More to the Story
In 2020, Melbourne Jewish Book Week will be presenting their renowned literary festival of events, featuring an exciting array of international and Australian writers.
The 2020 festival, scheduled for May 2-7, has been cancelled.

Cancelled

Of Folk and Fairy Tales

Host extraordinaire, Rachael Kohn, will guide us through a dark and wonderful storytelling journey featuring a line-up of internationally acclaimed writers. Orly Castel-Bloom (Israel), Wallace Shawn (US), Jaye Kranz, Avi Duckor-Jones (NZ), Bram Presser, Alex Skovron, Hana Assafiri and Jude Perl respond to the theme ‘Of Folk and Fairy Tales’. They may be subversive, dabble…

May 2, 2020
7.30pm—8.30pm
Cancelled

Spotlight on Deborah Eisenberg

Deborah Eisenberg is a virtuoso of the short story. She spins her tales of human fragility, fallibility and unknowability, employing language that is distilled, luminous. Acclaimed as one of America’s finest writers, Eisenberg will talk about writing as a holy pursuit and the surprising nature of life. In conversation with Tali Lavi.

May 3, 2020
10.00am—11.00am
Cancelled

Stories from the Surgery

Why is that many doctors are also writers? Or is it writers who are doctors? David Isaacs, Andy Mia Kranz and Leon Piterman discuss the unlikely attraction between scalpel and pen, the varied story sources and the constant juggling act, led by Jacinta Halloran.

May 3, 2020
10.00am—11.00am
Cancelled

Into the Past

“Life can be understood backwards, but it must be understood forwards” (Kierkegaard). Authors Suzy Zail, Philip Salom and Avi Duckor-Jones take an existential dive into the way the past can haunt us, holding a mirror up to what we find there and how we learn from the things we see. Moderated by Bernard Cohen.

May 3, 2020
10.00am—11.00am
Free
Cancelled

Letting Ideas Loose

Kids are impulsive, inquisitive and uninhibited. Their imaginations run wild. Wild is good but in this workshop, run by MJBW Festival Director (and author of more than 400 books for children), Nicolas Brasch, a series of fun imagination exercises will show how to turn those scattered thoughts from different worlds into a cohesive story that…

May 3, 2020
10.00am—11.00am
Cancelled

Recovering Australian Stories

How does one begin telling Australia’s story? Who has the right to tell which parts? And who are we to believe? Melding indigenous culture with threads of colonisation, Tim Bonyhady, Daniel James, and Jessica North attempt to piece together the varied parts of our oft-fraught past. Moderated by Mark Dapin.

May 3, 2020
11.15am—12.15pm
Cancelled

#MeToo: Now and Later

Following the arrival of the #MeToo moment, where are we heading? Has real change occurred or are we stuck in an intractable morass? Join Miriam Sved, Ginger Gorman and David Leser as they courageously grapple with this historical turning point and explore subtleties of the new gendered landscape, for good and ill. Moderated by Angela…

May 3, 2020
11.15am—12.15pm
Cancelled

Talking in Tongues

How has our language shaped us? Join Rebecca Margolis, Margaret Taft and Subhash Jaireth in exploring how language – Yiddish and others – create and express individual and community identity. Moderated by Renata Singer, this panel will delve into the writer’s personal experience – as well as their research and writing – to illuminate the…

May 3, 2020
11.15am—12.15pm
Free
Cancelled

The Secret Home: A Reading and an Imagining

With Andy Mia Kranz. Come and hear a true tale, about three people who only saw daylight after three years living underground, only because there was a war, only because a kind family kept them safe…Imagine being in hiding, imagine protecting someone or something ever so precious. Come and draw, write, paint. Suitable for 10-13…

May 3, 2020
11.15am—12.15pm
Cancelled

Spotlight on Wallace Shawn

Widely acclaimed as an actor, it is Wallace Shawn’s literary achievements that will be the focus of this conversation with MJBW Festival Director, Nicolas Brasch. As a playwright and essayist, Wallace has never shied from controversy, never adhered to conventions and never been afraid to express his views. Discussing everything from My Dinner with Andre to…

May 3, 2020
12.30pm—1.30pm
Cancelled

The Decay of Civilisation

Is our world in a state of crisis? Over the summer, we witnessed the ecological devastation of bushfires engulfing much of this country and yet real climate change action seems to evade us. Our financial institutions have been revealed to be morally bankrupt. How do we agitate for change and maintain civil discourse? Jonathan Pearlman…

May 3, 2020
12.30pm—1.30pm
Cancelled

Poetry Readings

In one luxurious, uninterrupted hour, poets Anne Carson, Sam Duckor-Jones, Anna Jacobson, Emma Lew, Philip Salom and Alex Skovron take us on an audible journey and remind us of the power of the written and spoken word. Hosted by Barbara Kamler.

May 3, 2020
12.30pm—1.30pm
Cancelled

Welcome to Country – a conversation about homeland, genocide and community

Following the success of her book Welcome to Country, Professor Marcia Langton AM, Assoc. Provost University of Melbourne, talks with Mark Raphael Baker, formerly Assoc. Prof/Director ACJC, Monash University about similarities in the experiences of Australian Jews and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, and how these parallels create unique opportunity for understanding the challenges faced…

May 3, 2020
1.45pm—2.45pm
Cancelled

Queer Jews

What does it mean to stand under the umbrella of Jewish queer writer? What are the challenges of claiming your space? Does it even matter? Dennis Altman, Hayley Katzen and Nevo Zisin join Roz Bellamy in examining how they, and others, are changing the landscape.

May 3, 2020
1.45pm—2.45pm
Cancelled

Writing the World

As Proust once proclaimed, ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ Writers Arnold Zable, Subhash Jaireth and Miriam Sved will talk to Anna Snoekstra about how travelling the world or writing it informs their writing and what it might reveal about them.

May 3, 2020
1.45pm—2.45pm
Cancelled

The Fascists in the Room

Fascism is on the rise. From Grafton to Christchurch, Pittsburgh, Charlottesville and Berlin. How did we get here? Join Raf Epstein as he interviews Jeff Sparrow, Julie Szego and Jonathan Pearlman. As Jeff claims in his new book, Fascists Among Us: online hate and the Christchurch massacre, “we need to understand him, because we must stop…

May 3, 2020
3.00pm—4.00pm
Cancelled

Under The Unlikely Influence

Think you know who has influenced some of our most celebrated writers? Think again! Join Lee Kofman and multi-award-winning authors Arnold Zable, Andrea Goldsmith and Bram Presser as they reveal the lesser-known writers who have inspired them and helped shape the way they think and write. You might just discover your next favourite author.

May 3, 2020
3.00pm—4.00pm
Cancelled

Between the Generations

Along with our DNA, we are constructed by the stories we have been told. Intergenerational trauma can reside in silence. David Slucki will speak into the silence with poet Anna Jacobson and Yorta Yorta writer Daniel James. Supported by Jewish Holocaust Centre.

May 3, 2020
3.00pm—4.00pm
Cancelled

David Isaacs In Conversation with Elizabeth Finkel

Professor David Isaacs, paediatrician and bioethicist, speaks to Dr Elizabeth Finkel about the politics of health, and the place of ethics, morality, human rights and basic common sense in medicine and science. He also provides invaluable insights into the ways we harm each other.

May 3, 2020
4.15pm—5.15pm
Cancelled

How Place Shapes Story

While characters are often seen as the pivotal element in stories, landscape and societal factors provide the layers that help readers find deeper meaning, greater connections, and form those all-important pictures in their mind. Few writers understand this better than Deborah Eisenberg (New York), Orly Castel-Bloom (Tel Aviv), and Tony Birch (Melbourne), and they will…

May 3, 2020
4.15pm—5.15pm
Cancelled

Jewish Sheilas

Join Lee Kofman, Jessica North and Juliet Rieden as they dissect and process the various ways in which the Jewish woman is represented in text. Their conversation takes in both historical representations, and their own, as writers. Supported by She’elah.

May 3, 2020
4.15pm—5.15pm
Cancelled

Professor Josh Cohen Keynote: Why We Have to Stop

Stopping is essential to the feeling of being alive. So argues Josh Cohen (UK) in his wonderfully engaging interrogation of our work-obsessed culture. Bringing his wit and intellect to the subject, Cohen looks to the company of philosophers, psychoanalysts and artists – Emily Dickinson, Sigmund Freud, Oscar Wilde, Orson Welles and more – in his attempt…

May 3, 2020
7.30pm—8.30pm
Free
Cancelled

The Power of Community

When Alison Jones was diagnosed with cancer, her family and friends began a roster to feed her family of seven. A simple act of kindness became a radical act of nourishing generosity. The indomitable Hana Assafiri (OAM) builds understanding and respect whilst transforming the lives of marginalised women. Join these inspiring women as they share…

May 4, 2020
10.00am—11.00am
Free
Cancelled

Writing Dangerously

Ginger Gorman, Antony Loewenstein and Mark Dapin have all thrown caution to the wind and taken great risks in their work as writers. How far have they gone – and how far are they willing to go? Is the need to express views and inform an audience worth the danger involved? Moderated by Julie Szego,…

May 4, 2020
10.00am—11.00am
Free
Cancelled

Mirka Mora and Friends

Sabine Cotte, Lesley Harding and Kendra Morgan were lucky enough to have known one of our favourite artists intimately and with great affection. Mirka Mora’s charm, effervescence and style are revered in their books. This event is a tribute to a beloved, bright-eyed and deeply missed Melbournian. To be moderated by Jessica Bram. Supported by…

May 4, 2020
10.00am—11.00am
Cancelled

The Two of Us: Andrea Goldsmith and Dennis Altman

Andrea and Dennis are close friends. They meet regularly over coffee or a meal to discuss books, ideas and the state of the world. And to gossip. In this session we have the opportunity to eavesdrop on their conversation. To be introduced by Henry Rosenbloom.

May 4, 2020
11.15am—12.00pm
Cancelled

Facing the Strange

It takes a certain eye to recognise the peculiar in the plain. World-renowned short story writer Deborah Eisenberg (Your Duck is My Duck) and award-winning author Bernard Cohen (When I Saw the Animal) reveal how they look for the gems hidden in the minutiae, seek the complex in the simple and spot the funny within…

May 4, 2020
11.15am—12.15pm
Cancelled

Spotlight on Orly Castel-Bloom

Three time winner of the Prime Minister’s Award and the Sapir Prize, one of Israel’s most celebrated novelists, Orly Castel-Bloom, will be in conversation with Dr Dvir Abramovich about her postmodern masterpieces, including Dolly City, which has been listed in UNESCO’S Collection of Representative Works, and was nominated in 2007 as one of the ten most…

May 4, 2020
11.15am—12.15pm
Cancelled

Spotlight on Josh Cohen

Professor Josh Cohen (UK) explores intersections between psychoanalysis, cultural theory and modern literature. His writing has been termed ‘beguiling’, ‘remarkable’ and ‘compassionate’. Josh’s manner speaks of the same qualities, as he listens deeply to the answers that reside in spaces too removed for most of us to hear. In conversation with Nicola Redhouse.

May 4, 2020
12.30pm—1.30pm
Cancelled

Family Stories Retold

Award-winning author of The Book of Dirt, Bram Presser talks to Juliet Rieden and Miriam Sved about family stories and the intracacies of weaving truth into tales of fiction; of preserving the facts while filling in the impossible gaps left by the passing of time.

May 4, 2020
12.30pm—1.30pm
Cancelled

Love and Other Catastrophes

Threads of love run right through literature. Hear three Melbourne-based authors, Ali Berg, Joanne Dannon and Michelle Kalus, reveal how they bleed their hearts onto the page with Christine Gordon from Readings.

May 4, 2020
12.30pm—1.30pm
Cancelled

Matters of the Heart

With the Holocaust as his unbidden reference book, traumatologist and child survivor Dr Paul Valent shares his deepest thoughts with cherished broadcaster Rachael Kohn in an intimate hour, as the pair explore the visceral relationship between violence and love.

May 4, 2020
1.45pm—2.45pm
Cancelled

Taking Flight

Orly Castel-Bloom (Israel), Andrea Goldsmith and Avi Duckor-Jones (NZ) have all written superb books. Traversing Egypt, Israel, Spain, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, here are exiles of state, of community, of self. But within these tales – some fictional, some true – there also reside forms of flight that are liberating and transformative. Witness flights…

May 4, 2020
1.45pm—2.45pm
Cancelled

Jewish Outback Dreaming

Anna Epstein, author of Melekh Ravitsh: The eccentric outback quest of an urbane Yiddish poet from Poland, and Arnold Zable, Ravitsh’s modern avatar, explore the dreams and idealism of this quixotic figure who nevertheless saw the reality of refugee strivings and a possible solution to them. Moderated by Rebecca Margolis, modern Yiddishist and Director of…

May 4, 2020
1.45pm—2.45pm
Cancelled

The ‘Me’ in Memoir

Is there a point where the ‘me’ in memoir should stop? Are there limits to what readers want to know about or is a modern memoir expected to expose all? Is the ‘me’ in memoir a performative self? Three debut memoirists, Gigi Fenster (NZ), Hayley Katzen and Nicola Redhouse, discuss their thoughts with master memoirist…

May 4, 2020
3.00pm—4.00pm
Cancelled

The Changing Face of Publishing

The Australian publishing landscape has shifted dramatically in recent years, creating boundless opportunities for authors to share their work with the world. In this industry-focused session with Romy Moshinsky, Melissa Kayser and Debbie Lee, learn about the niche businesses committed to publishing quality books online and in print, and how to self-publish and promote your…

May 4, 2020
3.00pm—4.00pm
Cancelled

Who Are We To Tell?

A number of explosive controversies in the literary world have forever changed the ethical landscape for authors writing other people’s stories. In this session, Suzanne Leal and Suzy Zail, two authors whose most recent novels told the fictionalised stories of real people, will discuss their books in the context this new landscape, with a particular…

May 4, 2020
3.00pm—4.00pm
Cancelled

Love Regardless @ fortyfivedownstairs

There will be no me without him. Love: surprising, burning, enduring. Join us in a scorching ode to love with theatrical renditions of Barbara Kamler’s incandescent poetic prose. Directed by Romi Kupfer, and followed by a conversation about love’s inevitability with poet Barbara Kamler and Tali Lavi.

May 4, 2020
7.30pm—8.30pm
Cancelled
Cancelled

A Literary Morning Tea New York Style

Deborah Eisenberg and Wallace Shawn in conversation with Michael Williams. ‘He’s always my first reader. I show him my work when I believe that I am absolutely finished.’ Deborah Eisenberg and Wallace Shawn have lived together since 1972. Join Michael Williams as he talks to New York’s acclaimed literary couple about writing, reading, acting, laughing…

May 6, 2020
10.30am—11.30am
Cancelled

Wallace Shawn Masterchat

Not as long as a masterclass but more than a Q&A, award-winning New York playwright and actor, Wallace Shawn provides insights into his approach to writing plays. This is a rare opportunity to hear from, and ask questions of, one of the legends of American stage and screen. Wallace’s ground breaking (and controversial) plays include…

May 6, 2020
2.30pm—3.30pm
Cancelled

Keynote: The Ratline: A Personal Story

In his only Melbourne public appearance, eminent international barrister and award-winning author of East West Street, Philippe Sands offers an insight into his new book The Ratline, a meticulous investigation of the daily life of a Nazi fugitive, Otto Freiherr von Wachte; as well as a fascinating account of Rome among American and Soviet spies active at…

May 6, 2020
7.30pm—9.00pm
Cancelled

Fake It Till You Make It: Closing Night

Fake news, fake selves, fake living, authenticity, imposter syndrome. As a society we are obsessed with what is real and what is artifice. Stories have the ability to be an antidote, transcending these categories, but they might also lead us further into a fog of illusions. Fabulous playwright Elise Hearst will steer us through this…

May 7, 2020
7.30pm—8.30pm

Alex Skovron

Alex Skovron is the author of six poetry collections, a prose novella and a book of short stories. His most recent volume of poetry, Towards the Equator: New & Selected Poems (2014), was shortlisted in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Alex’s numerous public readings include appearances in China, Serbia, India, Ireland, Macedonia, Portugal and Italy,…


Ali Berg

Ali Berg is co-author (with Michelle Kalus) of the best-selling The Book Ninja (2018) and While You Were Reading (2019), which have both been published around the world. She is also co-founder of social enterprise Books on the Rail, and an award-winning copywriter.


Alison Jones

Alison Jones has worked in a variety of settings – health, business and education – but her most important role is being mother to her five children. For the past five years, she has also been a part-time, non-fiction writer. Her first book, The Jones Family Food Roster (2019), explores the power of community, parenting…


Andrea Goldsmith

Andrea Goldsmith is a well-known Australian novelist. Her novels include The Prosperous Thief, (short-listed for the 2003 Miles Franklin award), and The Memory Trap, awarded the 2015 Melbourne Prize. Her eighth novel, Invented Lives (2019), is a story of identity and exile. Invented Lives was published to great acclaim and has recently been released in…


Andy Mia Kranz

The seed for Andy Mia Kranz’s first book, The Secret Home (2019), was formed through a vivid story told to her many times by her grandfather when she was a child. Andy wrote, illustrated and self-published this book. She has also worked as a medical practitioner and maker of fine timber furniture, and currently works…


Angela Savage

Angela Savage is an award winning Melbourne writer. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and currently works as Director of Writers Victoria. Her latest novel is Mother of Pearl.


Anna Ciddor

Anna Ciddor has written and illustrated nearly 60 popular books on topics as diverse as Vikings, her grandmother’s childhood in pre-war Poland, and the weird and hilarious things she got up to in her own childhood in 1960s Melbourne. She is currently working on a time-change story set in Gaul during the Roman Empire –…


Anna Epstein

Anna Epstein is the author of Melekh Ravitsh: The Eccentric Outback Quest of an Urbane Yiddish Poet from Poland (2019). Born in Melbourne to Yiddish-speaking Polish Jews of the Holocaust generation, her interest in the plight of those fleeing misfortune was awakened early. Anna worked for twenty years as editor and curator at the Jewish…


Anna Jacobson

Anna Jacobson is a poet and artist. Her debut poetry collection, Amnesia Findings, won the 2018 Thomas Shapcott Prize for Poetry. She also won the 2018 Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Anna holds a Master of Philosophy in poetry and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative and Professional Writing) from QUT, and a…


Anna Snoekstra

Anna Snoekstra is an author and screenwriter living in Melbourne, Victoria. She is the writer of both adult and young adult fiction novels, most recently Mercy Point (2018) and The Spite Game (2018). She teaches writing at Swinburne University.


Anne M Carson

Anne M Carson is a Melbourne-based poet, essayist and visual artist. Her poetry has been awarded in literary competitions, and published widely in Australia and internationally as well as being broadcast on national radio. Her works, Two Green Parrots, and Massaging Himmler: A Poetic Biography of Dr Felix Kersten, were both published in 2019. Anne…


Antony Loewenstein

Antony Loewenstein is a Jerusalem-based Australian journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, the BBC, The Washington Post, The Nation, Huffington Post, Haaretz, and many others. He is the author of Disaster Capitalism: making a killing out of catastrophe (2015), the writer/co-producer of the associated documentary, Disaster Capitalism (2018), and the…


Arnold Zable

Arnold Zable is a highly acclaimed Australian writer, novelist, storyteller and human rights advocate. His books include Jewels and Ashes, Cafe Scheherazade, The Fig Tree, Scraps of Heaven, Sea of Many Returns, Violin Lessons, and The Fighter. His new book The Watermill was published in March, 2020, alongside a TEXT Classic edition of his novel…


Avi Duckor-Jones

Avi Duckor-Jones is an Auckland (NZ)-based writer. Although trained as a lawyer, he gained his MA in creative writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters (NZ) in 2013. His travel writing has appeared in various publications, including BBC Travel, The NZ Listener and Lonely Planet. Avi’s play, On Dry Land, was performed in…


Barbara Kamler

Barbara Kamler’s most recent poetry titles include Two Tales of Long Love (2019), subtly moving syllabic verse which tells of couples who sustain love over many years, despite the challenges; and Leaving New Jersey (2016), 58 prose poems that unravel the experience of migration, loss, separation and love as it unfolds over a lifetime. Barbara’s…


Bernard Cohen

Bernard Cohen is the author of five novels, a children’s picture book and the recent short story collection, When I Saw the Animal (2018). His last novel, The Antibiography of Robert F Menzies won the 2015 Russell Prize for Humour Writing and an Arts Council of England Writer’s Award. He has been writer-in-residence at Sir…


Bram Presser

Bram Presser spent a decade schlepping around the world screaming into a rubber chicken with the Jewish punk band, Yidcore, before turning to writing. His debut novel, The Book of Dirt, won the 2018 Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction at the National Jewish Book Awards (USA), the 2018 Voss Literary Prize and three prizes at…


Christine Gordon

Christine Gordon is the Programming Manager for Readings, a position she has held for many years. She was a founding member of the Stella Prize, sits on the boards of the Emerging Writers’ Festival and the Readings Foundation, and has been a judge on a variety of literary prizes. Christine is passionate about Australian literature…


Dani Valent

Dani Valent is one of Australia’s most respected food communicators. She is a longtime freelance journalist and restaurant critic, award-winning cookbook author and chief creator at danivalent.com. Her business card says: writer, eater, traveller and cook. If you could sum up Dani’s ethos in a phrase, it would be “connecting people to great food experiences”….


Daniel James

Daniel James is a Yorta Yorta Melbourne-based writer whose work explores notions of empathy, intergenerational trauma, hidden history, the political landscape and sense of place and land that continue to shape the lives of Aboriginal people across the country. He is the winner of the 2018 Horne Prize for his essay Ten More Days. Daniel…


Daniel Ziffer

Daniel Ziffer covered the Hayne royal commission for ABC radio, TV, and online. He was formerly the long-time senior producer of ‘Mornings with Jon Faine’, at ABC Radio Melbourne, and has worked on air and in production at Macquarie Radio, as a freelance foreign correspondent based in New York City, a journalist at The Age,…


David Isaacs

Professor David Isaacs is a consultant paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, and Clinical Professor in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Sydney. He has been a member of every Australian national immunisation advisory committee for the last 25 years. He is passionate about bioethics, and has published and taught extensively on…


David Leser

David Leser is a Walkley-award winning journalist who has worked in Australia and internationally for the past 40 years. He is the author of seven books, including To Begin to Know: Walking in the Shadows of My Father which was shortlisted for the 2015 National Biography Award. David’s latest book, Women, Men and the Whole…


David Slucki

David Slucki is an author and historian, and the Loti Smorgon Associate Professor in Contemporary Jewish Life and Culture at Monash University. Between 2013 and 2019, he was an assistant professor in Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of Sing This at My Funeral: A Memoir of Fathers and…


Debbie Lee

Debbie Lee is Senior Manager, Content Acquisition and Business Development with Ingram Lightning Source. Formerly a trade sales representative and an academic publisher, Debbie has seen the world of publishing change dramatically over her 30-year career. She considers the advent of print-on-demand and global distribution among the most significant contributing factors, giving the indie author…


Deborah Conway

Deborah Conway AM has been a musician for 40 years, has played countless live shows, written many songs, and has produced records, shows, tours and festivals. She has collected ARIAs, was made a National Living Legend in 2019, and this year was made a Member of the Order of Australia. Conway met Willy Zygier in…


Deborah Eisenberg

Deborah Eisenberg has published five collections of short fiction, the most recent of which is Your Duck Is My Duck (2018). Her work is widely anthologised and has earned her many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, the Rea Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN Malamud Award, and the Paris Review’s Hadada…


Dennis Altman

Professor Dennis Altman AM is the son of Jewish refugees and a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation (1971). He is a Professorial Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University and has published thirteen books, most recently The End of the Homosexual?…


Dina Kluska

Dina Kluska is the co-founder and co-director of Pitch Projects, a boutique media and communications agency based in Melbourne. Dina has extensive experience in strategic communications and publicity, particularly in the publishing industry and across the arts sector. She has also worked as a commissioning editor. Dina has been a guest lecturer for RMIT’s Master…


Dvir Abramovich

Dvir Abramovich is the Israel Kipen Director of The Program in Jewish Culture & Society at The University of Melbourne, and Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission. An in-demand media commentator, he was President of the Australian Association of Jewish Studies and Editor of the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies. The author of six books, Dvir’s…


Elise Hearst

Elise Hearst is a Melbourne-based playwright, storyteller, writer and occasional performer. She trained in London at the Royal Court Theatre and her plays include Bright World (2016; Theatreworks), co-written with Andrea James, The Sea Project (2012; Griffin Theatre) and The Mesh (2014; Red Stitch), which was shortlisted for the Griffin Award. Elise is currently a resident…


Elizabeth Finkel

Elizabeth Finkel (AM) is a former biochemist who switched to journalism. She co-founded Cosmos Magazine, served as Editor in Chief (2013 – 2018) and is now Editor at Large. She has published two books: Stem Cells (2005) which won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, and The Genome Generation (2012). Elizabeth’s work is regularly anthologised in…


Emma Lew

Emma Lew’s first collection of poems, The Wild Reply (1997), won the Mary Gilmore Award and was joint winner of The Age Poetry Book of the Year Award. Her second collection, Anything the Landlord Touches (2002), won the Victorian Premier’s C.J. Dennis Prize for Poetry and the Queensland Premier’s Judith Wright Calanthe Prize for Poetry….


Gigi Fenster

In 2016, Gigi Fenster approached Victoria University (NZ) with an unusual proposal for a PhD – she would induce a fever in herself in an effort to experience fevered dreams. The resulting PhD formed the basis of her second book, Feverish (2018). Gigi’s first book,The Intentions Book (2012), was a finalist in the NZ Post…


Ginger Gorman

Ginger Gorman is an award-winning social-justice journalist, who in 2013, together with her family, suffered first-hand the effects of online hate. It was this experience that set her on her professional journey into the world of trolls. Her series of articles on trolling for Fairfax newspapers in 2017 went viral, and became some of the…


Hana Assafiri

Hana Assafiri OAM is a tireless advocate for women in the community continually stressing the need for greater intercultural understanding by creating opportunities via respectful cross-cultural relations. She is a spokesperson for Islamic feminism in Australia and was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women (2017), which celebrated her contribution to local communities and…


Hayley Katzen

Passionate about the power of stories, South African-born Hayley Katzen quit the law to study acting, and wrote and produced a play about asylum seekers. In 2005, she moved to her girlfriend’s remote farm where she practised the craft of writing. Her writing has won competitions, been read on ABC Radio and Queerstories, and has…


Henry Rosenbloom

Henry Rosenbloom is the founder and publisher of Scribe. A son of Holocaust survivors, he was educated at the University of Melbourne, where he became the first full-time editor of the student newspaper, Farrago and later worked in the Whitlam Labor government for Dr Moss Cass. In 2010, Henry was presented with a George Robertson…


Jacinta Halloran

Jacinta Halloran is a writer, GP and, more recently a family therapist. She is the author of three novels: Dissection (2008), Pilgrimage (2012) and The Science of Appearances (2016), and is currently working on her fourth novel. Jacinta has written medical journalism for The Age and Inside Story and has worked as an academic at…


Jaye Kranz

Jaye Kranz is an award-winning documentary audio producer and writer of literary non-fiction and narrative journalism. She has published novellas, been anthologised in short story collections and writes occasional non-fiction for The Monthly. She was the recipient of writing grants from the Australia Council’s Literature Board and the Queen’s Trust Fund. Jaye’s radio features have…


Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor, and broadcaster. He writes a regular column for The Guardian and contributes regularly to many other Australian and international publications. Jeff is a former member of the 3RRR Breakfasters team and the immediate past editor of the literary journal Overland. He is the author of a number of books,…


Jessica Bram

Jessica Bram is the recently appointed Director and CEO of the Jewish Museum of Australia following five years at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. She has 15 years’ experience across curatorial and collection management in museums and is widely regarded as a creative leader. Jessica is experienced in delivering major projects using state-of-the-art…


Jessica North

Jessica North has been a writer for most of her life, producing articles, lifestyle books, business guides, and a chapter for the United Nations publication, Tomorrow Today. Jessica is also Director of the Habitat Stepping Stones program at Macquarie University and Director of the online Senior Services Guide.


Joanne Dannon

Joanne Dannon is the best-selling author of romance novels, who began her writing career in 2007. Her books have a wide, loyal readership, which has resulted in numerous awards, including Author of the Year: AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Award (2017, 2018) and Finalist, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, Write Touch Readers’ Award (2017). Her aim…


Jonathan Pearlman

Jonathan Pearlman is the editor of Australian Foreign Affairs and the world editor of The Saturday Paper. He is a correspondent for The Straits Times newspaper (Singapore) and was Australia–Pacific correspondent for The Telegraph (UK). He previously worked at The Sydney Morning Herald, covering foreign affairs and politics from Canberra and Sydney.  


Josh Cohen

Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst in private practice, and Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths University of London. He is the author of numerous books and articles on modern literature, psychoanalysis and cultural theory. His books include Not Working: Why We Have to Stop (2019), The Private Life (2013) and How to Read Freud…


Jude Perl

Jude Perl is a multi-award-winning singer, songwriter and comedian based in Melbourne. Here, she has created a name for herself by writing and performing hilarious, yet brutally honest, stream-of-consciousness style lyrics, set to catchy and well-crafted songs. Jude has won three Green Room Awards for Best Original Songs for her solo comedy shows. Her latest…


Judy Horacek

Judy Horacek is a freelance Australian cartoonist and writer whose work has been published widely both in Australia and overseas. Until recently, she had a twice-weekly cartoon gig in The Age, but now has moved on to greater things (TBD). She recently published her tenth cartoon collection, Now or Never (2020). Judy also creates children’s picture books, both…


Julia Prendergast

Julia Prendergast is a senior lecturer in Writing and Literature at Swinburne University, and Chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), the peak academic body representing the discipline of Creative Writing in Australasia. She has published a novel, The Earth Does Not Get Fat (2018), and has had short stories appear in Australian…


Julie Szego

Julie Szego is a freelance writer and columnist for The Age. She has taught journalism and creative non-fiction at RMIT, Monash and Melbourne universities. Her book, The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama, was shortlisted for the Victorian and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for 2015.


Juliet Rieden

Juliet Rieden is a well-known magazine editor and journalist who has been travelling between the UK and Australia for more than 30 years. She is a non-fiction author and has been a judge for various book awards in Australia. Juliet is an appointed Board Trustee for Prince’s Trust Australia and is now Editor-at-Large for The Australian Women’s Weekly. Her second non-fiction book, The…


Kendrah Morgan

Kendrah Morgan is Senior Curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. She has co-authored four books about aspects of Heide history with Lesley Harding, including Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed (2015), which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction. Kendrah and Lesley’s most recent book, Mirka and…


Lee Kofman

Lee Kofman is the author of five books, including the memoirs Imperfect (2019), which was shortlisted for the Nib Literary Award 2019, and The Dangerous Bride (2014). She was a co-editor of Rebellious Daughters (2016) and editor of Split (2019), anthologies of essays by prominent Australian authors. Lee’s short works have been widely published in…


Leon Piterman

Leon Piterman AM is Professor of General Practice at Monash University. In June 2006, he was honoured for service to family medicine. Leon has over 160 publications in refereed journals and co-authored the text, General Practice Psychiatry, which has been translated into Italian and Chinese. He recently published There is a lot of it going…


Lesley Harding

Lesley Harding is Artistic Director at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne. She has written a number of books on Australian art and social history, including Margaret Preston: Recipes for Food and Art (2016), and Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed (2015) with Kendrah Morgan, which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s…


Marcia Langton

Professor Marcia Langton AM is one of Australia’s most important voices for Indigenous Australia. She has worked with the Central Land Council, the Cape York Land Council, and for the 1989 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Marcia’s book, First Australians (2009), co-authored with Rachel Perkins, was written in conjunction with an SBS documentary…


Margaret Taft

Margaret Taft is a Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University. She is a published author, an experienced researcher, teacher and lecturer. The youngest child of Holocaust survivors, her professional and personal interests lie in the Jewish immigrant experience and the reconstruction of life in the post-war period. Her publications include…


Mark Dapin

Mark Dapin is the author of Jewish Anzacs: Jews in the Australian Military (2017) which was shortlisted for the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award Military History Prize. He has written a number of other works of fiction and non-fiction. His crime novel, King of the Cross (2009) won a Ned Kelly Award for…


Mark Raphael Baker

Mark Raphael Baker is the author of two memoirs: Thirty Days: A Journey To the End of Love a book about grief, marriage and death, and The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey Through Memory, a best-selling and critically acclaimed publication of his parents’ experience during the Holocaust which won a NSW Premier’s Literary Award in 1997. Mark was formerly…


Melissa Kayser

Melissa Kayser is the Publisher for Hardie Grant Travel and has been with the company for 13 years, starting out as a trainee editor. In that time, she has worked on a range of illustrated non-fiction books, including travel guides, photography books, cookbooks and craft titles. In recent years, Melissa has published books by high-profile…


Michael Williams

Michael Williams was the Director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne from 2011 to 2019, after being hired as the Centre’s Head of Programming on its inception in 2009.


Michelle Kalus

Michelle Kalus is a co-author, with Ali Berg, of the bestselling novels While You Were Reading (2019) and The Book Ninja (2018). She is a co-founder of the popular social enterprise, Books on the Rail and also a primary school teacher.  


Miriam Sved

Miriam Sved is a Melbourne-based novelist and short story writer. Her second novel, A Universe of Sufficient Size (2019), is a story about genius, friendship, secrets and survival. Miriam has been a contributing editor on three feminist anthologies, including #MeToo: Stories from the Australian movement. Her novella, All the Things I Should’ve Given, was a winner of…


Nevo Zisin

Nevo Zisin is a Jewish, queer, non-binary writer, performer, activist and public speaker. They run workshops in schools and workplaces around transgender identity and authenticity. They are the author of the award-winning Finding Nevo (2017), a memoir on gender transition. Nevo was also a contributor to Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories (2019). They are a…


Nicki Greenberg

Nicki Greenberg is an award-winning author and illustrator. Her books include critically acclaimed adaptations of The Great Gatsby and Hamlet (Winner, CBCA Picture Book of the Year 2011) as well as a wide variety of books for younger readers. Nicki loves surprise twists, crafting stories in verse, and flinging ink about. In her past life,…


Nicola Redhouse

Nicola Redhouse is the author of Unlike the Heart: a memoir of brain and mind (2019), which explores, via her personal story, psychoanalysis, the mind/brain divide, and questions of bodily and psychological inheritance. Her essays, opinion pieces and fiction appear widely, including in The Age, The Australian, The Monthly, Meanjin, the Big Issue Fiction Edition…


Nicolas Brasch

Nicolas Brasch has extensive experience in the industry as an award-winning author; teacher of professional and creative writing at Swinburne University, RMIT and other institutions; Chair of Writers Victoria; workshop facilitator; owner of a corporate writing business; and many other positions and endeavours. His latest is Director of Melbourne Jewish Book Week – perhaps the…


Orly Castel-Bloom

Since publishing her first collection of short stories in 1987, Orly Castel-Bloom has been a leading voice in Hebrew literature. She has published novels, short story collections and a children’s book. Dolly City (1993) has been included in UNESCO’s Collection of Representative Works, and in 2013, Tablet Magazine listed it as one of the 101 Great Jewish…


Paul Valent

Paul Valent, Holocaust survivor, psychiatrist (ret.), and traumatologist, founded and was long-term president of the Child Survivors of the Holocaust, Melbourne. He also co-founded and is past President of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Paul has published numerous papers, book chapters, and encyclopaedia entries. In Heart of Violence; Why People Harm Each Other (2019),…


Philip Salom

Philip Salom has published four novels and fourteen books of poetry. In 2017 his novel, Waiting, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, the Prime Minister’s Award and the Victorian Premiers Prize. His 2019 novel is The Returns. Other awards include twice winning the Commonwealth Poetry Book Prize in London, the WA Premier’s Prize (three…


Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He frequently appears before international courts, and has been involved in many of the most important cases of recent years, including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Guantanamo and the Rohingya of Myanmar. He is the author of Lawless…


Rachael Kohn

Rachael Kohn AO is an author and broadcaster who presented and produced programs on religion, religious history and spirituality for ABC RN from 1992 to 2018. She has also produced award-winning features for television, including The Dead Sea Scrolls (2000). Rachael is the author of two books, The New Believers: Re-imagining God (2003) and Curious Obsessions in the History of Science and…


Rafael Epstein

Rafael Epstein is a journalist who has worked in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Timor, Indonesia, Europe and the Middle East. He has presented the Drive program on ABC radio in Melbourne since 2012. Raphael has covered national elections in Britain, Israel and Australia, and has won Walkley Awards for his reporting on police mistakes in counter-terrorism…


Rebecca Margolis

Rebecca Margolis is the new Director and Pratt Foundation Chair of Jewish Civilisation at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation. Her research focusses on Yiddish culture and language in immigrant communities and their descendants. Her current project examines an emerging body of new Yiddish cinema produced in the last twenty years.  


Renata Singer

Renata Singer is a writer, speaker and educator. Her book, Older & Bolder: Life after 60 (2015) was described as a “rallying cry to live audaciously in the last third of your life,” a sentiment she is doing her best to live by. Renata is the author of the novel, The Front of the Family…


Romi Kupfer

Romi Kupfer is a contemporary theatre maker, director and producer. Her work stems from urgent thoughts, experiences and understandings that happen in her life. Romi’s practice has evolved since 2013 through practical experience collaborating with companies, artists and communities as well as theatre training. She holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Honours) from Monash University…


Romy Moshinsky

Romy Moshinsky is a memoirist, editor and publisher. Her business, Real Film and Publishing, is committed to publishing non-fiction books with visually engaging, content-driven design. Since 2012, Real has published more than 30 books, many of which have attracted industry acclaim. Releases in 2019 include: Melekh Ravitsh (Anna Epstein, author), My Father’s Daughter (co-authored with…


Ron Merkel

Since returning to the Bar in 2006, Ron Merkel QC has focused primarily on public interest and indigenous matters, but has also acted in complex matters either as counsel, mediator or arbitrator. He has also conducted courses on international criminal law in India, Berlin and Israel. Ron was awarded the 2011 Human Rights Medal by…


Roz Bellamy

Roz Bellamy is a freelance writer and the online editor at Archer Magazine. Their writing has appeared in a number of collections, including Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019) and Living and Loving in Diversity (2018), The Guardian, Huffington Post, Kill Your Darlings and Meanjin. Roz’s writing was shortlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize and…


Sabine Cotte

Sabine Cotte is a French-Australian paintings conservator who trained in Paris and Rome, and worked for French national museums before moving to Melbourne. She has led several workshops in the Himalayan region for UNESCO, ICCROM and private NGOs, training local people in conservation and in disaster recovery. She is an Honorary Fellow of Melbourne University’s…


Sam Duckor-Jones

Sam Duckor-Jones is a writer and artist from Wellington (NZ). He uses poetry, sculpture and drawing to examine queerness, intimacy and community. His first poetry collection, People From The Pit Stand Up (2018), received wide critical acclaim. He is currently working on a set of new poems that consider creation, narcissism and God. It’s a…


Subhash Jaireth

Subhash Jaireth was born in India. He spent nine years in Russia studying geology and Russian literature before migrating to Australia in 1986. He has published poetry and fiction in Hindi, English and Russian and his novel After Love was published in Spain in 2018. His book of essays, Spinoza’s Overcoat: Travels with Writers and…


Suzanne Leal

Suzanne Leal is the author of novels, The Deceptions (2020), The Teacher’s Secret (2016) and Border Street (2006). She is a regular presenter at literary events and festivals, was the senior judge for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (2017–2019) and is a board director of the Sydney Crime Writers Festival. A lawyer experienced in child protection,…


Suzy Zail

Suzy Zail left the law to write The Tattooed Flower (2006), an account of how her father survived the Holocaust. Inspired by his war-time experience, Suzy wrote The Wrong Boy (2012), a CBCA shortlisted novel and USBBY Outstanding International Book. Continuing to chase stories about which she cares deeply, she wrote Alexander Altmann A10567 (2014), a…


Tali Lavi

Tali Lavi is a writer and critic (Australian Book Review, Magpies, Sydney Review of Books). She has interviewed writers for Melbourne Jewish Book Week, Melbourne Writers Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week and Sydney Jewish Writers Festival. Tali has an MA in Creative Writing (RMIT University). She is Program Manager for Melbourne Jewish Book Week.  


Tim Bonyhady

Professor Tim Bonyhady is one of Australia’s foremost environmental and cultural historians. His many books include the award-winning The Colonial Earth (2000), Places Worth Keeping: Conservationists, Politics and Law (1993), Burke and Wills: From Melbourne to Myth (1991), and Images in Opposition: Australian Landscape Painting 1801-1890 (1985). His latest book is The Enchantment of the…


Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the recipient of the 2017 Patrick White Literary Award. He is the author of The White Girl (2019), Ghost River (2015), which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing and Blood (2011), which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Tony also authored Shadowboxing (2006) and three short story collections…


Wallace Shawn

Wallace Shawn is an acclaimed American playwright, essayist and actor. He is the author of two collections: Night Thoughts (2017) and Essays (2009). Wallace’s plays have received three Obie Awards (Off-Broadway Theatre Awards) and two have been adapted into films. In 2005 he was honoured with the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation of Theatre Award as…


Rob Selzer

Rob Selzer was distracted by medical school and then a career in psychiatry before finally testing his writing ability. He freelances, which generates barely enough cash to keep the family pet in dog food, and while winning a British Theatre Challenge, a national playwriting award (OK, it was second place) and a host of other…