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Second Boorowa Literary Festival

Friday July and Saturday July 20

(NB: As of Wednesday June 12, the only available session is Rick Morton's on Saturday afternoon)

The Absolutely Superb Bibliothèque and Occasional Wine Bar, Boorowa is delighted to host our second literary festival: where readers and writers talk about writing and reading.

After the success of our first festival, we are continuing to build on the community basis of our festival. Local families host our authors and local readers engage in conversation about their works. It is a great communal celebration of writing and reading and we invite you to join in.

(NB: Thank you everyone who has bought tickets; the only available session is now Saturday July 20, Rick Morton, at the Ex-Services Club; all else SOLD OUT).

Our Authors

We are lucky to have a stellar guest list this festival, which combines a mixture of debut authors and those whose careers have spanned generations. We are lucky to be hosting authors who are experienced journalists, academics, script writers  and podcasters.

On the evening of Friday July 19 we kick start the proceedings with
Hayley Scrivenor in the wine bar, in conversation with Mary Johnson. The next day, Saturday July 20, we have four sessions spread across the day, from 9 am until the mid afternoon. Two authors - Louisa Lim and Nicholas Jose - have an international focus in their latest writings, one set in Hong Kong and one in East Timor. Jeremy Clarke will be in conversation with the both of them. Our other authors are debut author Susannah Begbie who will be in conversation with Grace Ryan and Rick Morton in conversation with Gabi Corcoran!

Hayley Scrivenor

1. Hayley Scrivenor portrait author image - photo credit Emma Leigh Elder-Meldrum.jpg

Susannah Begbie

Photo credit: Emma Leigh Elder-Meldrum



Friday July 19, 630pm

Wine Bar, no minors


Hayley Scrivenor is an internationally best-selling author. Her first novel, DIRT TOWN (2022), won several national and international awards, including the ILP John Creasey ‘New Blood’ Dagger, a Lambda Literary award, and an ABIA for General Fiction Book of the Year. Hayley is based in Wollongong, on the east coast of Australia. GIRL FALLING (2024) is her second novel.


Description of GIRL FALLING: 

Finn and her best friend, Daphne, have grown up together in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Bonded by both having lost a younger sister to suicide, they've always had a close - sometimes too close - friendship. Now in their twenties, their lives have finally started to diverge: Daphne is at university and Finn is working in the Mountains, as well as falling in love with a beautiful newcomer called Magdu.

Unused to sharing Finn, Daphne starts to act up in ways that will allow her to maintain the control over her best friend she's always relished. Then, one fateful day, Finn, Daphne and Magdu all go mountain climbing - and Magdu falls to her death. Is it suicide, or a terrible accident - or has something more sinister happened?

Bold, dramatic and utterly compelling, Girl Falling forces us to confront the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love. Displaying all of Hayley Scrivenor's razor-sharp skills for character, landscape and narrative, this is a breathtaking read.

Louisa Lim



Saturday July 20 11am

Wine Bar, accompanied minors welcome

Louisa Lim is an award-winning journalist, whose book Indelible City; Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong (Text publishing, 2022) was shortlisted for the Stella Prize, the Walkley book award and the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.   Her first book The People's Republic of Amnesia; Tiananmen Revisited (OUP, 2014) was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing.   She is an Associate Professor\ in Audiovisual Journalism at the University of Melbourne.  She previously spent a decade in China as a correspondent for the BBC and NPR.


Additionally, Louisa is the co-host of the long-running podcast The Little Red Podcast: interviews and chat celebrating China beyond the Beijing beltway.

Rick Morton



Saturday July 20, 9am,

Wine Bar, accompanied minors welcome

Susannah Begbie grew up in rural New South Wales on a sheep farm and is now a GP who has worked all over Australia. In 2006, Susannah started a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing at Canberra University and was awarded the Editor's Pick for her short story 'Fly to Meet You' in the University's First Anthology. She was also awarded the best-written text for her children's book Don't You Dare! in the Get Real project. The Deed is her first novel.

Description of THE DEED:


From the 2022 Richell Prize winner comes a perceptive and unforgettable debut novel exploring the messy, sometimes volatile complications that only the best and worst of family can bring. Sometimes greed can be good.


• Jonathon Tropper’s This is Where I Leave You meets Brooke Davis’ Lost & Found with a dash of Succession.


• Publishing in the 10th year of the Richell Prize, Hachette's initiative for emerging writers, established in memory of Hachette's former Matt Richell. Susannah is the 11th published or contracted author discovered through the prize


• Filled with astute observations on the way we approach death, the politics (and entitlement) around inheritance, and complicated family dynamics.

Nicholas Jose



Saturday July 20, 1.30pm

Wine Bar, licensing rules apply,

over 18 please

Nicholas Jose has published eight novels, three collections of short fiction and a memoir, as well as a wide range of essays—concerning Australian and Asian life and arts and exploring stories that link Australia and China.


Nicholas was Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing from 1987 to 1990, at a vital moment in China’s history. He has lived in many parts of the world and taught at Adelaide, Australian National and Western Sydney Universities along with Bath Spa University, Beijing Foreign Studies, Harvard, Oxford and UNSAM Buenos Aires. He was general editor of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (published by Norton as The Literature of Australia). His writing has been widely translated, listed for many awards and has inspired visual art and film adaptation. He lives on unceded Kaurna land in Adelaide, South Australia, where he walks in the parklands most days.

Saturday July 20 3.15pm-4.30 pm

NB: In Boorowa Ex-Services and Citizens Club Auditorium (NOT the Occasional Wine Bar)


Rick Morton is an award-winning journalist and the author of three non-fiction books. His latest My Year of Living Vulnerably launched on 17 March, 2021.

Morton is also the author of One Hundred Years of Dirt (MUP, 2018) and the extended essay On Money (Hachette, 2020).


Dirt is part family memoir, part book of essays about growing up on the outside in Australia. It explores intergenerational trauma, poverty, addiction and mental health and the role of a mother who tried to love enough for the failures of everyone else around her. He is the Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper. Originally from Queensland, Rick worked in Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra as the social affairs writer for The Australian with a particular focus on social policy including the National Disability Insurance Scheme, aged care, the welfare system, religion and employment services. Rick is the winner of the 2013 Kennedy Award for Young Journalist of the Year and the 2017 Kennedy Award for Outstanding Columnist. He appears regularly on television, radio and panels discussing politics, the media, writing and social policy.

One Hundred Years of Dirt was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, longlisted for the 2018 Walkley Book of the Year, and longlisted for both Biography Book of the Year and the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year for the 2019 ABIA Awards. Dirt was also shortlisted for the National Biography Award.

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