2016 Program

Day 1
01 Apr 2016
Day 2
02 Apr 2016
Day 3
03 Apr 2016
Day 4
04 Apr 2016
Day 5
15 May 2016

MASTERCLASS: On the Road with Claire Scobie

On the Road: Writing Travel Memoir with Claire Scobie This masterclass is suited to both first-time and seasoned writers. Packed full of tips, examples and exercises, this masterclass will encourage you to leave the...
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Claire Scobie

MASTERCLASS: Short Order Fiction with Carmel Bird – SOLD OUT!

— MASTERCLASS SOLD OUT — Short Order Fiction with Carmel Bird: How to write short fiction under pressure. This intensive masterclass will help you write short fiction with a tight deadline. The aim is...
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Carmel Bird

Not Lost in Translation: Writing across cultures

With Jenyfer Rozensteins, Lucy Shepherd and Elena Terol Sabino. Hosted by Jenny Marchant. Free session
Elena Terol Sabino
Lucy Shepherd
Jenyfer Rozensteins
Jenny Marchant

What’s Special About Shakespeare?

Hugh Craig marks the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. Free session. Supported by the University of Newcastle
Hugh Craig

Bringing Family History to Life

Tracing your family tree is now easier than ever, but what does it all mean? Three prominent historians discuss the impact of family histories on their writing. With Melanie Nolan, Tanya...
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Melanie Nolan
Tanya Evans
Nancy Cushing
Catharine Coleborne

Book Launch – King Edward Park, Newcastle NSW: A History

Celebrate the release of King Edward Park, Newcastle NSW: A History by Robert Evans. Free session.
Ann Hardy
Robert Evans

Lunch with Olympian Leisel Jones

Lunch with Olympian Leisel Jones: The highs and lows of life in the fast lane. Hosted by Brett Keeble. In partnership with GenXwomen Note: Bookings close on TUESDAY for catering reasons Tickets $55 (includes two-course meal)
Brett Keeble
Leisel Jones

Castaways of Chaos

Post-World War II migration and its impact on the Hunter Region. With Sonia Mycak, Wolodymyr Motyka and Vasilios Vasilas. Hosted by Alex Burns. Free session
Wolodymyr Motyka
Vasilios Vasilas
Sonia Mycak
Alex Burns

The Father of the Hunter

Historian Ann Beaumont discusses her biography of Edward Close, founder of Morpeth. Hosted by Gionni Di Gravio. Free session
Gionni Di Gravio
Ann Beaumont

A Guide to Self Publishing

Local writer Peter Uren will lead you through the advantages, disadvantages and pitfalls. Free session
Peter Uren

Not Charted on Ordinary Maps

Reflections on the BHP closure with John Lewer. Hosted by Julie McIntyre. Free session
Julie McIntyre
John Lewer

All in the Family

A guide to writing family memoir with Jan Mitchell. Hosted by Alison Ferguson. Free session
Jan Mitchell
Alison Ferguson

Picture Perfect

Three illustrators discuss how they created and published their best-selling books. With Liz Anelli, Serena Geddes and Gwynneth Jones. Hosted by Susan Whelan. Tickets $22
Susan Whelan
Gwynneth Jones
Serena Geddes
Liz Anelli

Outdoor Family Event

You and your beloved canine friend are invited to join us for the launch of A Soldier, a Dog and a Boy by award-winning Newcastle born writer Libby Hathorn. April marks the centenary of The Battle...
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Libby Hathorn

Newcastle Short Story Award Announcement

Join us for the announcement of the Newcastle Short Story Award. Hosted by Hunter Writers Centre. Refreshments available. Free event

Opening Night Event: Tim Flannery’s Excellent Adventures

From the discovery of a new tree kangaroo species in New Guinea to dinosaur fossils in Victoria, the scientist, explorer and environmentalist has forged a unique path. He will share photos and anecdotes with host and good mate...
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James Valentine
Tim Flannery
John Doyle

Second Half First

Award-winning writer Drusilla Modjeska talks about the challenge of exploring “life’s hidden places” through memoir. She speaks to Caroline Baum. Tickets $22
Drusilla Modjeska
Caroline Baum

Writing about Loss

It has been three years since the Hunter Writers Centre launched its Grieve Writing Project and in that time it has contributed to the national discussion about the human experience of grief and loss....
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Jayne Newling
Kathleen Wurth
Mary Ringstad
Karen Crofts
Ted Bassingthwaighte

What About the Children?

After completing more than 50 books for children and young adults, Libby Hathorn is still asked when she is going to turn her attention to adult fiction. She talks to Jenny Blackford about...
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Libby Hathorn
Jenny Blackford

Playground Politics

Playground Politics: Exploring the darker side of school. With Brigid Delaney, James Fry and Rebecca Starford. Hosted by Magdalena Ball. Free session
Rebecca Starford
James Fry
Brigid Delaney
Magdalena Ball

Festival Family Day

A fun-filled morning of storytelling, song and activities. Featured writers include Jess Black, Deborah Kelly, Katrina McKelvey, Leila Rudge and Ant Wood. Free event

Poetry reading – Collecting Cobwebs: The Blue Series

Collecting Cobwebs: The Blue Series is a collaboration among Australian and New Zealand poets dedicated to raise funds for Beyond Blue and raise awareness about depression and overcome the stigma...
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Ed Wright

The Elimination of Family Violence

We know the ugly facts and are aware of the devastating impact, but how do we solve the dilemma of family violence? With Helen Cummings, Richard Fletcher and Rebecca Poulson. Hosted by Christina...
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Christina Gerakiteys
Rebecca Poulson
Richard Fletcher
Helen Cummings

The Economy v The Climate

The Economy v The Climate: Why does it have to be a battle and who will be the biggest loser? With Tim Flannery, Ross Gittins, Dennis Glover and Paddy Manning. Hosted by Scott...
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Paddy Manning
Scott Holmes
Dennis Glover
Ross Gittins
Tim Flannery

This Writing Life

Carmel Bird discusses her diverse writing career and new collection of short stories. Hosted by Michael Sala. Free session
Michael Sala
Carmel Bird

Family Matters

Balancing family obligation and the urge to reveal all. With Richard Glover and Rosie Waterland. Hosted by Meredith Jaffé. Tickets $22
Rosie Waterland
Meredith Jaffé
Richard Glover

Wanderlust

The romance and reality of life in another country. With Nancy Knudsen and Patti Miller. Hosted by Angela Savage. Tickets $22
Patti Miller
Nancy Knudsen

Book Launch: Accidentally Istanbul

Linger for the launch of Hunter Region writer Nancy Knudsen’s new book, Accidentally Istanbul. Launched by Jill Emberson. Free event
Nancy Knudsen
Jill Emberson

Book Launch: A Little More Honey

Celebrate the launch of Newcastle poet Zeny Giles’ new book, A Little More Honey. Free event
Zeny Giles

Close to Home

Best-selling author of Baby Love Robin Barker discusses families, feminism and her foray into fiction. Hosted by Rosemarie Milsom. Tickets $22
Rosemarie Milsom
Robin Barker

The Aftermath

Writing memoir is supposed to be a revelatory experience, but what happens after the private becomes public? With Kate Holden, Michael Sala and Rebecca Starford. Hosted by Magdalena Ball. Tickets $22
Rebecca Starford
Michael Sala
Kate Holden
Magdalena Ball

Group Work

Group Work: The challenges of writing a collaborative romance series With Lee Christine, S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Stacey Nash. Free session
Stacey Nash
Lauren K. McKellar
S.E. Gilchrist
Lee Christine
Lee Christine

On the Fringe

On the Fringe: Life as a writer in regional Australia With Sarah Armstrong, Michael Giacometti and Mark MacLean. Hosted by Anneli Knight. Free session
Mark MacLean
Anneli Knight
Michael Giacometti
Sarah Armstrong

The Most Forgotten Race on Earth?

A discussion about Indigenous Australia and cultural amnesia and repression. With Blak Douglas, Adam Geczy, Joe Perry and Ellen van Neerven. Hosted by Jakelin Troy. Free session Presented in conjunction with the exhibition,...
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Ellen Van Neerven
Jakelin Troy
Joe Perry
Adam Geczy
Blak Douglas - Newcastle Writers Festival
Blak Douglas

Book Launch: Paris in My Pocket

Marion Halligan will launch Hunter poet Jean Kent’s new book, Paris in My Pocket. Free event
Jean Kent
Marion Halligan

Talking to My Country

Journalist Stan Grant makes a passionate appeal for unity among Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians. Hosted by Jill Emberson. Tickets $22
Stan Grant
Jill Emberson

Food for Thought

Food for Thought: How did what we eat become so complex? River Cottage Australia host Paul West in conversation with Anneli Knight. Tickets $22
Paul West
Anneli Knight

Mothers and Fathers

Mothers and Fathers: Why so complicated? With Rod Jones, Mark MacLean and Rosie Waterland. Hosted by Meredith Jaffé. Free session
Rosie Waterland
Mark MacLean
Rod Jones
Meredith Jaffé

Discussion and Book Launch: Partners in Crime

Discussion 3.00pm – 3.45pm Partners in Crime: The role of the short story in crime fiction. With Zane Lovitt, Andrew Nette and Angela Savage. Hosted by Jaye Ford. Book Launch 3.45pm – 4.15pm Celebrate...
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Angela Savage
Andrew Nette
Barry Maitland
Zane Lovitt
Jaye Ford

Droughts and Flooding Rains

What role do writers play in inspiring cultural debate about climate change? With Tim Flannery, Sharyn Munro and Geordie Williamson. Hosted by Ed Wright. Free session
Ed Wright
Geordie Williamson
Sharyn Munro
Tim Flannery

Book Launch and Discussion: Headwaters

Celebrate the launch of Anthony Lawrence’s new collection of poems, Headwaters. Launched by Mark Roberts. Free session
Mark Roberts
Anthony Lawrence

Beyond the Spin

Dissecting our political leaders with Paddy Manning, David Marr and Kerry O’Brien. Hosted by Steve Lewis. Tickets $22
Kerry O’Brien
David Marr
Paddy Manning
Steve Lewis

The Story of a Lucky Man

A young refugee’s journey from heartbreak to home. Abdi Aden in conversation with Dan Cox. Free session
Dan Cox
Abdi Aden - Newcastle Writers Festival
Abdi Aden

Book Launch: Sproutlings

Join us for the launch of Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions. With Magdalena Ball, Morgan Bell, Tallulah Cunningham and special guests. Free session
Tallulah Cunningham
Morgan Bell
Magdalena Ball

Short and Sweet: The art of microlit

Panel discussion and presentation of shortlisted Newcastle Writers Festival microlit competition entries With Joanna Atherfold Finn, Richard Holt and Bronwyn Mehan. Free session
Bronywn Mehan
Richard Holt
Joanna Atherfold Finn

Who’s Got the Weirdest Parents?

Richard Glover’s new memoir, Flesh Wounds, will resonate with anyone whose family is not quite what they ordered. Audience participation likely. Tickets $22
Richard Glover

5×15

Five speakers, 15 minutes. No subject is off limits. An evening of bold revelation and unpredictability. Hold onto your hats! With Marc Fennell, Chris Flynn, Maria Katsonis, Rosie Waterland and Paul West....
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Paul West
Rosie Waterland
Maria Katsonis
Chris Flynn
Marc Fennell
Dan Cox

The Independent: Tony Windsor in Conversation

Tony Windsor held the balance of power in state and federal parliaments for nearly a third of his public life. He speaks to David Marr about holding his own and...
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Tony Windsor
David Marr

We Need to Talk About Coal

As the outlook for the global trade in coal looks increasingly uncertain, is it time to jump off the mining wagon? With Ross Gittins, Ian Kirkwood and Sharyn Munro. Hosted by Paul Bevan...
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Ian Kirkwood
Sharyn Munro
Ross Gittins
Paul Bevan

The Misogyny Factor

Charlotte Wood discusses her searing novel, The Natural Way of Things. Hosted by Caroline Baum. Tickets $22
Charlotte Wood
Caroline Baum

Copyfight

We share it, quote it, sample it, remix it, but what are the ramifications? With Marc Fennell and Phillipa McGuinness. Hosted by Russell Blackford. Free session
Phillipa McGuinness
Marc Fennell
Russell Blackford

The Writer as Reader

Festival guests share their reading habits and discuss their favourite books. With Kate Holden, Russell Marks and Geordie Williamson. Hosted by Andrew Nette. Free session
Geordie Williamson
Andrew Nette
Russell Marks
Kate Holden

Reality Bites

Fiction writers discuss how real life inspires and infuses their work. With Fleur Ferris, Jaye Ford, Rod Jones and Charlotte Wood. Hosted by Angela Savage. Tickets $22
Charlotte Wood
Angela Savage
Rod Jones
Jaye Ford
Fleur Ferris

We Will Always Have Paris

In the aftermath of horrifi c terrorist attacks, three writers reflect on their enduring relationship with this much-loved city. With Marion Halligan, Jean Kent and Patti Miller. Hosted by Caroline Baum Tickets...
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Patti Miller
Jean Kent
Marion Halligan
Caroline Baum

Boys to Men

Boys to Men: Exploring masculinity through fiction. With Todd Alexander, David Burton and Chris Flynn. Hosted by Ed Wright. Free session Please note that there has been a change of room...
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Ed Wright
Chris Flynn
David Burton
Todd-Alexander-Newcastle Writers Festival
Todd Alexander

Crime and Punishment

Are the execution of two Australians in Indonesia and the continued overcrowding in our prisons signs that the system is broken? With John Anderson, Brigid Delaney, Russell Marks and Charles Waterstreet. Hosted by...
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Charles Waterstreet
Rosemarie Milsom
Russell Marks
Brigid Delaney
John Anderson

The Ties that Bind

A discussion about family, identity and language. With Abdi Aden, Maria Katsonis and Ellen van Neerven. Hosted by Keri Glastonbury. Free session
Keri Glastonbury
Ellen Van Neerven
Maria Katsonis
Abdi Aden - Newcastle Writers Festival
Abdi Aden

Art and Life

Artist Joshua Yeldham discusses Surrender: A Journal For My Daughter, which chronicles his life and work, as well as the lessons he has learnt along the way. Hosted by Newcastle Art Gallery curator Sarah...
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Joshua Yeldham
Sarah Johnson

The Future of Regional Australia

What are the key issues affecting our regional areas? Do governments need to sit up and take more notice? With Tony Windsor, Caroline McMillen and Marcus Westbury. Hosted by Paul Bevan. Free Session
Tony Windsor
Marcus Westbury
Caroline McMillen
Paul Bevan

YA@NWF16: State of Play

YA Insights from industry insiders. With Jennifer Dougherty (Allen & Unwin), Stephanie Speight (Text Publishing) and Zoe Walton (Penguin Random House). Hosted by Gerry Bobsien. Tickets $15
Zoe Walton
Stephanie Speight
Jennifer Dougherty
Gerry Bobsien

The Struggle Within

Writing about mental illness with Sophie Hardcastle and Maria Katsonis. Hosted by Anneli Knight. Free session
Anneli Knight
Maria Katsonis
Sophie Hardcastle

Home Grown

Readings by Hunter poets Magdalena Ball, Keri Glastonbury and Ivy Ireland. Hosted by Jenny Blackford. Free session
Keri Glastonbury
Ivy Ireland
Jenny Blackford
Magdalena Ball

Secrets and Lies

Exploring love and deception with Sarah Armstrong and Richard McHugh. Hosted by Meredith Jaffé. Free session
Richard McHugh
Meredith Jaffé
Sarah Armstrong

The Story of a Painting – SOLD OUT!

NOTE: This event has now SOLD OUT. Nigel Milsom discusses his controversial 2015 Archibald Prize-winning portrait. With special guest Charles Waterstreet. Hosted by Christina Koutsoukos. Tickets $15 through Eventbrite Tickets at...
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Christina Koutsoukos
Nigel Milsom

Kerry O’Brien on Keating

The veteran journalist speaks to David Leser about his biography of former prime minister Paul Keating. Tickets $22
Kerry O’Brien
David Leser

YA@NWF16: Love, Loss and Everything in Between

Meet three YA writers who are exploring the big issues of adolescence. With David Burton, Trinity Doyle and Fleur Ferris. Hosted by Linsay Knight. Tickets $15
Linsay Knight
Fleur Ferris
Trinity Doyle
David Burton

Make Your Writing Pop!

Practical tips from a dynamic Newcastle writers group. With Jessie Ansons, Maree Gallop, Anna Lundmark and Diana Threlfo. Free session
Diane Threlfo
Anna Lundmark
Maree Gallop
Jessie Ansons

Book Launch and Readings: Novascapes Volume 2

Celebrate the launch of Novascapes Volume 2, an anthology of Hunter Region speculative fiction. Hosted by Cassandra Page. Free session
Cassandra Page

That Movie Guy

Marc Fennell takes you around the world via awesome, weird and wonderful flicks. Free session
Marc Fennell

What is the value of culture to Newcastle?

What is the value of culture to Newcastle and how can the city boost its cultural identity? With Liz Burcham, Siobhan Curran, Brigette Uren and Marcus Westbury. In partnership with Idea Bombing Newcastle, which...
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Marcus Westbury
Brigette Uren
Siobhan Curran
Liz Burcham

Special NWF Poetry at the Pub

NWF excitement continues with a special NWF Poetry at the Pub on Monday evening, with guest poets Kaye Aldenhoven from Darwin and Mark Roberts from the Rochford St Review, Sydney....
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Kaye Aldenhoven
Mark Roberts

The Killing Season Uncut

The publication date of Sarah Ferguson’s book, The Killing Season Uncut, was delayed and she could not appear at the Festival. Her event will now take place in The Playhouse...
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Sarah Ferguson
Rosemarie Milson – NWF Organiser