The Williamstown Literary Festival began in 2003 as a local festival to promote a love of reading, writing and the spoken word to a diverse audience. We deliver a high-quality, rich program featuring renowned Australian authors, emerging and local writers and all literature creatives. The festival offers a unique, intimate experience allowing attendees to meet and interact with authors and guests in a relaxed and welcoming community environment.
Our festival is run by an honorary committee, supplemented by a band of willing helpers at festival time.
We have a strong focus on local participation, with the annual People’s Choice awards showcasing aspiring local writers and poets. The Ada Cambridge Award for Poetry and Prose is run annually with the winners being announced at the festival’s opening. In 2021, WLF announced the addition of the Jennifer Burbidge Short Story Award for those writing about disability.
Our program appeals to people of all ages and literary tastes. Events include panels, interviews, author talks, workshops for children, teenagers and adults, readings and storytelling. Writers working in all genres including poetry, novels, non-fiction, crime, historical fiction, drama, adventure and sports contribute to a fabulous festival.
Terry Bracks is a well-known resident of Williamstown and supporter of the western suburbs. She is founding chair of Western Chances, an organisation that assists young people in the west, for which she was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll.
Terry is also a highly regarded supporter of the arts, and is Patron of Heide Gallery and a former trustee of the Victorian Arts Centre Trust. She is a past Board member of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Deputy Chair of the Breast Cancer Network Australia and the Number One Female Ticket Holder of the Melbourne Football Club. Terry has worked as a teacher in regional Victoria and as an electorate officer to Federal MPs. She received a Centenary Medal and has an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University.
In 2012, Terry was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to youth, particularly as the Founder of Western Chances, and as a contributor to health, social development and arts organisations in Victoria.
The Hon. Joan Kirner AM was our founding patron.