For the first time in Byron Bay Writers Festival history, Festival Saturday has sold out.
Festival Director Edwina Johnson is thrilled with the pre-ticket sales and keen interest in this year’s Festival and encourages locals to get online quickly to book tickets for Friday and Sunday.
Friday features a star-studded line-up including international guests Jeanette Winterson, Geoff Dyer, Robin Hemley, Qaisra Shahraz, Poe Ballantine and Agustinus Wibowo.
Choose from over 35 sessions including Idiot Boxing: Andrew Denton and Andrew Knight in conversation with Geoff Lemon; The Art of Song Writing with Darren Hanlon and Missy Higgins; Kitchen Confidential with Christine Manfield, Steven Snow and Jim Hearn moderated by Simon Marnie; History: A Work in Progress including James Brown, Mike Carlton and Clare Wright chaired by Russell Eldridge; and Dream Boat Refugees with Julian Burnside, Carina Hoang, Antony Loewenstein, facilitated by David Marr.
Join the excitement of two book launches: Over the Water by William Lane hosted by Sarah Armstrong, and Deeper Water by Jessie Cole hosted by Geordie Williamson.
Sunday also features acclaimed international authors Jeanette Winterson, Susie Orbach, Robin Hemley, David Finkel and Thando Sibanda.
Other highlights include The Cost of Free Speech with Julian Burnside, Antony Loewenstein and Thando Sibanda chaired by P.M. Newton; Secret and Lies: Should the Catholic Church Confess? with David Marr, Joanne McCarthy and John Saunders chaired by Janet Steele; and A Murder of Crime Writers with Martin Chatterton, Terry Hayes, Tara Moss, P.M. Newton and Karin Slaughter chaired by Chris Hanley.
Sunday is also Kids Big Day Out with sessions led by Sally Rippin, Mem Fox, Asphyxia, Tristan Bancks, Nick Earls, Delta Kay, Jesse Blackadder and Andy Griffiths.
One-day passes are still available for $120 (Northern Rivers Writers Centre members $99) for Friday and Sunday. Youth Passes for Kids Big Day Out cost $40 (members $35)
We regret to advise that Lloyd Jones has reluctantly had to withdraw from the Byron Bay Writers Festival due to the recent death of his long term agent and close friend Michael Gifkins. Our condolences to Lloyd and to Michael’s family.
Clare Wright, winner of the 2014 Stella Prize for her novel The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, will join an esteemed line-up of history writers at the Byron Bay Writers Festival.
Festival Director Edwina Johnson strongly believes that the lessons and tales of times past are instrumental in shaping our sensibilities and the future. For that reason she has programmed a number of stimulating sessions, which will examine history, through fact and fiction. ‘We’re thrilled to have assembled such a brilliant cast of writers whose skills manifestly bring history to life.’
Wright will join veteran broadcaster Mike Carlton, former Australian Army Officer James Brown, and chair Russell Eldridge for the Festival Friday panel discussion, History: A Work In Progress.
In a 40-year career, Carlton has been a radio and television news and current affairs reporter, foreign correspondent, radio host and newspaper columnist. He was an ABC war correspondent in Vietnam in 1967 and 1970, and for three years was the ABC's Bureau Chief in Jakarta. He also reported for the ABC from London, New York and major Asian capitals.
Winner of the 2010 Queensland Premier’s Literary Prize for History, Ian Hoskins (pictured) will question if we take our beloved coastline for granted in his Festival Friday session, Coast: A History of the NSW Edge.
Author Ashley Hay will be in conversation with former Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council, Sophie Cunningham, as they explore our country’s violent weather and its impacts, notably in conjunction with Cunningham’s new book, Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy.
Then on Festival Sunday chief literary critic of The Australian, Geordie Williamson will be in conversation with Hay about her historical novel The Railwayman’s Wife. Williamson will also be in discussion with Clare Wright on her award-winning work The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka.
According to Edwina Johnson ‘the popularity of history on the Festival agenda was aptly demonstrated by how quickly the tickets to our War and Remembrance Literary Dinner sold. There are only a handful left for this special occasion at the iconic Byron Beach Café.’
The following finalists have been selected to take part in the BBWF Pitch Perfect session on Saturday, 2 August 4pm-5pm
Ali Chigwidden The Blackbirds
Clare Macken Something Wicked This Way Comes: Letters from the Cat-Lady Killer
Mary McCarthy Saltwater Skin
Susie Warrick Young Writers Competition
The winner will be presented with $1,000 award during the BBWF on Saturday, 2 August at 9am-10am.
Ailie Mackenzie The Unforgiven
If you would like a hard copy posted to you please call 02 6685 5115.