Festival Director Rosemarie Milsom writes:
On every level, this year’s festival was an overwhelming success. Tickets sales increased by 40 per cent, our free sessions were at capacity, the weather was kind, and our guests and audiences were left buzzing. I feel completely humbled by the response and have now set myself the challenge to create a program for the fifth festival that is just as engaging. Save the date: 7 to 9 April, 2017.
Thank you to our robust and engaged audiences who travelled from near and far, the incredible writers who challenged and inspired us, our ever-growing team of enthusiastic volunteers led by their dedicated coordinator Sheree Kable, the session hosts who put in hours of preparation, this year’s venues which included Newcastle City Hall, Civic Theatre, Newcastle Art Gallery, Crowne Plaza Newcastle, Newcastle Region Library, Watt Space Student Gallery and The Press Book House.
Thank you to our hard-working friends at MacLean’s Booksellers and Scion Audio. Thanks also to my fellow board members Jenny Blackford, Maryanne Church, Sally Ebert, Katrina McKelvey and Sharon Roberts for your support and encouragement.
Our designer Miranda Whittle also deserves a big pat on the back, as does our dedicated festival photographer Chris Patterson from @Intervision who always manages to capture the full festival experience. And last, but definitely not least, thank you to our sponsors whose ongoing support has helped this festival’s success exceed all expectations. I extend my appreciation to Arts NSW, Newcastle City Council, The University of Newcastle, ABC 1233 Newcastle, Newcastle Herald, Crowne Plaza Newcastle, Hunter Writers Centre and The Lock-Up.