Newcastle Writers Festival Launched
The first chapter of what is expected to be an annual success story began this week with the launch of the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival at The Lock-Up Cultural Centre. The launch was highlighted by the announcement of British actor Miriam Margolyes as keynote speaker.
Festival organiser and Newcastle Herald journalist Rosemarie Milsom also announced the line-up of writers for some of the 35 sessions on the program.
Milsom said the diversity of local talent and the already overwhelmingly positive response to the festival showed that Newcastle was more than ready to boost its literary profile.
"I've attended writers' festivals in Australia and overseas, and always wondered why Newcastle didn't have its own event given the depth of creativity in the city and beyond," she said.
"If you are an avid reader, keen to learn more about the writing process, or enjoy a lively exchange of ideas, there will be something for you in the festival program."
The Festival will be held from April 5 to 7, and will bring together a diverse range of contemporary writers and established literary leaders.
Popular broadcaster Ramona Koval, novelist and award-winning journalist Caroline Overington, local crime writers Jaye Ford and Barry Maitland, media commentator Jane Caro and ABC radio presenter Richard Fidler are among those participating.
A group of Hunter authors will shine the light on our local talent and include husband and wife history writers Greg and Sylvia Ray, Michael Chamberlain, crime writer Wendy James, best-selling romance novelist Deborah Challinor and ABC journalist and author Scott Bevan. A highlight will be a literary lunch with colourful Sydney QC Stuart Littlemore.
The Newcastle Writers Festival is supported by the University of Newcastle, Newcastle NOW and Newcastle City Council and is the brainchild of Milsom, who is working in partnership with the Hunter Writers Centre Director, Karen Crofts.
"The enthusiasm for the festival across all sections of the community has inspired me. Karen and I look forward to presenting a lively and interesting program. If you are an avid reader or keen to learn more about the writing process, there will be something for you," Milsom said.
Events will be held at a number of inner-city venues, including The Lock-Up Arts precinct, Noah's on the Beach, the Crown and Anchor Hotel, Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle City Hall.
Ticketed events are now on sale at the Newcastle Writers Festival website.