Lovers of literature hungry to tap into the hearts and minds of their favourite authors will be inspired by the diverse mix of writers attending the 2014 Newcastle Writers Festival.
The program for the event, to be held from April 4 to 6, was announced today at Newcastle Region Library.
From the best contemporary crime writing to high voltage Aussie rock ’n’ roll history, award-winning poetry, ethical dilemmas, sex addiction, World War I, motherhood, high adventure and high-heeled drama at a fashion magazine, this year’s festival is a colourful coming together of genres and ideas from some of Australia’s most interesting and respected writers and thinkers.
Wendy Harmer is this year’s opening night speaker, with the versatile entertainer and writer launching the festival on Friday, April 4, at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.
Festival Director Rosemarie Milsom said the weekend to follow would be an enticing mix of “incredible” talent bringing their best to the festival throughout 45 events, including workshops, forums and readings. Half of the sessions are free thanks to the generosity of sponsors.
“This year’s program has something for everyone,” Milsom said. “From the masterful crime writer Garry Disher to Lake Macquarie-born novelist Kathryn Heyman, former Vogue editor and author Kirstie Clements, comedian Tim Ferguson, social researcher Hugh Mackay, poets Anthony Lawrence and Mark Tredinnick, adventurer Tim Cope, Philip Nitschke and Caroline Jones, it is a stellar line-up of this country’s best writers. It also features fantastic local content.”
The inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival was held last April and was an overwhelming success with 2800 people attending 35 events. Once again, Newcastle City Hall will be the festival hub, though a number of events will also being held at various venues throughout the city including Newcastle Art Gallery, Reserve Wine Bar and Agosti Espresso.
This year, the main festival is preceded by a children’s program beginning on April 2 with a day for pre-schoolers at Newcastle Region Library. Popular authors hosting workshops and readings for young people include Tristan Bancks, Leila Rudge and Aaron Blabey.
“The response from writers to be part of the festival has been overwhelming,” Milsom said. “They are eager to come the festival, but also to enjoy Newcastle. The word is out that we are a city on the move and there is a lot of enthusiasm for such a diverse cultural event.”
The Newcastle Writers Festival is funded by Newcastle NOW, Newcastle City Council and the University of Newcastle, with support from MacLean’s Booksellers, The Newcastle Herald, ABC 1233 and Hunter Writers Centre.
The program is available from www.newcastlewritersfestival.org.au and tickets will be on sale from 9am, February 22, via Ticketek.
To arrange interviews with Festival Director Rosemarie Milsom, or guest authors, please contact Amy Hurrell on 0434 269269 firstname.lastname@example.org.