Press Release: Sports Writers Festival (Oct 14-19)

Sports Writers Festival – October 14 – 19th
Does politics have a place in Australian sport?

Media Release – September 19th 2016

Martin Flanagan will address this issue when he delivers the very first oration at The Sports Writers Festival “On Politics and Sport”.

Whatever your perspective, politics is taking the field in Australia. Issues of race, gender, sexuality and religion have all been played out within the sports Australians play.

What does our response the politics in sport tell us about who we are? And is it good for the games we love?
Now in it’s second year, the Sports Writers Festival celebrates sport through the written word. Sport expresses the human condition, it’s about ethics, money, power, politics, identity and culture. It brings together esteemed journalists, writers and readers who share a passion for sport and great writing and is a highly anticipated feature of the Melbourne literary and sporting calendar.

The Sports Writers Festival will open with Martin Flanagan, esteemed journalist for The Age and Fairfax Media, exploring the issue of sport and politics.   Flanagan’s opening night address will be another first – the inaugural Festival oration – and Festival director Francis Leach is adamant that there is no one better suited for the honour.

Martin Flanagan taps into the soul of Australian sport like no one else. He helps us understand who we are by the way we play the games we love,’ said Leach. ‘This is bound to be compelling.

Complementing these two events, a host of Australian and international guests will provide insight into topics including the rise of women’s sport, Australian sports writers as celebrities, the art of long form sports writing, and the US sports writing scene. The program provides a notable expansion on last November’s first outing for the Festival, which consisted of a single day of events.

We’re thrilled to be bringing together such a diverse, challenging and exciting program of events,’ said Leach.

The Festival will primarily be held at the Melbourne Town Hall, in the heart of the city. For full program details of the 2016 Sports Writers Festival, and to book tickets, visit

14th October
The Oration on Politics and Sport with Martin Flanagan
@ Performance Theatre, Library at the Dock, Melbourne

15th October
Grantland ‘The Ringer and Working for Bill Simmons’
Bryan Curtis & Francis Leach
Melbourne Town Hall

16th October 
Australian Sports Writers as Celebrities
Russell Jackson, Gideon Haigh, Richard Hinds, Rohan Connolly and Merryn Sherwood
Yarra Room, Melbourne Town Hall

17th October
The Rise of Womens Sport
Angela Pippos, Karen Lyon and Chloe Saltau
Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall

18th October
Student Edition – How To Write you long form sports story
Bryan Curtis, Russell Jackson, Francis Leach
Swanston Hall, Melbourne Town Hall

LANCE & ME – DAVID WALSH in conversation with Francis Leach
Swanston Hall, Melbourne Town Hall

19th October
LANCE & ME – DAVID WALSH in conversation with Francis Leach
Giant Dwarf, 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern


For more media information, please contact

Chrissie Vincent Publicity

[email protected]

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