Byron becomes the home of all things literature this August when Byron Writers Festival rolls into town. And now that organisers have revealed their full program – jam-packed with more than 140 Australian and international speakers, we’re expecting the festival to dish up something pretty special for word-lovers.
The Festival takes place in the sprawling grounds of Elements of Byron Resort, surrounded by dunal vegetation and seaside vibes. 120 sessions over three days incorporate writers’ workshops, a program for children and genres such as fiction, memoir, environment, society, politics, poetry, art and music all getting a look in.
“Now more than ever our world needs writers, environmentalists, poets, commentators, politicians and artists who together can shape stories of hope, courage and change,” says Festival Director Edwina Johnson.
This year the festival celebrates its 23rdyear. International guests include former anti-mafia prosecutor and one of Italy’s best-selling crime authors Gianrico Carofiglio, PEN international president and ‘Gun Love’ author Jennifer Clement, former LA Times war correspondent and author of ‘Women’s Work’ Megan K. Stack, New York Times best-selling author of ‘Pachinko’ Min Jin Leeand Indian poet, novelist and dancer Tishani Doshi. Kurdish-Iranian refugee and award-winning author of ‘No Friend But The Mountains’ Behrouz Boochani will appear via live stream from Manus Island where he has been detained since 2013.
One of Australia’s most successful authors Di Morrissey will feature in conversations with ABC TV’s Jennifer Byrne. Former Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd (The PM Years) headlines a notable line-up of politicians that includes Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young (En Garde), former Greens senator Scott Ludlam and former leader of the Australian Democrats and founding chair of Our Watch Natasha Stott Despoja (On Violence).
Writers and revered commentators Stan Grant (Australia Day and On Identity), Kerry O’Brien (Kerry O’Brien: A Memoir), Peter Greste (The First Casualty) and Leigh Sales (Any Ordinary Day) will unpack the politics of the day as well as discuss their own books.
There’s inspiring real-life stories from people like Tim Costello and 2019 Stella Prize winner Vicki Laveau-Harvie as well as music writer / bird tragic and author of ‘Pig City’ Andrew Stafford who is about to launch his much-anticipated memoir ‘Something to Believe In’.
Clementine Ford, Benjamin Law, Adam Spencer, Trace Spicer, Tim Flannery and Bruce Pascoe are all on the lineup as is Alice Gorman and filmmaker Damon Gameau who premiered ‘2040’ at Gold Coast Film Festival and considers our post-climate future in ‘2040: A Handbook for the Regeneration’.
All in all it’s a diverse, entertaining and thought-provoking program and having attended last year’s event, I highly recommend you make a weekend of it. There’s nothing like a Byron winter, full of literature and like-minded people to reconnect you with what’s important in life.
Byron Writers Festival 2019 takes place 2-4 August in the beautiful grounds of Elements of Byron Resort. Full program and tickets at byronwritersfestival.com.
2019 Writers and Presenters at Byron Writers Festival
Nicole Abadee, Sarah Armstrong, Amal Awad, Sunil Badami, Bronwyn Bancroft, Paul Barclay, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Tony Birch, John Birmingham, Jesse Blackadder, Paul Bongiorno, Behrouz Boochani, Phil Brown, Jennifer Byrne, Barbara Carmichael, Isobelle Carmody, Gianrico Carofiglio, Gabrielle Chan, Melanie Cheng, Jennifer Clement, Matthew Condon, Maddison Connaughton, Tim Costello, Sophie Cunningham, Marele Day, Karla Dickens, Tishani Doshi, Jill Eddington, Sara El Sayed, Russell Eldridge, Claire L. Evans, Matthew Evans, Richard Fidler, Carly Findlay, John Flanagan, Tim Flannery, Tony Flowers, Clementine Ford, Karen Foxlee, Antony Funnell, Damon Gameau, Simi Genzuik, Lisa-ann Gershwin, David Gillespie, Morris Gleitzman, Alice Gorman, Ginger Gorman, Stan Grant, A.C. Grayling, Peter Greste, Ash Grunwald, Chris Hanley, Sarah Hanson-Young, Lynda Hawryluk, Ashley Hay, Jess Hill, Chloe Hooper, Shep Huntly, Daniel James, Zacharey Jane, Erik Jensen, Gail Jones, Toni Jordan, Sarah Kanowski, Samia Khatun, Sarah Lambert, Christina Larmer, Vicki Laveau-Harvie, Benjamin Law, Hung Le, Angela Ledgerwood, Debbie Lee, Min Jin Lee, David Leser, Alison Lester, S.L. Lim, Caro Llewellyn, Zanni Louise, Melissa Lucashenko, Scott Ludlam, William MacNeil, Alex Mankiewicz, John Marsden, Kate McClymont, Phillipa McGuinness, Miles Merrill, Karen Middleton, Rosemarie Milsom, Evelyn Ida Morris, Di Morrissey, Rick Morton, Sisonke Msimang, Melanie Mununggurr-Williams, Joanna Nell, Mandy Nolan, Georgia Norton Lodge, Zoë Norton Lodge, Patrick Nunn, Kerry O’Brien, Kristina Olsson, Mick O’Regan, Bruce Pascoe, Mark Pesce, Ailsa Piper, Helen Pitt, Stephen Pyne, Roman Quaedvlieg, Hannie Rayson, Michael Robotham, Kevin Rudd, Harry Saddler, Omar Sakr, Leigh Sales, Margot Saville, Julianne Schultz, Nathan Scolaro, Jock Serong, Julia Shaw, Joanne Shoebridge, Adam Shoemaker, Dominic Smith, Jeff Sparrow, Adam Spencer, Tracey Spicer, Ranjana Srivastava, Megan K. Stack, Andrew Stafford, David Stavanger, Jason Stephens, Natasha Stott Despoja, Gabbie Stroud, Adam Suckling, Mark Swivel, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Omid Tofighian, Barbara Toner, Kate Veitch, Michael Veitch, Don Watson, Peter Watt, Jessica White, Debbie Whitmont, Michael Williams, Geordie Williamson, Tara June Winch, Eddie Woo, Clare Wright, Nevo Zisin, Markus Zusak.