Calling lovers of all things reading and writing, the Melbourne Writers Festival is upon us once again. This year’s edition of the festival is packed full of workshops, talks, performances and special events that address the myriad of ways that words can be explored.

The festival is filtered through this year’s theme of ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ which explores subjects of love, loss, grief, joy, survival, determination and transience – all universal human experiences. From 24 August – 2 September, guests will be able to attend a variety of events to expand their minds, explore ideas and enjoy performances from numerous artists.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to use words to help yourself heal, get happy or help with your own writing then the festival’s workshops are for you. If you’re after more of an in-depth exploration of issues that matter to us all, then the event’s series of conversations will be ideal.

There are opportunities to unwind from the heavy topics of the festival with a series of performances for attendees. These performances showcase skills from artists such as poets, puppeteers, podcasters and performing artists. Special events are also held throughout the festival that reflect on topical issues or provide some comic relief.

A major highlight of the festival includes the Opening Night Gala, which will be held in the Melbourne Museum and feature performances from literary legend Andy Griffiths, spoken word artist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, Australia’s first gay and lesbian choir shOUT and an address from the king of partying Andrew W.K, all followed by a late night party.

The festival is being held across a number of locations around Melbourne including Federation Square, Animal Church on Flinders St and Mission to Seafarers, among others.

You can check out the program at www.mwf.com.au and grab tickets to some of the special events, or get yourself a pass to the whole festival.