The Brisbane Writers Festival is bookmarking its 59th year with more than 100 live and virtual events celebrating the written and spoken word.
More than 100 renowned writers, thinkers, artists and opinion-makers are taking part over the three-day festival, including many free events and sessions. This year, they explore themes prompted by current events, including survival, mortality, climate change and diversity.
It opens with the First Word, delivered by Indigenous writer Ellen van Neerven, who will also be giving the Last Word at the festival's end. Guest curator Benjamin Law has also put together five sessions on the theme of survival and the future, addressing global challenges.
Bestselling author Kate Morton is hosting a Mother's Day High Tea at Customs House, while a screening of documentary 2040 is being accompanied by a Q&A with filmmaker Damon Gameau. Join a guided meditation by psychologist and The Indigo Project founder Mary Hoang, or listen to a showcase of poetry and spoken word performances with All I Have is a Voice.
2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery discusses the future in The Climate Cure, while First Nations knowledge is examined with regards to climate change with Fire Country author Victor Steffensen and Indigenous authors Lisa Fuller, Thomas Mayor and Bruce Pascoe.
Other highlights include sessions with Robert Dessaix and Charlotte Wood, comedians Jean Kittson and Matt Okine, and audience favourites Trent Dalton and Richard Fidler, plus a full day of free programming dedicated to young adult fiction.
There are also industry events for budding and aspiring writers, including the chance to submit a manuscript for comments by an editor, literary agent or published, as well as workshops on the queer memoir, creating protagonists, and crafting stories for children.
And virtual highlights include thought-provoking sessions on fiction and literature, environment and nature, feminism, society and culture, and First Nations issues.