Blog

Byron Writers Festival 2016 highlights

Michelle Morgan - Thursday, August 11, 2016

It was a wet and windy three days at Elements of Byron in Byron Bay for the Byron Writers Festival 2016, but what an amazing program and range of authors.

So many sessions to choose from with six concurrent sessions from 9am to at least 5pm every day, not to mention two literary dinners.

Annabel Crabb was in fine form in her conversation with Chris Hanley. Her witty insights into political shenanigans brought gales of laughter and tears to the eyes. Annabel was joined by other political journalists, including Kerry O'Brien, Sarah Ferguson, Leigh Sales, Nikki Savva and Paddy Manning, all of whom have written books on political subjects in recent years. Their forensic discussion of recent events and players was fascinating.

Being a YA author, I was keenly interested in what authors such as John Marsden, Anna Feinberg, Nick Earls, Damon Young and Tristan Bancks had to say about their novels and writing process. Other authors that contributed to lively literary discussions, include Thomas Keneally, Debra Adelaide, Charlotte Wood, Anna Funder, Kathryn Heyman, Emily Maguire, Drusilla Modjeska, Kate Forsyth, Louise Doughty and Dominic Smith, all of whom gave thoughtful insights into their books and writing.

Something completely different was Archibald Prize Unwrapped, in which Rosemarie Milsom did a great job keeping the loquacious barrister, Charles Waterstreet in check while encouraging her introverted and talented artist brother, Nigel Milsom, who won the Archibald in 2015 with his stunning portrait of Charles Waterstreet.

My favourite sessions were Feminism Now and Indigenous Lives through Women's Eyes. Anne Summers did a brilliant job as chair of Feminism Now, allowing the younger feminist writers, including Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Melanie Joosten and Emily Maguire, to voice their concerns and individual viewpoints. You couldn't help but be impressed by their lively discussions and thought-provoking arguments.

The Indigenous writers were just as impressive, with Melissa Lucashenko chairing and contributing to the discussions with Delta Kay and Tara June Winch. Their love of Aboriginal culture, story and writing was inspiring. After hearing Tara read from her beautifully written novel, Swallow the Air, I went to the bookshop marquee and bought the book.

Mary Ryan's Books did an amazing job selling books at the festival. The bookshop marquee was often busier than the food and coffee stalls.

The sky was blue and the sun was shining when I left Byron Bay, inspired by all the wonderful authors I'd met.

Many thanks to the organisers, sponsors and volunteers who did an amazing job.

» Share this post

Recent Posts

Tags

scbwi chloe mauger read3r'zrevu refugees CBCA book of the year awards racing the moon indie publishing shoalhaven libraries ReadPlus tom keneally centre Paperchain Manuka too late for love deep sky bay of fires Newcastle writers' festival southern highland news mother's day children's book council of australia illawarra south coast Sydney Harbour Bridge book cover design berkelouw book barn State Library of NSW illustrators bookstop[ captain tobias furneaux festivals sophie masson goodreads giveaway hnsa children's / YA literature teen fiction Reading Time deb robins refugee week highlife magazine school visits 12 curly questions tanika gupta ainslie + gorman arts centre goodbye frankie international children's book day 2014 skylight books national simultaneous storytime Australia Day byron writers festival libraries interviews heart of australia 19 March 1932 playwriting children's book council of australia NSW branch Dymocks Brisbane authors eBook mall book trailer bradman museum coming-of-age fiction WritingNSW dymocks bookshops mabo day kate gordon copyediting MacLean's Booksellers Tamworth Country Music Festival awards frankfurt book fair just write for kids teachers' notes mETAphor literary events kobo book depository seven mile beach indigenous literacy day ann harth barnes&noble bookloons bushwalking believing alexander mccall smith romy sharp Tamworth City Library author talks ulladulla library flying through clouds Moss Vale Campus Library kids' book review di bates playwriting festival children's book council of australia national conference berkelouw books Bowral Art Gallery reviews writing workshops gorman arts centre Abbey's Bookshop QBD bologna children's book fair CBCA Children's Book Week sydney opera house luke johnson sir charles kingsford smith iTunes lovereading4kids good reading magazine fran knight smashwords southern highlands writers' festival southern cross Broadbeach Library Grafton Library bill condon fishpond atyp society of children's book writers and illustrators australian literature sydney mechanics school of arts library festival of dangerous ideas Reader's Companion Armidale nowra library spark award 2017 book tour allen & unwin theatre Mitchell Library paperback ANZAC Day gerringong historical society museum clancy tucker indigenous literacy foundation 14 february 1966 Taree Library scbwi australia smsa library sydney nsw writers' centre reconciliation Magpies Books + Publishing decimal currency narrabundah college michelle morgan buzz words book launch booktopia Historical Novel Society self-publishing sally odgers historical fiction goodreads elizabeth gilbert autumn revel jackie french jamberoo public school giveaway big book day out playwrights retreat ubud, bali kindle Woollahra Library YA fiction writing process blog hop historical novel society australasia telopea park school Bookshop Bowral writers' festivals all the buzz about books australian standing orders NAIDOC week Spotlight On nook Port Macquarie Library lachlan philpott australian federation of graduate women ubud writers & readers festival songs middle grade fiction jump for jordan Good Reading Waterstones elaine ousten australian reading hour Dymock's Canberra bookworld blog tour tasmania Muswellbrook Library act writers centre books children's book council of australia potts point bookshop lyn linning sandy fussell literary lunch spark award older readers 2017 amazon hans christian andersen sharon mcguinness Lismore Library festival of golden words griffin theatre book fairs St Paul's Primary School Quirindi Library arielle gamble griffin press Gordon Library author videos Anniversary Day holidays canberra eBook eBooks.com better read than dead martin luther king, jr valentine's day barbara braxton combined book exhibit readhowyouwant amazon kindle

Archive