Now in its 56th year, Brisbane Writers Festival has come to be much more than just a simple gathering of literary lovers. More than 150 events will be held at the State Library of Queensland hub in 2018, with the intention to foster discussion, debate and the sharing of stories around this year’s theme, “What the world needs now”. The packed schedule will feature well established international authors and local writers across a variety of talks, panels and entertainment. Here are our picks of what to see over the four-day festival.

On Writing: Writing Culture for Young People
Through their writing, Sue McPherson and Jared Thomas explore themes of belonging and culture while trying to challenge readers and make change. In this talk, the young adult fiction authors share how their content empowers young people to build strong identities while developing respect and understanding for other groups and cultures. Designed to help audiences position content for YA readers, this session is perfect for aspiring YA authors, readers, writers, parents and teachers.

1pm on September 7 in Cinema B, GOMA

Healing: Addressing Men’s Mental Health with Samuel Maguire, Osher Günsberg and Joe Williams
Three Australian men with diverse life experiences come together to discuss mental illness. Brisbane-based author Samuel Maguire, TV personality Osher Günsberg and professional sportsperson Joe Williams will share their experiences growing up and navigating life while dealing with their own mental health.

4pm on September 7 at The Edge, State Library of Queensland

On Writing: Eggshell Skull
Bri Lee’s young career reads more like a lengthy list of achievements. The Brisbane-based writer and editor has been the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships including the inaugural Kat Muscat Fellowship in 2016 and a Commonwealth Government of Australia scholarship this year. She’s also a QLA finalist for the 2018 Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers, editor of quarterly print magazine Hot Chicks with Big Brains and has had her work published widely. At her event On Writing: Eggshell Skull, Lee will talk about the process of publishing her debut book, Eggshell Skull, which uncovers the difficulties sexual assault victims face in our current judicial system.

4pm on September 7 at Festival Hub, Maiwar Green

Dystopian Futures: An Evening with Veronica Roth (US) and Friends (all ages)
Catch best-selling YA fiction author of the Divergent series, Veronica Roth, for a full cosplay event. The evening will include entertainment from The Edge Theatre, a performance by Monkey Monkey Shake Shake as well as Roth in conversation with local fantasy author Kim Wilkins. Roth will discuss her latest book Carve the Mark and there will be an opportunity for punters to purchase copies and have them signed.

6pm on September 6 at The Edge, State Library of Queensland

When Life Gives You Lululemons
Join New York Times best-selling author of The Devil Wears Prada and The Singles Game Lauren Weisberger as she discusses her latest release, When Life Gives You Lululemons. Weisberger will be in conversation with Suzi Derbyshire, who among her 24 years’ experience of teaching and leadership was QUT’s inaugural head of fashion within the Creative Industries faculty, a portfolio director for Fashion, Journalism, Media and Communication, and is now the university’s deputy vice-chancellor (learning and teaching).

7pm on September 7 in Auditorium 1, State Library of Queensland

Detours: Tim Rogers
Tim Rogers is best known for fronting renowned Aussie alt-rock group, You Am I. But along with his talents as a songwriter, Rogers is also a stage and film actor and composer. Catch Rogers in conversation with Australian singer-songwriter Robert Forster, as he talks about his latest project – a tender and honest memoir entitled Detours. It covers his music career, masculinity, love and fatherhood.

7.30pm, September 8 at The Edge, State Library of Queensland

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia with Anita Heiss
Anita Heiss is a multi-award-winning author, academic, presenter, commentator and proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales. Her anthology, Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, attempts to showcase as many diverse voices, experiences and stories as possible in the hope of answering the question: what is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia?

10am on September 9 at kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland

Community, Gender and Identity
Join writers Jay Carmichael, Nevo Zisin and Krissy Kneen as they share and discuss their work via the concepts of community, gender and identity. The trio’s varied backgrounds and experiences is intended to prompt thoughtful discussion and a sharing of important stories.

10am on September 9, The Edge, State Library of Queensland

Brisbane Writers Festival runs September 6–9 at the State Library of Queensland.