Secrets, speculations and surprises!
Gossip about who’s made the guest list and what’s on at this year’s Byron Bay Writers’ Festival has been rife, but the guessing game is over with the big reveal of the 2013 program. Dive in now: indulge in inspiration, entertainment and revelation.
3 days, 5 marquees, 130 writers, 90 panels, workshops, literary lunches, launches, a bounteous food village, a book store bristling with stock, big names, new voices: the world of words and big ideas combine for a home grown community Festival with national significance and universal appeal.
From 2-4 August, the North Byron Events site will transform with colourful silken flags and vast white marquees. The 17th annual Festival celebrates the longevity of the book: despite the harbingers of doom and demise, readers are still hooked on books and the literary festival scene enjoying unprecedented popularity.
With news spreading fast, tickets for the main program and features of the 2013 event are on the move.
“The interest is testament to the enduring and stimulating program we offer,” Festival director Jeni Caffin said. “The Festival offers a unique chance to rub shoulders with literary heroes, and discover debut authors.
“We are proud to present Hannah Kent and Graeme Simsion, whose books have been the subject of massive bidding campaigns in Australian publishing and international publishing. Both Burial Rites and The Rosie Project sold in vast numbers at the recent Sydney Writers Festival and I was spellbound by Hannah and in hysterics at Graeme. Perfect for our program! Our cross-cultural ties continue to broaden with writers from across the world, including, for the first time, a writer from Myanmar.”
With a stellar line-up including Archie Roach, Maxine McKew, Simon Crean, Ross Coulthart, Michael Leunig, John Cantwell, Peter FitzSimons, Sarah Turnbull, DBC Pierre, Andrea Goldsmith, Peter Carey, MJ Hyland, Anne Summers, Cate Kennedy and George Megalogenis, audiences will be spoilt for choice. And Sunday 4 August sees a marquee dedicated to young readers, hosted by Maddie and POSSUM, from Prime 7.
A diverse range of local writers will also add spice to an already flavoursome program.
“Whether you find pleasure in poetry, performance, history, humour, fiction, non-fiction or journalism, you’ll discover writers and conversations to sate your cravings. You’ll be challenged, you’ll be surprised, you’ll have encounters with big thinkers, you’ll laugh and probably you’ll cry, but you’ll be richly rewarded.”
The entire program is now proudly online. Don’t delay: features will sell out and workshop numbers are strictly limited.
In an effort to adopt a greener tinge and reduce its carbon footprint, there will be no plastic bottled water for sale at this year’s Byron Bay Writers’ Festival. To be held from 2-4 August at the North Byron Events site, BBWF asks ticket holders to bring their own bottles, which may be refilled at the on-site water stations for the cost of $1. Steel bottles will be available for sale on site, and water will also be sold in biodegradable cups.
“It used to sadden me, year after year, to see writers take one or two sips from their water bottles and then abandon them on stage,” Festival director Jeni Caffin said. “This is just a small but significant step the BBWF is taking in 2013 to minimise its plastic legacy. We ask all our audiences and participants to take that step with us. Thank you to Neverfail for assisting us in this initiative, and to local solicitors/ attorneys Bottrell van Kempen for supplying bottles to the writers”.
Expect scoops and exclusives at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival when a who’s who of top journalists across all media go head to head across the marquee program.
MJ Akbar from India, Charles Lewis from the United States, Michael Vatikiotis from Singapore and Karl Schembri from Malta will join a host of Walkley Award winning senior political and investigative reporters, bringing intrigue and controversy to a program bristling with ideas.
In addition to international guests, the list includes media stalwarts Kerry O’Brien, Anne Summers, Peter FitzSimons, Norman Swan, Karen Middleton, Ross Coulthart, Chris Wallace, Belinda Hawkins, Alex Mitchell and George Megalogenis, with Byron Shire’s Mungo MacCallum, Craig McGregor and Russell Eldridge adding local weight.
“This is a Festival for thinkers, as well as for readers and writers. There is a universal obsession with news and ever increasing forums for its dissemination. Does this mean we are smarter, wiser, more informed or simply mired in minutia?” Festival director Jeni Caffin asks. “I can promise feisty debates, stimulating and passionate conversations and gobsmacking revelations. These men and woman don’t just report the news: they make it.”
Charles Lewis is known as the godfather of non-profit journalism. An investigative reporter for more than 30 years, Charles founded The Centre for Public Integrity and is the executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communication in Washington D.C. Meet him on Saturday 3 August in the SCU Marquee at 11.30am where he will join Alex Mitchell and Norman Swan in Paper trails: the evolution of the investigative journalist.
MJ Akbar is one of India’s best known journalists and a pioneering editor of news magazines. His latest book, Tinderbox, critically examines one of the most important issues of our day: the past and future of Pakistan. MJ will discuss this most troubled and conflicted country in conversation with Christopher Warren on Saturday 3 August in the New Philosopher Marquee from 2.45pm.
Must- see sessions include Cleaning up the spill, the key-note conversation featuring Simon Crean, Labouring the point: tales from the political trenches pairing Maxine McKew in conversation with Kerry O’Brien, and Reporting the tip of the iceberg: what journalism ignores with Peter FitzSimons, George Megalogenis, Karen Middleton and Alex Mitchell.
The big reveal! The waiting’s over: Early Bird discounts have flown and all tickets for the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival 2013 are now available for your selection. You will still find great value in the 3 day pass, giving you access to all the main program marquees, or you may choose a 1 day or 2 day pass. The only difficulty will be deciding between days!
Interested in the Feature Events and Workshops? These tickets are available individually and guarantee you entry to your chosen session. Something for every taste, every schedule, every budget: it’s easier than ever to enjoy the Festival and remember to treat your children to the chance to meet their literary heroes on Sunday 4th August with a Youth pass, (permitting one accompanying adult).
Seventeen years old and one hundred and thirty authors strong, the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival is set to inspire, enlighten, enthral and entertain. Join us as a panorama of the most compelling Australian & international writers and thinkers reflect on and celebrate the power of the word and the importance of story. You’ll find the entire menu of conversations, presentations, dissertations and entertainments in the program file. Savour the choices on offer, but don’t delay booking: each Festival day sold out last year and Early Bird ticket sales broke all records.
For all who find pleasure within the pages of a book, for all who dream big ideas and for all whose wild imaginings lead them to feel there might just be a book to be born, this is the Festival for you. Through writing, through words, through narrative, we make sense of our world and understand our place within it. The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival invites you to immerse and engage: you may just change your mind.