May 19, 2010 12:00AM

Writer's Festival Favourites

The Sydney Writer's Festival is on now! Here are some of Oyster's picks of the week. For more information, visit www.swf.org.au

Thursday May 20th - The Painted Chairs

"This one-off exhibition brings together some of Australia's leading artists to create a celebration of freedom of expression. A twist on Sydney PEN's The Empty Chair campaign on behalf of imprisoned writers, the artists have created original artworks from chairs of their choosing. Accompanying the exhibition is a haunting sound installation by Gregory Ferris featuring words by writers imprisoned in the Asian and Pacific region, including Liu Xiaobo, Shi Tao, Nurmuhemmet Yasin, Yang Tongyan and Zhang Jianhong. Following the Festival, the chairs will be exhibited at the Ken Done Gallery and then publicly auctioned to raise funds for Sydney PEN's advocacy work. The Painted Chairs project has been supported by UTS and the Ken Done Gallery."

Friday May 21st - Up the Cross

"Kings Cross, the red light heart of Sydney, has inspired countless books. Mark Dapin's 'King of the Cross' has been described as edgy, salacious and downright sordid, while Clinton Caward's 'Love Machine', set in a sex shop, lays bare the seedy business of pandering to desire. They talk to Mandy Sayer, herself a denizen and a chronicler of the Cross."

Saturday May 22nd - Sex up your Writing

"In this satisfying quickie of a workshop, we'll penetrate the mysteries of erotic writing, thrust our way through vigorous discussion and climax with a burst of brief writing exercises. This is a course for anyone interested in writing erotic stories as well as those wanting to incorporate spicy sex scenes into their writing."

Sunday May 23rd - American Pie

"Inspired by Italo Calvino, Jeanette Winterson, 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and the 'Uncanny X-Men', Sydney-based Jonathan Walker's 'Five Wounds' is a darkly beautiful and unsettling graphic novel about five wounded orphans. Josh Neufeld, a New Yorker, has taken the Katrina hurricane and the extreme damage it wrought on New Orleans as the subject of his graphic novel, 'A.D: After the Deluge'. Both books are by turn hilarious and horrific, grotesque and tender. Both illustrate how the book is evolving and how exciting these forms can be. (Not everything is digital). They tell Zoe Sadokierski about the intersection of the word and the visual in their work."

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