It's a question that's been doing the rounds since the Victorian Government announced on Wednesday that Melbourne's bid for UNESCO's City of Literature title had been successful.
Four years ago, the Melbourne Writers Festival was in financial strife and its program was lacklustre. Although the 10-day event has clawed its way back from oblivion, a number of publishing and literary identities still consider it the poor relation to its Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane cousins.
Festival director Rosemary Cameron, who was appointed in late 2005 after a stint as Brisbane Writers Festival director, disagrees. "I don't think it's the case any more, and we are stronger than we used to be," she said yesterday.
"Adelaide and Sydney are still bigger festivals, but we are on a very steady growth curve and I'm optimistic this year we will improve on last year."
The 2007 event was the festival's final one in its quirky home at the Malthouse Theatre, Southbank. About 40,000 people attended, the most in 22 years.
This year it has a new home -- Federation Square near the city's centre.