Writing On Our Calendar / August 2019


We’ve got you covered for the last month of winter: festivals, book clubs, writing competitions, and performances – you name it. Make some time in your schedule for some of these fantastic events this August.


Thursday 1 August: Dispossessed: A Night of Decolonial Storytelling & Poetry.  Headlined by Palestinian-American poet and activist Remi Kanazi, head to Bankstown Arts Centre from 6:30pm-9pm. Hosted by Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) and BDS Australia, tickets are from $10 with free entry for First Nations attendees.

Friday 2 – Sunday 4 August: Byron Writers Festival. From workshops to panel discussions, immerse yourself in Australian and global writing on the first weekend in August. With over a hundred programs to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Wednesday 7 August: HAY WORKSHOP: Marketing Strategy for Creatives. Deconstruct marketing in the arts and creative industries. From busting myths to social media and website strategies, this workshop funded by the NSW Government runs from 5:30pm-8pm at Hay Shire Council Chambers, 134 Lachlan Street, Hay.

Friday 9 August: WestWords-Varuna Residency. Applications close on this date for a six-day residency and mentorship for emerging writers from diverse backgrounds, at Varuna, The Writers’ House in the Blue Mountains.

Varuna, Writers House, Image from ArtsHub

Tuesday 13 August: Sappho’s Poetry Night AVANT GAGA #19. Poetry night. Free entry. Featuring Kate Fagan, Zoe Dzunko, and Louis Armand, head to Sappho Books & Cafe, 51 Glebe Point Road Glebe from 7pm to 9:30pm. Arrive at 7pm to register for an open mic spot.

Sappho Books, Image from TimeOut

Tuesday  13 August: Fair Australia Prize. Fiction, poetry, essays, graphics. $18,000 prize for 8 recipients closing on this date. Free entry with winning entries published in Overland journal.

Wednesday 14 August: The Society of Women Writers NSW Monthly Literary Luncheon. Nicole Alexander is this month’s keynote speaker. Author of nine historical novels, Nicole’s debut The Bark Cutters was shortlisted for an Australian Book Industry Award in 2011. A fourth-generation grazier and rural business manager, with a Master of Letters in Creative Writing and Literature, she was 2012 Barwon Woman of the Year. In ‘A Pastoral Heritage and Stone Country’, Nicole will discuss how her pastoral heritage has formed her writing life at the Macquarie Room, State Library of New South Wales, 12pm-2pm.

Saturday 17 August: Honouring Sumner Locke Elliott. Next in Writing NSW’s Honouring Australian Writers series is the Miles Franklin award-winning author, playwright and scriptwriter. Featuring Sharon Clarke, Margaret Fink, Kim Knuckey and Walter Mason, this free event will be held from 2:30pm-4pm at the State Library of NSW. RSVP via Eventbrite.

Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 August: Mudgee Readers’ Festival. Returning for their tenth year, the MRF is where readers of all ages converge. Writing NSW’s David Henley, and Varuna Fellowship judge, Luke Carman, are on this exciting program. TV show Offspring writer and all-around YA legend Debra Oswald will also be present.

Wednesday 21 – Sunday 25 August: Canberra Writers Festival. Power. Politics. Passion. Back for the fourth time, this year’s theme promises something for everyone. Festival highlights include a star-studded cast in their new signature event, Lightbulb Moment. Get your tickets for the full program before it sells out.

Thursday 22 August: Subbed In Books Launch: Eora (Sydney). 6 new books and 2 re-launches are happening at Freda’s, 107-109 Regent St, Chippendale from 6pm-8pm. Join writers, poets, and performers Jennifer Nguyen, Emily Crocker, Allison Gallagher, Marcus Whale, Cham Zhi Yi, Jason Gray, Šime Knežević, and Eloise Grills. Free entry.

Saturday 24 August: Mascara’s Global South Salon: A Reading and Performance. Hosted by Mascara Literary Review and the University of Sydney’s (USYD) department of English, registration is free. This event is part of the World Literatures and Global South Conference, with readings from Michelle Cahill, Christopher Cyrill, Debbie Lim, Lachlan Brown, Mario Licón Cabrera, and Anupama Pilbrow. 5:30pm-7pm, ABS Lecture Theatre 1110, Abercrombie Building, USYD, Darlington.

Monday 26 August: Unspoken Words Poetry Book Club. Come along to discuss Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, winner of the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize. 6:30pm-7:30pm at Better Read Than Dead Bookshop, 265 King Street, Newtown. Entry is free and book club members are entitled to a book discount.

Unspoken Book Club

Monday 26 August: Lane Cove Literary Awards 2019. Closing on this date is a national writing competition open to Australian writers over the age of 16, with prizes for short story, poetry, and travel story.

Thursday 29 August: WestWords monthly Poet’s Corner will be featuring Tricia Dearborn on the subject of “Poetry as Autobiography”. The event is free and will be from 7pm at the WestWords Centre for Writing.

Saturday 31 August: Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award – Shortlist Announcement. An initiative by Waverley Council, the annual award for research excellence announces their shortlist. In conjunction, Jane Caro and Bri Lee will be in conversation on researching stories. Hosted at the state library of NSW from 2pm-3pm, secure your spot for $10.


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