Whether online-only or a blend of live and virtual, Write Around The Murray 2020 still plans a full program of storytelling and conversations.
Organisers of the annual Border literary festival, September 9 to 13, hope to deliver some face to face events, but also intend to livestream as needed.
"It feels like we're planning three festivals, to be honest," festival director Ann-maree Ellis said.
"Plan A is an online festival with a live audience, plan B is a fully online festival with no live audience and plan C ... that's the tension of are you going to be able to have 40 people here for an event or are you going to able to have 200 people here for an event?"
Author talks will be held online while live events by Albury-Wodonga presenters, and one visiting writer, will become digital if required under COVID-19 restrictions.
Ms Ellis said this year's theme would be Past Lives, Present Tense and contributors included authors Benjamin Law, Kate Grenville, Nick Gadd and historian Clare Wright.
"We're exploring voices and stories from the past in tandem with contemporary storytelling to look at where we are now, how we live in times of crisis and transition, so it's a pretty relevant theme," she said.
Melbourne novelist and essayist Nick Gadd will provide an early highlight through a free online presentation Psychogeography on Sunday, June 28, at 11am.
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Gadd told The Border Mail usually such an event would involve walking around town streets, taking time to look for details of past and present life that might otherwise be ignored.
"Trying to get a sense of the stories that are embedded in a place and the clues that are around us," he said.
"For me there's a lot of enjoyment and intrigue in something as simple as a handmade no-parking sign, for example, or a lost cat poster."
Gadd, whose extensive walks around Melbourne formed the basis of his Melbourne Circle blog, will also present a writing workshop on July 12 and discuss his crime novel Death of a Typographer as part of the September program.
He said while every city had its own characteristics, the psychogeography techniques and skills could be applied anywhere.
"It's about learning to observe and learning to think and look a bit more deeply," he said.
"People hopefully will be able to go out in their own time and carry out their own investigations."
Ms Ellis said the 2020 schools program would be "done completely differently", with authors James Phelan, Nova Wheetman, and George Ivanoff producing video tutorials that teachers could download and use any time between July and December.
"We wanted to be able to offer something that would reduce the challenges," the festival director said.
Entries will be open until July 23 for the annual short story award, works up to 3000 words, and students from years 3 to 12 can submit a short story or poem to the River of Stories competition.
Podcasts from previous festivals and more details are available on the Write Around The Murray website.