The Newcastle Writers Festival has announced new dates – 24 to 26 September, 2021. The ninth event will run alongside the first weekend of City of Newcastle’s New Annual arts festival, offering audiences a jam-packed cultural program.
Festival director Rosemarie Milsom said the move was essential to alleviate uncertainty about live events and to enable planning for a comprehensive in-venue program featuring writers from across Australia. Some digital sessions will be included and international writers will appear.
“As one of Australia’s first large-scale arts events to cancel because of Covid this year, we were very keen to avoid a repeat,” said Milsom. “While our rapid pivot to a smaller online program in April was rewarding, it didn’t replace the magic of being in the same room with wonderful writers and fellow book-lovers. I know I’m not the only person who is eagerly awaiting the return of festivals and I can’t wait to be reunited with our loyal audience.”
The festival has adapted its usual programming in view of the 2021 move and will offer a podcast series from March to May, as well as a two-day emerging writers program in June featuring online and live events. The festival will also launch the Newcastle Emerging Writer Prize, which is sponsored by local wine label Elephant in the Room. The winner of the NEW Prize will be announced at the September festival and will receive $5000 for professional development.
“While Covid has had an impact on all artists, emerging writers have been heavily impacted,” said Milsom. “The festival has always supported the local writing community and this award cements our commitment.”
- 11 January – 2021 festival submissions open
- 22 February – 2021 festival submissions close
- 3 March – 26 May Stories to You podcast series featuring local, national, and international writers
- 2 to 3 June – Emerging writers program and launch of Newcastle Emerging Writer Prize
- 24 to 26 September – 2021 Newcastle Writers Festival and announcement of inaugural Newcastle Emerging Writer Prize winner