The inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival was held in 2013 and was a resounding success. More than 70 writers participated in 38 sessions - half of which were free. In 2014, the festival was enhanced by the addition of a popular children's program. More than 100 writers participated in the extended festival and more than 6500 people attended the event, from preschoolers to adults. The 2015 festival will be held from 19 to 22 March at various inner-city venues, though the main festival hub is Newcastle City Hall. Everyone involved in organising the event volunteers their time, including the festival director Rosemarie Milsom. She is supported by the dedicated NWF board - Jenny Blackford, Amy Hurrell, Nicole Hellyer, Sheree Kable, Sally Ebert, Sharon Roberts and Katrina McKelvey. We look forward to sharing our passion for the written word in all its forms. See you in March!
About Rosemarie Milsom, NWF organiser
“I want to create an eclectic, welcoming festival that celebrates words and ideas, as well as the depth of local writing talent.”
Rosemarie Milsom wasn’t the first person to wonder why Newcastle had not hosted its own writer’s festival before, but she was crazy enough to do something about it. She was then lucky enough that supporters jumped on board, including the director of the Hunter Writers Centre Karen Crofts, Newcastle NOW and Newcastle City Council. Rosemarie has been a journalist for 19 years and is a feature writer at The Newcastle Herald. For four years she was a Sun-Herald section editor and was responsible for book reviews. She has been reviewing books and interviewing authors her entire career. She has also been a feature writer and editor at Sunday Life magazine and has written for Vogue, Medical Observer and The Australian Way (Qantas’ in-flight magazine). In 2012, she was awarded Journalist of the Year at the MEAA Northern NSW Media Awards. She has facilitated at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, where a highlight was a session with Richard Ford and William Dalrymple, and has travelled to festivals throughout Australia and overseas. She lives in Mayfield with her husband and three children.