Bendigo Writers Festival flourishes with bold program

Flourish is the theme for this year's festival which will run from Thursday May 12 to Sunday May 15 featuring over 100 presenters and 70 events.

Bendigo Writers Festival is managed by the City of Greater Bendigo in partnership with La Trobe University and the Goldfields Library Corporation.

The bold program will cover all kinds of conversations about what it takes to get the best out of life. Headlining the program is Eat Pray Love bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert who will beam in to the Ulumbarra Theatre from New York on Saturday May 14 at 10.30am. The acclaimed writer will talk to Bendigo host Claire Flanagan-Smith about creativity, spirituality and her latest book City of Girls.

Other international speakers include West Indies cricketing legend and sports commentator Michael Holding who will be taking part in a live stream on Sunday May 15 at 10.30am. The cricketeer has played 60 tests for the West Indies between 1975 and 1987. He will talk about his powerful book, Why We Kneel, How We Rise, which was the 2021 sports book of the year.

Most of the events are live and in-person at Bendigo's world class theatre facilities in the heart of the city centre, with writers such as gourmet farmer Matthew Evans, First Nations advocate Thomas Mayor, medical expert and broadcaster Norman Swan, former politician Julia Banks and essayist Charlotte Wood.

City Manager Bendigo Venues & Events Julie Amos said 'Flourish' was the perfect theme as people emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The festival program celebrates creativity, compassion, determination and vitality and how to get the best out of life," Ms Amos said.

"It brings back the buzz of conversations around books and writing, politics and social issues, health and wellbeing.

"Bendigo Writers, now in its 12th year, has built an extraordinary reputation and attracts a great line up of guest speakers. The festival continues to flourish as a significant regional achievement and a must-see event for book lovers, story tellers and the curious."

Festival host Claire Flanagan-Smith said the Bendigo Writers Festival was always ambitious with a great line up of brilliant and inspiring writers.

"Bendigo Writers Festival brings brilliant writers to the city every year, always surprising audiences with its packed program," Ms Flanagan-Smith said.

"It's good to have internationally recognised writers such as Elizabeth Gilbert taking part, alongside such a diversity of speakers. There's no doubt the city has a very strong reputation for delivering quality events and the Bendigo Writers Festival is an important part of that."

Alongside the festival, a series of events tailored for young people will be held at Ulumbarra Theatre on Thursday May 12. On Sunday May 15, a series of how-to-write workshops will be held at La Trobe Art Institute on View Street.

The full program is available online:

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