The first Sorrento Writers Festival is bringing over 100 wordsmiths to the Mornington Peninsula this April

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

Pack your bags bookworms, the inaugural Sorrento Writer’s Festival is bringing 4 days of stellar literary programming to Sorrento and surrounds.

Having made a permanent sea change after closing her Melbourne bookshop during COVID-19 lockdowns, Festival Director, and award-winning journalist Corrie Perkin, is passionate about bringing her mantra “words matter” to the Peninsula’s creative community.

Over the last weekend in April, literary lovers can expect a 4-day-long, packed program of meet-the-author events, in conversations, panels, readings, music, seminars and much more, to encourage deep thinking and compelling conversations amongst attendees.

The festival hub is situated across the luxurious Continental Sorrento, which along with other local hotspots – Sorrento Golf Course, The Portsea Camp amongst them – will play host to an epic line-up over 100 of Australia’s finest authors, playwrights, journalists, academics and singer-songwriters.

Some of the highly anticipated guests include crime writer Jane Harper (The Dry), Booker Prize winner Tom Keneally, (Schindler’s Ark), children’s favourites Sally Rippin and Graeme Base, as well as other big names like Jock Serong, Craig Silvey, Sofie Laguna, Barry Cassidy, Kerry O’Brien, Jane Caro and Chloe Hooper to name a few.

Sorrento Writers Festival

Highlights of the program show the huge scope of topics and genres being represented, like Heat, Dust, Beaches and Blow Flies: the Impact of Landscape on Australian Writing, a panel event with Robbie Arnott, Tony Birch, Sofie Laguna and Chris Hammer; Migration, Family, Old Life/New Life a discussion with Armando Lucas Correa, Andre Dao, Pirooz Jafari and Saman Shad with Jaclyn Crupi; Australian Fiction Through First Nations Stories with authors Larissa Behrendt, Tony Birch, Paul Daley and Jock Serong, led by Inala Cooper; and Politics 2023: The Big Issues with hard hitters Barrie Cassidy,  Kerry O’Brien, Niki Savva and Chris Wallace moderated by Sally Warhaft and in collaboration with The Wheeler Centre.

One of the main drivers of the festival, which operates as a not-for-profit organisation, is to raise funds for a variety of literacy programs, that will have intergenerational benefits within the local community and eventually build a local library for the Sorrento community.

Early bird tickets are available until 31st March, and a 4-day pass with access to over 80 events is epic value at $299, otherwise single event tickets are $25.

Keep an eye on the event website as more programming is revealed and block out your diary for what will no doubt be an entertaining, informative, educational and excellent celebration of writing.


Who: Sorrento Writers Festival
Huge, inaugural literary event on the Mornington Peninsula
When: 27-30 April
Various venues across Sorrento and Portsea
Cost: From $25
More Info: Sorrento Writers Festival

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.