The Northern Rivers Writers' Centre is delighted to announce the appointment of Edwina Johnson as Director of the Centre and of the Byron Bay Writers' Festival.
Ms Johnson has wide experience in publishing, arts and event management, and is currently the manager of Faber Academy at Allen & Unwin in Sydney.
She takes up her new role in November and is currently collaborating closely with outgoing Director Jeni Caffin in planning next year's Festival.
Ms Caffin has extensive overseas travel commitments and will shortly undertake a contract in Indonesia with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, directing a Festival of Ideas in Jakarta as part of Oz Fest 2014. She will retain a connection with the Byron Bay Writers' Festival.
Ms Johnson's previous experience includes co-director of FestivalandCo, the literary festival run by Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and as administrator and artistic operations manager for the Sydney Writers' Festival.
The Chair of the Northern Rivers Writers' Centre, Chris Hanley, yesterday welcomed the appointment of Ms Johnson. "We are excited to have attracted a Director of Edwina's calibre," he said.
"The Centre has been around for nearly 20 years now, and its showpiece, the Byron Bay Writers' Festival, has become an internationally recognised event. Many people don't realise the festival is a not-for-profit venture, almost entirely self-funded and run by a small group of highly skilled staff and dedicated local volunteers.”
“The best BBWF ever” said many participants in the program. And this sentiment was echoed by audience members across the 3 day event. During a packed secondary schools day on Thursday 1 August, rainbows suddenly appeared, clouds scudded away and Byron Bay turned on its golden charms for Opening Night and indeed the entire Festival.
Were the skies an impossible shade of blue? Did the writers delight, move, entertain, inspire and stir? Yes, most emphatically yes. Highlights were as diverse and numerous as the audience itself, the indelible memories sprouting from all nooks and crannies and marquees and niches of the Festival site. Thank you to the wonderful North Byron Events owners, who once again invited the BBWF on to their gorgeous site where our banners and flags fluttered and our marquees spilled over with wrapt and record audiences.