Next weekend I head to Ballarat for Death in July: A Festival of Women’s Crime Writing.
A collaboration between Sisters in Crime Australia and Ballarat Writers Inc, Death in July is a celebration of Australian women’s crime writing designed to get the blood pumping despite the wintry weather.
I want to say, ‘I’m really looking forward to Death in July’ but that comes out sounding all wrong. We’re talking death in crime fiction, of course. (Perhaps death of the author, too?).
The festival is being held at the new Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat, and I can say unequivocally that I’m looking forward to visiting MADE.
I’m rapt to be invited to give the keynote address at the launch on the state of Australian women’s crime writing. Trouble is, I’ve only got twenty minutes. The question of how to do justice to the breadth and diversity of Australian women’s crime writing in all its nuances in twenty minutes is currently keeping me awake at night — though I just might have worked out a gossamer thin, unifying thread that runs through it. All will be revealed Friday 4 July, 6.00pm. Free event but RSVPs are essential. Information here.
A stellar line-up of authors is appearing at the festival all day Saturday to speak on a fascinating range of topics.
First up, at 9.30AM on Saturday, I’ll be on a panel with Honey Brown and Maurilia Meehan, compered by Leigh Redhead, called Gum Shoes or High Heels? We’ll be talking the wild and wonderful directions women’s crime (fiction) is taking.
Following the launch of Ellie Marney‘s new YA crime novel Every Breath at 11.00AM, Ellie will join Simmone Howell and Nansi Kunze to talk Get ‘Em While They’re Young with compere Lindy Cameron at 11.30AM.
At 2.00PM, Dr Shelley Robertson (senior forensic pathologist), Superintendent Tess Walsh (Crime Department, Victoria Police) and Liz Porter discuss ‘the CSI effect’ with compere Vikki Petraitis in Bones, Ballistics and Boffins: Getting it right in fact and fiction.
Either side of this session will be a reading by Judith Rodriguez from her verse novel The Hanging of Minnie Thwaites, and the launch of Annie Hauxwell‘s third novel in the Catherine Berlin series, A Morbid Habit (see my review here).
At 4.00PM Dominic Brine from ABC Ballarat will chair the Great Crime Writing Debate on the perennial subject of Dames vs Dicks – who does it better? when it comes to crime fiction. I will be joining team captain Vikki Petraitis and Leigh Redhead in arguing that dicks do it better. Yep, you read that correctly. Arguing in favour of the dames are ‘Brothers in Law’ Andrew Grimes, Jarad Henry, and team captain Robert Gott.
Bookings for individual events or the whole festival can be made here.
Murder at MADE competition
Everyone is invited to participate in the festival by entering the Murder at MADE writing competition. Be inspired by a crime scene established at the festival and write the best start to a crime story. Competition info here. The winner will be immediately following the debate at 5.00PM.
Blood on Ballarat
A serial story will be told by ten Ballarat women and broadcast on ABC Radio, also as part of Death In July festival. Starting with crime author Leigh Redhead, the story is evolving as it is passed from one women to the next, each adding a few hundred words to the story. Women who have contributed so far include state parliamentarian Sharon Knight and councillor Vicki Coltman. Creative media producer Yum Studio will film the process. The finished story will also be published by The Courier newspaper and be on display during Death In July on 4 and 5 July at MADE.
Hope to see you in Ballarat for blood and death — in the fictional sense only!