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This page is part of the 2012 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE.
Visit the current Melbourne Writers Festival website for details of the next festival.

Frequently Asked Questions


When is the Melbourne Writers Festival?
In 2013 the Festival will take place from Thursday 22 August to Sunday 1 September.

Can I request a copy of the printed festival program?
Yes. Click here to submit a request, and we will send a program in the post, subject to availability. Remember that you can also browse and search the full program here on our website. You can also send a request to our Festival Concierge to help you to decide which events to attend.

How can I book more than 20 tickets for an event?
Add tickets to your cart in lots until you reach the number you require. So if you need 46 tickets, add 20, then another 20, then 6, and proceed to check out.  

I have lost my tickets or haven't printed my tickets. How can I get replacements?
Login here with your username and password. You will see your booking with an option for 'receipt' and/or 'print tickets' (if applicable). Click on 'print tickets' and a box will pop up where you can print or save your tickets.

Can I attend one of the events in the Schools' Program if I’m not a student?
Yes, everyone is welcome to book a ticket for a schools' event as long as there are seats available. The price is the same for everybody. However workshops at the Immigration Museum and ArtPlay are only available to schools groups and accompanying adults.

I need to make a booking for 30 school students, but our school will only pay on receipt of an invoice. How can I book?  
Download the Schools' Booking Form (PDF 110 KB). Complete the form and tick the relevant box to request an invoice. Return your form via fax  9650 6467 or email with 'Schools’ Program' in the subject line. If there are seats available we will place the tickets on hold whilst you finalise your numbers. Melbourne Writers Festival will contact you within two weeks of your reservation to confirm your booking. We will raise an invoice which is payable immediately upon confirmation. Once payment is made, Melbourne Writers Festival will release the seats to you and provide ticketing documentation.

Do I need to book tickets for a free event?
For some free sessions, you do need to book your place in advance. These free sessions will have a 4 digit code listed against them in the program and on the website.

If you see a 4 digit code, please book a ticket.

Can I buy tickets on the day?
Yes, subject to availability. Please visit the Festival Box Office in Federation Square.

Am I eligible for the concession price on tickets?
Please see our ticket information page for full information.

Can I speak to someone in Box Office?
Please call +61 (0)3 9999 1199 (between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Given there is now a carbon tax, why does Melbourne Writers Festival include a voluntary carbon offset charge?
Please take a look at our Green Initiatives page for details of our voluntary carbon offset scheme.


I'm a writer. How can I get involved in the festival?
We would love to receive your proposal for consideration for the 2013 Melbourne Writers Festival.

We will be accepting proposals for the 2013 festival between November 2012 and March 2013. To submit a proposal, please send a review copy of your work, including a press release, to:

Festival Director, Melbourne Writers Festival,
Level 1, 176 Lt Lonsdale Street,
The Wheeler Centre,
Melbourne VIC 3000.

The Melbourne Writers Festival takes place annually at the end of August. Invitations to participants are issued throughout the year at the discretion of the Festival Director and/or Program Manager, and in line with the key themes and objectives of the Festival program. The program is determined early in the year, and final programming decisions are usually made in April.

We welcome submissions from writers wishing to present during the program. Due to the large volume of submissions, however, we are unable to respond to every submission or return the materials sent for consideration.

Do you run professional development events for writers?
The Festival runs workshops and seminars for writers of all levels. Browse our program events on this website, or search by keyword 'professional development'.

For writers seeking ongoing assistance and advice, Writers Victoria provides high-quality information and professional development services for aspiring and established writers.


Where can I go for assistance or information during the festival?
Please visit our staff at the Festival Box Office in Federation Square, or approach any of our front-of house staff at each of the venues, who will be happy to help.

Can I buy books at the festival?
Yes. Dymocks, the Official Festival Bookseller, will have titles by participating authors for sale during the festival. You can visit Dymocks’ Festival Bookshop in the Atrium at Federation Square.

Can I get my book signed?
Yes. Authors participating in Federation Square events will be available to sign copies of their work at the Festival Bookshop directly after their sessions.


When do I need to apply if I want to volunteer?
Applications for Box Office volunteers have now closed. Applications for all other volunteer positions open on 9 July 2012 and close on 29 July 2012. Positions are advertised here on the website and in our e-bulletin. Subscribe now.

I’ve submitted my volunteer application – what happens next?
You’ll receive an email confirming that your application has been received. This does not mean you have been successfully chosen as a Melbourne Writers Festival volunteer – it simply confirms that your application has been received.

With well over 350 individual applications, we ask that you please do not contact Melbourne Writers Festival regarding the status of your application - the Volunteer Coordinator will get in touch with you, whether you are successful or not.

When will I know if my application is successful?
If your application is successful you will receive notification in the week commencing 2 July for Box Office roles and week commencing 30 July for all other roles.

What if my availability changes before the Festival starts?
If you need to make any changes (due to work, study, travel commitments, etc) you can request this in correspondence with the Volunteer Coordinator after you receive your roster.

What type of jobs will I be doing as a volunteer?
Every year we need more than 200 volunteers to work at the Festival venues as ushers, crowd controllers and customer service staff. There are also positions available helping out with special events, assisting guests, driving (you must have a full drivers license) and in production. Prior to, and during, the Festival we also need assistance in the office with general administration.

What are the basic requirements to be a Melbourne Writers Festival volunteer?
As a volunteer you are required to volunteer your time and skills for approximately 20 hours across the 11-day Festival. You will be rostered according to your availabilities. 

How old do I have to be to volunteer?
Volunteers have to be aged 18 years or older.

Am I qualified to be a Melbourne Writers Festival volunteer?
Volunteering requires:

  • fluency in English
  • customer service skills
  • a friendly and professional manner
  • punctuality
  • a willingness to follow directions and work in a team
  • a commitment to making the Festival a fantastic experience for the public, Festival guests and staff

How long is each volunteer shift?
The average shift is approximately four to five hours long. The length of the shifts will depend on a few things, including the tasks and duties of the different volunteer positions, the performance schedule, audience numbers for different sessions and so on.

What should I wear when I’m volunteering?
You will receive an MWF volunteer T-shirt to wear when you’re working – this is your uniform and so it is mandatory to wear it at all times during your volunteer shifts. We do ask that you wear this only while you’re on duty, not when you’re attending the festival as a patron. This is simply to avoid confusion, and your T-shirt can be worn as much as you like socially after the Festival. 

Other than your volunteer T-shirt, you should be neat and tidy with comfortable enclosed-toe shoes. You may be outside for a while too, so please bring something warm to wear underneath your T-shirt.

Will Melbourne Writers Festival reimburse my expenses?
No. All volunteers must arrange their own travel and meals.

What happens at the volunteer briefing? Do I really have to attend?
Box Office volunteer staff will receive hands-on training in the weeks prior to the Festival and do not need to attend the volunteer briefing. All other volunteers need to attend the compulsory briefing (except in extreme circumstances) as vital information is shared and training provided on this day. The briefing will take place on Wednesday 15 August 2012, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

What are the benefits of being a Melbourne Writers Festival volunteer?

  • Volunteers will have free access to all regular events Big Ideas events and also receive a festival T-shirt
  • Volunteers receive discounts at MWF venues and a ticket to the fabulous end-of-Festival thank you party
  • You’ll have the chance to meet lots of people and make new friends
  • You will develop transferable skills and gain new experiences
  • If you’re interested in working in the industry, it’s a fantastic way to be a part of a highly regarded festival. It’s also a great way to get a foot in the door; many people who currently work with MWF started as volunteers.

Find an event

Can't decide?
Try our concierge service.

Melbourne Writers Festival, 25 Aug 2011 - 04 Sept 2011
Level 1, 176 Lt Lonsdale Street, The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne VIC 3000
Box Office: +61 (0)3 9999 1199, T: +61 (0)3 9094 7859, F: +61 (0)3 9650 6467

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