Words in Winter is a much loved annual literary and arts festival held in August each year in Hepburn, Daylesford and surrounding districts. It is a celebration of words, stories and ideas shared by locals and visiting presenters through readings, poetry, theatre, music, talks, workshops, visiting authors and exhibitions. This year, the festival will be held over the weekend of August 25 to 27.

Erin Riley

The festival launch will be at the Radius Gallery, 76 Main Rd Hepburn) from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. The launch will feature special guest Erin Riley, a social worker and author who has spent most of the last decade working alongside marginalised populations in community aged care in and around Sydney. Entry is by donation.

The Gala event of the Festival is an evening with guest speaker Jon Faine hosted by Marike Hardy at the Palais-Hepburn on Saturday August 26 starting at 6:00 pm.

Jon Faine is a well-known radio personality who presented morning radio for the ABC in Melbourne for over twenty years. He has been a commercial and legal aid lawyer and is the author of two best selling books: Apollo & Thelma and From here to There. He has worked in film and television and writes a weekly column for The Age.

Jon Faine

Marieke Hardy is a curator, screenwriter, artist, and producer. She has penned columns for The Age, The Drum, and Frankie magazine, and written for many television shows, including Laid, Barons, The Family Law, Heartbreak High, and Seven Types of Ambiguity. She was co-curator of international literary salon Women of Letters and a regular panelist on the ABC’s Book Club for 11 years.

Georgie Rose

There is something for the whole family. Georgie Rose, a local artist, puppeteer and storyteller will be sharing a short shadow puppet performance inspired by the classic and much loved story of ‘Le Petit Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The show will be followed by an interactive workshop about the diverse artform of storytelling through puppetry. The performance and workshop will be at the Radius Gallery, 76 Main Rd Hepburn, on Satrday August 26 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Entry is free. Additional shadow puppetry performances will be held on Friday, August 25, at the Daylesford Library (1:00 pm) and the Trentham Library (3:00 pm).

Vanessa Craven will be performing from her book Bird Songs and Stories, a bird book especially for children aged four to eight. Performances are at Shire libraries in Creswick (Friday, August 25, 11:00 am), Clunes (Friday, August 25, 2:00 pm) Daylesford (Saturday, Augst 26, 9:30 am) and Trentham (Saturday, August 26, 1:30 pm). Entry is free.

And more than just listening, on Sunday, August 27, Yandoit Cultural (Yandoit Uniting Church, 21 Uniting Church Rd, Yandoit) will have an open mic event – stories, songs and poetry around the theme of “Hearth”.  Start time is 2:00 pm. Entry is by donation.

There are many more attractions across the weekend including “Maia vs Petrus” on Friday evening, August 25. The full program is available on the Words in Winter website.