women
Who are your favourite female characters? In all of our favourite books, there are women we love to love and women we love to hate. Women we'd love to be and women we'd love to be friends with. But what makes us, as readers, click with some characters while we despise others? And what challenges does the author overcome in order to deliver strong, believable leading ladies? This fantastic free session hosted by Marianne de Pierres and Tobsha Learner will make you think twice about your favourite females!




Workshops and Masterclasses are selling out! Get in quick before it's too late.

Cut, paste, tweak, twist, shuffle, add and republish your manuscript with Amy Barker and Elliott Bledsoe in Remix My Lit: Literary Remix.

Arts Funding? Where to start? Learn in The Fine Art of Writing Arts Funding Submissions with Tom Cho.

Back by popular demand Anna Campbell and Christine Wells give some new tips on the process of writing and selling your romance in Romance That Sells.

Read more about our Workshop and Masterclass program.

With workshops and masterclasses selling fast and very few tickets left, book now and secure your place. Book now at


For all of those who weren't able to utilise this great offer last week, here it is again with the correct link.

Anytime is a good time to check out Good Reading - an online resource provided free to State Library of Queensland members. Good Reading is

offering a special incentive for a limited period only (31 August to 14 September) with direct access to the online magazine for BWF readers. Check out the magazine and enter a Competition to Win a book featured at the Festival. Click here for competition details.


when I leave the clouds, a collaboration between ArtBunker (Ian Friend and Robyn Daw) and light-trap press (Angela Gardner and Kerry Kilner), was this week unveiled on QUT's massive 45m x 9m Kelvin Grove Road Billboard to celebrate the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Visual artist Friend's image is overlaid

with Gardner's eponymous poem, written specifically for the site. Her words 'partly follow, and partly digress from, the underlying image, creating juncture and disjuncture, allowing the eye to meander and flow across the surface'.

Read more about this unique collaboration here.


With the Festival within reach, we are pleased to offer some free double passes to each of the following sessions:

Behind the Williamson Scene
Kristin and David Williamson take us 'backstage' of their life and marriage and the journey undertaken to deliver Kristin's biography David Williamson: Behind the Scenes.


The GFC: Oracles, Realists and Saviours

Norb Vonnegut, Top Producer; John R. Talbott, The 86 Biggest Lies on Wall Street; Barbara Gunnell, contributor to New Statesman, share their visions of a post-GFC world.


Remix My Lit: Literary Remix
Reading and writing has always been a dichotomy in literature. The author sits on one side, toiling in solitude to produce the manuscript which is read in solitude. But is there a more collaborative space? Amy Barker and Elliott Bledsoe show you how as part of this remixable literature masterclass.


Blogging from Remote Corners of the World
Chris Bray shares the secrets to communicating the experience of adventure via the written word from the middle of absolutely nowhere. You will then go online to get your own blog started ready for adventure!


Little Books on Big Themes
Explore the big themes of Digestion, Doubt and Luck.


Smithy: A Life of Firsts
Charles Kingsford Smith was the first man to conquer the Pacific by air; the first to fly across the Tasman Sea and the first pilot to circumnavigate the globe by crossing the equator.


For your chance to grab one of our free double passes, email your details and preferred event to Entries close 3 September 2009. Only the winners will be contacted.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Festival!

The BWF Team
Brisbane Writers Festival 9 - 13 September 2009
PO Box 3453 South Brisbane Queensland 4101
P: 61 7 3255 0254 F: 61 7 3255 0362



The Brisbane Writers Festival acknowledges the assistance of the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, the Gambling Community Benefit Fund and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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