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Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival

Sydney Writers’ Festival in the Highlands - Sunday 22 May

Emily Maguire & Aviva Tuffield will speak about the Stella's Book Club at SWF in the Highlands 2016

Stella’s Book Club

The Stella Prize is a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing, and championing diversity and cultural change. The prize is named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin, and was awarded for the first time in 2013. In this panel discussion founder Aviva Tuffield and author Emily Maguire discuss the significance of this prize. Ticket price includes light refreshments.

Petina Gappah will talk about her new book The Book of Memory at SWF in the Highlands 2016

Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University and the University of Zimbabwe. Her debut story collection, An Elegy for Easterly, won the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009 and heralded the arrival of a major new voice in international fiction. In her powerful new novel, The Book of Memory, Petina presents us with the recollections of a Zimbabwean woman waiting to be executed for the murder of her adopted father.

Shirley Barrett will talk about her new book Rush Oh! at SWF in the Highlands 2016

Shirley Barrett

Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley's first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. In 2010, the script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier’s Prize and the West Australian Premier’s Prize. Rush Oh! set in the NSW whaling town of Eden in 1908, is Shirley's first novel.


Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival - Saturday 16 July

Wendy Whiteley will talk at SHWF 2016

Wendy Whiteley

For more than twenty years Wendy Whiteley has worked to create a public garden at the foot of her harbourside home in Sydney's Lavender Bay. Wendy, and her biographer Janet Hawley, have now penned a book on Wendy’s journey describing the extraordinary story of how a determined, passionate and deeply creative woman has slowly transformed an overgrown wasteland into a beautiful sanctuary for everyone to enjoy - and in the process, transformed herself.


Jane Caro will talk about her new book plain-speaking jane at SHWF 2016

Jane Caro

Jane Caro is an author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and social commentator. She spent 30 years as an advertising writer and her creative work has won many national and international awards. She is a regular panelist on the ABC's top-rating show on advertising The Gruen Transfer and now the author of plain-speaking jane, an unflinchingly honest memoir of a perfectly imperfect life.

Jane McCredie, Benython Oldfield, Alison Green and Craig Munro will talk about Publishing at SHWF 2016

Inside Publishing

Do you have a manuscript and don’t know what steps to take next? In this session, we take a sneak peek inside the world of publishing to see what really happens behind the scenes. Panelists include: Jane McCredie (Executive Director of the NSW Writers’ Centre), Benython Oldfield (literary agent, publicist and director of Zeitgeist Media Group), Alison Green (Founder & CEO, Pantera Press) and Craig Munro (award-winning biographer and founding chair of the Queensland Writers Centre).

Sofie Laguna will talk about her new book One Foot Wrong at SHWF 2016

Sofie Laguna

Sofie Laguna is the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award winner for her book The Eye of the Sheep. Sofie originally studied to be a lawyer, but after deciding law was not for her, she trained as an actor. She has written over twenty books for children and her first novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, was published internationally. Sofie has recently written the screenplay for the film of One Foot Wrong.

Barry Jones will talk about his new book The Shock of Recognition at SHWF 2016

Dr Barry Jones

Hon. Dr Barry Jones is a writer, broadcaster and former Labor member of both the Victorian and Federal parliaments. He was also a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO in Paris (1991-95), Vice-President of the World Heritage Committee (1995- 96) and a consultant for the OECD. Barry was awarded an AC in 2014. In his latest book, The Shock of Recognition, Barry shares the books and music that have inspired him.


Simon Logue will talk about her new book In the Kitchen and cook at the Literary Dinner for SHWF 2016

Simmone Logue

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. At this years Literary Dinner, we will explore the work of one of the world’s greatest writers, and why he is still relevant today. Our guest chef is the fabulous Simmone Logue; the menu will be selected from her new book, In The Kitchen, which features her fresh, easy, seasonal recipes that cater for every occasion. Price includes wine.


About the Festival

The Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival was established in 2012 in the NSW country town of Bowral. The Festival attracts some of Australia’s leading writers and thinkers and past speakers have included Mike Carlton, Robert Dessaix, Nikki Gemmell, David Malouf and Don Watson, to name just a few. One of the highlights of the Festival is the Literary Dinner, where guest chefs work with local chefs to create unique and incredibly memorable feasts. Using mostly local produce and matched wines from Cuttaway Hill Estate, the Literary Dinner is not to be missed!