Banner courtesy of BWF

The Brisbane Writers Festival 2014!

The Festival Bookshop does a roaring trade as fans buy books for their favourite authors to sign. If you approach the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) from Melbourne Street - the Victoria Bridge end of the South Bank Precinct, and head into the entrance past The Library Café and down the Knowledge Walk (Plaza) towards the atrium, the Festival Bookshop will be on your left. (Photo courtesy of the Brisbane Writers Festival)


Welcome to the Poor Woman's Guide to the Brisbane Writers Festival

The festival runs from Wednesday, 3 September 2014 to Sunday, 7 September 2014



Watching our Stories Unfold: reading, writing and challenging ideas in the sub-tropical City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


At THE BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL we will Watch Our Stories Unfold from Wednesday, 3 September to Sunday, 7 September 2014 in the sub-tropical City of Brisbane. Watchwords again brings you the Poor Woman’s Guide to the BWF, covering venues and special interest sessions, along with profiles of featured authors and their works.

In the words of Festival Director, Kate Eltham: ‘Life is too immense and complex to hold inside our heads, so we write and tell stories to make sense of the world and to connect our worlds to those of others.’

This great annual festival allows writers and readers to be inspired by the books they love and the writers they meet. There’s something for everyone from fact to fiction, including conversations with authors, politicians, social commentators and scientists. Not to mention music, live performances, poetry slams and practical workshops for novices and for professionals brushing up their techniques.

Most sessions will be held at the South Bank Cultural Precinct, with venues in and around the State Library of Queensland (SLQ), the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG), the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the big tent on Maiwar Green between the two. Some events will also be held at Brisbane City Hall, the University of Queensland, the Queensland University of Technology and the Brisbane Powerhouse at New Farm.

Children are well catered for with lots to do at the Alphabet Zoo, where The 52-Storey Treehouse books for children aged 3–8 by ANDY GRIFFITH and TERRY DENTON, will come to life in a FREE interactive play space for children and their families. Alphabet Zoo will run at the State Library of Queensland for the duration of the festival from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. and no bookings are required. And, of course, for students in grades 4–10, the Word Play program returns for young readers, writers and storytellers.

It’s all you can do, after a hard day’s listening and clapping, to find time to drop into the Festival Club in the big tent on Maiwar Green at the end of the day for a drink, something to eat, relaxation, and the aim of listening to the soulful musical strains of some talented singer/songwriters.

And then you find the place filled with Dr Who fanatics, a panel of crime writers arguing about the nature of crime and the Ned Kelly Awards being handed out, which only encourages them to carry on killing.

Come the next morning, when you’re feeling a little worse for wear, you end up back at the same place and doing it all again. It’s wonderful!


CHECK OUT THE 2014 PROGRAM at or you can check out the online flipbook HERE! If you missed out on a printed program there still should be some copies available at your local library, or at the BWF information desk at the State Library of Queensland during the festival.

To read A MINI PROFILE ON THE MANY WRITERS you can see, hear, meet and greet, go to the biography and session page at Before booking, check out the BWF website at to ensure that the session you want to go to has not already been sold out (many sessions have been), and to find out about any updates and changes to the program.

TO BOOK, go to If you’re really keen on attending a particular session it’s best to book online because once the BWF BOX OFFICE opens at SLQ it will be first in, first served. ALL TICKETED EVENTS can be booked online, and remember that some FREE BWF EVENTS also need to be booked in order to cater for numbers. The BWF BOX OFFICE will operate at the State Library of Queensland on Level 1 (the ground floor to everybody else but the SLQ) daily during the festival from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

ESSENTIAL TICKET INFO: If you become a BWF member you are guaranteed the lowest prices across the Festival. If you’re not yet a member but want to be, click HERE to sign up. TICKET PACKAGES: In 2014 the BWF has two special multi-ticket packages available including: The Well-Played Pack and The 3-Session Pack – each only $42.

CONCESSIONS: Concessions apply for full-time school and university students and Australian Health Care Card, Seniors Card or Centrelink pension cardholders. Discounts apply to the majority of Festival events for under 30s and proof of age may be requested at the Box Office or entry to venues.

ACCESSIBILITY: People who require special seating, access or assistance are asked to contact BWF in advance to make arrangements, at the time of booking, by calling BWF directly on (07) 3255 0254, or by emailing them at to notify them about what’s required.


The first day of WORD PLAY kicked off on Wednesday with a bang, with schools, parents and teachers joining in the fun. Word Play continues on Thursday and Friday. Check the website for full BWF children’s programming. BROWSE NOW!

There were only 100 tickets left (as at Thursday a.m.) for DANGEROUS ALLIES session with former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser at his only event at the festival. Join Malcolm at BRISBANE CITY HALL for Dangerous Allies as he and Robert Manne discuss Australia's history of strategic dependence on the U.S. Want to go? BUY NOW!

DON'T FORGET TO CAST YOUR VOTE FOR 20 QUESTIONS: 20 Questions online voting is now live. Cast your vote! Click below to be part of the referendum of 20 divisive social questions, or if you'd prefer to vote in person, simply drop in to any of the BWF voting booths at the State Library, or the ABC Studios in South Bank. Be part of the online forum and have your vote count. VOTE NOW!  #20questions #BWF14

Organisers say 'Think on your feet, go with your gut and have fun! You'll be asked about issues big and small, simple and uncomfortable'. Simply click the word or picture that corresponds to your choice and all will be revealed this Saturday 6 September 2014 at 20 Questions, where a panel of speakers, including 612 ABC’s REBECCA LEVINGSTON, JENNIFER BYRNE, NICK EARLS and MATTHEW CONDON will hold an old-fashioned election party to analyse the results and celebrate democracy in action.

THE BWF RAFFLE IS BACK: If you fancy acquiring your very own 2014 BWF BOOKSHELF, make sure you grab your RAFFLE TICKETS from circulating BWF volunteers. For $5.00 you can get 1 Ticket but, if you're feeling lucky, $20.00 will get you a 5 Ticket Bundle! This year you’ll go into the draw to win a Festival’s worth of books by every author featured in the 2014 program, and who wouldn’t want that? The prize is valued at over $2,000! And all raffle funds go towards supporting the Brisbane Writers Festival.

The raffle will be drawn on Sunday, 7th September 2014 by 7.00 p.m. at the close of festival event ‘Glitter & Dust’, which will be held in the big tent on Maiwar Green between the State Library of Queensland and GOMA. Winners will be notified by phone or email within 28 days of the draw.

You will probably want to be at that event anyway, because from 5.30 p.m. ever-popular Brisbane poet and performance artist DAVID (GHOSTBOY) STAVANGER will lead a parade of festival guests in an electrifying set of readings to close the 2014 Brisbane Writers Festival. And it’s FREE!


LAST CHANCE TO SEE AUTHOR HELEN GARNER. See one of Australia's most admired authors, Helen Garner, at Brisbane City Hall tomorrow evening (Friday 5 September). At This House of Grief, Sophie Cunningham will interview Helen about her compelling account of the Father's Day murders of 2005. The session starts at 7.30 p.m., after which you can head for SLQ to relax at the BWF’s FREE Festival Club in the big tent on Maiwar Green! Want to go? BUY NOW!

CULTURAL SOLUTIONS FORUM. This is a FREE EVENT on Friday, 5 September, 2014 but bookings are required. You’re in for a fascinating afternoon from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. as Julianne Schultz talks with artists, economists, and policy makers to explore what's next for Australia's cultural policy. See more about the session here FREE and if you want to go BOOK NOW!

ANALOGUE MEN. Attention grumpy middle-aged men! If you're always being dragged to something cultural by your other half, here's a great opportunity for the perfect date night. Come see Nick Earls and his fellow grumpy middle-aged men as they declare a hashtag-free zone and moan on at SLQ on Friday, 5 September at 6.00 p.m. For more about this session click here SAVE UP and, if you’re inspired,

IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO SEE DAVE EGGERS! The legendary Dave Eggers will be at the Literary Vaudeville Show tomorrow night on Friday, 5 September 2014. Dave will be joined by an incendiary line-up of international authors, poets, musicians, and performers in this monument to the seductive nature of language. For more about this session, click SAVE UP. Tickets are selling fast so get in quick to grab your seats to this memorable event at the Brisbane Powerhouse and BUY NOW!






Does the sheer size of the State Library frighten the wits out of you? Here is a precinct map and on the bottom of the next two pages you will find internal venue layouts for Levels 1 and 2 where most of the action will take place. If you do get lost, there will be an information desk and plenty of BWF volunteers to help you get to where you need to be. (Map courtesy of the State Library of Queensland)