At long last! The very first, much-anticipated Mountain Writers Festival event is out in the world.  I’m on the organising committee and it’s been quite the wild Covid-cancellation ride – so we’re all very excited.

Sophie Cunningham

It’s a lunch on Saturday 26 March at The Wine Collective in Macedon with 4 amazing writers speaking – see below.  

Tickets on sale now at

If you happen to be free and able to come along, I’d love to see you there BUT – absolutely no pressure!  Totally understand that you might have other things on, or it just might not be your cup of tea.

But I wanted to let you know about it now, as I realise everyone’s diaries fill up fast. If it happens to appeal to you, please come, and bring all your friends  But really, no pressure! Also, if you feel so inclined, please do pass this on and tell all your friends too!


An exciting new Macedon Ranges arts festival has just been announced.  The Mountain Writers’ Festival will hold its first event, a lunch featuring a group of outstanding Victorian writers, in Macedon on Saturday 26 March 2022.

“We’re thrilled to finally be able to stage our first event!” said Festival Director, local author Sonia Orchard.  “It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone in the arts and especially those of us trying to hold events, so it’s fantastic to be able to announce this lunch.  We couldn’t be more pleased with the timing – Victoria is emerging from the worst of the pandemic, and we know that people just can’t wait to get out and experience great arts events!”

Tom Griffiths

With its guiding theme of “Place, Story, Nature”, the Mountain Writers’ Festival is the only festival in Australia to focus entirely on writing that explores the relationship between people and the environment.  The first full festival will be held in Macedon on the weekend of 5-6 November 2022.

Meanwhile, the inaugural event on 26 March will be a covid-safe two-course lunch at the beautiful Macedon Wine Collective, an amazing venue with floor to ceiling views across the Macedon Ranges. Part of the Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival, the lunch brings four stellar and engaging writers together to discuss nature, story and place.

  • Tony Birch, the author of three novels: the bestselling The White GirlGhost River, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxingand three short story collections, Father’s DayThe Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award.
  • Evelyn Araluen, the author of Drop Bear (recently longlisted for the 2022 Stella Prize), is a poet, researcher, and co-editor of Overland literary journal.  Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry have been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sydney Literary Fund Travel Grant.  Born and raised on Dharug Country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation.
  • Tom Griffiths is a historian whose books and essays have won prizes in literature, history, science, politics and journalism. His books include Hunters and CollectorsForests of Ash: An Environmental HistorySlicing the Silence: Voyaging to AntarcticaLiving with Fireand The Art of Time Travel: Historians and their Craft. He writes for Inside StoryGriffith ReviewMeanjin and Australian Book Review, and is Emeritus Professor of History at the Australian National University. He has lived in the Macedon Ranges since 2018.
  • Sophie Cunningham is the author of seven books including City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the need for a Forest. Sophie is also a teacher, mentor, climate change activist, wildlife advocate and every day she posts an image of a tree on her Instagram  @sophtreeofday.Her novel, This Devastating Fever, is coming out with Ultimo Press in September 2022 and she has also begun researching a new non-fiction book,The Time Machines: In search of ten of Australia’s oldest and most remote trees.

“With such an amazing line up of top writers, we know this will be a really exciting and stimulating event, and we expect the luncheon to sell out fast,” said Sonia Orchard.

Tickets on sale now at