The much anticipated line-up for the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival 2019 has just been released and what a line-up it is! This star-studded list of literary and publishing greats will ensure that the June Long Weekend will draw crowds to Bellingen.
There are more than 40 national, regional and local writers taking part in this year’s festival, including award-winning journalist Kerry O’Brien, Indigenous Studies academic Marcia Langton, children’s author Morris Gleitzman, One Plus One interviewer Jane Hutcheon, science writer/broadcaster Robyn Williams, feminist writer Clementine Ford, writer/academic Robert Manne, film director/scriptwriter Rachel Ward, novelist/short story author Robert Drewe, renowned historian Henry Reynolds, novelist/singer-songwriter Holly Throsby, literary editor Jason Steger, children’s writer Anna Fienberg and Poetry Slam champion Zohab Zee Khan.
“This year we have managed to attract a collection of truly iconic Australian writers who have had an enormous impact on shaping Australian culture and society,” says Jenni Clement, Festival Chair. “Many of us have grown up with their voices resonating from the page or through the media. Many are prolific in their contemporary commentary. It is so exciting that we will get to meet writers who have contributed so much to the political and social debate in this country. Mind you, they are also extremely entertaining,” says Jenni. “And we are very lucky to have a number of authors who have written some of the most talked about novels of the moment.”
This year there will be a special focus on Crime and Mystery writing, Children’s Books and Media and Journalism. However, other literary discussion genres include general Fiction, Writing for Stage and Screen, Australian History, Biography & Memoir, Indigenous Storytelling, Poetry, Book Reviewing and Publishing. “There is so much variety and exploration of differing genres this year,” says Festival Publicist Seth Jordan. “The historical insights on Indigenous culture from both Marcia Langton and Henry Reynolds should be particularly fascinating.”
In keeping with year’s past, there is an impressive collection of local writers included in this year’s program. ABC Political reporter Tom Iggulden, who was raised in Bellingen, Gumbaynggirr storytellers Mark Flanders, Shaa Smith and Michael (Micklo) Jarrett, Indigenous chef Clayton Donovan, recently published short-story writer Elisa Hall, who was shortlisted for the Hope Prize in 2018 and children’s book author Colin Thompson to name a few. ” Nearly twenty five percent of the writers at this year’s festival are considered locals. The festival has a strong history of supporting local talent and their craft and this year’s line-up continues to hold to one of the main goals of the festival – that is to build a public arena for the promotion and presentation of local and regional writing, ” says Jenni.
“This year we have included many more ‘In Conversation’ sessions into the program, allowing audience members to get more in-depth perspectives, to get up close and intimate,” says Jenni. “Another fascinating element of this year’s line-up is the inspirational resumes of the guests,” says Jenni. “Many of the writers have had meaningful careers in areas that on the face of it seem to be so distinct from their writing. For example, Caroline de Costa is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology who also excels at crime fiction, Marty Branagan is a lecturer in Peace Studies who writes science fiction, while Michelle Scott Tucker, a management consultant, has written an intimate historical biography. Somehow it makes it seem possible for all of us to pursue our literary passions no matter what our ‘day job’ may be,” says Jenni.
“We certainly attract a high calibre of writer. Attending writers from previous years have commented about the relaxed vibe of the town, the total town experience and the welcoming locals,” says Jenni. “I’m convinced this contributes to the success of the festival. I’m sure this year will be no exception!”
It is Festival Publicist Seth Jordan who sums up what we can expect from Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival 2019- “Intriguing and thought-provoking conversations, topics that range from the very serious to the humorous and a whole lot of good new reading to catch up on!”
For the entire Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival program, with full author bios and further festival information: www.bellingenwritersfestival.com.au
Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival Weekend & Day passes, as well as individual session tickets are on-sale from:
- The Waterfall Way Visitor Information Centre, Bellingen
- Online – trybooking.com/458274
For more information, please contact:
Festival Publicist – Seth Jordan
E: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com M: 0402 044 004