What is Savannah?

Savannah: Townsville's Festival of Stories has already begun, with an author talk by Mem Fox tonight before the official launch by Magda Szubanski this Saturday. IMAGE: Supplied

Tonight, an author talk by Mem Fox will mark the first of many events in Townsville’s 2017 Savannah: Festival of Stories. 

The literary celebration features guest speakers, book signings, workshops, and a livestream link to the Sydney Writers’ Festival, which is fortunate enough to fall on the same weekend. Several events have already booked out – but if you want to get involved, here’s all you need to know!

Mem Fox Author Talk tonight 
One of Australia’s most well-known children’s authors will host an adults-only talk tonight, in which Mem Fox will discuss the benefits of reading to children throughout infancy, share her own passions and inspirations, and read some of the books she is loved for. Tickets are selling out fast, so book as soon as possible!

Festival Launch and Keynote Speech by Magda Szubanski this Saturday – BOOKED OUT
Gone are the days of her flaunting pash rash from Warnie on Kath and Kim: Magda Szubanski’s 2015 autobiography Reckoning not only gives an insight into the adored comedian’s life, but a background on her assassin father and his role in the Polish resistance. Both the Festival Launch and the Q&A with Magda are booked out, but you can be placed on a waiting list by calling the TicketShop.

How to speak Wombat: Jackie French Q&A and Book Launch this Saturday
Jackie French has written best-selling picture books, historical non-fiction novels, and everything in between (including a self-help book for young teens advising them on situations such as what to do when on a date with a zombie). Jackie will officially launch her two latest releases – Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies and Millie Loves Ants – at the Festival this Saturday, before holding a Q&A and book signing later in the program. There are only limited spots available in each of these sessions, so book quickly!

Cut, Copy, Paste Zine Workshop – all weekend
Also set to launch at the Festival is a monthly zine, focusing on creativity, expression and diversity in Townsville. A workshop will be held from 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday to discuss what a zine involves, and begin the devlopment process.

Sydney Writers’ Festival Livestream – all weekend
In between Savannah sessions, you can sneak off to presentations streamed live to Townsville from the Sydney Writers’ Festival, which sees a lineup of everyone from Andy Griffiths to Clementine Ford across the three days of talks. Theses sessions are the only ones that require no booking, but seats will be limited so get in early to avoid missing out.

If you’ve glanced at the Savannah Program, you’ll know how jam-packed the weekend is. There’s plenty of breakaway sessions to suit any age and skill, including Junior Writers’ Club workshops, agent pitching sessions and short story writing courses. Bookings are essential for all sessions except for the Sydney Writers’ Festival Livestream, and can be booked through the TicketShop.

Savannah: Townsville’s Festival of Stories will officially be launched at the Mercure Hotel by Magda Szubanski this Saturday at 9am, and will feature sessions with local, national and interational authors, agents and publishers all weekend. For more information, download the Festival program here.

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