Latest News

Jul 16, 2015

That's a wrap for 2015!

Last weekend over 1000 festivalgoers participated in three jam-packed days of events as part of the 2015 Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival.

Full house at The Bradman

Some of Australia’s finest writers and thinkers including David Marr, Robert Dessaix, Don Watson, Emily Bitto, Malcolm Knox and Geraldine Doogue stimulated, challenged and entertained us.

Our junior festivalgoers enjoyed a special Kids’ Day with author R.A. Spratt, and a creative-writing workshop with Lisa Forrest.

The 2015 Literary Dinner was definitely a highlight, with an extraordinary meal prepared by chef Richard Kemp from Eschalot and accompanying wines from Cuttaway Hill Estate.

If you were unable to attend the Opening Night Event, you can also click here to watch the exclusive SHWF interview with Partisan director and co-writer, Ariel Kleiman.

SHWF gallery updated

We’ve now added a bunch of fabulous festival photos to our Gallery; click here to soak up some of the atmosphere. While you’re at it, check out our 2015 Promo Video too!

A huge thank you to all of you who attended, including our amazing team and vollies, and for the wonderful energy and passion you brought to the Festival.

We will keep you informed of program/event developments and look forward to seeing you in 2016!!

Jul 4, 2015

The final countdown is on!


HURRAY! In just one week we will be kicking off the 2015 Southern Highlands Writers Festival!

Twelve months of pleasure (and pain!) has gone into developing what we believe will be a truly wonderful event for the Highlands. We have tried to cater for a wide range of ages and interests, so if you haven't already checked out the program, have a look right here.

Some of Australia’s finest writers and thinkers - including David Marr (pictured above), Robert Dessaix, Don Watson, Malcolm Knox and Geraldine Doogue - will be there to stimulate, challenge and entertain us.

There are events for kids, an exclusive film screening, a Shakespearean performance by Matthew Gibbs, three book launches, free sessions, and so much more!

We now need YOU, our amazing festival patrons, to come and enjoy the speakers, the books, the wine and the atmosphere! 

So if you haven’t booked, now is the time to do it. Secure your seats here or at The Bookshop Bowral on Bong Bong St.

I can’t wait to see you there. Come along... and be a part of the story!


Jun 26, 2015

2015 Literary Dinner not to be missed!


Iconic journalist and television presenter Geraldine Doogue will our very special guest at this year's flagship event, the SHWF Literary Dinner, which will take place at Eschalot's E2 in Berrima on Saturday, July 11. 

Geraldine will be discussing how women are represented at the top levels of leadership in Australia and around the world with Highlands-based author and journalist Lucy Palmer. 

Guests will be served up a delicious culinary experience by the Highland's very own Richard Kemp, head chef and owner of Berrima's one-hatted and multi-award winning Eschalot Restaurant. Accompanying each course will be Cuttaway Hill Estate wines, expertly matched to further accentuate the dining experience. 

Set within the stone walls of the historic, ambient E2 dining room, accompanied by conversation with one of this country's most influential broadcasters, this is a Highlands experience you can't afford to miss!

Tickets are $150 (wine inclusive) and available by clicking here or over the counter at The Bookshop Bowral on Bong Bong St.

See you there!


Jun 19, 2015

Shakespeare's Italian romance


As far as we know, Shakespeare never set foot in Italy, but he certainly set many of his plays there. Why?

In his lecture/performance at the 2015 Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival, actor and Shakespeare specialist, Matthew Gibbs, will be examining and performing excerpts from various plays by Shakespeare set in Italy: Romeo & Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice to name just a few.

I urge you not to miss this highlight of our 2015 Festival: The Bard’s Lands on Sunday 12 July at 12pm at Bradman Museum for a taste of la dolce vita!

Tickets are $25 and available right here or at The Bookshop Bowral on Bong Bong St.

Jun 12, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Partisan Director


With only ONE month until the Opening Night event of the 2015 Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival, I’m excited to reveal that we’ll be screening an exclusive pre-recorded interview with Ariel Kleiman, director and co-writer of the wonderful new movie, Partisan. The film recently had its World Premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival where it received a standing ovation. 

With this in mind, I’m confident SHWF festival goers are going to adore the film and gain creative insight to Ariel’s writing and directing processes through our exclusive interview with him. 

Even though much of the film was shot in Melbourne, this is not your typical Aussie movie. It stars Vincent Cassel (pictured above), a Cesar Award-winning French actor best known to English-speaking audiences through his film performances in Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, as well as Black Swan

I can’t think of a better way to kick off our 2015 festival than with a theatre full of festival-goers, some popcorn and a stimulating piece of cinema.

Tickets to the Opening Night event are $25 (inclusive of some special treats). These are available here or at The Bookshop Bowral on Bong Bong St.

Come along... And be a part of the story!

May 25, 2015

FULL HOUSE: Sydney Writers' Festival in the Highlands

Yesterday afternoon the Bradman Museum was packed to the rafters with over 250 festival-goers to witness three exclusive sessions as part of our Sydney Writers’ Festival in the Highlands satellite event.
First up, we sat in awe as ‘intellectual bombshell’ Tara Moss discussed her latest book, The Fictional Woman and inspired us all with her passion and activism for the rights of women and children. Tara then generously spent over an hour meeting audience members and signing books.
Author Tara Moss
During interval, the inaugural Stella’s Book Club was launched over prosecco and scones. We discussed the significance of The Stella Prize and patrons said they’re looking forward to reading Emily Bitto’s winning book The Strays and meeting her in person at the 2015 Southern Highlands Writer’s Festival in July.
For our final session of the day, author Blanche d’ Alpuget gave us a crash-course on the fascinating House of Plantagenets. British history never sounded so alive and she had us hanging off her every word. What a talent!
It was a stunning afternoon and I was thrilled with the massive turnout to the event. I look forward to welcoming you all to the 2015 Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival in July!

May 22, 2015


One of our very special guests at this coming Sunday's Sydney Writers' Festival in the Highlands event is esteemed author Blanche d'Alpuget. No doubt you're aware that this very talented lady is also married to former Australian Prime Minister The Honourable Mr Bob Hawke.
Well, here at SHWF HQ we're absolutely thrilled to confirm that HON MR BOB HAWKE will be visiting Bowral to see his wife take centre stage at The Bradman Museum in Bowral on Sunday. 
QUICK! Click here or pop into The Bookshop Bowral to secure your spot in the audience at what is gearing up to be a truly memorable event.
See you there!

May 17, 2015

Stella’s Tea Party - You're Invited!

This time next week, we’ll be hosting a delightful afternoon tea and book club, as part of our Sydney Writers’ Festival in the Highlands event. 
We’re honoured to be teaming up with The Stella Prize, a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing, and featuring the 2015 winning book The Strays by Emily Bitto as our must read title.
Our special guests at this event will be Stella Prize chairperson Aviva Tuffield (pictured)! She’ll be chatting about the esteemed literary prize and the importance of promoting women’s writing.
Then, at this year’s SHWF in July, we’ll be presenting the author Emily Bitto in the flesh to talk about The Strays, her success and her remarkable creative journey.
Ticket price includes a copy of the winning book, The Strays, a glass of champagne or a cup of tea (courtesy of our friends at T2!) and some tasty sweet treats.
Tickets are limited so please get in quick to secure your spot! Buy them online here or visit The Bookshop Bowral ASAP!

May 8, 2015

SHWF at the Movies!

Next time you're at Empire Cinemas in Bowral, expect to see the Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival feature loud and proud up on the big screen!
This year we’ll be advertising Festival events before every movie screening from now right up until the Sydney Writers' Festival in the Highlands event on May 24, and then again to highlight our program for the Southern Highlands Writers' Festival, 10-12 July. 
It’s our Festival Director Michaela Bolzan's dulcet tones you’ll hear accompanying our ads – she’s a class act, our Mic! Here she is doing the recording back in April:
Empire Cinemas will also be hosting our Opening Night Event on 10 July – tickets are now available for our exclusive screening of the Australian film Partisan. Movie-goers will be given an exclusive insight into the motivations and creative brain of the film's director and screenwriter, Ariel Kleiman. His pre-recorded interview with Michaela will be screened prior to the film.
Tickets are $25 (price includes light refreshments) and available for purchase here on the website or at The Bookshops Bowral.

May 1, 2015

One Region, One Book

The “One City, One Book” concept is established around the world - including Dublin and San Francisco - where a localised book club is expanded to cover a whole city. I love this idea, and we’re delighted to announce we are establishing a similar initiative here in the Highlands. 
Instead of a city, we'll be a region, all reading and discussing the same book at the same time this May/June/July. Our aim is to continue to build a sense of community and promote literacy. The 2015 Stella Prize Winner, Emily Bitto’s book, The Strays, is perfect to kick-start our initiative!
I urge as many of you as possible to join us for Stella’s Book Club & Afternoon Tea on SUN 24 May, 3pm, at Bradman Museum. There you can enjoy a glass of bubbles, tea and scones, and will be given a copy of The Strays
We are delighted that Emily Bitto will be one of our featured guests at this year's SHWF on Sunday, July 12!! Which means we have six-or-so weeks to read her award-winning book before we meet her in July for discussion and signing. 
Seats are limited so you'll need to get in quick sticks to secure your place. Buy your tix online right here or at over the counter at The Bookshop Bowral.

Apr 28, 2015

And we’re off! Welcome to Festival Season 2015

It might have been a cold and rainy night, but that did not dampen the spirits at the 2015 Program Launch and Fundraiser last Wednesday evening at Bradman Museum last week.
This year, we are celebrating the work of female authors, so who better to open festival season than Virginia Woolf! It was a thrill for me to perform an excerpt of Virginia’s famous lecture, A Room Of One’s Own, and Lindsay Drummond’s musical numbers interspersed throughout the evening created a wonderful atmosphere.
So, who do have coming to the Highlands this year, I here you ask?
Well, how about Tara Moss, Blanche d’Alpuget, David Marr, Geraldine Doogue, Robert Dessaix, Don Watson, Stella Prize winner Emily Bitto, Malcolm Knox ... for starters?
Our programs for both the Sydney Writers Festival in the Highlands event (May 24) and the Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival (July 10-12) are now available right here on our website – just click on the FESTIVAL PROGRAM tab above for more details.
Tickets are already selling super fast, so get in quick because we don’t want you to miss out on a thing!

Mar 17, 2015

It's on again...

Festival Season is here! We will be launching our 2015 program at an exclusive event and fundraiser on Wednesday, April 22 starting at 7pm, at the Bradman Museum in Bowral. This year we’re celebrating the awesome contribution of women writers and Festival Director, Michaela Bolzan, will be strutting the stage, performing an excerpt of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. This performance, along with live music and a glass of bubbles, will be a fantastic start to our literary season. Tickets to this event are $30 and limited, so book now.
With such a stellar line-up of talent on offer both for the Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival in July and the Sydney Writers Festival in the Highlands in May, tickets are going to sell out very fast. Patrons who attend the 2015 Festival Launch & Fundraiser are assured exclusive first dibs in all sessions and events as tickets will be available for purchase at the event. Thereafter, tickets can be purchased online or at The Bookshops Bowral on Bong Bong St.
We look forward to seeing you all soon and revealing our exciting upcoming events!
Warmest wishes,
Michaela Bolzan, Festival Director    
Kylie Matthews, Associate Director

Jul 17, 2014

It's a wrap for 2014!

Last weekend saw over 1000 festival-goers attend sellout author in-conversations, workshops, free sessions and a superb literary dinner, all part of the 2014 Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival.

Our new festival home at the Bradman Museum proved to be the perfect location, with festival-goers able to enjoy the Museum’s galleries and refreshments in between sessions. The “Bradman Punch” was a big hit on Opening Night, and the scones served for morning tea were not only the largest scones ever seen in the Highlands, they also proved to be the yummiest!

Festival highlights included the lovely Ann Eyers' (pictured below) winning performance at Fest Factor; Bob Carr’s impersonation of Gough Whitlam and Stefano Manfredi’s unforgettable dessert at the Literary Dinner!

Festivals of this size are not only the result of hundreds and hundreds of hours of work, but also due to the generosity of our wonderful sponsors and volunteers… I could not produce an event of this quality without you! Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart and I hope to see you back in 2015.

Speaking of 2015, put 10-12 July into your diary for the 2015 SHWF!

Please keep referring to this website over the coming month for more details and in the meantime, happy reading and writing!

Jul 7, 2014

Welcome to Festival Week


After 12 months in the planning, we are delighted to be welcoming you all to the 2014 SHWF, kicking off this Friday 11 July at the Bradman Museum!

Tickets for number of the sessions have sold out in advance, but if you are desperate to hear, Mike Carlton, Bob Carr, Hugh Mackay and Nikki Gemmell then check at our Festival Information Desk (in the lobby of the Bradman Museum) on both Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 July in case there are a few returned tickets avaiable... you may be lucky!

You will be please to know that the team at the Bradman Museum will be opening a Festival Café in the Main Gallery of the venue dhring the Festival. They'll have tea, coffee and mouth-watering cakes for morning and afternoon tea available along with hearty winter lunch items like soups, pastas and wraps to enjoy... 

Looking forward to seeing you all there!



Our Partners