Prominent writers and big ideas are again on the cards for this year's Bendigo Writers Festival.
Organisers today released the full program for the three-day event, which will include Australian and international writers.
Among them are US novelist Min Jin Lee, feminist writer Clementine Ford and investigative journalist Louise Milligan, who wrote a book about George Pell and his involvement in sexual crimes against children.
Other notable inclusions are journalist Kerry O'Brien, British philosopher AC Grayling, and social commentator and writer Jane Caro.
The festival will run from August 9 to 11.
Festival director Rosemary Sorensen believed Bendigo now attracted big names - despite strong competition - because it had worked up a reputation for good management and a warm welcome, with writers and audiences alike knowing they would be looked after.
Ms Sorensen said the organisers looked for new books when planning the festival, as well as newcomers, because people liked to be surprised, and ideas that reflected the zeitgeist.
Topics this year will range from democracy, to money and ethics, to parenting.
This year food and gastronomy will be a prominent topic.
Ms Sorensen said this was both in support of the City of Greater Bendigo's bid to become a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, as well as a reflection of a theme the event had always sought to examine.
"Right from the start we've tried to include food, health, wellbeing and what we call 'the good life'," she said.
Food writer Jill Dupleix, sustainable farmer Charles Massy and 'food and mood' expert Felicity Jacka are all on the program.
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But the festival was also a chance to highlight authors, writers and thinkers, Ms Sorensen said, who did not necessarily have a new work but were admired.
"I like to include people who are worth celebrating," Ms Sorensen said, citing this year's inclusion of Australian author Don Watson as an example.
The festival will again have feature events, including a special breakfast catered by Masons of Bendigo and a World of Food night hosted by Food Safari's Maeve O'Meara.
Also on the program is an event titled 'What is Life?' with renowned astrobiologist Paul Davies, and a closing address on hope and courage delivered by pioneering surgeon and human rights activist, Dr Munjed Al Muderis.
But this year's event is expanding to a new venue, the Bendigo Bowls Club.
By day the club will host sessions, but by night it will become the 'Festival Club'.
Ms Sorensen said the inclusion of the club improved the festival's precinct, which extended from View Street to Ulumbarra Theatre, by providing attendees with more access to venues.
For the full program and ticket information, visit the festival website.
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