Stephen Downes discusses his novel, The Hands of Pianists, with Hilary McPhee

September 26, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

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Melbourne writer Stephen Downes unspools the threads of his remarkable debut novel, The Hands of Pianists, assisted by Hilary McPhee.

Downes “…breaks every rule about art I know…but every school and municipal library in the country should rush to get hold of it.” Peter Craven, The Australian.

Stephen Downes is a writer, journalist, and editor who lives in Melbourne, Australia. In April 2020, his story Last Meal won the UK Fiction Factory’s short-story competition. He has also published some dozen non-fiction books and the novella Adagio for a simple clarinet. Several have won Australian and international prizes. Three have been translated into a total of five languages. In other lives he covered a war for Agence-France Presse, reported on Iraq and covered a New Caledonian insurrection for ‘The Age’, wrote leading articles for ‘The Age’ and the ‘Herald Sun’, was a salaried feature writer on ‘The Age’ for several years, and, as a freelancer, was renowned for decades as Australia’s toughest restaurant critic.

Price: $20 general / $15 Concession

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are only releasing 50% of tickets now.

If those restrictions are lifted, we will release the remaining tickets 2 weeks before the festival.

So please don’t wait! If you want to attend, please book early. Thank you!



Daylesford Town Hall
76 Vincent St. Daylesford,
Victoria 3460 Australia


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