Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival 2018

With a focus on contemporary Australian writers, the impressive line-up of literary guests coming to Bellingen on June 8-10 for the 2018 Readers & Writers Festival, includes cartoonist/philosopher Michael Leunig, journalist Prof. Peter Greste, multi-award-winning author Blanche d’Alpuge and ABC TV Book Club panelist Marieke Hardy. Along with Aboriginal historian Bruce Pascoe, music biographer Stuart Coupe and an extensive line-up of talented national, regional and local writers, the festival promises to be fun, intimate, thought-provoking, engaging and at times challenging.

The festival’s keynote address will be presented by award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent Prof. Peter Greste, who along with two of his colleagues, was arrested and jailed in Egypt in 2013. His 2017 book The First Casualty is a “first-hand account of how the war on journalism has spread from the battlefields of the Middle East to the governments of the West.” Following his Saturday evening address, Peter will be joined by investigative journalist Wendy Bacon, Walkley Award winner Chris Nash and photo-journalist Tim Page in a discussion panel titled Real News, Fake News & The Future of Good Journalism.

An Evening with Michael Leunig will conclude the festival on Sunday. The acclaimed cartoonist, philosopher and poet will present his unique views on society and treat the audience to some live Leunig drawing. This is an event not to be missed!

The list of remarkable authors featured at this year’s Readers & Writers Festival also includes ABC presenter Sunil Badami, Red Room Project poet Johanna Featherstone and Indigenous spoken-word performer Lorna Munro, alongside Jesse Blackadder, J.M. Donellan, Sulari Gentill, Jessie Cole, Claire Aman, Alicia Tuckerman, Steve Bell, Robyn Sheahan-Bright, Kate Cole-Adams, Jenevieve Chang, Fiona McArthur, Alli Sinclair, Dan Findlay, Catherine McKinnon, Amal Awad and a host of regional and local writers.

With the festival presenting panel discussions, individual author sessions and workshops, featured genres will include History, Romance, Journalism, Sci-Fi, Memoir and Biography, Young Adults, Fiction, Music, Poetry and Publishing.

“The 2018 festival offers an incredibly exciting and diverse program and includes lots of opportunities for local enthusiasts to be involved,” says committee chair Jenni Clement “…from the opening night’s ‘Poetry Slam’ to a weekend full of stellar writers and free events for young people. During the days leading up to the festival an innovative Schools Program will also bring a number of writers into schools in both Bellingen and Coffs Harbour.”

Whether you are a budding writer or a passionate lover of literature, start making plans to be part of this exciting regional community event in the picturesque river town of Bellingen, listed as one of the prettiest villages in Australia.

View the links provided for the full program, author bios and all ticketing information.

The 2018 Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their generous support:

Australian Government Regional Arts Fund
Camp Creative


Coffs Harbour City Council
Windsong Travel
I love Bellingen Shire
Cool Events


Bellingen Youth Hub
Book Warehouse

Cedar Bar Bellingen