For writers and thinkers who dream of something more – find answer in Macedon Ranges

Whether you’ve got a book and you want to self-publish, or you’ve lost the plot… or perhaps you’re interested in exploring ideas like where Australia is headed, of fierce Australian women past and present… If so, then a mid winter trip to the heart of the Macedon Ranges over the Queens Birthday long weekend should be in your calendar.

Just weeks after we’ll all know the Federal Election result, join the explainer-in-chief George Megalogenis, The Guardian’s Gabriele Chan and Michael Bachelard for a fearless interrogation of what our options are for the future in Advance Australia Where? While the voices of women in social change and politics will be the focus for Freedom to Vote, Freedom to Choose with Sally Warhaft, Clare Wright (latest book – You Daughters of Freedom on Australian suffragists) and author Elizabeth Kleinhenz – her book Germaine: The Life of Germaine Greer offers a perspective based on the archived collection of the papers of a famously fierce Australian.

Celebrate 30 years of Victorian Writing with a Writers Victoria panel facilitated by Angela Savage and including award winning authors Mark Brandi (Wimmera and The Rip), Kelly Gardiner (The Firewatcher Chronicles, 1917 and Goddess), Eliza Henry-Jones (In The Quiet, Ache and P is for Pearl), Robert Gott (The Holiday Murders and the newspaper cartoon series The Naked Man). Or get along to the panel The Past is Present with Toni Jordon, Robert Hillman and Jan McGuinness, Toni and Robert discuss how they have each juggled duel storylines.

Workshops for writers include Lost your plot to help bring that story into order and Blogs and Beyond with professional writer and editor Ann Bolch, while Simple affordable ways to self-publish with local author Dee White will set you on a path to avoid being ripped off.

Poetry at the Pub is back upstairs at The Vic with word wranglers Ben Oost and Myron Lysenko – this is a free but very popular event and bookings are essential as the venue has limited capacity – while budding academic writers, authors, composers, poets or philosophers who want to test ideas can look up the Salon-style event Viva Voce, Vino is presented by duo David and Sara Gormley-O’Brien.

Two free events are on for kids – Leigh Hobbs arrives to present Mr Chicken Comes to Woodend… while Judith Rossell (author of the popular Stella Montgomery series) will present a session discussing creating works for young people.

The Woodend Winter Arts Festival is held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend 7 – 10 June, with free Fireworks on opening night (7 June) at Buffalo Stadium in Woodend. Full details of the Festival program, and ticket purchases are available

/Public Release.