By Molly Magennis
The Williamstown Lit Festival is back after a two-year hiatus and promises to return with one of the best authoring lineups yet.
Originally conceived in 2003 by local book lovers, the festival has grown into the largest winter art festival in the west.
After COVID put the festival on hold for two years, it returns to Williamstown City Hall
again the weekend of 17-19 June.
This year’s theme, Days Like These, was the result of program director Jane Finemore’s reflective experience during the many lockdowns.
“When we were planning it, it was a really grim time… we were still in lockdown mode,” she said.
“I’ve been in Williamstown for two years… and I thought about how that had really made me appreciate where I live, and I met people and realized how blessed we are here.
“So Days Like These is, no matter how fragile the world is and no matter how scared many people are, we need to embrace what we have.
The festival offers a broad program with 73 participants spread over 39 sessions.
Standouts include David Knoff, who led a mission to Antarctica when the pandemic struck, forcing him to spend 537 days on the continent, and famed journalist Lisa Millar, whose latest memoir Daring to Fly chronicles her life from humble beginnings to the National Breakfast TV host.
“There is an emphasis on memoir writers because I personally love anyone who is truly brave enough to tell their own story authentically. And again, it comes back to that celebration of who we are as Australians, I guess,” Finemore said.
“Lisa Miller has written a wonderful memoir…. it’s a very interesting story… a very personal story, so I like that.”
Tickets are now available through the festival website www.willylitfest.org.au/.