Bibliophiles, you'd better be quick. The fourth Canberra Writers Festival has already sold half the total number of tickets it sold last year. Eleven of the 80 festival events have sold out and others are selling fast.
Festival director Paul Donohoe, in the second year of a three-year contract, said the festival, which has always operated under the title Power. Politics. Passion. - focused heavily on non-fiction because feedback and bookings (often sellouts) indicated that was what most people wanted.
The first event is a dinner with chef and author Stephanie Alexander, who also designed the menu. She will be in conversation with journalist Malcolm Farr.
Closing the festival will be Girls' Night In at Llewellyn Hall with Jane Caro moderating a panel - Rebecca Huntley, Sarah MacDonald, Chris Ryan, Emma Alberici, Virginia Duigan - who will talk about when things go wrong.
Events in between range widely in content, from films to the future.
British-American author and journalist Simon Winchester will talk with Richard Fidler about his book Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World.
Political junkies, as expected, will be well catered for in the festival.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd will discuss his book The PM Years with David Speers.
Inside the Bubble: How Did They Get It So Wrong? is a discussion about the federal election moderated by Speers with Professor Mark Evans, Michelle Grattan, Katharine Murphy and Chris Kenny.
On the lighter side is Nerd Out, an event suitable for children 10 and older as well as adults. Mr Donohoe said mathematician Eddie Woo, scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and science communicator Lee Constable would discuss the greates Eureka moments in science and maths.
"They will go head to head with questions from the audience and [moderator] Robyn Williams."
More personal pivotal experiences will be revealed in Light Bulb Moment.
"Festival guests will have seven minutes each to talk about a watershed moment."
They will include William McInnes, John Birmingham and Meg Kenneally.
Keneally will also be on the panel of Wonder Women with fellow writers Kate Forsyth and Penelope Hanley, in a discussion about female characters in their own and others' fiction moderated by Canberra Times features editor Sally Pryor.
With all the time and effort Mr Donohoe - working with many others - has has to dedicate to the festival, some things had to be sacrificed.
"I love to read but I have to say since taking on the festival I have less time to read than I've ever had."
The Canberra Writers Festival is on from August 21 to 25. More information and bookings: canberrawritersfestival.com.au.