New event in Scone honouring Patrick White: Australias only Nobel Laureate for Literature

Award-winning Melbourne-based author Christos Tsiolkas. Pic: JOHN TSIAVIS (State Library Victoria)
Award-winning Melbourne-based author Christos Tsiolkas. Pic: JOHN TSIAVIS (State Library Victoria)

AWARD-winning Melbourne-based author Christos Tsiolkas will visit the Upper Hunter next month to present the Patrick White Oration, a major new event for the burgeoning Scone Literary Festival, now in its sixth year.

Tsiolkas is the author of six novels including The Slap, which won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal and the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards for Books of the Year.

His other offerings include Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-On, The Jesus Man and Dead Europe, and Barracuda, which was made into an ABC TV drama.

The Patrick White Oration will draw on Scone's strong literary past, which includes links to Australia's only Nobel Laureate for Literature, Patrick White of the famed White family from Belltrees.

The Nobel Laureate spent a number of years at the historic Belltrees after his schooling in England.

Scone Literary Festival (SLF) president Janie Jordan said the festival's new strategy to boost Scone's literary heritage would see more focussed events.

"We have strong links to not only Patrick White, but Mark Twain, Donald Horne and Judith Wright," she explained.

She said Tsiolkas was an obvious choice for the latest event.

"Not only is he an acclaimed writer with many awards to his name, he has written about Patrick White," Ms Jordan said.

"It's a huge coup for Scone to have an author of Tsiolkas's calibre and we're thrilled to have him in conversation with our Patron Phillip Adams after he delivers the Oration."

Tsiolkas is expected to address contemporary Australian issues.

The Oration, which also doubles as the launch for the three-day March festival, will take place on Saturday, November 16, at a cocktail-style event with local food, wines and entertainment at the historic Scone Arts and Crafts Hall between 5.30pm and 8.30pm.

Tickets are on sale now for the Patrick White Oration at TryBooking and through the SLF's revamped website - and in person at Hunt a Book in Scone and Scone Visitors Centre.

Seats are limited, so literary lovers and anyone wanting to support the growth of the festival is urged to book quickly.