All posts tagged: Andy Griffiths

The simple act of reading: Why all reading is created equal

After many years of pondering, I’ve come to the conclusion that all reading is created equal. This is not to say that all books are created equal — I’m not saying that there aren’t good or bad books. What I’m saying is that the act of reading, of diving into a story and experiencing the characters, setting, and themes is universal in literature, regardless of a story’s quality. I think many people were very excited to attend the panel inspired by the book The Simple Act of Reading by Debra Adelaide for exactly this reason. Readers of all experience, who love everything from trashy romance novels to Greek classics, can appreciate the way it feels to dive into a book. This Sunday morning session at Byron Bay Writers Festival included Andy Griffiths, Malcolm Knox, and Joan London, and chaired by Catherine Keenan, and it represented a hugely diverse group of authors, to say the least. The Simple Act of Reading book itself is a collection of essays and memoirs, penned by authors on the ways …

Julia Gillard, Helen Garner, Kate Grenville, Joan London, Jackie French and many more ….Byron Bay Writers Festival is thrilled to announce the first round of writers for the 2015 Festival!

Five immensely successful, talented Australian women have top-billing at the 2015 Byron Bay Writers Festival to be held from 7-9 August. Already the Festival is shaping up to deliver a diverse and eclectic program of stimulating and engaging conversations with some of Australia’s most celebrated writers, as well as the strongest line-up of international guests in the Festival’s history. Festival Director Edwina Johnson said the Festival team has worked hard to bring the best writers and thinkers together to share stories, triumphs, challenges and ideas; to debate, laugh and cherish; to connect, nurture and celebrate literary talent and new friendships down by Byron Bay’s scenic ocean shore. “In what is shaping up to be a Festival showcasing a line-up of strong, female Australian voices including Helen Garner, Joan London and Kate Grenville, a particular coup was securing former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard,” said Johnson. Ms Gillard’s memoir My Story is a fascinating, at times searingly honest account of her time in office and the life she is now making for herself as a professor and advocate …

Jeanette Winterson…Keynote Speaker

“The rebellion of art is a daily rebellion against the state of living death routinely called real life.” Jeanette Winterson, The Paris Review We’re excited to announce that celebrated author Jeanette Winterson will deliver the 2014 Keynote Address at the Festival this year. Winterson is travelling to Australia in August for a tour arranged in collaboration with Sydney Opera House and Brisbane Powerhouse. Winterson will feature in several Festival sessions from 1-3 August (full program revealed on 6 June), followed by events in Brisbane and Sydney. Jeanette Winterson OBE is one of the most acclaimed international authors of our time. Whatever the genre – novels, screenplays, essays and journalism – Winterson takes risks and challenges us to think differently about identity and relationships. The Guardian (UK) recently listed Winterson as being one of the world’s Top Ten writers to see live, ‘She walks on with such confidence and never has any barrier between herself and the audience…’ It’s an experience not to be missed. At 15, Winterson’s teenage love affair with another woman came to light. …

Lasers, spaceships, but no books?: The Future Of Reading

The times they are a-changing, and there’s no form of media more affected by the absolute dominance of the digital age than the print medium. So what does this mean for the future of reading in Australia? “I clearly remember a literature session in the ’80s, where a man declared that he would never write on a computer, and the audience cheered,” laughed renowned children’s author and current Ambassador for Reading Andy Griffiths. “But it’s just so easy to edit and revise with a laptop.” Along with Griffiths, whom was hailed by chairperson Meg Vann as “Australia’s most popular kids author, competing with Morris Gleitzman”, the panel was an eclectic mix: author James Cowan, Head of Indigenous Programming at the Sydney Opera House, Rhoda Roberts, and Young Adult writer Vicki Wakefield. Griffiths, author of books with names like The Day My Bum Went Psycho, was surprisingly constrained and very relaxed in his delivery. Forgive my presumptions, but was I wrong to expect a larger than life character, bouncing around the walls of the tent and …