A Way With Words is the the theme for this year's Fintona Writers' Festival, running from 15 - 19 August.
The Fintona Writers’ Festival is run every second year to inspire enthusiasm for writing. Students have the opportunity to connect with and learn from authors, illustrators, journalists and other professionals from the publishing industry through workshops and presentations.
2022 Guest Presenters
We are delighted to have a number of stellar writers presenting to students and running workshops throughout this year’s Fintona Writers’ Festival.
Tony Birch is an Indigenous Australian author, academic and activist. He has been head of the Honours programme for creative writing at the University of Melbourne and is currently Senior Research Fellow in the Moondani Balluk Academic Centre at Victoria University. He has been nominated for and won many other literary awards including the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the Patrick White Award. Birch is politically active in the climate change and native title movements. He incorporates themes affecting Indigenous people into his works and donates a portion of any prize money to the Indigenous youth organisation dedicated to climate justice, Seed.
Year 11 Presenter
Angela Pippos is a journalist, TV and radio presenter, documentary-maker, columnist, and author. She has an Honours degree in Politics from the University of Adelaide and a Journalism degree from the University of South Australia. Angela anchored the sport segment on ABC TV News Victoria for a decade and has appeared on television programs, including ‘Before the Game and The Project. She is also a tireless campaigner for gender equality in sport and society. In 2018 she was a joint winner of VicHealth’s inaugural award for outstanding reporting of women’s sport. Her book, Breaking the Mould: Taking a Hammer to Sexism in Sport provides a fascinating insight into the changing Australian sporting landscape, and challenges all of us to level the playing field. It was selected by the Grattan Institute for the ‘Prime Minister’s Summer Reading list’ and it made The Australia Institute’s ‘Essential Reading List’.
Year 10 Presenter
Mirranda Burton is a New Zealand-born artist and writer living on Wurundjeri land/Melbourne. Mirranda works within the disciplines of printmaking, animation, illustration, graphic recording, and graphic storytelling. Her newest graphic novel Underground: Marsupial Outlaws and Other Rebels of Australia’s War in Vietnam was inspired and written during her time as artist in residence in NSW. She lived in the late Australian artist Clifton Pugh’s former studio, where she learned that one of the resident wombats was registered for military service in Vietnam as an act of civil disobedience during the tail end of the controversial conscription era in 1972. Underground is a 2022 CBCA Notable Book.
Year 9 Presenter
Anna Snoekstra is an award-winning author and screenwriter. She lives in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia, where she writes from an old football factory in the backstreets of Thornbury. Her novels have been published in over twenty countries and sixteen languages. She has written for The Guardian, Meanjin, Lindsay, LitHub and had short fiction published in The Saturday Paper and The Griffith Review. Her new novel Out of Breath will be published in July. Her first audio drama, This Isn’t Happening, is out with Audible in Spring 2022.
Year 8 Presenter
Ren Alessandra is an author, entertainer, slam poet and national award-winning spoken word artist and creative mentor. She is passionate about demystifying the stigma around poetry and encouraging young people to stand at the microphone and speak their truth. During COVID, Ren performed from the confines of her desk in Melbourne to a screen-bound audience and five judges who crowned her 2020 Australian Poetry Slam Champion.
Year 7 Presenter
Alison Croggon is an award-winning novelist, poet, theatre writer, critic and editor who lives in Naarm/Melbourne. She is the author of the epic fantasy series The Books of Pellinor. The Bone Queen, released internationally through 2016/17, was a finalist for Best Young Adult Novel in the 2016 Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Speculative Fiction. The River and The Book was endorsed by Amnesty International UK, won the Wilderness Society’s 2016 Prize for Environmental Writing for Children and was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Award for Young Adult fiction.
Year 6 Presenter
Katrina Nannestad writes in many genres including humour, adventure, action mystery and historical fiction. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the Book Links Award for Historical Fiction for Children for her novel We Are Wolves, the moving story of three children struggling to survive in East Prussia at the end of World War 2. She believes that a well-written historical novel brings history alive and inspires young readers to ponder big issues such as peace, justice, kindness and tolerance.
Year 5 Presenter
Nova Weetman lives in Melbourne with her family. She has written for TV and is the author of many middle grade and young adult novels. The Secrets We Keep was shortlisted for the Readings Children’s Book Prize, the Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards and the ABIA Awards. Aside from her many novels, she’s had short fiction and short non-fiction published. Nova has also written for various television shows, from Neighbours to kids series like H20, Wild But True and Buzz Bumble.
Indigenous Literacy Foundation Fundraiser
Throughout the Fintona Writers’ Festival, we are raising money for Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF). There will be a book sale at Fintona from 24 August – 26 August (during book week), with all proceeds going to ILF. You can also donate to ILF at any time by visiting Fintona’s fundraising page.