Digital Melbourne Writers Festival 2020 Wrap-Up

Pictured: Two pens on a pile of notebooks. Image by Jess Bailey on Unsplash.

Attending the Melbourne Writers Festival every year is always a highlight for me. This year the Melbourne Writers Festival went digital. Although I miss the in-person vibe, it was still very enjoyable. It was fantastic how it had a ‘Pay what you can’ system. Here’s a summary of the events I attended. 

Kevin Kwan: Sex and Vanity - Beverley Wang in conversation with Kevin Kwan 

Beverley Wang interviewed Kevin Kwan, the author of the bestselling series Crazy Rich Asians, about his newest release Sex and Vanity. Kwan has a photographic memory so he writes about the places he visits as he remembers them and the food he or a friend has eaten. Kwan also spoke about he tries to write something that brings people joy and can be a beach read but is also about politics and making people aware. It was interesting learning about Kwan’s writing style and how Sex and Vanity was formed. 

Take it From Me - Jess McGuire in conversation with Benjamin Law and Michelle Law 

Jess McGuire facilitated a chat with Benjamin Law and Michelle Law, sibling duo famous for their 'Law School’ column in The Lifted Brow, who answered relationship questions people sent in. The chat was delivered in a humorous tone, and it was interesting learning about relationships in the time of COVID-19 and provided great research for my future stories.


Casey McQuiston: Red, White & Royal Blue - Will Kostakis in conversation with Casey McQuiston 

Will Kostakis interviewed Casey McQuiston about her debut New Adult novel Red, White & Royal Blue, which is about how the relationship between the First Son of the United States and the Prince of Wales. It was a jam-packed session. Casey spoke about her inspiration behind the book, her writing process, writing tips and advice, and how its popularity has changed her (and how it hasn’t). This was my favourite talk, and I got so much out of it. 

Readings YA Prize: Lisa Fuller - Amie Kaufman in conversation with Lisa Fuller 

Amie Kaufman interviewed Lisa Fuller about her debut YA novel Ghostbird, which is about an Aboriginal girl who searches for her missing twin sister and discovers more about her (heritage) along the way. Ghostbird won the 2020 Readings YA Prize. It was interesting learning where the idea came from, the process, and how Fuller went back to her Indigenous community and immersed herself in the culture so she could write about it. 

It was a great festival, and I’m excited for next year’s. Did you attend any Melbourne Writers Festival events? Which was your favourite?