Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival main program and special events.

Thursday 4 June

7 for 7:30pm
Bayldon Community Centre

Coffs Coast Writers Centre Launch

Bayldon Community Centre, Toormina Rd Toormina $10 admission – free glass of wine! in a special event the founders of the festival invite you to the launch of their next exciting initiative. Robert Drewe talks to Irina Dunn about his amazing career in writing. The night includes special guest authors, and Welcome to Country with Auntie Bea Ballangarry. Find out about the new Writers Centre, its programs and membership!


Friday 5th June

10.00 am – 12.00pm
Dorrigo Rainforest Centre
$5 includes morning tea

Mary White Lecture – Peter Macinnis

Simple Gifts: Environmental education in the information age – offering our children and grandchildren the promise of a world worth living in. Getting there means teachers harnessing the natural curiosity of young people of all ages. Peter Macinnis is the author of the award-winning book Australian Backyard Explorer


Friday 5th June
4pm-5pm

Walk with Ross Macleay

The Political Geography of Bellingen

A walk through the political landscape of Bellingen from Parliament House to the High Court, annotated with political prose from the great tradition, past and present.
Duration 1 hour. Distance 250m. Grade: Easy. Meet in Maam Gaduying (the park). No need to book. Free


Friday 5th June
4 – 6pm

Uniting Church

Teenage Depression: What can be done about it

Jayne and Nic Newling, Professor Gordon Parker with local local Youth Mental Health Worker.
Gold Coin Donation


Friday 5th June
7 for 7:30pm

Memorial Hall

Tastings

Start the festival with a bang with freestyle comedy from Mandy Nolan, excerpts from Power Play by Rob Simpson, raise the roof poetry from Samuel Wagan Watson and Zohab Zee Khan, a Crooked Mick story from Peter Macinnis, plus a Welcome to Country and Gumbaynggirr song with Michael Jarrett, music from David Roland and more! Your circusmaster and mult-talented MC is Libby Feez
Tickets $10.00


Saturday 6th June

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Saturday 6th June
9.00 – 9.45

Memorial Hall

How to start living again:

David Roland’s and Jayne Newling’s memoirs show how it is possible to go on after tragic events that may threaten us physically and mentally.
David Roland and Jayne Newling
Chair: Lisa Walker
Single session $20.00


Saturday 6th June
10.00 – 11.00am

Memorial Hall

The Time of my Life: Social issues in memoir:

Professor Parker has spent his life in the passionate pursuit of finding and promoting the best possible treatments for depression.
Professor Gordon Parker in conversation with Annette Marfording
Single session $20.00


Saturday 6th June
11.15 – 12. 00pm

Memorial Hall

Never too early: Society and Politics in young adult fiction

When is the time right to confront young adults with social and political issues that might affect them? And what is the best method of doing so?
Diana Sweeney and Felicity Castagna
Chair: Lisa Walker
Single session $20.00


Saturday 6th June
12.15 – 1.15pm

Memorial Hall

Feature Event: Bob Carr, Memoirs of a Foreign Minister.

Grab a bite to eat and settle down to listen to the Hon Bob Carr reminisce about his time as Foreign Minister in the Gillard and Rudd governments.
Single session $30/25


Saturday 6th June
1.30 – 2.30pm

Memorial Hall

Writing the environment.

From Parramatta to Mullumbimby place exerts a powerful influence on our authors’ writing. How closely do the real environments resemble created worlds of their novels?
Jessie Cole, Felicity Castagna and Peter Macinnis
Chair: Brian Purcell
Single session $20.00


Saturday 6th June
2.45 – 3.45pm

Memorial Hall

Bob Carr – a life in politics – where we are now

Bob Carr in conversation with David Marr. A one-on-one conversation between one of our most experienced politicians and a legendary social commentator. Find out the real state of play in Australian political life.
Single session $30/25


Saturday 6th June
4.00 – 5.00pm

Memorial Hall

The role of journalists and writers in holding government to account

Why have political journalists David Marr and Paul Daley left the major press and gone to independent newspapers? What impact does planned or passed legislation have on the work of journalists? Why are there few authors prepared to write about political issues? Should there be more prepared to do so?
Shelley Birse, Paul Daley, David Marr
Chair: Annette Marfording
Single session $20


Saturday 6th June
5.15 – 7.00pm

Memorial Hall

Jet Lag Monologues

Starring Bob Carr, Bob Ellis, Terry Clarke and Monroe Reimers
Single session $30/25


Saturday 6th June
7.30 – 9.30pm

Memorial Hall

Poetry slam

Join Aus Poetry Slam champion Zohab Zee Khan and MC Justin Brow in our most popular event! Great cash prize for for winners courtesy of Officeworks. Tickets $15, check website on how to enter – don’t miss this!
Poetry Slam Rules


Sunday 7th June

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9.00 – 9.45pm
Memorial Hall

Have you heard the one about…? Social issues through humour

Mandy Nolan’s three memoirs are laugh-out funny. Lisa Walker’s latest novel has a more whimsical touch of humour. Both their books contemplate the funny side of social issues.
Social issues through humour:
Chair: Irina Dunn
Single session $20.00



Sunday 7th June
10.00am – 11.00am

Memorial Hall

Daring to tell the truth: Politics as fiction in books and on screen

Shelley Birse, Paul Daley. Paul Daley, whose thrilling novel Challenge is set in the midst of federal politics, and local multiple award-winning screenwriter Shelley Birse, creator of the gripping ABC TV drama The Code, will discuss whether fiction is better than non-fiction at showing the truth of what really happens in politics.
Chair: Annette Marfording
Single session $20.00


Sunday 7th June
11.15am – 12. 00pm

Memorial Hall

Social issues in fiction

Jessie Cole’s and Diana Sweeney’s novels include parental abuse, single mothers with children from a succession of departed men; and sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy respectively. Robert Drewe has addressed both social and political issues in his work.
Robert Drewe, Jessie Cole and Diana Sweeney
Chair: Irina Dunn
Single session $20.00


Sunday 7th June
12.15 – 1.15pm

Memorial Hall

Feature Event: David Marr Questions of Character

Join David to hear his thoughts on this intriguing topic.
‘Character always matters in politics but the last decade in Australia has been a feast for biographers as character clashes supercharged the rise and fall of three governments. Polls and policies only begin to explain what’s happening here. Crucial are questions of character.’
Single session $20.00


Sunday 7th June
1.30 – 2.30

Memorial Hall

Holding the balance of power

Find out about Rob’s life as an Independent parliamentarian supporting the Gillard minority government after the 2010 election.
Rob Oakeshott in conversation with David Marr
Single session $20.00


Sunday 7th June
2.45-3.45pm

Memorial Hall

A post-Dylan World: Protest in Poetry and Song

Brian Purcell will investigate the role of protest in two vital poets’ work, and how they have been influenced by protest artists’ and authors who have come before them.
Samuel Wagan Watson, Zohab Zee Khan, Rob Simpson
Chair: Brian Purcell
Single session $20.00


Sunday 7th June
4. 00-5.00

Memorial Hall

Gumbaynggirr poetry and song

With Michael Jarrett and Uncle Gary Williams. FREE

Monday 8th June


Monday 9:00am for 9:30am start
Lavender Bridge carpark.

“Paddle with a poet”

Featuring Samuel Wagan Watson and Aus Poetry Slam champion Zohab Zee Khan. Lifejackets provided. Bring water, hat, sunscreen. Reasonable fitness req. or a partner willing to paddle a two-person canoe! Book with Bellingen Canoe Adventures. Tickets $35.00 Phone 02 6655 9955

Monday 8 June
9 – 11 am
ST ANDREWS UNITING CHURCH

“MANDY NOLAN – Write to the Bone” (Workshop)

Comedian Mandy Nolan has made a career of what she calls ‘her failure to thrive’. Her workshop will show participants how to reframe everyday experiences with comedy. The challenge in writing Nolan believes, is in taking an unconventional approach to conventional or common themes. ‘Comedy is about making choices – for something to be funny, you need to develop the intuition to know when you’ve made the right one!’ Nolan believes it is possible to blend humour and pathos, where often the most poignant message can be delivered in mirth. A committed memoirist, Nolan runs regular workshops for women writers, imploring them to draw down on their ordinary lives for some very extraordinary results.
Workshop. $50 / $45 Concession


Monday 8 June
11.15 am – 1.15 pm
St Andrews Church

“IRINA DUNN – Getting Published” (Workshop)

Everyone wishes to publish their writing and to experience the pleasure of seeing their name in print, but not many know how to go about this apparently complex task.  In order to commence your publishing career, you must ask, and answer, the following questions:

  • What skills and experience do I need to get my work published?
  • How can I research the market?
  • How can I make my work stand out from the other submissions and catch the attention of a book publisher?

In this practical seminar, Irina Dunn, Director of the Australian Writers’ Network, will help you get your writing career off the ground.
Workshop. $50 / $45 Concession


Monday 8 June
2 – 4 pm
St Andrews Church

“MICHAEL BURLACE – Polish your prose and promote to profit” (Workshop)

We’ll look at how to use the distinct stages of Write, Edit and Rewrite to make your writing readable and enjoyable to your readers and satisfying to you as writer.

We’ll explore tools and techniques to give you a hand with that.

We’ll find sound promotional things you can do. Including trying to catch a virus – well, maybe just some viral forms of promotion. Some you may catch in your book.

Bring any of your writing with you. If you can bring whatever you write on, even better.

It’s a light, fun, fast-paced workshop and I’ll send you full notes afterwards.
Workshop. $50 / $45 Concession