Merrigong Theatre Company in association with the South Coast Writers Centre presents

The Sydney Writers Festival - Live and Local

Talks & Ideas

05 May – 05 May

Sydney Writers’ Festival is Australia’s largest forum celebrating books and ideas in the southern hemisphere. The Festival brings the world’s finest authors and esteemed thinkers to together in real time through the Live & Local project.

Streamed LIVE by Sydney Writers’ Festival to The Music Lounge, Live & Local offers regional and national audiences access to new ideas from great minds, with the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions at each event by sending questions direct to the Sydney stage.

This year in addition to the live streaming, Merrigong Theatre Company in collaboration with South Coast Writers Centre, Shellharbour City Libraries and Wollongong City Libraries present four local authors live on stage and a workshop to bring this event to life!

Join us as we celebrate books, challenge ideas, and interrogate power.

To view the program, click here.



9.30am - 9.50am

Local Author Talk: Young writer's present

Young Writers Collective

The South Coast Writers Centre’s Young Writers Collective is both a class and a community. The young writers create work they are proud of, all in a relaxed and supportive space. Every year, their work is re-produced in a Zine that showcases their writing. Listen to their flash fiction and poetry.


10am - 11am

New Power

 Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, facilitated by Susan Dodds


11am - 11.20am

Local Author Talk: Alan Baxter

When the city is sick, everyone suffers. Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Hidden City is the latest release by local author, Alan Baxter. He writes supernatural thrillers and urban horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dogs. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia. Baxter will be reading and answer questions about his success as a dark fantasy/horror author.


11.30am - 12.30pm

Peter Greste: The First Casuality

Peter Greste, facilitated by Hugh Rimington


12.40pm - 1pm

Local Author Talk: Missing - New YA Fiction

Sue Whiting, facilitated by Rike Krishnabhakdi - Vasilakis

How do you make a sad story also relatable and suspense filled? How do you bring a country you know little about alive on the page? Join Sue Whiting as she discusses the enormous challenges she faced when writing MISSING. Sue Whiting is an award-winning children's and YA author and editor who lives in the Illawarra.


1.30pm - 2.30pm

Resisting Unjust Authority

Masha Gessen, Alexis Okeowo & Mohammed Al Samawi, facilitated by Sarah Krasnostein


1.30pm - 2.55pm

Workshop: Writing Speculative Fiction

Alan Baxter 

Award-winning author Alan Baxter will explore the conventions of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. You will learn the basics of genre writing, the rules you need to know before you break them, and strategies for building believable stories in other worlds. Attendees can expect to gain tools to improve their genre fiction, and a reading list to expand their experience. This workshop will include plenty of opportunity for Q&A.


3pm - 4pm

Women in Tech: Okay Ladies, Now Let's Get Information

Angela Saini, Aminatou Sow & Elanor Huntington, facilitated by Deb Verhoeven


4.10pm - 4.30pm

Local Author Talk: Catherine Evans

Catherine Evans writes in two subgenres of romance –rural romances and erotic romance (explicit; nothing held back) under a pseudonym. She will be talking about writing in these genres and her latest release Long Game (ebook, Women of W.A.R. series) which came out in Feb 2018, with the heroines being all female Aussie Rules players.


4.30pm - 5.30pm

Annabel Crabb's BooKwiz

Leigh Sales, Richard Fidler & Julia Zemiro, facilitated by Annabel Crabb 

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Venue Information

Wollongong Town Hall, The Music Lounge


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Admission: $20
Workshops: $15

A per transaction fee of $6.95 applies for phone and online bookings.

Performance Times
General Public:
Sat 5 May, 9.30am

Running Time
Approx. 1 hr each session

Tickets On Sale
Available Now