Director Sian Baker gave us her top five picks for events from the festival sure to appeal to local residents. 1. The official festival launch at the Heart on May 13. Main stage hosts a sneak peek of new stage play I’m With Her by Victoria Midwinter Pitt inspired by the #MeToo movement. The play examines stories of “heroic resistance” by eight Australian women demonstrating the “power of women to outlast, outwit and out-muscle the great ugly beast of sexism”. 2. Free family fun at the Storytelling Snug on May 14 and 15. Popular children’s authors Frane Lessac, Esther Krogdahl, Steve Heron and Kylie Howarth host interactive storytelling sessions for youngsters in multiple sessions. “Sessions will inspire creativity, celebrate storytelling and foster a love of reading and writing,” Baker said. 3. In conversation with Rashida Murphy at the Margaret River Library on May 14. Presenter Ana Brawls will explore an intimate discussion “exploring the themes of identity, heritage, history and the growing pains of the migrant experience” in Murphy’s latest book, The Bonesetter’s Fee and Other Stories. 4. Writing stories in shades of Australian Gothic at The Zone Room on May 14. Edith Cowan University alumni Donna Mazza hosts this writing workshop aimed to take aspiring writers to the next level in a short story workshop drawing inspiration from local bushland, beaches and caves as uncanny settings. A follow-up roundtable on Sunday lunchtime in the Heart courtyard will support the editing process. 5. An evening with author Julia Baird at Vasse Felix Winery on May 14. The highlight dinner will feature an in-depth conversation between Gillian O’Shaughnessy and Baird, the Australian journalist, broadcaster and author sharing her reflections on life reflected in her book Media Tarts and personal memoir Phosphorescence. The event includes a four-course meal from head chef Brendan Pratt paired with Vasse Felix award-winning wines.