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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine


The Newcastle Writers Festival kicks into gear again from April 3 to 5, featuring 160 writers at venues throughout Newcastle and Cessnock. Six international guests are also appearing – five New Zealand writers, including acclaimed poet Hera Lindsay Bird, and US-based Australian geneticist David Sinclair, author of the bestseller, Lifespan: Why we age - and why we don’t have to. Other guests include Behrouz Boochani, Clare Bowditch, Tim Costello, Helen Garner and Archie Roach.

Event Director, Rosemarie Milsom said this year’s program was influenced by the catastrophic bushfires that plagued NSW for six months.

“I’m not alone in feeling as though we reached a tipping point this summer,” she said. “It’s during times like these that you wonder about the role that literature can play. I feel very strongly that it can have a profound impact on the way we engage with key issues and it can also shape the healing process.”

This year’s festival program explores lessons in leadership, climate change, trust, tribalism, women’s rage, resilience, and the role of artists in a crisis. There will also be poetry, a discussion about the power of the ocean on the creative process, and music from Archie Roach and Clare Bowditch.

This year’s program includes some of Australia’s most respected fiction and non-fiction writers, including award-winning journalists Kate McClymont, Adele Ferguson, Virginia Trioli and Paddy Manning, award-winning authors Helen Garner, Tony Birch, Lucy Treloar, Charlotte Wood, Favel Parrett, and activist Tim Costello, who will speak about his memoir A Lot with a Little with broadcaster Paul Bevan at a special event at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on April 4.

The festival includes 90 free and ticketed events and features a literary trivia night fundraiser, panel discussions, readings, one-on-one interviews, and book launches. Tickets are available here. Free sessions do not require bookings.

For more information, visit

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