2011 Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Program

5-7 August, North Beach (formerly known as Byron Bay Beach Resort), Byron Bay

Byron authors line-up with international greats

Byron writers Marele Day, Jesse Blackadder, Kate Veitch, Andrew Crockett, Peter Duke, Stephanie Dale and Taylor Miller will join international greats Louis de Bernières, James Redfield, M.J. Hyland and John Pilger at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival – Feel the Passion – being held August 5-7.

With more writers than ever before, Festival Director Candida Baker believes the breadth and depth of the Festival’s program truly offers something for everyone. “With over 170 writers confirmed, discussing diverse topics including cooking, history, politics, social networking, music, surfing, travel, comedy, crime, fantasy, memoir, sport, poetry, the environment and philanthropy, the Festival’s 15th birthday bash will be one to remember,”
says Baker.

Baker has assembled the largest number of international writers ever presented at the Festival: “Imagine choosing between James Redfield discussing his international phenomenon The Celestine Prophecies, MJ Hyland exploring her powerful novel This is How, Louis de Bernières in conversation about the broad reach of his books and John Pilger’s keynote address. Visitors are going to have a tough time deciding which sessions to attend.”

Baker is thrilled to have such a strong line-up of local authors: “I am confident Festival goers will enjoy meeting our great local writers as much as the international stars. I believe this is the biggest array of locals in the Festival’s history and I am proud to showcase so much of our wonderful Byron talent.”

Brunswick Heads local, Marele Day the author of 10 books, including the four-book Claudia Valentine series of crime novels, will feature as a chair at the Festival. “Crime fiction is a growing and hugely popular contemporary genre. It is exciting to have such heavy weights as Marele, Liz, Michael Robotham, Katherine Howell and L A Larkin,” says Baker.

Fresh from her visit to Antarctica to research the novel she’s writing about the first woman to travel to the area, Bangalow local Jesse Blackadder will join L A Larkin (Thirst) and Karen Viggers (The Lightkeeper’s Wife) in the session, The visual beauty of Antarctica. Baker is thrilled that the session will be chaired by ex Australian Geographic editor, and advisor on Happy Feet, Howard Whelan. “All three authors have visited Antarctica so will be able to provide a first-hand account of this remote icy wilderness,” says Baker.

Coorabell’s own, Kate Veitch (Trust) will join Leslie Cannold (The Book of Rachael) and Fiona Scott Norman ((50 Reasons To Keep Smoking/50 Reasons To Quit Smoking) in the session I am woman: why women rock. “I had great fun putting this panel and topic together,” Baker says. “The discussion will be chaired by Kristin Williamson and it is one I won’t be missing.”

Multi-award winning journalist and Mullumbimby local Stephanie Dale (Hymn for the Wounded Man) will join Peter Duke (Byron Bay E-book) and Ange Takats (The Buffalo Funeral: Soundbites from a Songbird in Siam) in the session We did it our way: the self-publishing explosion. “With some publishers now looking at self-published books for new talent, this could be an interesting session for budding authors trying to get noticed,” says Baker.

Baker suspects that one of the most exciting places to be during the Festival will be the keynote address by John Pilger. “I’m this session will leave guests with lots to digest and will be discussed for a long time after the Festival closes.”

Other local writers include Barry Eaton, Russell Eldridge, Kim Falconer, Phillip Frazer, Maris Morton, Belinda Jeffery, David Leser, Mandy Nolan, Mick O’Regan, Victoria Thompson, Kim Wildman, Neil Young and many more.

To purchase tickets or view the full Festival program visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au or call 1300 368 552.