Paid PostPosted on 13 Aug 201811 People Not To Miss At Melbourne Writers FestivalThe 2018 Melbourne Writers Festival runs from 24 Aug–2 Sept. You like to read? Book.by Melbourne Writers FestivalBrand PublisherFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Magda Szubanski "Sharon? Sharon!" Magda Szubanski has been making Australia laugh for over three decades and is well known for a certain role in Kath & Kim. But she was also named the "most talked about person of 2017" following the crucial part she played in the same-sex marriage survey. Oh, and she's a best-selling, award-winning author too, following the release of her memoir, Reckoning, in 2015. Szubanski will be joining author Kathy Lette on a panel exploring the difference between the male and female sense of humour. Fellas, make sure you bring yours... Ta-Nehisi Coates Taking a break from his current gig — writing the Black Panther and Captain America comic books — Ta-Nehisi Coates will be discussing "writing yourself into history — making courageous art." He'll also be appearing in Pretty for an Aboriginal: Set it Alight, a conversation (and BuzzFeed podcast!) with Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell that aims to burn down the structures and strictures that have governed the entertainment industry for too long. Yassmin Abdel-Magied Yassmin Abdel-Magied asks questions. She questions why we don’t hear more diverse voices in our communities, in our politics, and in the media. She leads by example, breaking moulds and smashing stereotypes at every opportunity. Yeah! An author, mechanical engineer, and petrol-head, Abdel-Magied founded the not-for-profit Youth Without Borders at age 16. She is appearing in various events at the MWF, including a chat with Yumi Stynes about the SBS comedy Homecoming Queens, the show in which she made her acting debut. Andrew WK Nobody has partied harder, longer, or more fervently than the undisputed King of Partying himself Andrew WK. WK is a one-man machine possessed by a single-minded, monomaniacal focus to spread a singular message: that to party is to exist, and to exist is to party. Andrew is the true party rock god, dedicated to energising audiences worldwide with his uniquely intense brand of entertainment. And what's he doing at the MWF? Oh, just a little thing called the Opening Night Gala. Manal al-Sharif Manal al-Sharif was the cofounder and leader of the Women2Drive movement in Saudi Arabia and is one of the preeminent voices of the women’s rights movement in the Middle East. Her Amazon best-seller book, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening, was voted by GoodReads as one of the best memoirs of 2017. Want to get up close and personal with al-Sharif? She'll be speaking in the intimate surroundings of Belgrave Library, a small community facility nestled in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges. Miss Blanks In the last 12 months, Miss Blanks has established herself as one of the most important voices in Australian music and activism. With music, style, and a stage presence like no other, she is blowing up the scene in a way that’s too loud for the mainstream to ignore. She’ll be dismantling structures in a duet performance with singer-songwriter and trailblazer Jen Cloher. This one's sure to get funky. Nayuka Gorrie Nayuka Gorrie cowrote and performed in the upcoming third season of Black Comedy. A Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri, and Yorta Yorta freelance and comedy television writer, her work centres on black, feminist, and queer politics. Gorrie is appearing in several events, of which the most "intimate" promises to be Sacred Texts: The Book That Made Me a Better Lover, a session in which four panellists reveal the books that set them on a path to a more pleasurable life. Prepare to be stimulated. And not just mentally. Evelyn Ida Morris Evelyn Ida Morris released their first album as Pikelet in 2007 and has since released three further Pikelet albums, most recently exploring a genre you might call "deep psych pop". They also have a long history with improvised music and recently released their first album of piano compositions. (Evelyn is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns). Evelyn will be sharing stories that have informed their art and activism, at an 18+ event which is also free, with no bookings required. Yay! Mara Wilson Mara Wilson’s memoir Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame is now available from Penguin Random House. Her writing has appeared on Elle.com, McSweeney’s, Reductress, Cracked, and Woolly Magazine. Wilson is featured in four different events at MWF, including a uniquely Melbourne iteration of international literary phenomenon Women of Letters, celebrating the lost art of letter writing. 'Cos sometimes emails just don't cut it. Jonny Sun Jonny Sun is the author and illustrator behind Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too and one of Time’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet of 2017. He is currently a doctoral student at MIT, an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, and a creative researcher at the Harvard metaLAB, where he studies humour and online communities. Jonny is participating in a couple of events at MWF, including a discussion with Mara Wilson (above) called Everything Happens for a Raisin, exploring how Twitter can be a tool for empathy. That's right — it's not just for jokes, folks! Chris Fleming Chris Fleming is a writer and performer known for his hit web series, Gayle. He has appeared on television and film, and he's been featured in Forbes, Cosmopolitan, and The New Yorker. His 2017 show Showpig toured through the US and Canada, and he now has over 35 million YouTube views and 240,000 subscribers. Chris is appearing in three different events at this year's MWF, including Chris Fleming: Live, a brand-new stand-up special, fresh from his US live tour. Have you seen him? Chris is one funny, funny dude. All images and factual information courtesy of Melbourne Writers Festival The Melbourne Writers Festival runs from 24 August - 2 September. See the full program here.