Meet • Celebrate • Stay

Canberra Writers festival



The Canberra Writers Festival is the place to be from 23 to 26 August this year.  Come and visit some of the amazing venues hosting the festival and experience local, national and international writers discuss work under the themes Power, Politics and Passion.

University House will host a range of events in various venues of two days of the festival. See below links for more information on each of the events and ticketing:


Common Room:

What could possibly go wrong? (9:30- 11:00am)

What could possibly wrong? The answer is, a lot! Three leading writers discuss the pressures and coping mechanisms they employ along the road to the completion and possible success of a work.  Our panel is respected journalist and author, Steve Lewis (co-author with Chris Uhlmann of the best-selling The Marmalade Files and its sequel The Mandarin Code), Tony Maniaty, author, journalist, academic and photographer (whose books include Shooting Balibo, All Over the Shop and Smyrna) and Bridie Jabour, journalist and widely acclaimed debut novelist of The Way Things Should Be with publisher and author, Phillipa McGuinness, as moderator. – Tickets:


Every Lie I’ve ever told (11:00am – 12:00 noon)

The bestselling author of ‘The Anti-Cool Girl’ returns with a raw, beautiful, brilliant, shocking, heartbreaking and very funny memoir about telling lies to ourselves and each other and then finding yourself on the brink. Rosie Waterland is in Conversation with internationally acclaimed actress, Lexi Sekuless. – Tickets:


SPECIAL EVENT: Citizen Journalism (1:00pm – 2:00pm)

We live in the era of taking photographs, videos and sharing our views. What defines citizen journalism and what does it mean for professional journalists? This is a hot-topic session discussing how we navigate through the fake and the manipulated to get to the real deal. 2CC broadcaster Tim Shaw talks with Michael McCoogan, co-owner of The RiotACT, Chair of Crucial and founder of UberGlobal and William Summers, citizen journalist and finalist in the 2017 Walkley Awards about the new landscape. – Tickets:


The night’s insomnia (4:00pm – 4:30pm)

The Night’s Insomnia is an open and achingly beautiful musical experience that crafts songs from the words of 12 contemporary Australian poets from around the country. Works that evoke the feeling and space that keep us awake in the dark hours. These extraordinary musicians will leave you spellbound and wanting for more. – Tickets:


Great Hall:

The other Wife (11:00am – 12:00noon)

A thriller from one of the greatest crime writers of today and the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps. Are you leading a double life? How is this possible in these days of diminished privacy, social media and fast paced schedules? Michael Robotham crafts this confronting psychological thriller centred on doubt and deceit, heartbreak and adrenalin shocks. He is interviewed by ABC Radio Canberra presenter, Laura Tchilinguirian. Tickets:


Growing pains: The future of democracy (1:00pm – 2:00pm)

We are now living in a world where Brexit and Trump are daily realities. But how did this come about? And what does it mean for the future? Gwynne Dyer, a Newfoundlander by birth has been an historian, broadcaster, journalist, lecturer, widely syndicated columnist and Academy Award nominee. His passion in international affairs ranges from the legacy of recent wars to the impending implications of the ‘Climate Wars’. In Conversation with the ABC broadcaster and interviewer Richard Fidler whose ‘Conversations with Richard Fidler’ are downloaded three million times per month.


Drawing Room:

Telling your story ( 2:30pm – 3:30pm)

Michael Veitch is an author, actor and broadcaster best known for his roles in the D-Generation, Fast Forward and Full Frontal as well as his books on WWII aviation, travel and marine science. In this workshop, Michael will help you find your story. Everyone has a story! The retelling of facts, in a way that excites an audience is always a daunting task. It takes a certain visual storytelling method to weave facts into form. Bring your ideas and then just listen to some amazing tips and techniques so you can tell your story. Tickets:


SPECIAL EVENT: Freedom of Information (4:00pm – 5:00pm)

William Summer’s blog utilises facts gleaned by knowing how to access information through our Freedom of Information regulations. If you are a current or potential blogger, a citizen journalist or simply an enthusiastic and engaged member of our community, learn the ropes from him. William was a finalist in the 2017 Walkley Awards.