Byron Writers Festival has revealed a powerful and inspiring program featuring more than 140 Australian and international speakers spanning fiction, memoir, crime, environment, society, politics, poetry, art, comedy and music taking place from 2 to 4 August. Festival audiences can enjoy more than 120 different sessions over three days at Elements of Byron Resort as well as writers’ workshops, a program for children and satellite events in venues across the Northern Rivers region.
“Now more than ever our world needs writers, environmentalists, poets, commentators, politicians and artists who together can shape stories of hope, courage and change,” says Festival Director Edwina Johnson. “Now in its 23rd year, Byron Writers Festival embraces audiences and authors from far and wide for three unforgettable days that celebrate the power of words and storytelling, creating lasting memories for all who attend.”
Fiction lovers will be delighted with a line-up that includes celebrated writers Markus Zusak (Bridge of Clay), Gail Jones (The Death of Noah Glass), Toni Jordan (The Fragments) and Jock Serong (Preservation). The impressive roll-call of award-winning novelists continues with Melissa Lucashenko (Too Much Lip), Dominic Smith (The Electric Hotel), Tony Birch (The White Girl ) and Tara June Winch (The Yield). Master crime writer Michael Robotham and one of Australia’s most successful authors Di Morrissey will also feature in conversations with ABC TV’s Jennifer Byrne.
Revered UK academic and philosopher A.C. Grayling will deliver the annual Thea Astley Address on the The Crisis of Democracy. UK scientist Julia Shaw will unlock the intricacies of criminal psychology with Making Evil: The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side, US writer and musician Claire L. Evans will reveal an untold tale of women who made the internet with Broad Band and one of the world’s foremost experts on forest fires Stephen Pyne will share his vast knowledge of fire and environmental history.
Former Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd (The PM Years) headlines a notable line-up of politicians that includes Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young (En Garde), former Greens senator Scott Ludlam and former leader of the Australian Democrats and founding chair of Our Watch Natasha Stott Despoja (On Violence).
Writers and revered commentators Stan Grant (Australia Day and On Identity), Kerry O’Brien (Kerry O’Brien: A Memoir), Peter Greste (The First Casualty) and Leigh Sales (Any Ordinary Day) will unpack the politics of the day as well as discuss their own books.
On Sunday, the Kids Big Day Out program is full of fun and creativity guaranteed to ignite the imaginations of children and young readers. On hand to entertain and delight are author and illustrator Alison Lester, Tony Flowers, Morris Gleitzman, John Flanagan, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Zoe and Georgia Norton Lodge and Isobelle Carmody among many others.
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