Program

Friday
6th April 2018
Saturday
7th April 2017
Sunday
8th April 2017

Poetry & Nature: Poetic responses to the work of Ash Island’s Scott Sisters

Experienced poet and tutor Judy Johnson will inspire participants to create poetry in response to the exquisite illustrations of Australia’s...
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Judy Johnson

MASTERCLASS: Making family and local histories global

Family and local history can strengthen communities and give voice to their diverse stories. But how do you turn your...
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Sue Ryan
Andrew May
Nancy Cushing
Julie McIntyre

Literary Lunch: This Writing Life: Di Morrissey in conversation with Natasha Beyersdorf

Best-selling writer Di Morrissey has sold more than two million books during her 25-year career. She will chat about the...
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Natasha Beyersdorf
Di Morrissey

Newcastle Short Story Award Presentation

Hosted by Hunter Writers Centre Judge Ryan O’Neill will be attending. Free event
Ryan O’Neill

Opening Night Gala: Jimmy Barnes Working Class Man

JIMMY BARNES WORKING CLASS MAN An Evening of Stories & Songs Jimmy Barnes’ highly anticipated new memoir “Working Class Man”...
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Jimmy Barnes

Too Much Rock ‘n’ Roll

A life in Music. Mark Tinson in conversation with Phillip McIntyre. Free session
Mark Tinson
Phillip McIntyre

Cover to Cover

Join the Jane Austen Society Hunter for a live reading of Persuasion in honour of the novel’s 200th anniversary. Free...
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Lost for Words

Australia’s relationship with its languages with Ray Kelly Snr, Mark MacLean, Charmaine Papertalk Green and Jacqueline Wright. Host / John...
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Charmaine Papertalk Green
Ray Kelly Snr
Mark MacLean
John Maynard

Who are the Seekers, Whatnows, Drifters, Satisficers and Digitals?

Scott Holmes explores small business tribes with Christina Gerakiteys. Free session
Scott Holmes
Christina Gerakiteys

Revisiting Wuthering Heights

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s  Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Alexandra Lewis

Crossing Over

What are the challenges of writing across genres? With Jesse Blackadder, Janette Paul and Jane Rawson. Host / Jennifer Smith...
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Jesse Blackadder
Jane Rawson
Jaye Ford / Janette Paul

Anaesthesia

The gift of oblivion and the mystery of consciousness. Kate Cole-Adams in conversation with Annette Marfording. Tickets $25
Annette Marfording
Kate Cole-Adams

Earth Hour

Bruce Pascoe and Charles Massy tackle myths about agriculture and discuss what it means to live in connection with the...
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Geordie Williamson
Bruce Pascoe
Charles Massy

Captive Anzacs

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s  Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Kate Ariotti

Beyond the Headlines: How investigative journalists work

With Louise Milligan and Nick Toscano. Host / Jane Hutcheon Tickets $15
Nick Toscano
Louise Milligan
Jane Hutcheon

SPECIAL EVENT: joanne burns Microlit Award Ceremony

Includes a discussion about using microlit to explore the concept of time. With Raelee Lancaster, Tess Pearson and Richard Holt....
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Richard Holt
Tess Pearson
Raelee Lancaster
Cassandra Atherton

The Last Taboo

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Alistair Rolls
Xanthé Mallett
Rachel Franks
Nancy Cushing

A Life With Trees

How Inga Simpson discovered the beauty of nature and her own path as a writer. Host / Keri Glastonbury Free...
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Keri Glastonbury
Inga Simpson

Trading Stories

Nick Milligan and Joanna Atherfold Finn explore the allure of short stories and how the Hunter shapes their work. Host...
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Joanna Atherfold Finn
Conor McCarthy
Nick Milligan

What does it mean to live well?

With Brigid Delaney, Robert Dessaix and Ken Hillman. Host / Suzanne Leal Tickets $25
Ken Hillman
Robert Dessaix
Suzanne Leal
Brigid Delaney

The Long and Winding Way to the Top

Fifty (or so) songs that made Australia. Andrew P. Street in conversation with Felicity Biggins. Tickets $25
Andrew P Street
Felicity Biggins

Poets’ Lunch

Hosted by Hunter Bush Poets. Enjoy a meal with lashings of Aussie bush poetry, tall tales, and rollicking rhymes. With...
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Book Launch: Green Point Bearings

Newcastle poet Kathryn Fry’s new book Green Point Bearings will be launched by Brook Emery. Free event
Kathryn Fry
Brook Emery

The Hunter Region and the Great War

A presentation by Greg Ray that includes historical images. Free session
Greg Ray

False Claims of Colonial Thieves

John Kinsella and Charmaine Papertalk Green take a poetical look at the colonial narrative and the Indigenous understanding of country....
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Charmaine Papertalk Green
John Kinsella
Magdalena Ball

The Deep Time Project

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Craig Williams
Marguerite Johnson
Greg Blyton
Ann Hardy
Gionni Di Gravio

Outside the Square

Is experimentation in Australian literature dead? With Julie Koh, Ryan O’Neill and Jane Rawson. Host / Geordie Williamson Free session
Geordie Williamson
Ryan O’Neill
Jane Rawson
Julie Koh

justiceINjustice

Creative responses to marginalisation and injustice within the criminal justice. With Rob Cleworth, Melinda Dundas and Karen Wells. Host /...
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Karen Wells
Carolyn McKay
Melinda Dundas
Rob Cleworth

The Meaning of Water

It symbolises life and purification, but in their most recent books Scott Bevan, Jesse Blackadder and Jock Serong also explore...
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Jesse Blackadder
Jock Serong
Rosemarie Milsom
Scott Bevan

Danger Music

How teaching the cello to children in Afghanistan led Eddie Ayres to a self-discovery almost too hard to bear. Host...
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Eddie Ayres
Dan Cox

BOOK LAUNCH: What You Might Find

Richard Holt’s new book What You Might Find will be launched by Cassandra Atherton.
Richard Holt
Cassandra Atherton

Beyond the Suffering

Newcastle has been an epicentre of child sexual abuse within churches. Now that the Royal Commission has concluded, what needs...
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Louise Milligan
James M. Miller
Joanne McCarthy
Emma Alberici

BOOK LAUNCH: Dymphna Cusack: Lucky in Love

Marilla North’s new book Dymphna Cusack: Lucky in Love will be launched by Ann Hardy. With a dramatised reading by Katy...
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Marilla North
Ann Hardy

Next Generation Humanities

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Craig Williams
Elicia Taylor
Gabrielle McGinnis
Nicole Kimball
Amy Dewar

Old Friends, New Tricks

Jane Hutcheon and Janette Paul (aka Jaye Ford) have been friends since their first day of uni. They discuss the...
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Jane Hutcheon
Jaye Ford / Janette Paul

Making it Up

What is fiction for? With Lia Hills, Ryan O’Neill and Jock Serong. Host / Ed Wright Free session
Ryan O’Neill
Jock Serong
Lia Hills
Ed Wright

A Good Life to the End

How can we be empowered to take control of our journey through ageing and death? Intensive care specialist Ken Hillman...
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Ken Hillman
Meredith Jaffé

Dark Emu

Bruce Pascoe discusses his ground-breaking research which overturns the long-held belief that Indigenous people were simply hunter-gatherers. Host / Jill...
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Jill Emberson
Bruce Pascoe

Beyond Mad Max

Steve Bisley discusses the highs and lows of life in the fast lane. Host / Dan Cox Tickets $25
Steve Bisley
Dan Cox

BOOK LAUNCH: Watermark

Port Stephens writer Joanna Atherfold Finn’s debut book Watermark will be launched by Robert Drewe. Free session
Joanna Atherfold Finn
Robert Drewe

The Battle Within

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Christina Twomey
Kate Ariotti

Beyond the Capitals: The Voice of Regional Poetry

With Dael Allison, Steve Armstrong and Judy Johnson. Host / Magdalena Ball Free session
Steve Armstrong
Dael Allison
Judy Johnson
Magdalena Ball

Life Experience: How do you transform real events into fiction?

With Jesse Blackadder, Kathryn Heyman and Michael Sala. Host / Suzanne Leal Free session
Jesse Blackadder
Michael Sala
Suzanne Leal
Kathryn Heyman

Speaking Their Truth

The power in the telling of women’s stories. With Kate Cole-Adams, Cassie Lane and Jenny Valentish. Host / Annette Marfording...
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Jenny Valentish
Annette Marfording
Cassie Lane
Kate Cole-Adams

The Music That Changed Me

Eddie Ayres and Christopher Lawrence in conversation with Felicity Biggins. Tickets $25
Christopher Lawrence
Eddie Ayres
Felicity Biggins

BOOK LAUNCH: Brew: 30 Years of Poetry at the Pub

Celebrate the launch of Brew: 30 Years of Poetry at the Pub Newcastle Editor Dael Allison in conversation with Poetry...
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Dael Allison
Judy Johnson

Writing the Past

Richard Fidler discusses his passion for the stories and personalities that have helped shape history. Host / Gretel Killeen Tickets...
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Gretel Killeen
Richard Fidler

Life advice from Kitty Flanagan

The much-loved comedian shares tips and cautionary tales from her new book, Bridge Burning and other Hobbies. Host / Meredith...
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Kitty Flanagan
Meredith Jaffé

Secrets and Lies

****** Unfortunately, Michael Robotham has to withdraw from this year’s festival. Refunds are available.  ****** Michael Robotham in conversation with Barry Maitland....
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Barry Maitland
Michael Robotham

Poets’ Breakfast

Enjoy live performances and a coffee. Presented by Hunter Bush Poets. Bush Poetry has become an established and unique form...
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Ron Brown

A Reckoning

The #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns have become powerful platforms for women to share their stories, but what happens now?...
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Cassie Lane
Amal Awad
Tracey Spicer
Julia Baird

Give your stories a future: How three local writers bring their writing to life

Give your stories a future: How three local writers bring their writing to life With Sally Egan, Maree Gallop and...
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Sally Egan
Maree Gallop
Aidan Walsh
Jessie Ansons

The Corridor of Truth: What fiction adds to history

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Evelyn Conlon

The Radical Farmer

Charles Massy discusses his critically acclaimed book, Call of the Reed Warbler. Host / James Whelan Tickets $25
James Whelan
Charles Massy

A Fine Balance

Robert Dessaix on the pleasures of leisure and why we need to do less instead of more. Host / Ed...
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Robert Dessaix
Ed Wright

Free Family Day

Dust off your Book Week costume and come as your favourite character to win great prizes. Visit Zanni Louise in...
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Emily S. Smith
Renee Price
Lynn Jenkins
Gregg Dreise
Graham Davidson
Kirrili Lonergan

BOOK LAUNCH: Parables

Newcastle writer Zeny Giles’ new book of poetry Parables will be launched by Dael Allison. Proceeds from the sale of...
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Dael Allison
Zeny Giles

Writing the Landscape: The transformative power of place

With Lia Hills, Holly Ringland and Inga Simpson. Host / Geordie Williamson Free session
Geordie Williamson
Inga Simpson
Holly Ringland
Lia Hills

The Hunter and the Hunted: Exploring this potent crime fiction dynamic

****** Unfortunately, Michael Robotham has to withdraw from this year’s festival. Refunds are available.  ****** Michael Robotham in conversation with Jaye Ford....
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Jaye Ford / Janette Paul
Michael Robotham

How Poets See the World

With Lia Hills, Michele Seminara and Selina Tusitala Marsh. Host / Magdalena Ball Tickets $15
Selina Tusitala Marsh
Michele Seminara
Lia Hills
Magdalena Ball

Mapping Aboriginal Massacre

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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The Cult of Wellness

Mindfulness apps and super foods promise health and happiness, but has the fad gone too far? With Brigid Delaney and...
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Nick Toscano
Jennifer Smith
Brigid Delaney

When the Past and Present Collide

Robert Drewe in Conversation with Joanna Atherfold Finn. Tickets $25
Joanna Atherfold Finn
Robert Drewe

Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf

SPECIAL FAMILY EVENT Newcastle Youth Orchestra and Newcastle Writers Festival present Featuring playwright Carl Caulfield.There will also be a performance...
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Women of Words

Readings by poets Dael Allison, Magdalena Ball, Ivy Ireland, Judy Johnson, Michele Seminara and Melinda Smith. Host / Janette Hoppe...
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Melinda Smith
Michele Seminara
Janette Hoppe
Dael Allison
Judy Johnson
Ivy Ireland
Magdalena Ball

Blood Ties

What are the challenges when creating fictional families? With Holly Ringland, Robert Drewe and Jock Serong. Host / Meredith Jaffé...
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Jock Serong
Holly Ringland
Robert Drewe
Meredith Jaffé

Politics of Identity

A discussion about trauma across the generations and the struggle to belong. With Mehreen Faruqi, Roanna Gonsalves and Amal Awad....
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Saba Vasefi
Mehreen Faruqi
Amal Awad
Roanna Gonsalves

Why Study Writing?

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Keri Glastonbury
Dael Allison
Michael Sala
Kathryn Heyman

Not quite overnight: The winding road to publication

With Melissa Lucaschenko, Wendy James and Inga Simpson. Host / Conor McCarthy Free session
Inga Simpson
Conor McCarthy
Melissa Lucashenko
Wendy James

In Excess: A Conversation about self-destruction

With Steve Bisley, Cassie Lane and Jenny Valentish. Host / Rosemarie Milsom Tickets $25
Jenny Valentish
Cassie Lane
Steve Bisley
Rosemarie Milsom

Revolutionary Women

Who were Caroline Chisholm, Elizabeth Macquarie and Queen Victoria? With Julia Baird, Sarah Goldman and Luke Slattery. Host / Tracey...
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Luke Slattery
Sarah Goldman
Tracey Spicer
Julia Baird

The Politics of Poetic Form

With Chris Brown, Keri Glastonbury and Emily Stewart. Host / Claire Albrecht Free session
Keri Glastonbury
Chris Brown
Claire Albrecht

World Hurl Anti-Slam

Everyone is welcome to participate. Anti-slam has no rules and is a reaction to the competitive nature of slam poetry....
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The Lost Empire

While we cheer our athletes competing for Australia on the Gold Coast, Melissa Lucashenko, Selina Tusitala Marsh and Salil Tripathi...
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Selina Tusitala Marsh
Salil Tripathi
Julianne Schultz
Melissa Lucashenko

Picnic at Hanging Rock 50 Years On

NEW Thinking Series In partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Faculty of Education & Arts with support from the Centre...
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Marguerite Johnson

Against the Odds

How athlete Joe Williams overcame his struggle with mental illness and addiction in order to thrive. Host / Brett Keeble...
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Joe Williams
Brett Keeble

What is Your Newcastle Story?

This unique interactive event in partnership with Idea Bombing Newcastle responds to this year’s ‘Storytime’ theme. With Anthony Furniss, Cherie...
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Alex Morris
Becky Kiil
Cherie Johnson
Anthony Furniss

Symphony of Seduction

Christopher Lawrence discusses the great love stories of classical composers with Paul Bevan. Includes musical interludes with David Banney, Gavin...
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Peter Guy
Gavin Clark 
David Banney