After a whirlwind move from Sydney, I’m close to finalising a rich program of writers, performers, poets, thinkers, comedians and musicians for the 2014 Byron Bay Writers’ Festival. The program is filling out with talent covering everything from politics and crime to screen writing and fiction in all its forms. We have some international gems and a host of the best local writers and thinkers in Australia today.
I’m very excited about incorporating new media into the program. We are trying some new ideas to diversify the program and explore different literary mediums.
Our partnership with Griffith REVIEW goes from strength to strength. The most recent issue of Griffith REVIEW, co-edited by acclaimed New Zealand author Lloyd Jones, shines a spotlight on the shifting tides in New Zealand. Through this association and with the support of the NZ Book Council, we will be bringing some of New Zealand’s most exciting and innovative literary talent to the Festival.
Other areas that are emerging as strong Festival themes include the environment and investigative journalism. I think Festival-goers will find this aspect of the program incredibly stimulating. The children’s program is also looking fantastic with some of Australia’s favourite authors coming to inspire our young writers and readers.
So mark your diaries. The Festival is being held from 1- 3 August with workshops commencing on 28 July. We’ll release early bird tickets on 11 April and the full program on 6 June.
It’s such a privilege for me to invite leading writers and thinkers to congregate in this stunning landscape to celebrate the written word in all its forms. It’s also a privilege to live in these spectacularly beautiful surroundings. I’ve been holidaying in Byron for the past twenty years and feel so fortunate to have found such a stimulating job in one of the most beautiful places in Australia.
I’ll be here regularly updating you on Festival news, so watch this space.
Edwina Johnson, Director, Byron Bay Writers Festival