Three gutsy women weighed down with an assortment of woes – depression, a break up, weight problems, death of loved ones, a sackful of sins and all manner of fears – each set off on a pilgrimage to lighten their load. Join Lisa Dempster, Torre DeRoche and Ailsa Piper as they swap travel adventures and discuss life-writing when they reflect on the hundreds of kilometres they walked and the many words they’ve shared in their engrossing travel memoirs: Neon Pilgrim, The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World and Sinning Across Spain.
Book maven Lisa Dempster, comic artist Mandy Ord, storyteller Rijn Collins and blogger Torre DeRoche share an adventurous appreciation for diverse forms of storytelling. Book lovers all, they nonetheless crave a more varied form of story-diet. Expand your palate and discover new territory as they discuss their favourite ways of creating, as well as consuming, stories.
A good trip can make a great story if you follow a few essentials of good writing. Lisa Dempster, author of Neon Pilgrim, covers tips and techniques for recording your trip while on the road, and looks at how to create a structure for your memoir and translate your experiences into a narrative upon return.
Mark's award-winning debut novel, Wimmera wove meaning from the disparate threads of his personal and professional life. So what events from his past shaped his writing? How did they manifest in his novel? And what did he learn from the ups and downs along the way?
Once a book is written and published, there's a satisfying completion to the process which can take so long and go through many changes along the way. Lisa Dempster talks to three writers about the moment they thought, "there's a book in that", and what happened next. With Michael Brissenden, Chris Hammer and Spiri Tsintziras.
Fifteen-year-old Lisa’s imagination is ignited by the story of the henro michi, a 1200 kilometre Buddhist pilgrimage through the mountains of Japan. Thirteen years later, Lisa’s life is not what she pictured it would be. Then, completely by chance, the henro michi comes back into her life, through a book at her local library.
Lisa Dempster with Leah Kaminsky
There’s walking, and then there’s walking. When Lisa Dempster set out to tackle the Shikoku Pilgrimage – a 1200km, 88 temple route through regional Japan – she was at a nadir of mental and physical health; desperate for something to bring major change to her life.
As she describes the gruelling journey, laid out in her travelogue Neon Pilgrim (2009; re-launching this August), it surprised her with unexpected spiritual encounters. Yet the sense of an inner shift was still elusive and intangible – and something which only later emerged through writing about the experience.
Walking Princes Park with doctor and author Leah Kaminsky, Dempster will recount the circumstances of her adventure, and how it’s impacted her life in the near-decade since.
Nevo Zisin & Lisa Dempster in conversation about personal journeys.
Can travelling help us find hope during the darkest times of our lives? Lisa Dempster, writer, editor and artistic director/CEO of the Melbourne Writers Festival, will discuss her debut travel memoir, Neon Pilgrim and share her story of walking herself back to health on the henro michi, an arduous 1200km Buddhist pilrgrimige through the mountains of Japan.
Join Lisa Dempster as she discusses Neon Pilgrim, her deeply inspiring story of walking back to health on Japan’s Shikoku Island pilgrimage: the Japanese equivalent of Spain’s Camino de Santiago. Lisa was severely depressed, socially withdrawn, overweight, on the dole and living with her mum when she decided to do the 1200km Henro Michi pilgrimage, taking her on a journey that tested her limits and took her deep into Japanese culture.
Our book-obsessed panel, Lisa Dempster (Melbourne Writers Festival), Judith Doughty (Dymocks Albury), Emily Maguire (author of The Isolated Incident) and Jason Steger (ABC TV's The Book Club) talk about the books that excite them, when and why they read, what’s popular and what’s important.
Got a book you think everyone should read? Come along and tell us all about it. There'll be time at the end for Q&A and for anyone who wants to give a 30 second rap for their latest, greatest or forever favourite read.
Tony Birch launches his brand new short story collection, Common People, while Lisa Dempster, launches Neon Pilgrim, her memoir of hiking her way to health in Japan.
Join David Astle and Bruce Pascoe as they launch Lisa and Tony's new works into the world. Raise your glass, help kick off book sales and have your copy signed by the authors.