Get a clue, crossword fans! The grammar gurus over at The Good Copy are throwing a three-day festival of all things orthographic as part of Melbourne Design Week.

Running from 16-18 March, Word Alert! is a crossword, grammar and spelling bonanza held under the appropriately gridded ceiling of the NGV’s forecourt.

Solve a crossword live with the DA Trippers (a tribute to The Age’s David Astle), test your alphabetic knowledge in the spelling bee, or hop into the Clue Booth and let Age setter Liam ‘LR’ Runnalls compose a cryptic clue from your name.

On Sunday the 18th, junior letter lovers aged five to thirteen can compete to win a copy of the Macquarie Dictionary in the kids’ spelling bee. For the more seasoned cruciverbalist, a crossword tournament will determine who is Melbourne’s newest word wizard. Something to get off your chest? Stick around for the closing event and let KEATING! writer Casey Bennetto vent your grammatical gripes at the Airing of Grievances.

The Good Copy has hosted writing classes, grammar workshops and book launches, but this will be its first festival of this kind. Word Alert! grew out of The Good Copy’s monthly Crossword Club meet-up, which has been running since late 2015. Says Editorial Director Penny Modra, “We’ve always dreamt of a festival and now we’re doing one!”


Word Alert! will run from Friday 16th to Sunday 19th March at the NGV. View the full program here.

Renata Carli is Going Down Swinging’s features and community online editor.