For the Love of Words

Snap up your tickets to the 10th anniversary of the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival. There is something for everyone this year!

One of the most anticipated calendar entries for lovers of language is the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival. This year sees the 10th annual festival at a beautiful new venue – and it is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet, according to those in the know. 

It seems unlikely, but for the past few years, this little corner of the south west has played host to some of the world’s biggest literary figures. And this year is no different. With a jam-packed listing of events over the June long weekend there is bound to be something for all tastes, from the Pulitzer Prize-winners through to Australian living legends. More than 50 authors and presenters will descend upon the grounds of Voyager Estate (a new venue as Margaret River Cultural Centre undergoes building work) for a weekend to celebrate the power of the written word.

The grounds of one of the region’s most beautiful wineries will become a hive of activity where the celebrations will include author talks, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, book signings, free lunchtime talks and free activities for children in the festival’s storytelling tent.

Visitors should grab their tickets asap as there is an outstanding selection of authors and presenters visiting. “We truly have an incredibly strong and diverse line-up of writers coming to Margaret River for this year’s festival,” says festival director, Kerrie Yabsley.

Renowned Australian-born Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks is among the headliners so literary fans have good reasons to be excited. Brooks has written three works of non-fiction and five novels, including the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning March and the ABIA book of the year, People of the Book. She delivered the 2011 Boyer Lectures and in 2016 was named an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Fans of fiction may like to catch award-winning author AS Patric whose novel, Black Rock White City won the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award, or perhaps see best-selling crime author Michael Robotham in action. Popular Australian author of 13 novels and four works of non-fiction, Nikki Gemmell will also be gracing the line-up.

Australian talent abounds for this year’s festival. Discussing her profoundly moving and inspiring memoir, A Mother’s Story, is Rosie Batty, CEO and founder of the Luke Batty Foundation. An outspoken and dynamic crusader against domestic violence, she was named Australian of the Year in January 2015.

One of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, will be familiar to adults and children after years of life in the public eye answering all manner of questions about how life works. He will be talking science in what is bound to be one of the highlights in the program.

Margaret River will also play host to a plethora of home-grown Western Australian talent in the literary sphere this year, including the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary award-winning novelist Josephine Wilson. Nicole Sinclair, whose first novel Bloodlines was shortlisted for the 2014 TAG Hungerford Award will also appear, as will award-winning photo journalist Martine Perret, who recently released her latest photography book.

“The festival is shaping up to be a great celebration of literature and yet another reason for people to visit Australia’s south west. Margaret River in winter, with books, wine, local produce, top accommodation and Geraldine Brooks – it doesn’t get much better than that,” says Yabsley.

Tickets to the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, running from June 1 – 3, are available for purchase online at mrrwfestival.com, by phone 08 9758 7316, or from the Arts Margaret River office.

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Cassandra Charlick

About Cassandra Charlick

Cassandra Charlick is a hat collector. Current hats on the stand include freelance writer, singer, actress, communications consultant and marketing specialist at Brillig Communications. Travelling the globe with her career on stage and off she has a deep curiosity and passion for connection and storytelling. After living in London for 8 years, a move to Margaret River saw a shift in pace and she now enjoys travelling throughout the beautiful region and sharing the stories of the people and communities that call this place home. Instagram: @casscharlick Web: cassandracharlick.com

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