FAQs

UPDATE: COVID-19

Due to government advice about the impact of COVID-19 and events, the Newcastle Writers Festival has been cancelled and all tickets will be refunded.

If you bought tickets online through TryBooking, your ticket will be cancelled and a refund issued automatically. You will receive an email as this happens and funds should appear in your account within a few days of that email. If you have not recieved a refund within 10 business days, please contact us at ticketing@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au

If you have purchased tickets through MacLean’s Booksellers, we will be in contact shortly with further information. For now, please do not contact Maclean’s directly.

For schools who have purchased tickets to the Schools or HSC programs, if you paid online by credit card online your refund will be automatic. If you have not received it within 10 business please contact us. If you paid by direct deposit or cheque, we will be in contact shortly to organise a refund.

We are working as hard as we can to process all refunds as quickly as possible, and appreciate your patience. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at ticketing@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you for your support and we hope to see you in 2021.

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WHAT ARE THE DATES OF THE 2019 NEWCASTLE WRITERS FESTIVAL?

The 2020 Newcastle Writers Festival will run from Friday 3 April to Sunday 5 April.

The program will be released 21 February and tickets are on sale 9am 21 April.

The Schools Program will take place on Thursday 2 April (Cessnock) and Friday 3 April (Newcastle).

Click here for more information about the Schools Programme.

WHERE CAN I VIEW THE 2020 FESTIVAL PROGRAM?

The full 2020 program will be available on 21 February.

WHERE CAN I GET A HARD COPY OF THE  2019 FESTIVAL PROGRAM?

You can request a copy via our website and if you live in the Hunter, your local library will have copies available.

ARE THERE ANY FREE EVENTS AT THE FESTIVAL?

Yes! We offer about 50% of our program to the public as free events.

Admission to the free events is on a first come, first served basis. Bookings are not taken for these events.

You are encouraged to arrive early as free events are extremely popular and seats are limited.

ARE THERE ANY EVENTS FOR CHILDREN?

Yes, we have a program of special events for children on Sunday 5 April. These events will be held in the Newcastle City Library from 11am to 1pm and are free. This year, there will be books launches, readings, performances and plenty of fun activities.

CAN I VOLUNTEER AT THE FESTIVAL?

Yes! Each year the Newcastle Writers Festival recruits a team of approximately 120 volunteers, without whom the event would not be possible. Find out more about Volunteering.

CAN I PRESENT MY WORK AT THE FESTIVAL OR RECOMMEND AN AUTHOR FOR THE EVENT?

The Newcastle Writers Festival will accept submissions for the 2021 program later this year, at a date to be announced. We welcome ideas from Hunter Region writers as well those from further afield.

Invitations are then issued at the discretion of the Director, who designs the program well ahead of each festival.

DO YOU RUN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EVENTS FOR WRITERS?

The festival runs a Masterclass for writers on Friday 3 April. Visit the program for details.

CAN YOU PUT ME IN TOUCH WITH AN AUTHOR ON THE PROGRAM?

We are not able to pass on contact details for or messages to authors attending the Newcastle Writers Festival – please contact the writers’ publisher or agent. If you have a media enquiry, please contact: publicity@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au

DO I NEED TO BUY TICKETS TO ATTEND THE FESTIVAL?

The Newcastle Writers Festival consists of a combination of ticketed and free events. Please consult individual event listings or descriptions to check whether you need to buy tickets for each event.

All tickets will be sold via TryBooking. Ticketed events do sell out, so it is recommended that you purchase your tickets well in advance.

HOW DO I BOOK TICKETS?

By internet: TryBooking

By phone: (02) 4969 2525

In person: MacLean’s Booksellers, 69 Beaumont Street, Hamilton

Festival Weekend Box Office: Located in Civic Theatre Foyer

HOW MUCH ARE TICKETs?

Most events are either free, $15 or $25. Special events and workshops have different pricing. Please see individual event listings for prices.

WILL THERE BE DOOR SALES?

Yes, tickets can be purchased at the Festival Box Office located in the Civic Theatre Foyer right up until the event commences. However, all door sales are subject to availability. We suggest you book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. We also strongly recommend you arrive well in advance of event start times if you choose to purchase door sale tickets.

For evening events at the Playhouse and University of Newcastle Harold Lobb Concert Hall, there will be door sales at the venue from forty-five minutes before the event starts, subject to availability.

HOW ARE TICKETS DELIVERED?

You will be able to download your tickets from TryBooking when you book, and they will also be emailed to you. You can either print these out and bring them to the festival or display them on your phone.

Tickets purchased in person at MacLean’s booksellers will also be emailed to you, but MacLean’s will also print them if requested. If you don’t receive your tickets within 10 minutes of purchase, please check your spam folder. Failing that, contact Newcastle Writers Festival at ticketing@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au and we will re-issue them for you. You will need to present your tickets – either printer or on a screen – for access to the events.

WHAT ARE THE SERVICE FEES?

Trybooking service fees are $0.30c per ticket.
Tickets purchased at Macleans – in person or by phone – will incur a $1 service fee per ticket.

Do you accept companion cards?
Yes. Holders of companion cards are entitled to a free ticket. Please email us at ticketing@newcastlewritersfestival for a discount code. Companion Cards will need to be presented on the day of the event.

Are there any other discounts or concessions?
Hunter Writers Centre members receive a 10% discount on all workshops in our program. See HWC for discount code details and conditions. You will need to show proof of your HWC membership on the day.

What if I have any problems?
You can contact us at ticketing@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au with any problems and we will endeavour to help you. MacLean’s booksellers will be taking phone bookings but for any problems with TryBooking or online sales, please contact us by email. 

IS SEATING ALLOCATED AT THE FESTIVAL?

All seating for ticketed events is allocated at the time you purchase your ticket. You will be able to select your seat(s) through TryBooking.

There are a number of wheelchair accessible seats in each venue. Should these sell out, please contact us on ticketing@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au and we will try to allocate more.

If you have any accessibility needs (ie. aisle seats) , please keep these in mind when purchasing. If purchasing through Macleans, please advise the staff if this is the case so they can best allocate you a ticket. On the day, festival volunteers will be happy to assist you find your allocated seats.

WHERE DOES THE FESTIVAL TAKE PLACE?

The majority of events will take place in the Newcastle Civic Precinct. The Civic Precinct is located between Hunter and King Streets. There is wheelchair access to City Hall via the Wheeler Place entrance and there is an internal lift.

HOW DO I GET TO THE FESTIVAL?

For information on bus, ferry and train services in Newcastle City, visit the Transport NSW website

WILL THERE BE AN INFORMATION DESK AT THE FESTIVAL?

Yes. The Festival Information Desk will be located in Wheeler Place, outside the Civic Theatre and in the Foyer of City Hall, outside the Concert Hall. Lost property, information about the program, venue and other general information will be available here.

HOW LONG DO THE EVENTS LAST?

The majority of events last one hour. Some special events are 90 minutes to two hours long, and family events are less than an hour. End times for each event will be detailed on their online event listing and in the program.

CAN I BUY BOOKS AT THE FESTIVAL?

The festival has its own dedicated bookseller – MacLean’s Booksellers located in the Banquet Room on the lower ground floor of Newcastle City Hall. Audience members will be able to purchase books by authors appearing in the festival in the bookshop. For evening events held at the Playhouse and University of Newcastle Harold Lobb Concert Hall, books will be available to purchase in the foyer.

CAN I GET MY BOOKS SIGNED AT THE FESTIVAL?

Yes. Book signings will take place immediately following most events in the City Hall Bookshop. There will also be signings at The Playhouse and University of Newcastle Harold Lobb Concert Hall following events there.  

WILL ANY FESTIVAL EVENTS BE RECORDED?

There will be film and sound recordings of some of the events for archival and publicity purposes. These will be made available on the festival website. It is possible that audience members’ images will be included from time to time in the filming. Should you wish not to be filmed, please advise an usher. No flash photography or recording by attendees is permitted.

WHAT PROVISIONS WILL BE IN PLACE AT THE FESTIVAL FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES?

All of our locations are accessible by wheelchair. Please refer to our Accessibility information.

Auslan Interpreters will be available by request, subject to availability, or you can bring your own. Please see here for more details.

WHERE CAN I ENQUIRE ABOUT LOST PROPERTY?

All lost property from the festival will be available at the Information Desk in City Hall, outside the Concert Hall. After the festival, lost property will be left with the staff of the Newcastle City Hall.  If you lost something at the venue, please phone them on (02) 4974 2166 and tell them:

  • What did you lose?
  • Where did you lose it?
  • When did you lose it?
  • What event were you attending?
  • Anything else that might help them find your property

If you have questions unanswered by this FAQ page, please Contact Us – admin@newcastlewritersfestival.org.au