4th – 26th August 2018

Welcome to Words in Winter 2018


Words in Winter is an annual literary and arts festival held in August each year in the Hepburn Shire and surrounding districts. Words in Winter is a celebration of words, stories and ideas in all their forms shared by locals and visiting presenters through readings, poetry, theatre, music, talks, workshops, visiting authors, and exhibitions.

Words In Winter is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

Our Platinum Sponsors


Festival Highlights

David Holmgren

2.00pm Saturday 18 August
Can a book change the world? Join David Holmgren, permaculture co-originator, as he explores the critical need of ecological writing for our transition to a carbon positive low-energy future.

Cate Kennedy

11am, Saturday 18th August 2018
Author Cate Kennedy’s short story collections are currently on the VCE English syllabus. In this session she will be giving an insider scoop on the stories, their themes, how she wrote them, and how to craft your own short stories for assessment.

Barry Hill & Richard Zachariah

3.30pm, Saturday 18th August 2018
Two acclaimed authors illuminate different perspectives in their passions regarding the settlement of Australia and its historical predicaments. Together they ask: can we draw hope from militant nostalgia?

Clementine Ford

2.15pm, Saturday 25 August 2018
Best-selling author and feminist commentator, Clementine Ford in conversation with festival director, Maia Irell.

Poems of Change and Chance

11.00am Saturday 25th August 2018
Daylesford favourites, Ross Gillett, an Australian multi-award winning poet, and Richard Perry, a Canadian emeritus professor of Asian Arts will read and briefly discuss some of their favorite poems of Change and Chance.

Milkwood Permaculture

9.00am & 3.30pm, Sunday 19th August 2018
Nick Ritar will show you some low-tech mushroom cultivation methods and Kirsten Bradley will share some tips from her soon to be released book Milkwood – Real skills for down-to-earth living

Festival Workshops

11th-26th August 2018
We have a fantastic line up of workshops for you to check out this year… Try your hand at lyric writing, join a storytelling slam, learn to write for kids, or overcome your nerves and try some spoken word poetry.

Shokoofeh Azar

2.15pm Sunday 19th August 2018
In Conversation with Dee White

Mosquito Story Slam

5.00pm, Saturday 25 August 2018
Contestants have 5 minutes to win over the audience with a story about Change and Chance. No notes, no props just you and the audience!

Snow on Snow

5.30pm, Sunday 19 August 2018
Renown harpsichordist Ann Morgan will be joined by soprano Vivien Hamilton and Alison Catanach playing baroque flute. They will play a unique ‘winter’ themed programme of classical works.

Arnold Zable

5.30pm, Friday 17th August 2018
A writer's journey: The humanising power of story
Arnold Zable, distinguished author and rights advocate on the power of storytelling, how it can be inspired and change society.

Marieke Hardy

6.15pm, 18 August 2018
In Conversation with Daylesford local Mika Pediaditis

Bain Attwood

2pm, Sunday 26th August 2018
Leading historian Bain Attwood will discuss the impact of white settlement/invasion on Aboriginals in Central Victoria.

Festival Competitions

Short Story Comp.

Entries now closed!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a short story to our competition! The judges are now reading through your stories and have the very difficult job of deciding on a winner.

We look forward to seeing which story will be read out on Sunday afternoon 26 August at 4.30pm.


Kid’s Story Comp.

Deadline 4pm Thur 16th August 2018

Kids, It’s time to get writing! Talk to your school about how you can enter the Children’s Writing Award as part of Words in Winter 2018.

Winners will be announced at Daylesford Town Hall at 11am on Saturday August 25th.

Poetry Competition

20th July 2018 deadline.

The Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize is now open for submissions for 2018. There’s $1000 to be won and the shortlist and winner will be announced during the festival festival. The judges this year are Jessica Wilkinson and Stuart Cooke. Only $10 to enter.

Enter Here

Trivia Night.

Thursday 9th August 2018

Test your wits against the best minds in town (or at least some clever literary types). Get a group of 2-10 together and come along to the Woodshed for our trivia night. You will have the chance to win some great prizes and meet new friends!

Details coming soon.

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“We live by stories. It’s the principle by which we organize our experience and thus derive our sense of who we are. ”

Tobias Wolf

Our Gold Sponsors

Want to become a sponsor of Words in Winter? Find out how…

Words in Winter is an annual literary and arts festival held in August each year in the Hepburn Shire and surrounding districts.