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Word for Word Festival logo and dates News

Word for Word National Non-Fiction Festival returns to the Dome

The Word for Word National Non-Fiction Festival returns to the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre from 15-17 November, with big name authors, speakers and personalities including Uncle Archie Roach AM, the Reverend Tim Costello, Jane Caro, Dr Ranjana Srivastava OAM, Benjamin Law, Clare Bowditch, John Marsden, Neal Drinnan, Mary Moody and many others.

The 2019 festival theme is Nyaal, a word meaning ‘Open Your Eyes’ in the language of the Wadawurrung people, Traditional Owners of Djilang (Geelong). In this, the International Year of Indigenous Languages, Nyaal pays tribute to First Nations language and culture and is an invitation to open our eyes to scrutinise the issues of the moment.

“Now, more than ever is the time for exploring notions of truth – truth about the history we were taught in school, truth about the stories we hear in the media and the truth about some of the most urgent topical issues of today,” says Festival Advisory Committee Chair, Counsellor Margot Smith.

“We’re so excited to present audiences with 80 presenters over 50 sessions across the weekend. There really is something for everyone – from workshops, panel discussions, in conversation and keynote addresses, special events and even a mobile ‘Walk and Talk’ session,” Word for Word Festival Director, Rochelle Smith says.

Wondering what’s new for the Festival in 2019? 

• Children’s stream including three special author events
Walk & Talk mobile in-conversation sessions
Word for Word Festival Pass - more Word for Word sessions for less
• Expanded workshop program at eight community library locations

In total, there are 50 sessions to choose from – find out more and explore the full program here.

Tickets are on sale now at

Be quick – early bird prices are available until Friday 4 October.


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