In a world that has felt chaotic, uncertain and inescapably busy, what simple acts help us find joy amongst it all? ABC Radio Sydney’s Sarah Macdonald asks a line-up of beloved writers how they capture moments of wonder and peace in their day – whether it’s growing their own garden, enjoying a cup of tea, writing or looking at the stars. Host of ABC’s The Drum and author Julia Baird; author, comedian and broadcaster Sami Shah; and author Krissy Kneen (The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen) share the grounding rituals and perspectives that grant them pleasure in life.  

This podcast was recorded live at the 2021 Sydney Writers’ Festival and is available on all major podcast platforms.

Julia Baird (Australian)

Julia Baird

Julia Baird is an award-winning journalist, historian, columnist and bestselling author. She has hosted The Drum on ABCTV since 2014. She has been a Joan Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard and senior editor of Newsweek in New York. Her biography of Queen Victoria was one of The New York Times’ top ten books of 2016. Her latest book, Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder and the Things That Sustain You When the World Goes Dark, will be published in the US, UK, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in May 2021.

Krissy Kneen (Australian)

Krissy Kneen

Krissy Kneen is the author of the bestselling memoir Affection; the novels Steeplechase, Triptych, The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine; and the Thomas Shapcott Award–winning poetry collection Eating My Grandmother. Her novel An Uncertain Grace was shortlisted for the Stella Prize, the Norma K Hemming Award and the Aurealis awards, while Wintering was longlisted for the Colin Roderick Award and shortlisted for the Davitt Award and the QLA for Fiction and A Work of State Significance. She is currently developing two TV series with TAN and a feature film with Like a Photon. Krissy has previously written and directed broadcast television documentaries with SBS and ABC TV. She is the current Copyright Agency Ltd Non-Fiction Fellow. 

Sami Shah (Australian)

Sami Shah

Sami Shah is a multi-talented writer, comedian, performer and broadcaster. He co-hosted the ABC Radio Melbourne Breakfast program with Jacinta Parsons for two years from 2018. Sami also presented RN Saturday Extra, and produced and presented a series on ABC RN’s Earshot program, The Islamic Republic of Australia. Sami has also written and performed a two-part series for BBC Radio 4 – A Beginner’s Guide to Pakistan – and appeared as a panelist on QI with Stephen Fry. He was awarded the Best Local Act at the 2013 Perth International Comedy Festival and Best WA Comedy at 2016 Fringe World. His autobiography, I, Migrant, was nominated for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award (2015), the WA Premier’s Literary Award (2016) and the Russell Prize for Humour Writing (2015).

Sarah Macdonald (Australian)

Sarah Macdonald

Sarah Macdonald is a broadcaster and writer. She currently presents The Evening Show on ABC Radio Sydney, NSW and Canberra. Her bestselling travel memoir Holy Cow! has been translated into several languages and is still one of the travel bibles of India. Her latest book is So...You’re Having a Teenager: An A-Z of adolescence. Sarah also co-presents The Full Catastrophe, a storytelling event and podcast.