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May 14: National Biography Award

It’s hard to resist a good yarn; especially a true blue one. This award has commemorated the art with a $25,000 prize courtesy of the State Library since 1996, this year the longlist includes Delia Falconer’s Sydney, Paul Kelly’s How to Make Gravy, and John Howard’s Lazarus Rising.

11-12.30pm, State Library, books essential 9273 1770,

May 15: Opening Address, The Private Moment

Now based in London, the Libyan novelist Hisham Matar (In the Country of Men, Anatomy of a Disappearance) will officially open this year’s festival with his ruminations on the importance of the private moment, immortalised through fiction, as an act of resistance.

6.30-8pm, Sydney Theatre, $25-35, 9250 1988,

 May 16: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Don’t pretend there isn’t a Wimpy Kid tucked away on your bookshelf … or in your closet. Author Jeff Kinney makes his debut appearance to what will no doubt be hordes of pre- and decidedly post-adolescent fans.

6.30-7.30pm, Sydney Opera House, $12-20, 9250 7777,  

May 17: FBi Radio’s All the Best, The Great Unveiling

Treat yourself to a night of storytelling as a selection of special guests tread the fine line between public and private. If you’re feeling brave you can even participate in a ‘story slam’ – we’re not sure what that means either, but there’s only one way to find out!

7-8.30pm, Pier 2/3 Club Stage, free and no bookings necessary

May 18: The Tyranny of Affluence

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and Geoffrey Blainey and George Megalogenis are keen to tell us why Australia suffers from it, today.

10-11am, Pier 2/3 Main Stage, $10-15, 9250 1988,

May 19: The Disappearing Walking Tour

Poetry hits the pavements of Sydney in this walking tour led by the Red Room Company and local wordwenders Martin Harrison, Astrid Lorange and Nick Bryant-Smith.

6-6.45pm, Sydney Dance Cafe, bookings essential

May 20: Bookmaking

One-up the zine-makers over at the MCA Zine Fair (11am-5pm) by binding together a (professionally illustrated!) tome to call your own at this hands-on workshop guided by the Sydney Story Factory.

12-2pm, ATYP, free, no bookings