Festival Program

2022 Festival Summary

Friday 17 June 2022

Featured Festival Event

Stereo Stories

Celebrate the songs that shape our lives, with Tony Birch, Brian Nankervis, Toni Jordan, Andy Griffiths, Danny Katz, Smokie Dawson, Lucia Nardo, and Rijn Collins – all backed by the sensational Stereo Stories band. Enjoy this moving and funny concert theatre-style in the famous Williamstown Town Hall Ballroom.   Full $35, Conc $32    
Stereo Stories Band
Brian Nankervis
Danny Katz
Andy Griffiths
Smokie Dawson
Rijn Collins
Tony Birch
Lucia Nardo
Toni Jordan

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June 2022

Please select the tabs below to view each days scheduled sessions
Day 1
18 Jun 2022
Day 2
19 Jun 2022

History Lives Here

Leigh Hobbs, Kerry Fowler, Lucia Nardo and Vicki Milliken bring the past to life as they share stories of generations of their families living in ever-changing Williamstown. Chair: Loraine Callow   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15    
Leigh Hobbs
Lucia Nardo
Vicki Milliken
Loraine Callow
Kerry Fowler

Making Sense of Your Life

Willy Lit Fest is proud to present internationally acclaimed Australian psychologist, Peter Quarry in conversation with Hannah Capon talking about his newly released part memoir, part self-help book If I Were You. Peter has a wonderful gift for communication and will generously share his  wisdom and insights to help reboot...
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Peter Quarry
Hannah Capon

Playing with Words

The Willy U3A Cryptic Crossword group presents an interactive workshop, revealing how to unravel cryptic clues. From beginners to masters.   Full $15, Conc $12  

Ideas to Save Your Life

Philosophy for wisdom, solace, and pleasure in this perplexing world. Michael McGirr in conversation with Sarah L’Estrange   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Sarah L’Estrange
Michael McGirr

Epic Fiction

We love reading it but what compels an author to take on the challenging task of writing it? Find out from two award-winning writers at the top of their game. Steven Conte (The Tolstoy Estate) and Jock Serong (The Burning Island) in conversation with Angela Savage   Full $20, Conc...
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Angela Savage
Steven Conte
Jock Serong

Align your Ethics with Your Money

What are your investments, including  your superannuation, currently helping to fund? Nicole Haddow (The Ethical Investor; Smashed Avocado) will help you ensure your money goes towards a greener future. Nicole Haddow in conversation with Kimberly Gillan   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Kimberly Gillan
Nicole Haddow

Introduction to Project Publishing

New ways are emerging for writers and artists to get their work into print. Join author and publisher, Richard Dove, and artist, Kyoko Imazu, to hear how they collaborated to publish their unique children’s book, The Promise.   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Kyoko Imazu
Richard Dove

Lisa Millar — Daring to Fly

As a child in country Queensland, the ABC’s Lisa Millar dreamed of a big life which working as a foreign correspondent provided but it also meant confronting the worst of humanity. Lisa Millar in conversation with Ben Knight   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Lisa Millar
Ben Knight

Book Launch: A Shorebird Flying Adventure

Learn about the thousands of migratory shorebirds found in the Hobson’s Bay wetlands. Jackie Kerin invites you to the launch of her latest book, co-written with pilot, zoologist and bird nerd, Milly Formby.   Free event, bookings required  
Milly Formby
Jackie Kerin

Vivid History

Suzanne McCourt (The Tulip Tree) and Caroline Petit (The Natural History of Love) delve into the upheaval of 20th century Poland and 19th century Brazil before their sweeping novels land in Australia. Chair: Jane Sullivan   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Jane Sullivan
Suzanne McCourt
Caroline Petit

Crime Fiction Salon

Fans of Jane Harper will find their next great read here. Aoife Clifford (When We Fall) and Simon Rowell (The Long Game). Chair: Angela Meyer   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Angela Meyer
Aoife Clifford
Simon Rowell

A Modern Antarctic Adventure

David Knoff (537 Days of Winter) was leading a mission at Davis Station in Antarctica when the pandemic hit. Keeping everyone safe and getting them home took all David’s experience as an infantry platoon commander and diplomat. David Knoff in conversation with Jock Serong   Full $20, Conc $18, Early...
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David Knoff
Jock Serong

Gritty Shining Stories

Tony Birch (Dark as Last Night) and Paddy O’Reilly (Other Houses) show empathy and love for the marginalised in their latest compelling works. Chair: Toni Jordan   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Tony Birch
Paddy O’Reilly
Toni Jordan

Questions Raised By Quolls

A nature writer reflects on fatherhood and conservation in an uncertain world. Harry Saddler in conversation with Angela Savage   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Angela Savage
Harry Saddler

People’s Choice

The most entertaining writing competition in the West. 16 local writers each read a four-minute piece of their own work, then the audience votes for their favourites. Prizes for prose and poetry.   Free event (bookings required) Want to enter the People’s Choice Awards for 2022? Submit your stories via...
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Flawed, Funny and Unforgettable

Hear how brilliant comic writers Toni Jordan (Dinner with the Schnabels) and Katherine Collette (The Competition) create characters to warm our hearts. Chair: Jane Sullivan   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $25  
Katherine Collette
Jane Sullivan
Toni Jordan

The Yes Woman

After a lifetime of trying to please everyone, Grace Jennings-Edquist (The Yes Woman) set out to resist the need to say ‘yes’. It’s a radical feat for a woman but Grace found that it saved her sanity. Grace Jennings-Edquist in conversation with Hilary Harper   Full $20, Conc $18, Early...
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Grace Jennings-Edquist
Hilary Harper

Yiasou Yarraville

Life-affirming stories of the challenges and joys experienced by the resilient Greek migrants who changed the culture of the West. Olympia Koziaris in conversation with Dorothy Poulopoulos   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15    
Olympia Koziaris

The Adas Award Ceremony

Willy Lit Fest Writing Prizes Join Enza Gandolfo, acclaimed author of The Bridge, for the announcement of the winners of the Adas Poetry, Biographical Prose and Young Adas Prizes, and the Jennifer Burbidge Short Story Award.   Free event (bookings required)  
Enza Gandolfo

May Poetry be the Winner

Be amazed by the Poets of St Mary’s School Williamstown. Under the guidance of hip hop artist Mantra, the students perform Poetry Slams, Poet Versus Poet, Team versus Team.   Full $5, children free, bookings required  

Crisis to Opportunity

Peter Doherty (An Insider’s Plague Year) and Andrew Wear (Recovery) discuss ways we can use the lessons from the pandemic to build a better future. Chair: Paul Barclay   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Peter Doherty
Paul Barclay
Andrew Wear

Tales from the Flyaway

Jackie Kerin and musician Sarah Depasquale take you on a playful journey following the path of migratory shore birds, from Sandy Point in Newport to Siberia.   Full $15, children free, bookings required  
Jackie Kerin
Sarah Depasquale

Surf Culture

Hear awe-inspiring stories about the bliss, pain and mystery of humans and the sea. Mark Smith (Lines to the Horizon) in conversation with Jock Serong   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Mark Smith
Jock Serong

Too Much Medicine

An eye-opening look at the medical and moral hazards that beset health professionals. Two world-leading doctors reveal the true state of medicine and how patients are being let down. Ian Harris (Hippocrasy) in conversation with Paul Barclay   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Ian Harris
Paul Barclay

A Millennial Pursues Perfection

Sinéad Stubbins (In My Defence I Have No Defence) always knew that her ‘best self’ was possible, if she just ticked the right boxes. A wild and funny reckoning on the path to self-improvement. Sinead Stubbins in conversation with Brodie Lancaster   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15
Sinéad Stubbins
Brodie Lancaster

Adrift in Melbourne

Join troubadour historian Robyn Annear for a Melbourne drift, with sidelong glances at Williamstown. Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Robyn Annear

Writers Salon

Hilde Hinton (A Solitary Walk on the Moon), Robert Lukins (Loveland) & Michael Winkler (Grimmish) read and discuss their latest works. Chair: Angela Meyer   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Angela Meyer
Robert Lukins
Michael Winkler
Hilde Hinton

Poetry as Life Writing

Whether you’re tackling a blank page or finishing a suite of poems, this workshop will help you navigate wild memories and write poems that help to express who you are — real or imagined; ordinary or surreal; ancestral or futuristic.   Convenor: Alicia Sometimes Full $30, Conc $28, Early $25...
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Alicia Sometimes

House of Kwa

When her own father sued her, TV journalist Mimi Kwa turned to her rich family history to understand why. This riveting story spans the lives of four generations from the imperial compound in Beijing to post-war Australia. Mimi Kwa in conversation with Meaghan Wilson Anastasios   Full $20, Conc $18,...
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Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
Mimi Kwa

Blazing Thrillers

If you like your fiction well-written with atmosphere, suspense, and surprise then Melbourne writers, Mark Brandi (The Others) and Laura Elizabeth Woollett (The Newcomer) will make your day. Chair: Mark Smith   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Laura Elizabeth Woollett
Mark Smith
Mark Brandi

Good Indian Daughter (Session Cancelled)

Unfortunately due to COVID, this session has been cancelled. Those with tickets will be contacted and automatically refunded. How Melbourne woman, Sneha Lees found freedom, despite being a disappointment to her family and culture. An honest and true account of accepting yourself as a ‘let down’.   Sneha Lees (Ruhi...
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Sneha Lees
John Webb

The Boy in a Dress

Jonathan Butler uncovers a forgotten wartime murder and investigates Australia’s queer military history in this engrossing  new book. Jonathan Butler in conversation with Robyn Annear   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Robyn Annear
Jonathan Butler

Writers Salon

Miles Allinson (In Moonland), Mandy Beaumont (The Furies) and Emily Spurr (A Million Things) read and discuss their latest works. Chair: Emily Westmoreland   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Miles Allinson
Emily Westmoreland
Emily Spurr
Mandy Beaumont

Mastering Emotional Honesty

It may be uncomfortable but capturing the complexity of human emotions is vital when writing fiction or memoir. Lee Kofman (The Writer Laid Bare) will guide you through these foundational elements of storytelling.   Full $30, Conc $25, Early $25  
Lee Kofman

Book Launch: The Promise

Join homegrown author, Richard Dove, and artist Kyoko Imazu, as they launch The Promise: a fable of the enduring power of one boy’s promise, and the wisdom of living a simple life, close to the earth.   Free event, bookings required  
Kyoko Imazu
Richard Dove

The Power of Poetry

Hear from Maxine Beneba Clarke (How Decent Folk Behave), Angela Costi (An Embroidery of Old Maps and New) and Amanda Anastasi (The Inheritors). Chair: Helen Jarvis   Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15  
Angela Costi
Maxine Beneba Clarke
Helen Jarvis
Amanda Anastasi

The Disinformation Pipeline (SESSION CANCELLED)

Unfortunately due to COVID, this session has been cancelled. Those with tickets will be contacted and automatically refunded. Journalist Van Badham (Qanon and On) delves into the why, how and who of the internet’s extremist underworld.   Van Badham in conversation with Misha Ketchell  Full $20, Conc $18, Early $15   Unfortunately...
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Misha Ketchell
Van Badham

Days Like These

Join Dinner Party Press as they host three debuts and one musical act, masters of their respective forms, performing on the festival theme: Days Like These   Gareth Morgan (When a Punk Becomes a Spunk) — poet Eda Gunaydin (Root & Branch) — essayist/memoirist Rhett Davis (Hovering) — novelist Mount Defiance (Everything’s...
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Mount Defiance
Eda Gunaydin
Rhett Davis
Gareth Morgan
Emily Westmoreland