Tickets are now on sale for the inaugural Shoalhaven Readers’ and Writers’ Festival and it’s sure to be a great event.
The event will be held on Saturday August 4 in the Nowra CBD Arts precinct.
The festival will feature a full-day program of sessions, panels and workshops for adults at the Nowra School Of Arts.
The event includes a keynote talk from highly acclaimed local author Frank Moorhouse.
Panel discussions will feature Miles Franklin shortlisted Catherine McKinnon, Jackie French, Eleanor Limprecht, Dianne Blacklock and Alan Baxter.
There will an ‘in conversation’ event with Melina Marchetta, author of such classic young adult novels as ‘Looking for Alibrandi’ and ‘On The Jellicoe Road’ and now bestselling crime author.
The free children’s program will feature former Australian Children’s Laureate Jackie French, as well as a morning story time session for younger children, and a wonderful presentation by author Tim Harris (Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables) which will take place at the same time at the Nowra Library.
Festival director Karen Akehurst, with the help of a passionate team of volunteers, developed the event.
“We want to promote literacy and generate excitement and awareness of books, reading and writing,” Ms Akehurst said.
“We’ve had incredible support from the Shoalhaven City Council’s Revitalisation Committee and other local sponsors to help achieve our goals.”
The Shoalhaven Readers’ and Writers’ festival will bring readers together in a vibrant atmosphere that celebrates literature and gives them a chance to connect with each other, and with authors, most of whom live in or near the Shoalhaven, or have books inspired by the region.
Author Dianne Blacklock, whose latest novel Jack and Kate is partly set in a south coast beach house, has historical ties to the region.
Her great-grandfather was a policeman at Terara in the 1880s.
“The South Coast is such a special place “It still so unspoilt and has so much natural beauty,” Ms Blacklock said
Writers will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop with Ms Blacklock on how to write sex scenes, which she says will help give them confidence with an area of writing that can seem confronting.
Readers will enjoy Ms Blacklock’s lively panel discussion with Alan Baxter, best-selling author of dark, supernatural thrillers such as the Alex Caine series, about the joys of genre fiction.
“Genre allows for anything,” Baxter said.
“There are no limits, no boundaries and we can explore what it is to be human in literally any world or environment we can imagine. What’s not to love?”
Writers will also love Mr Baxter’s workshop on how to write fight scenes.
“It’ll be a tight and succinct look at all the things a person can do to make their written fight scenes visceral and intense, while also remaining true to the realities of fighting,” he said.
The festival, for Ms Akehurst and her team, is another step in the ongoing and exciting process of building Nowra and the Shoalhaven as a hub for the arts and creativity.
“It’s all part of a creating a focus for the creativity that has always been here,” the festival director said.
“The festival is adding another piece to that puzzle, and we can’t wait to share this wonderful program with the readers and writers of the Shoalhaven. Tickets will be limited, so don’t delay.”
For full program details and to book, visit shoalhavenreadersandwritersfestival.wordpress.com