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Clunes Booktown Festival: Women Writing Women


Event Status

This event is now fully booked. Festival passes to Clunes Booktown (excluding this event) are available at the festival website.

‘A word after a word after a word is power,’ wrote the feminist author Margaret Atwood.

What is the power of putting a woman front and centre in a story? And is it still a subversive act? In this broad discussion at Clunes Booktown Festival we’ll hear from women who write about women: Hannah Kent (Burial Rites), Clementine Ford (Fight Like a Girl), Melissa Keil (The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl) and Jane Harrison (Becoming Kirrali Lewis).

With experience writing across a range of forms and genres – from opinion columns to fantasy YA novels to feminist manifesto to historical fiction – these writers will discuss their priorities, predicaments and even anxieties when placing women at the centre of their narratives. What are the unique responsibilities of describing female experiences?

In conversation with Gemma Rayner.

Presented in partnership with Clunes Booktown Festival.


Hannah Kent

Hannah Kent’s debut novel, Burial Rites (2013), was translated into over thirty languages and won the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the Indie Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, and the Victorian Premier’s People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Pri... Read more

Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford is a Melbourne-based writer, speaker and feminist thinker. She is a columnist for Fairfax’s Daily Life and is a regular contributor to the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Through her twice-weekly columns for Daily Life, Clementine explores issues of gen... Read more

Melissa Keil

Melissa Keil is a writer and children’s book editor. She is the author of three YA novels: Life in Outer Space, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl and The Secret Science of Magic. Her short story, Sundays, is featured in Begin, End, Begin, the #LoveOzYA anthology. She is also the autho... Read more

Gemma Rayner

Gemma Rayner is Series Producer at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.  For five years she has worked across a range of programming initiatives, from regular event and podcast series to Town Hall debates, comedy, children’s and cabaret specials, and festivals and regional to... Read more

Jane Harrison

Jane Harrison is Director of Blak & Bright. She descends from the Muruwari people of NSW and is an award-winning playwright and author. Becoming Kirrali Lewis, about the search by a young Aboriginal woman for her biological parents, was published in 2015 by Magabala Books and won the 2014 B... Read more


Clunes Town Hall

98 Bailey St, Clunes, 3370 Australia

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.