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Brendan Cowell and Trent Dalton have written two of the year’s most heartfelt and moving books. Brendan chats about Plum, his raucous novel of a fast-living former NRL player who is unexpectedly plunged into a quest for self-care and self-discovery. Trent shares how he hit the streets to speak with strangers when collating Love Stories, a collection of slice-of-life vignettes about love in its many forms. In an event sure to lift your spirits, the duo appear in conversation with Julia Baird.

Trent Dalton appears thanks to the support of Rosie Williams and John Grill AO. 

Trent Dalton (Australian)

Trent Dalton is a two-time Walkley Award-winning journalist and the author of Boy Swallows Universe and All Our Shimmering Skies. His latest work of non-fiction, Love Stories, is the extraordinary culmination of the two months he spent sitting on the corner of Adelaide and Albert Streets in Brisbane, asking 200 strangers to tell him a love story.

Brendan Cowell (Australian)

Brendan Cowell

Brendan is an award-winning writer, actor and director for television, theatre and film. He wrote the smash hit Ruben Guthrie for Belvoir St Theatre in 2009, and wrote two episodes of the multi award-winning series The Slap. He has won the Patrick White Playwright's Award, the Philip Parsons Young Playwright's Award and the Griffin Award. He was a writer on the acclaimed TV series Love My Way, in which he also starred. Brendan's debut novel How It Feels was published in 2010, and his most recent book Plum was longlisted for the 2022 Indie Book Awards.

Julia Baird (Australian)

Julia Baird

Dr Julia Baird is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV and writes columns for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. After the publication of her first book, Media Tarts, she moved to the United States to take up a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2007, she became senior editor of Newsweek in New York. Her work has earned her four Walkley Our Watch awards, a Walkley Award for team election reporting and two further Walkley nominations. Julia’s bestselling biography of Queen Victoria was published in several countries to critical acclaim and was one of The New York Times top ten books of 2016. In 2020 she published Phosphorescence which went onto become the highest-selling Australian non-fiction title of the year and has subsequently been named Book of the Year by the Australian Book Industry Awards, the Indie Book Awards and the ABA Booksellers’ Choice Awards.