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Salisbury Writers’ Festival

Writers SA and City of Salisbury have once again come together to bring you the 15th annual Salisbury Writers’ Festival!

Embrace Your Story is the theme this year and we know every person on the planet has a story to tell, we want to help you find the platform and outlet for yours! Whether it’s recording your own life stories, or maybe you want to entertain your kids or grandkids or you want to sound it out over the internet, this festival has something for you.

From 23-25 August, writers and creatives from all over Adelaide and beyond will come together to listen, learn and share their love of story. Hear from Omar Musa, Natalie Harkin, Mandy Foot, George Rex, Greg Kavanagh, Colin James, Dominic Guerrera, Lauren Butterworth, Jane Turner Goldsmith, Jo Case, Denise George, Deb Kandelaars, Bronwyn Stuart and Aislinn Kearns.

See the whole program below or view detailed event info here (PDF) – and please visit Discover Salisbury to register for this action packed weekend!


Friday 23rd August

6pm to 7:30pm: Festival Opening Night and Awards Evening (free event)
with Mayor Gillian Aldridge, Author Poppy Nwosu and Writers SA Director Jessica Alice

Join us for a jam-packed Salisbury Writers’ Festival opening and awards evening, with the announcement of the winners of the Salisbury Writers’ Festival short story competition and guest author Poppy Nwosu. ​Poppy Nwosu is an Australian YA author, her debut novel, Making Friends with Alice Dyson, was shortlisted for the 2018 Adelaide Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award, and shortlisted for the Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2019. Poppy’s second novel, Taking Down Evelyn Tait, is due to be published by Wakefield Press in 2020.




Saturday 24th August (lunch provided)

9:30am – 10:30am: A Conversation with Omar Musa
with Omar Musa and Jessica Alice

One of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015, Omar has released four hip hop records, three poetry books and received a standing ovation at TEDx. Long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award and Miles Franklin Award.


11:00am – 12:00pm: Panel: Writing For The Next Generation
with Mandy Foot, George Rex and Omar Musa

Join successful creatives ranging from illustrator, author and comic book creator for a candid panel on why they choose to write for children, the power of stories for young people, where they find inspiration and how they got where they are now on their publishing journeys.


11:30am to 3:30pm: Intensive Writing Workshop  (special event)
with Jane Turner Goldsmith

Limited to 15 places. Book here.

“Get him up the tree; throw rocks at him; get him down”. So runs the formula for the classic story, also known as the three-act play structure, or the ‘narrative arc’ of a story. All the ingredients of a satisfying story are here: conflict, challenge, resolution. This workshop, aimed at emerging writers, will outline and explore this three-act structure, with reference to examples from film and short fiction, and allowing time for reading, writing, discussion and sharing of participants’ ideas and writing.


12:15pm to 1:15pm: In conversation – Podcasts Tell a Story Too
with Lauren Butterworth and Dominic Guerrera

Join two of South Australia’s most dynamic podcast creators to learn about this increasingly popular medium for news, information and storytelling. What kind of topics work in the audio format, and what do you need to make your own? In this conversation you’ll gain insights on audiences, crafting scripts, equipment and technology, and how to get your story out there

2:00pm – 3:30pm: Workshops

Building a Brand That Turns Heads
with Greg Kavanagh

Whether you run a business, want to write for a living or blog, branding is everything in a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with colourful chaos. Get tips and tricks from marketing industry expert Greg Kavanagh of Branded Culture on standing out to be seen, and find out why consistency is the key, especially when building an author brand.


Tell Your Story in the Local Paper
with Colin James

The Advertiser and local courier often have stories about your neighbours and their incredible lives. Maybe you also have a story to tell? Come along and hear from Colin James, a journalist covering the Northern Suburbs and its residents, on what makes your story one that others might want to hear about. Discover the process for ‘user generated content’ and start on the path to see your name in print

3:30pm to 4:30pm: Networking Opportunity



Sunday 25th August (lunch not provided)

12:00pm – 1:15pm: Panel: Yours, Mine and Ours
with Deb Kandelaars, Jo Case and Denise George

We’ll hear from three everyday women who told their story or someone else’s in a way that breaks open the human condition. Discover why they chose to write what they did and how you could tell your own stories.


1:30pm – 3:00pm: Workshops

Memoir Writing
with Jo Case

Life writing is about making meaning from your experience in a way that connects with others. In this workshop, memoirist Jo Case will share tips and tricks for mining your experience for meaning, and making it into a story that others will want to read. She’ll also explore the tricky ethical area of writing about other people – particularly family and loved ones. And she’ll share her insights, based on 25 years of working in publishing, on how to pitch your finished book to a publisher.

Traditional Publishing
with Bronwyn Stuart

There’s never been a better time to be published than right now! This workshop will explore the world of ‘traditional’ publishing – the world of publishing houses, book contracts and marketing teams. If you want your book on the shelf at your local store, with an editor tightening your work and a publicity team in your corner, this workshop is for you. Learn about where to pitch your book, how to do it well, and most importantly, who is publishing what in Australia.

Self Publishing
with Aislinn Kearns

Self-publishing is becoming easier and easier, with e-books and digital platforms booming, but getting found in the crowd can be hard work! We’ll tell you how to get noticed, why covers and advertising are so important and how driving your own journey can be financially rewarding for those with the time and skill to put in.


3:30PM – 4:30PM: Closing Address
with Dr Natalie Harkin

Natalie is a Narungga woman, academic and poet from South Australia who grew up in Salisbury North/Elizabeth. Her decolonising archival-poetic work is informed by family story, and shapes her current research on Aboriginal domestic service labour history in South Australia.