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

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

Archive