The 2016 Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival was a fantastic success, as can be seen from the comments by our wonderful guests.
I thought the Festival one of the warmest and nicest I have ever attended. Such welcoming people – such a brave and beautiful cultural town (Danube Glass! A great jeweller’s! The beautiful buildings – and the mural of the Bellingen area on Hyde! The Bakery’s tarts!) – and such good sessions. I particularly enjoyed the three playwrights, it was a terrific session. Brian Purcell was a very sympathetic presenter with us poets. I loved the bookseller, who did quite well for me. And my hosts – I cannot say enough about their kindness. A big warm doona, coffee in bed to rouse me, a beautiful dinner on the Sunday night, and they drove me to sessions and, finally, to Coffs Harbour. And many thanks to Judith Turner who fetched me from Coffs and then toured me round the essential venues before taking me to my hosts.
A lovely person called Sandra met me on Monday morning and straightway said she’d take me to the Promised Land – which she did! Right around the Promised Land loop road, before Paul Nebauer (my host) arrived to drive me to Coffs.
Someone said they’re thinking of making the festival bi-annual. I think that would be a big mistake, especially as a couple of other festivals have folded.
Yes, I enjoyed myself. Thank you so much for inviting me. An occasion like this really stimulates and keeps one going!
All very best wishes – JUDITH RODRIGUEZ
We enjoyed Bellingen Festival so much.
You did a splendid job. Congratulations!
We drove back the 700 km. talking about it. We hit the road soon after midday with two delicious cups of chicken soup made by your generous volunteers.
We love our presents (see photo). David has the cow cup and I have the rooster. And the Jizo is very special.
Warm wishes, KRISTIN AND DAVID WILLIAMSON
Impressive work on weekend.
Punctual time keeping, very good interviewing and prep, and huge amount of work.
And thanks for giving me the opportunity to take the walk.
We all had such a wonderful time out in Bellingen! You did such a great job with the organising of the event, so thank you so much for having us!
Thanks again for such an enjoyable festival! LYNETTE NONI
It was a wonderful festival and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. You did a fantastic job pulling it all together, a brilliant accomplishment. You struck the right notes throughout and asked excellent questions of your authors. I chatted with Richard Glover and Tony Windsor, managed to take some pictures of David Williamson with my new (and a little troublesome still) camera. Talking publicly about the multi-layered and themed Chipman is always a challenge for me, but diverting. I never seem to know what I will say until I’ve said it. I call it an entertainment (certainly) and a provocation although the only provocative stuff is contained in the deliberately scabrous missives from Danny Dudgeon; a playing with words, just persiflage really. I’m happy that the book opened your eyes, so to speak. Wild? I guess so if I look at it from the top of the maypole view point.
I bought one of Mark Dapin’s books (Spirit House) and Dr. Leah Kaminsky’s We’re All Going to Die) and they are both sitting on my desk about to be read.
Until the next time, my very best wishes, and once more, thank you for everything. JIM ANDERSON
Thanks so much for having me at the festival. I had an absolute ball and it was great to network with a fine bunch of authors and readers.
Well done and thanks again. GREG BARRON
Congratulations on a wonderful Festival! It was professional, creative, diverse and quite informative.
Thank you once again for including me in the program. I was very happy to have sold several copies of BRO after our panel session.
I hope to work with you again in the future.
Kind regards, HELEN CHEBATTE
PS Bellingen, as you and many have said, really is beautiful country.
I just wanted to say once again how much I loved the festival! You’re a really wonderful director – the quality of the speakers and themes was so high. I just had a ball! And I feel very privileged to have been a part of this wonderful event. I know Leah really loved it too. LEE KOFMAN
Just a note to heartily thank you & the entire committee over their fabulous efforts over the weekend. I know what’s involved in creating that seemingly seamless process & I hope you are all relaxing & unwinding in the north coast sunshine!
Cheers, LES WICKS
Thank you for a great weekend. It was the ideal break in the middle of a campaign.
Best wishes to all, TONY WINDSOR
Thanks for inviting me. I had a blast.
You did an amazing job organising a successful festival
Brava diva, LAWRENCE GIBBONS
It was all such great fun. We both adored it … and loved for once being on the same bill, thanks so much for inviting us! RICHARD GLOVER and DEBRA OSWALD
Thank you for having me at the festival. I enjoyed our chat at Coffs Library, the atmosphere of the festival, and meeting so many interesting and kind readers and writers. I had a ball!
Here’s to many more BRWFs in the future!
Cheers, GRAHAM POTTS
What a Festival! So well organised and delivered – so impressive. Thank you for including me. I have been accepted to a Writers Festival in Cairns in August – a theme is ‘belonging’ at the festival.
So many thanks to you. Kind regards, KIM HODGES
Hope the festival survives; it’s one of the better regional festivals I’ve participated in.
Cheers, DAVID REITER
Congratulations again on the festival. It was a wonderful weekend, we had a fabulous time. And I actually think the pitch session was a highlight!
Cheers, ALISON GREEN (CEO Pantera Press)
Thanks for organising a wonderful festival. Such a great range of writers and lovely audiences. You and the team did an amazing festival on the limited resources of a generous town. One of the aspects I really enjoyed was having the time over the three days to meet with other writers, to become buddies with some, to get to know the town a little, and of course to drag a heavy suitcase home with new books. My workshop group was one of the best I’ve ever had – a pleasure to have taught. The panel sessions were all interesting.
An excellent festival, you must be exhausted but I hope also very proud!
Associate Professor JANE MESSER, Program Director, Postgraduate Creative Writing Programs
Thanks for a great weekend. Many good things came out of it for me. I certainly won’t miss the next one. MIKE RUBBO (2nd in Pitching comp)
This is just a short note to congratulate you on a terrific program for the recent Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival. It was tight, stimulating and energising. For me it was the best yet.
I realise it takes a massive voluntary effort to mount this festival so congratulations also to the whole BRWF team for a job well done. It is a special gift for all word lovers living in this valley.
With thanks, MICHELE PARSONS