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Sep 23, 2016 12:55 PM ET

Archived: Crime & Justice Festival 2016, Melbourne, Australia: This festival is for lovers of crime fiction. It is also a festival for people interested in social justice and human rights.

iCrowdNewswire - Sep 23, 2016

Crime & Justice Festival 2016

“I am a huge fan of the Crime and Justice Festival because of its quality and its tireless ambition. As a novelist, I am aware that fiction can often focus on the detective, while giving too little space to the victims, the families and friends of those victims, and the wider society affected by the crime. As readers we should be interested not only in the mystery and its solution, but in what crime tells us about ourselves and our world. The Crime and Justice Festival is a crucial part of that – long may it continue!”


“I have attended the Crime and Justice festival many times over the last decade, as both patron and author, and it has always been quirky, fascinating and informative. I am hoping it wll continue for many years to come so that ordinary people who may otherwise never have met – like lawyers and writers – can come together to converse.”


“I have been part of Melbourne’s book trade for almost forty years and it was as I was celebrating my thirtieth anniversary that I came upon the idea for the festival. I am a strong believer that bookstores are both commercial and cultural and add significantly to the social fabric of the community. This is why we have tirelessly promoted this festival and why we now seek help to make it happen in 2016. We have managed to survive in business despite significant hurdles over the past two years and so, in this context, it is understandable that to run the festival is more that we can do on our own this time. We know so many of our readers and supporters will be eager to rally to this call for help so that we can continue to offer enjoyment and spark discourse across our vibrant reading community. Thank you in anticipation.”

MARY DALMAU, Festival Founder

About this project


Festival Dates:

Tuesday 8 November – Saturday 12 November 2016

The Tenth annual Crime & Justice festival

This year we celebrate ten years of presenting the Crime & Justice festival in Melbourne, Australia. As you read on, you will become familiar with the history of the festival, discover how it works, and glimpse the calibre of our guest list each year. This festival is the embodiment of the passion and dedication of booksellers to their community and the way in which the world of books can bring people together. If we read to know we are not alone, we attend festivals to converse with readers, writers and commentators.  This project aims to unite us all in our common desire to understand our society and enjoy the company of others.

What is the Crime & Justice festival?


  • This festival is for lovers of crime fiction. It is also a festival for people interested in social justice and human rights.
  • The Crime & Justice festival is about community engagement, as active, thoughtful, members of our society.
  • It is borne out of one bookseller’s love of crime fiction and guiding principle that we are all important voices in the discussions going on in society.

What is the background to the festival?


Mary Dalmau, a Melbourne bookseller for almost forty years, has put her heart and soul into the festival with the support of her colleagues at Reader’s Feast bookstore.  It has been a labour of love for these booksellers and has been supported by local authors, readers and business friends working in the publishing and legal arenas.

Undaunted and confident of the goodwill of others, the time has come to seek help to place the festival on a strong foundation to take it in a new direction. This includes incorporating it into the activities of the not-for-profit association, Literary Events Australia Inc. It is a fact that times have been tough for bookselling and, within that, for Reader’s Feast. To mount the festival in 2016, its anniversary year, and beyond is more than the resources of this one, independent bookstore can manage. To ensure we have the best possible tenth anniversary festival this year, and to secure its future, we need support from our bookstore community, our friends, families, and everyone who is appreciative of the role of books in our lives and the importance of social discourse.

We have great faith in the community’s passion for discussion and support of individuals and organisations that are taking the lead on presenting unique and worthwhile events. And, we have a strong sense that our readers and festival audiences get a buzz out of meeting authors and commentators, and being part of the festival. It is a fantastic feeling to have a sense of belonging to your community through shared interests.

How does the festival work?


  • Sessions are a mix of: forum/panel sessions, interviews/In Conversation sessions, and book launches
  • Combinations of crime writers, journalists, judges and other members of the legal profession
  • Discussions range from the state of the world to writing techniques.
  • Audiences and panellists engage with one another over questions provoked by both fact and fiction.

How The Funds Will Be Used

When we reach our target, we will be able to cover:

  • printing costs: official program, posters and banner $2500
  • speaker costs: travel and accommodation and speaker fees $8000
  • venue costs: hiring venues and hospitality $5,000
  • campaign costs (dependent on the campaign’s success)

 If we exceed our target, we would be in a position to:

  • invite international guests to come out at festival time and throughout the year
  • run advertising across many channels to help extend our audience and reach
  • create and develop new event formats for future festivals
  • produce additional media content and formats to better engage with our audience outside of festival time
  • commission new works from local authors.

The Challenges

It was a big decision to enter into a crowd-funding campaign, however we have always championed enjoyable and thought-provoking literary events.

  • Risks: to try to put on this tenth anniversary festival on our own is to risk not being able to run it at all.
    As the only festival of its kind in the world, this would be a great pity.
  • Challenge One: to be able to refresh the Crime & Justice festival and to make it sustainable for years to come.
  • Challenge Two: to bring this unique festival to more people. Enticing new audiences and participants for future festivals.

We hope that as you support our campaign the Crime & Justice festival will become a permanent fixture on your calendar and that of the wider reading and thinking public.

What does it take to make a festival?


You start with a blank slate, knowing only that the broad subject areas are crime fiction, social justice and human rights. You have to build a festival encompassing ten or more sessions and honing in on topics within each subject area that are topical. Some past sessions have featured Kerry Greenwood talking about her work at the Magistrate’s Court representing people who otherwise may not have had ‘their day in court’ and her creation of a fictional character solving crime in 1920s Melbourne. We invited American lawyer, Dan Mori, to tell us about representing David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay and David Marr to talk about his book on Catholic Cardinal, George Pell. Alongside these sessions, we had emerging author Emma Viskic introduced to us on the release of her book, Resurrection Bay, and Sulari Gentill discussing the characters in her series of historical novels.

Behind the Scenes


Whilst the program is being developed, the organizer has to raise funds for promotion, venue hire, speakers’ fees, hospitality, a ticketing system, and travel and accommodation for guest speakers.


Contact Information:

Events Australia

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