The 17th Annual Byron Bay Writers’ Festival

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Set against one of the world’s most recognisable coastlines, the BBWF promises a feast for the mind, body and soul.

From modest beginnings in 1997, the Festival is established on the international literary calendar. Three days, five venues, 130 writers, workshops, feature and food events, and a genuine Byron experience, this year’s literary bonanza boasts a diverse and rich program guaranteed to leave you satiated.

Not just for writers, the Festival reaches out to all who find pleasure in the pages of a book. Festival Director Jeni Caffin admits “The BBWF brings laughter, provokes tears, challenges beliefs: part forum, certainly circus, but totally Festival in its celebration of words and ideas.”

Attendees are guaranteed revealing conversations, feisty debates, literary launches, insights into favourite authors, a smorgasbord of fabulous food and a plethora of skill development workshops, the latter beginning 29 July.

From 2-4 August, the grassy grounds of the North Byron Events site will be populated with vast white marquees, whimsical sculptures, a food village boasting a distinct local flavour, home-grown coffee, a book store and an army of Festival volunteers, eager to help. What you won’t see is plastic- bottled water sold on the BBWF site. Festival goers are asked to bring bottles. There will be filling stations, with water available for purchase and for those who have arrived unprepared, steel water bottles will be on sale or water dispensed in biodegradable paper cups.

While the Festival celebrates the most compelling and innovative Australian writers and thinkers, it also invites a select group of international guests. This year’s Festival marquees will boast voices from Indonesia, Malta, Singapore, India, the United States, United Kingdom and for the first time, Myanmar.

With a stellar line-up including Peter Carey, MJ Hyland, DBC Pierre, Maxine McKew, Simon Crean, Sarah Turnbull, Michael Leunig, Judith Lucy, John Cantwell, Anne Summers, Peter FitzSimons, Andrea Goldsmith, Michael Robotham and Cate Kennedy, Festival goers will have a hard time creating their schedule.

Whatever your pleasure: poetry, performance, history, humour, fiction, non-fiction or journalism, the Festival will shift your perspectives and change the way you view the world. And for younger readers, Sunday 4 August sees the New Philosopher Marquee devoted to children’s authors, including Melina Marchetta, Phillip Gwynne, Judy Horacek and Leigh Hobbs.

Admittance to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival site is via the purchase of a three-day, two-day or one-day pass. Program details as well as BBWF information and tickets are at www.byronbaywritersfestival.com