2019 Program

Thursday
4th April 2019
Friday
5th April 2019
Saturday
6th April 2019
Sunday
7th April 2019
Monday
8th April 2019

Literary Trivia – Festival Fundraiser

Do you know your Capote from your Corris? Can you name every Austen novel? To celebrate the start of the 2019 Newcastle Writers Festival, we’re holding our debut literary trivia night. Funds raised will go towards planning the 2020 festival. Prizes include meal vouchers, bundles of brilliant new books, and festival passes. Small teams welcome. 04 APR 2019 // 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM // FOGHORN BREWHOUSE Tickets $15 per person pre-booked or $20 at the door
Nick Milligan

WORKSHOP – Writing a Short Play

With Carl Caulfield. The masterclass will begin with an analysis of what makes an effective short play with a few examples from the genre. Carl will then take participants through the process of writing a short play, from getting ideas to drafting scenes, writing dialogue, developing character and creating dramatic structure. Finally, participants will write, using warm-up exercises and prompts. 05 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-1:00 PM // LEVEL 2, ROOM X208, NEW SPACE, HUNTER ST $100 or $90 Hunter Writers Centre members
Carl Caulfield

WORKSHOP – Introduction to Crime Writing

With Sandi Wallace. Explore the key elements of crime fiction – how to unlock story ideas, create strong characters, tension, plot and atmospheric settings. For writers keen to start or develop their crime-writing skills in long or short form. Limited to 25 places 05 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-1:00 PM // NEWCASTLE MUSEUM $100 or $90 Hunter Writers Centre members
Sandi Wallace

WORKSHOP – The Writing ‘I’: Developing your non-fiction persona

With Ailsa Piper. Whether it’s a reflective column for a magazine, a blog post, a travel memoir, or a chapter in a collection, learn how to develop and sharpen your narrative persona. The workshop will explore: locating the appropriate voice and tone choice of form dramatising and enlivening abstract concepts refreshing the writing eye. An essay to read and discuss will be sent in the week prior to the workshop. Limited to 15 places. 05 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-3:00 PM // LEVEL 2, ROOM X201, NEW SPACE, HUNTER ST $160 or $144 Hunter Writers Centre members
Ailsa Piper

WORKSHOP – Writing Trauma

With Meera Atkinson. The prospect of writing trauma can be both daunting and compelling. Meera Atkinson invites those writing or looking to write trauma in any genre to explore this terrain. This interactive workshop features close readings of selected texts, writing exercises, and group draft workshopping with the aim of producing a piece of literary writing that illuminates individual, collective, or transgenerational trauma in some way. Limited to 15 places 05 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-4.00 PM // LEVEL 2, ROOM X204, NEW SPACE, HUNTER ST $180 or $162 Hunter Writers Centre members
Meera Atkinson

MASTERCLASS – Memory and Monuments

The impulse to memorialise people and events has led to the establishment of a range of monuments in urban landscapes. Increasingly, monuments have been verbally or physically attacked and, in some cases, removed. This masterclass will focus on the ongoing histories of monuments, testing the implications of preservation and removal, and how memorials can be revived, reinterpreted or replaced. The three speakers will address Captain Cook, counter-memorials and the ‘statue wars’; the memorial to the band on the Titanic in Broken Hill; and the coal monument in Newcastle. With Nancy Cushing, Stephen Gapps and Tamson Pietsch. Hosted by Richard Neville....
Read More
Stephen Gapps
Tamson Pietsch
Richard Neville
Nancy Cushing

MASTERCLASS – Diving in and Going Deep: Writing what matters

With Kathryn Heyman. In this workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to discover what matters to you as a writer and how to write it. Whether you’re working on fiction or non-fiction, you’ll discover what makes your voice unique, you’ll try new ways of thinking about character (even in memoir) and techniques to bring your prose alive. Limited to 15 places 05 APR 2019 // 11:00 AM-2:00 PM // LEVEL 2, ROOM X207, NEW SPACE, HUNTER ST $100 or $90 Hunter Writers Centre members
Kathryn Heyman

WORKSHOP – Intensive Poetry Workshop

With Les Wicks. This workshop consists of three components. Participants get in advance a strategy sheet on editing their work. Then, at least two weeks before the class, they will submit four poems (maximum 30 lines each). The poems with commentary will be distributed to the participants four days before the workshop. On the day of the workshop the group will work intensively through each participant’s  poems building on prior suggestions and experiencing a dynamic interplay of ideas/insights. Participants will have a chance to have a piece published in the e-mag Australian Poetry Collaboration. Limited to 7 places 05 APR...
Read More
Les Wicks

WORKSHOP – Creativity + Community: Writing Projects

Presented by Richard Short from the Sydney Story Factory. Participants will be guided through the planning of a community writing project, including the development and implementation of a wide variety of teaching activities and strategies that engage students across the full range of abilities and backgrounds. Participants will critically examine the development and implementation of a community writing project (Home – Mapping the stories of Redfern) undertaken by the Sydney Story Factory. This investigation will include reference to student activities, community engagement, planning, and student agency in education. This workshop is endorsed by the NSW Education Standard Authority (NESA) Three hours...
Read More
Richard Short

Newcastle Short Story Award Presentation

Winners announced, anthology launched and the 2019 Newcastle Short Story Award judge, Annabel Smith, ‘In Conversation’ discussing her experience judging the 2019 national competition. Annabel will cover advice to writers about entering competitions. Hosted by Hunter Writers Centre Judge Annabel Smith will be attending. Free event
Annabel Smith

OPENING NIGHT – Speaking Out

Does making change mean making trouble? Ben Quilty, Gillian Triggs and Joe Williams shed light on the people and experiences that have inspired them to speak out and find the courage to lead. Host / Jane Hutcheon Master of ceremonies Dan Cox. 05 APR 2019 // 7:30 PM-9:00 PM // UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE, HAROLD LOBB CONCERT HALL Tickets $35
Ben Quilty
Gillian Triggs
Joe Williams
Jane Hutcheon

Poets Breakfast

Start your festival weekend with live readings and a cup of coffee. Host / Ron Brown Free Event
Ron Brown

Library Archives Tour

Join historian Nancy Cushing and local studies librarian Sue Ryan for a behind-the-scenes tour of the library’s archives, which include the records of real estate firms and personal papers of prominent Novocastrians. Each tour limited to 15 places. Meet at the ground floor information desk. Tickets guarantee a seat for panel discussion at 11.30am. 06 APR 2019 // 9:30 AM-10:15 AM & 10:35 AM-11:15 AM // NEWCASTLE REGION LIBRARY Tickets $10
Sue Ryan
Nancy Cushing

Making a Book

Are you an aspiring or emerging writer? Members of the Lake Macquarie Fellowship of Writers share their hard-earned tips. The session includes information about publishing on demand and taking control of the process for a print or eBook.  With Pam Garfoot, Tony Lang and Linda Visman. Host / Jan Mitchell 06 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Free session  
Tony Lang
Jan Mitchell
Linda Visman
Pam Garfoot

Running Writing

NEW Thinking Series Lachlan Brown, Tom Lee and Michael Sala explore the correlation between being physically active and creative insight. Host / Keri Glastonbury 06 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Tom Lee
Lachlan Brown
Keri Glastonbury
Michael Sala

The Powers That Be

In the escalating war between truth and politics, how do we maintain human rights? Gillian Triggs in Conversation with Jill Emberson. 06 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Gillian Triggs
Jill Emberson

Living with Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have already begun to revolutionise society. Ellen Broad explores the ethics of AI and asks how far we are prepared to let it remake our world? Host / Jane McCredie 06 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Free session  
Ellen Broad
Jane McCredie

The Thrill of It

Michael Robotham is renowned for creating complex pageturners. He discusses the complex characters and plot twists that bring his books to life. Host / Ailsa Piper 06 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $25
Ailsa Piper
Michael Robotham

The Good Fight

Margaret Thatcher said there was no such thing as society, just individuals, so where does that leave community activism? Local campaigners Christine Everingham and John Watts discuss people power. Host / Paul Scott 06 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free session  
Paul Scott
John Watts
Christine Everingham

BOOK LAUNCH – Paperbark

Members of the Eastlakes U3A celebrate their 10th year with the launch of the anthology, Paperbark. To be launched by Barbara Kathner. 06 APR 2019 // 11:00 AM-12:00 PM // THE PRESS BOOK HOUSE Free event
Barbara Kathner

The Year of the Farmer

Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker has become an Aussie classic. She reflects on her passion for small towns and their larger-than-life characters. Host / Meredith Jaffé 06 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Rosalie Ham
Meredith Jaffé

Lives Erased

NEW Thinking Series The history of LGBTQI conversion therapy. With James Bennett, Stuart Edser and Anthony Venn-Brown. Host / Marguerite Johnson 06 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Stuart Edser
James Bennett
Anthony Venn-Brown
Marguerite Johnson

Far From Home

Kon Karapanagiotidis and Saba Vasefi share their perspectives and experiences of the global refugee crisis. Host / Felicity Biggins With a special musical performance by Minerva Khodabande. 06 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Free session
Kon Karapanagiotidis
Saba Vasefi
Felicity Biggins

Conversations with the Past

Exploring the enduring impact of the Holocaust through writing. With Heather Morris. Host / Magdalena Ball 06 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM /  HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25 Bram Presser has withdrawn from this event
Heather Morris

Sign of the Times

The messages on his church billboard capture headlines, but is there more to Father Rod Bower’s push for a progressive Christianity? Host / Dan Cox 06 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Free session  
Rod Bower
Dan Cox

Beyond the Surface

Anisa Nandaula and Alison Whittaker explore the ways in which they use poetry to overcome taboos. Host / Claire Albrecht 06 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free session
Alison Whittaker
Anisa Nandaula
Claire Albrecht

Making the most of Newcastle Library’s archives

With Nancy Cushing, Julie McIntyre and Sue Ryan. 06 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // NEWCASTLE REGION LIBRARY, LOVETT GALLERY Free session
Sue Ryan
Nancy Cushing
Julie McIntyre

Bush Poets Lunch

Join members of the Hunter Bush Poets for readings and a meal. All welcome to perform. Host / Peter Mace & Greg North $30 includes meal
Peter Mace
Greg North

BOOK LAUNCH – Her Mother Tongue

Newcastle writer Zeny Giles’ new book Her Mother Tongue will be launched by Dael Allison. 06 APR 2019 // 12:30 PM-1:30 AM // THE PRESS BOOK HOUSE Free event
Dael Allison
Zeny Giles

Joanne Burns Microlit Award Ceremony

SPECIAL EVENT Includes discussion about using microlit to explore the theme of ‘sound’ and collaborations between authors & composers. With Cassandra Atherton, Jen Craig and Victoria Pham. Includes performances by Stephen Adams and the launch of the Shuffle anthology. 06 APR 2019 // 1:15 PM-2:30 PM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Jen Craig
Stephen Adams
Victoria Pham
Cassandra Atherton

The Borderland

Exploring the creative space between fact and fiction with Chloe Hooper, Bram Presser and Jock Serong. Host / Geordie Williamson 06 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2.30 PM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Chloe Hooper
Bram Presser
Geordie Williamson
Jock Serong

A New Taste of Hunter Wine History

NEW Thinking Series John Germov and Julie McIntyre profile the people, history and technology that have shaped our wine region. Host / Cassie McCullagh 06 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
John Germov
Cassie McCullagh
Julie McIntyre

Blood and Dust

“Aussie noir” is enjoying a moment in the sun, but what is driving the popularity of this publishing phenomenon? With Mark Brandi, Chris Hammer and Sandi Wallace. Host / Jaye Ford 06 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Mark Brandi
Chris Hammer
Sandi Wallace
Jaye Ford / Janette Paul

Stories of Resilience

Most of us will experience at least one traumatic event, but why and how do certain people cope more effectively with personal tragedy? With Meera Atkinson, Heather Morris and Rick Morton. Host / Annabel Smith 06 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $25
Meera Atkinson
Heather Morris
Annabel Smith
Rick Morton

Identity and the Body

Creative practitioners discuss how they have utilised their bodies to explore notions of personal, cultural and social identity. With Bleck, Rakini Devi and Caro Llewellyn. Host / Jessi England Presented in partnership with The Lock-Up and in conjunction with the exhibition KNOWN |UNKNOWN 06 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free session
Bleck
Rakini Devi
Caro Llewellyn
Jessi England

BOOK LAUNCH – High Wire Step

Magdalena Ball’s new poetry collection High Wire Step will be launched by Beth Spencer. 06 APR 2019 // 2:00 PM-2:30 PM // THE PRESS BOOK HOUSE Free event
Beth Spencer
Magdalena Ball

Flying Island Pocket Poets

Jean Kent, Kit Kelen, Kerri Shying and Beth Spencer discuss their work. Host / Magdalena Ball 06 APR 2019 // 2:45 PM-3:30 PM // THE PRESS BOOK HOUSE Free event
Kit Kelen
Kerri Shying
Beth Spencer
Magdalena Ball

Creating Memorable Characters

Chris Hammer and Holly Throsby discuss how they create imaginary people who feel true enough to be real. Host / Suzanne Leal 06 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Chris Hammer
Holly Throsby
Suzanne Leal

Writing Women in the Wake of #metoo

NEW Thinking Series Poet and academic Kate Lilley in conversation with Trisha Pender. 06 APR 2019 // 15:00-16:00 // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Trisha Pender
Kate Lilley

The Best Medicine

Ellen Briggs, Tanya Hennessy and Hung Le discuss how they use laughter to face – and understand – the bitter moments of life. Host / Amy Sambrooke 06 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Tanya Hennessy
Hung Le
Amy Sambrooke
Ellen Briggs

Truth in Memoir

Is objective truth essential when writing about your life, and can memory and imagination ever be separated? With Jessie Cole, Caro Llewellyn and Rick Morton. Host / Ailsa Piper 06 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Jessie Cole
Caro Llewellyn
Ailsa Piper
Rick Morton

A Dark Inheritance

Emily O’Grady, Trent Dalton and Christian White explore the far-reaching impact of crimes on their memorable fictional families. Host / Geordie Williamson 06 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $25
Trent Dalton
Christian White
Emily O’Grady
Geordie Williamson

The Right Note

Dael Allison, Joanna Atherfold Finn and Morgan Bell explore how the interplay between music and imagination influences creative works. Musician Jessi Ballard will perform. Host / Nick Milligan 06 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free session
Morgan Bell
Jessi Ballard
Joanna Atherfold Finn
Dael Allison
Nick Milligan

Disruption and Disempowerment

Mark Scott argues that new media is enabling despots and disempowering democracy. Why does more information often mean less insight? Host / Justin O’Brien 06 APR 2019 // 4:30 PM-5:30 PM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Mark Scott
Justin O’Brien

Home Grown

Newcastle poets discuss and read from their recent chapbooks published by Puncher & Wattmann. With Claire Albrecht, Kait Fenwick, Trisha Pender and Kerri Shying. Host / Chris Brown 06 APR 2019 // 4:00 PM-5:00 PM // WATT SPACE Free event
Kait Fenwick
Kerri Shying
Trisha Pender
Chris Brown
Claire Albrecht

When Galaxies Collide

NEW Thinking Series With the Andromeda Galaxy rushing towards the Milky Way, astrophysicist Lisa Harvey-Smith considers our fate. Host / Jane McCredie 06 APR 2019 // 4:30 PM-5:30 PM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Lisa Harvey-Smith
Jane McCredie

Classroom Struggle

What does it mean to be a teacher? Gabbie Stroud discusses how she tried to keep the heart in her job. Host / Jane Caro 06 APR 2019 // 4:30 PM-5:30 PM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Jane Caro
Gabbie Stroud

Behind the News

Kerry O’Brien reflects on the social and political upheavals he has witnessed, of lessons learned and ignored, and the personalities who have made history. Host / Paul Bevan 06 APR 2019 // 4:30 PM-5:30 PM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Kerry O’Brien
Paul Bevan

Reawakening the Past

Claire G Coleman, Jock Serong and Clare Wright explore the challenges of writing history based on previously unheard voices. Host / Julie McIntyre 06 APR 2019 // 4:30 PM-5:30 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $15
Claire G Coleman
Clare Wright
Jock Serong
Julie McIntyre

Radical Acts of Empathy

The importance of walking in another’s shoes in our divided world. With Rod Bower, Kon Karapanagiotidis and Anisa Nandaula. Host / Annabel Smith 06 APR 2019 // 4:30 PM-5:30 PM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free session
Rod Bower
Kon Karapanagiotidis
Annabel Smith
Anisa Nandaula

BOOK LAUNCH -Juan Garrido-Salgado

Poet Juan Garrido-Salgado’s new collection Cuando fui Clandestino (When I Was Clandestine) will be launched by Ray Kelly Snr. 06 APR 2019 // 5:30 PM-6:30 PM // THE PRESS BOOK HOUSE Free event
Juan Garrido-Salgado
Ray Kelly Snr

UNDERWORLD

Discover the underworld of the Roaring Twenties at this one night only underground party! Dress up in your 1920s glad rags, dance your way through the evening, grab a drink and meet the bosses, grifters and petty crims inspired by the exhibition Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties. Free event

Boys Will Be Boys

Clementine Ford dismantles the age-old idea that entitlement, aggression and toxicity are natural realms for boys, and reveals how the patriarchy we live in is as harmful to boys and men as it is to women and girls. Host / Amy Sambrooke 06 APR 2019 // 6:00 PM-7:00 PM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Clementine Ford
Amy Sambrooke

CANCELLED – Newcastle Sonnets

THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELLED, SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE. A discussion/performance by poet Keri Glastonbury and composer Jacqueline Amidy about the process of adapting Newcastle Sonnets into a Song Cycle. Newcastle Sonnets is the poet’s homage to Newcastle, and in this translation of sonnet into song Amidy seeks to release the latent musicality of Glastonbury’s disjunctive syntax, to create a soundscape of place. Words and music seem such an obvious amalgam, but as Amidy states: “The collaboration idea started when I read Keri’s poems. She spoke a kind of cut up, smashed up dialogue of observation, peppered with crazy references...
Read More
Jacqueline Amidy
Keri Glastonbury

Secrets and Lies

SPECIAL EVENT Michael Robotham explores what drives the characters in his best-selling books. Host / Barry Maitland 06 APR 2019 // 7:30 PM-8:30 PM // CESSNOCK PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE Tickets $25 
Barry Maitland
Michael Robotham

Women Like Us: The Show

SPECIAL EVENT With Ellen Briggs & Mandy Nolan. Enjoy two hours of rapid-fire stand-up comedy by Ellen Briggs and Mandy Nolan, who call themselves “the bogan woman’s thinking woman and the thinking woman’s bogan”. Irreverent, outrageous and down-to-earth, these women don’t just deliver in the birth suite, they do it on stage. 06 APR 2019 // 7:30 PM-9:30 PM // HAROLD LOBB CONCERT HALL, CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC Tickets $35
Mandy Nolan
Ellen Briggs

Queerstories

Enter the raucous, radical, wildly funny world of Queerstories and enjoy unexpected tales from a diverse line up of LGBTQI+ festival guests. With Claire G Coleman, Kait Fenwick, Bastian Fox Phelan, Paul van Reyk and Anthony Venn-Brown. Host / Maeve Marsden 06 APR 2019 // 8:30 PM-9:30 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $25
Maeve Marsden
Kait Fenwick
Claire G Coleman
Anthony Venn-Brown
Paul van Reyk
Bastian Fox Phelan

Animal Tales

The Newcastle Wind Orchestra and Newcastle Writers Festival present Animal Tales. ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’ will be presented alongside Henry Lawson’s classic ‘The Loaded Dog’. Tickets – Adult $25, Child/concession $15, Family $60

One Hundred Years of Dirt

Rick Morton talks to Ed Wright about his memoir, which is a meditation on anger, fear of others and an obsession with real and imagined borders. 07 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Rick Morton
Ed Wright

The Ties That Bind

Mark Brandi, Trent Dalton and Emily O’Grady explore how the past shapes the present in their coming-of-age novels. Host / Magdalena Ball 07 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Trent Dalton
Mark Brandi
Emily O’Grady
Magdalena Ball

Country Roads

Rosalie Ham, Holly Throsby and Christian White discuss the big drama of small towns. Host / Meredith Jaffé 07 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Rosalie Ham
Holly Throsby
Christian White
Meredith Jaffé

You Daughters of Freedom

Clare Wright discusses the Australians who won the vote and inspired the world. Host / Nancy Cushing 07 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $15
Clare Wright
Nancy Cushing

Welcome to the Future

What will the world be like in 50 years and beyond? Ellen Broad and Peter Xing explore the impact of technology and new ideas on how – and where – we will live. Host / Christina Gerakiteys 07 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free session
Peter Xing
Ellen Broad
Christina Gerakiteys

The Story of a Fire: Inside the mind of an arsonist.

UNDERWORLD – Crime at the Museum Chloe Hooper in conversation with Geordie Williamson. 07 APR 2019 // 10:00 AM-11:00 AM // NEWCASTLE MUSEUM Free session
Chloe Hooper
Geordie Williamson

On Location

Jessie Cole and Jock Serong explore how the Australian landscape has influenced who they are and the work they create. Host / Conor McCarthy 07 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Jessie Cole
Jock Serong
Conor McCarthy

The People vs The Banks

The banking royal commission put the financial sector on trial and exposed its self-interest, corruption and excess. What next for Australians and our banks? Michael Roddan in conversation with Justin O’Brien. 07 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Michael Roddan
Justin O’Brien

Why Women’s Stories Matter

With Clementine Ford, Kate Lilley and Alison Whittaker. Host / Trisha Pender 07 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Clementine Ford
Alison Whittaker
Kate Lilley

The Crappiest Refugee

Hung Le escaped the Vietnam war in a leaky prawn trawler as a child and became the “world’s first, best and tallest Vietnamese comic”. Host / Mandy Nolan 07 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $15
Hung Le
Mandy Nolan

Unlocking the Puzzle

UNDERWORLD – Crime at the Museum Barry Maitland discusses his new mystery The Promised Land with Jaye Ford. 07 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // NEWCASTLE MUSEUM Free Session  
Barry Maitland
Jaye Ford / Janette Paul

Launch – Girls on Key Press

Girls on Key Press presents the launch of The Interstate Women’s Poetry Series. Hear from poets about connecting with their inner and outer states. Readings by Sarah Crane, Jan Dean, Gabrielle Everall, Eliana Gray, Dominique Hecq, Gail Hennessy. Hosts / Magdalena Ball and Anna Forsyth 07 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:45 PM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free event
Anna Forsyth
Gabrielle Everall
Jan Dean
Sara Crane
Dominique Hecq
Gail Hennessy
Eliana Gray
Magdalena Ball

CANCELLED // The Power of Love

Barney is no longer appearing at this year’s festival. Refunds will be issued to ticket holders.  She helped him get back on a surfboard after an horrific accident and he helped her find her voice. Barney and Kada Miller in conversation with Jenny Marchant. Kada will also perform. 07 APR 2019 // 11:30 AM-12:30 PM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL  
Jenny Marchant
Barney Miller
Kada Miller

Family Takeover

Newcastle Region Library, Lovett Gallery 11am-11.45am Celebrate the launch of Katrina McKelvey’s new book Up to Something, which is illustrated by Kirrili Lonergan. There will be fun and games. Newcastle Region Library, Lovett Gallery 12.00pm-1.00pm Illustrator Battle Liz Anelli, Serena Geddes and Gwynneth Jones go head to head. Who will win this battle of drawing talent? Children’s Room – Ground Floor Storytime Readings 11.00am Deborah Kelly 11.25am Ant Wood 11.50am Meredith Jaffé 12.15pm Zanni Louise Newcastle Region Library, Ground Floor 11.00am-11.30am – Join Indigenous performer Lucas Proudfoot as he spins a yarn and plays music. 12.00pm-12.45pm – Celebrate the launch...
Read More
Katrina McKelvey
Paul Russell
Lucas Proudfoot
Ant Wood
Deborah Kelly
Gwynneth Jones
Serena Geddes
Zanni Louise
Liz Anelli
Kirrili Lonergan
Meredith Jaffé

2001: The Year Everything Changed

The 9/11 tragedy, Tampa crisis and the launch of the iPod: Phillipa McGuinness considers the reverberations of this linchpin year. Host / Felicity Biggins 07 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // THE MARQUEE, WHEELER PLACE Free session  
Phillipa McGuinness
Felicity Biggins

A Shrink in the Clink

UNDERWORLD – Crime at the Museum Criminal psychologist Tim Watson-Munro gets into the minds of Australia’s worst offenders, but at what cost? Host / Paul Scott 07 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // NEWCASTLE MUSEUM Free Session
Paul Scott
Tim Watson-Munro

BOOK LAUNCH To End All Wars

Celebrate the launch of To End All Wars, a collection marking the centenary of the World War I Armistice and featuring work by some of Australasia’s leading poets. With Dael Allison, Anna Couani, Kit Kelen and Les Wicks. Includes readings. 07 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Anna Couani
Kit Kelen
Les Wicks
Dael Allison

Is Our School System Broken?

Schools are under increasing funding constraints and face mounting pressure to achieve better outcomes for more students. Mark Scott and Gabbie Stroud look to the future. Host / John Fischetti 07 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Gabbie Stroud
Mark Scott
John Fischetti

Face to Face

An effective interview challenges and illuminates, but what are the secrets to its success? With Trent Dalton, Chloe Hooper and Kerry O’Brien. Host / Rosemarie Milsom 07 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Trent Dalton
Chloe Hooper
Kerry O’Brien
Rosemarie Milsom

Accidental Feminists

Women over 55 belong to the generation that changed everything but didn’t plan to. Jane Caro explores the achievement of these revolutionaries. Host / Meredith Jaffé 07 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-2:30 PM // CONCERT HALL, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Jane Caro
Meredith Jaffé

Cancelled – Penned Pals

THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELLED, SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE. Tony Doherty and Ailsa Piper, authors of The Attachment, celebrate their favourite collected correspondences in this surprising, tender and sometimes hilarious charmer of a performance. 07 APR 2019 // 1:30 PM-3:00 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST
Tony Doherty
Ailsa Piper

The Good Life

Todd Alexander abandoned the Sydney high life and together with his partner decided to start a vineyard in the Hunter Valley. What could possibly go wrong? Host / Paul Bevan 07 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // MULUBINBA ROOM, CITY HALL Free session
Paul Bevan
Todd Alexander

Shine it Up

Jackie Gillies is a successful businesswoman and TV identity, but spirituality has also played a significant role in her life. She shares her journey. 07 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:15 PM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $25
Jackie Gillies

CANCELLED – The Tattooist of Auschwitz

THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELLED, SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE. Heather Morris talks to Suzanne Leal about the remarkable true story of Lale Sokolov’s time at Auschwitz and the passion he and Gita shared amid one of the most brutal episodes in modern history. 07 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // HUNTER ROOM, CITY HALL  
Heather Morris
Suzanne Leal

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. Performances can take any form. Registration from 2.30pm at the marquee. Free Event

Troll Hunting

Investigative journalist Ginger Gorman takes us inside the world of online hate and its far reaching fallout. Host / Jane Caro 07 APR 2019 // 3:00 PM-4:00 PM // CUMMINGS ROOM, CITY HALL Tickets $15
Jane Caro
Ginger Gorman

How to Change the World

The Founder of 1 Million Women, Natalie Isaacs, talks to Christina Gerakiteys about harnessing passion, power and politics to create a better future. 07 APR 2019 // 3:30 PM-4:30 PM // THE PLAYHOUSE, HUNTER ST Tickets $15
Natalie Isaacs
Christina Gerakiteys

Poetry at the Pub

FESTIVAL AFTER PARTY Celebrate the end of another fantastic festival weekend with special guests Kate Lilley and Alison Whittaker. 08 APR 2019 // 7:30 PM // WICKHAM PARK HOTEL Free event
Alison Whittaker
Kate Lilley