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Newcastle Writers Festival turns the page on a new era Media launch and release of ticketed events

The first chapter of what organisers expect to be an annual success story will be written in April when more than 50 Australian writers participate in the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival. Many topics and literary genres, including crime, climate change, horror, romance, poetry and history, will be explored by some of this country’s best-known writers in a diverse range of mostly free events.

The weekend event, from April 5 to 7, will be launched at 11am on Wednesday, February 13, at the Lock-Up Cultural Centre, 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle by volunteer festival organiser and Newcastle Herald journalist Rosemarie Milsom. Sixteen ticketed events will be announced, as will the internationally acclaimed keynote speaker.

Milsom said the diversity of local talent and the overwhelmingly positive response to the festival showed that Newcastle was more than ready to boost its literary profile.

“I’ve attended writers’ festivals in Australia and overseas, and always wondered why
Newcastle didn’t have its own event given the depth of creativity in the city and beyond,” she said. “If you are an avid reader, keen to learn more about the writing process, or enjoy a lively exchange of ideas, there will be something for you in the festival program.”

The event brings together a diverse range of contemporary writers and established literary leaders. Award-winning author Robert Drewe, local crime writers Jaye Ford and Barry Maitland, media commentator and author Jane Caro and ABC radio presenter Richard Fidler are among those who will be participating.

The Newcastle Writers Festival is funded by Newcastle NOW and Newcastle City Council and supported by the University of Newcastle, the Newcastle Herald and ABC 1233. Milsom is working in partnership with the Hunter Writers Centre director, Karen Crofts.

Events will be held at a number of inner-city venues, including The Lock-Up Cultural Centre,

Noah’s on the Beach and Newcastle City Hall.

Media launch details
When: 11am, Wednesday, February 13 at The Lock-Up Cultural Centre, 90 Hunter Street,
Who: Local best-selling authors Jaye Ford (crime) and Deborah Challinor (historical fiction),
NWF organiser Rosemarie Milsom and Newcastle NOW manager Michael Neilson attending.