Perth Festival hits the write note

The Perth Writers Festival is taking over the University of Western Australia for the weekend of February 21-24, bringing with it some of the world's best writers and thinkers.

As part of the Perth International Arts Festival, the four-day festival includes readings, talks, debates and workshops.

There are seven stages with entertainment running from 9.30am to 9pm at night with more than 100 writers, including Ahdaf Souef, HBO home entertainment president Henry McGee, Margaret Atwood and Anna Funder.

Writer and political commentator Ahdaf Souef will open the festival on February 21 (tickets $39.50) with an opening address about her experiences in witnessing the Egyptian Revolution in Cairo in 2011 as she reported for The Guardian.

On February 23, Henry McGee from HBO, which brought The Sopranos, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire to the masses, will join the festival crowd to address the resurgence in drama (tickets $13.50).

Then stick around for Man Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood, described as "both serious-minded and wickedly funny", who has written more than fifty volumes of poetry and is best-known for her books The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin (tickets $32.50).

On Sunday 24, Anna Funder, whose novel All That I Am won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and is touted by the Festival as "one of Australia's brightest literary stars", will close the festival (tickets $39.50).

Then there are the workshops, ticketed at $67.50 each.

Learn how to write about sex, how to write an engaging blog or join Kevin Rudd's former speechwriter, James Button, to learn how less is more when it comes to orating.

Or channel your inner dark side and learn how to write about crime without resorting to those dastardly clichés, learn the eight pillars of a good thriller with LA Larkin and how to write in the first person with Ailsa Piper.

There are plenty of free events too, including 'A Glass of Wine and a Good Book' in which festival-goers are invited to meet authors and sample Western Australian wines and a session discussing 'Refugees: Where do they come from?'.

Four of the Festival's seven tents have free sessions on from 9.30am until 6pm at night.

And if you're worried about what to do with the kids – take them along. February 24 is the Perth Writers Festival Family Day, where children can meet authors Andy Griffiths and Isobelle Carmody and take part in games, readings and workshops.

Details on the authors and events are available from Perth Festival.

Send us your events to features@watoday.com.au.

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