August 1: From Intervention to Media Attention – Sam’s Best Shot
When ABC’s Australian Story aired ‘My Son Sam,’ the story of Dr James Best taking his autistic son, Sam, on a gap year of sorts through Southern Africa, the ensuing commentary always came back to the very premise of the trip – displacement as a positive intervention for an autistic brain during its second period of peak neuroplasticity. This trip was not only a story between father and son, but a jumpstart into a new conversation about autism that is equal parts controversial and interesting. Dr Best’s book Sam’s Best Shot chronicles this leap into the unknown. Join him and CEO of Autism Awareness Australia, Nicole Rogerson, for the launch of this memoir. Gleebooks, 6:30pm. More information available here.
August 8 & 16: Talking This Is Not a Wine Guide with Chris Morrison
Guillame sommelier Chris Morrison has released a wine guide cheekily titled This Is Not a Wine Guide. Morrison’s book hopes to help readers develop confidence in their sober decisions about wine by teaching them to listen to their own sense of taste. The award winning sommelier will be in-conversation with Terry Durack, the Sydney Morning Herald’s chief restaurant critic, at 6:30pm on August 8 at Potts Point Bookshop; and in-conversation with Callan Boys, Fairfax Media national food and drink writer, at 6:30pm on August 16, upstairs at Better Read Than Dead, Newtown. Tickets for August 8 available here. Tickets for August 16 available here.
August 10: The Mystery Gut Book Launch
Calling gut health a ‘fad’ seems like a bit of a misnomer, yet lifestyle bloggers and influencers have somehow managed to wrangle this fundamental part of our constitution into just that. Whilst talk of the gut is all the rage these days, the science behind it – as told by actual professionals – is positively docile by comparison. The Mystery Gut is a complete guide to common gut conditions and improving gut health, based on medical research and authored by health practitioners Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Dr Claudia Lee and Jaime Rose Chambers. Join them for the launch of The Mystery Gut at Harry Hartog Bondi Juction, 6:30pm. Click here for more information.
August 10: The 91-Storey Treehouse
Australia’s most popular kids book duo Andy Griffiths and his artistic offsider Terry Denton are taking over Sydney Town Hall on 10 August to launch the latest instalment of ‘The 91-Storey Treehouse!’ The seventh book in the series adds 13 new levels including the world’s most powerful whirlpool, a mashed-potato-and-gravy train and a human pinball machine. Sydney Town Hall, 6-7pm. Tickets here.
August 11: Laugh Your Arts Off
Get more than just your giggle on at Laugh Your Arts Off – the Arts Law Centre’s annual comedy fundraiser; support the arts community in the process too! Arts Law is an independent national community legal centre that services the arts community in Australia, and provides free or low cost specialised legal advice, education and resources to Australian artists and arts organisations across all art forms. Featuring a diverse range of comedic styles, the evening promises to dazzle and delight your comedic sensibilities. Giant Dwarf, Redfern, 8pm. Tickets available here.
August 12: Voice in Writing
The importance of voice in writing can hardly be overstated. No two voices are the same, and mastering your own can be a challenge even at the best of times. In this workshop, Dr William (Bill) Pascoe, a Digital Humanities specialist with the Centre For 21st Century Humanities and the Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing at the University of Newcastle will dissect what makes other authors’ voices so distinct and help you unpack the features of your own style. Hunter Writers’ Centre, Merewether, 10am-2pm. Tickets available here.
August 16: Melina Marchetta at the Forum
Melina Marchetta hardly needs an introduction. The highly acclaimed Australian author (two-time winner of the CBCA Book of the Year, the Michael L. Printz Award, ABIA Award, the Aurealis Fantasy Award, and longlisted for the the Miles Franklin Award) will be in conversation with the Italian Family History Group about both her writing and how her family history is incorporated. This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of her debut novel, Looking for Alibrandi, in which Marchetta’s own experience of her Italian heritage played an instrumental role in the book’s writing. A book signing will conclude the evening. Italian Forum Cultural Centre, Leichhardt, 7pm. Tickets at the door, more information available here.
August 18: Pitch a Classic Today
Is there such a thing as a new idea? Mark Twain didn’t think so. With this in mind, four Sydney writers and comedians re-imagine and re-write a classic book of their choosing hoping to persuade their audience of its viability today. In an event where anything is possible, this is bound to be a fun and funny Friday night. Woollahra Library at Double Bay, 6:30pm. Tickets available here.
August 19: Honouring Jessica Anderson
In this year’s Honouring Australian Writers event NSW Writers’ Centre pays tribute to two-time Miles Franklin Award-winner Jessica Anderson (1916 – 2010). Anderson was the author of seven novels – including Tirra Lirra by the River and The Impersonators – as well as an award-winning short story collection and numerous radio plays. Join us as authors Anna Funder (Stasiland) and Michelle de Kretser (Questions of Travel) discuss the enduring power of Anderson’s work with publisher and literary critic Geordie Williamson. With contributions from Jessica Anderson’s daughter, the screenwriter Laura Jones, and a reading of Anderson’s work by poet and author Pip Smith (Half Wild). State Library of NSW, 2.30-4.00pm. Head over here for more info.
August 19 & 20: Masterclass With William Yang
There are as many ways to tell a story as there are ways to skin a cat. This two-day masterclass with William Yang will explore performative storytelling with pictures, as is emblematic of Yang’s practice. Participants will also be able to create their own performative short stories using personal memories and memorabilia. Carriageworks, Eveleigh, 10am. More information available here.
August 22: Sam Dastayari In-Conversation with Craig Reucassel
Having introduced Pauline Hanson to the Halal Snack Pack, Sam Dastayari is now onto his next big reveal. This time it’s about his life– changing his name to fit in, joining the Labor Party as a teenager, his cats Trotsky and Lenin, and mosh pits at the school nativity play. Dastayari will be in-conversation with Chaser funnyman Craig Reucassel in a not to be missed event. Gleebooks, Glebe, 6:30pm. Tickets available here.
August 25: Queerstories
Stories are the bedrock of forging human connection and understanding. The LGBTQIA community has been sharing stories for centuries, creating self-determined histories, disrupting and reinventing conventional ideas about narrative, family, love and community. Hosted by Maeve Marsden, join some of Sydney’s best storytellers for a night of tales about identity, the moments that shape us and other unexpected subjects. Line up TBA. This event is auslan interpreted. Giant Dwarf, Redfern, 7:30pm. Tickets available here.