Jason Porter in conversation with ABC's Sheridan Stewart opened the 2018 Mildura Writers Festival to a packed house earlier tonight at the Mildura Club. 

The appreciative audience hung on the authors every word as he discussed his novel "Why Are You So Sad?".  The novel was shortlisted for the Paris Literary Prize and was published in January 2014.

Jason Porter writes fiction and is a graduate of the Hunter College in New York where he studied under world renowned Australian writer Peter Carey. 

The Washington Post described the author's first novel as "The latest example of a literary sub-genre in which the petty foibles and mindless tedium of office life are served up for punchlines and mordant parody." 

The novel deals with the protagonists' depression and the humour within a dark state of mind.

The Mildura Writers Festival is in its 23rd year and continues to entertain and draw crowds.  The intimate nature of the festival creates an unrivalled ambience and combined with the culinary delights throughout the event, the festival has been enshrined in literary circles and beyond.

The Festival continues Friday and throughout the weekend, concluding on Sunday with a finale lunch at the Mildura Bistro.

Online ticket sales have closed for the literary and culinary feast with only a small number of tickets available at the door at venues across town.

Full details of the weekend's program can be found at  www.artsmildura.com.au/Writers-Festival