10th Newcastle Writers Festival Program Out Now

Jane Harper, Holly Ringland, Craig Silvey, Norman Swan, Grace Tame among 125 guests

For the first time, the festival will be staged in the University of Newcastle’s NUspace building

Newcastle Writers Festival has launched its 10th anniversary program featuring some of Australia’s most respected and loved authors. The program includes 75 events with a packed weekend schedule on April 1 and 2 and a series of special events held in the lead up including a literary lunch with Wendy Whiteley on March 25, a walking tour of Stockton’s historical monuments on March 31 and an evening of storytelling and community on April 1 at the University of Newcastle’s Wollotuka Institute.

For the first time, the festival will be staged in the University of Newcastle’s NUspace building, which will provide greater accessibility and more communal space. The University has also become a major partner of the festival. University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said, “Our University is delighted to be a major partner of the Newcastle Writers Festival. The festival is an iconic cultural event in our region and the calibre of this year’s line-up of authors will again make for an incredible event.”

The 10th festival line-up includes 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame who will speak about her compelling memoir The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner at the festival’s popular opening night event on March 31. Also appearing are award-winning photojournalist Andrew Quilty, ABC’s resident Covid expert Dr Norman Swan who will speak at events in Newcastle and Cessnock, academic and former Griffith Review editor Julianne Schultz, Aboriginal writers Amy Thunig, Jackie Huggins and by popular demand Nardi Simpson will return after wowing the audience at last year’s opening night event with her singing, as well as best-selling authors Tim Baker, Richard Fidler, Jane Harper, Indira Naidoo, Jock Serong, Craig Silvey, Holly Throsby, and Pip Williams.

There is also a strong contingent of Hunter writers in the program, including debut author Meg Vertigan, Lucy Nelson, and Magdalena Ball. Local musicians and bands such as Elijah Amoss, Demi Mitchell, and The Pitts will join forces with visiting artists including Shane Nicholson and Bertie Blackman for Words and Music, a special event on April 1 at the Conservatorium of Music, which draws on the work of Hunter writers and those who have featured in festival programs in the past decade. An eclectic line-up of songwriters and musicians will transform words from the page to the stage.

Founding festival director Rosemarie Milsom said the excitement was building for the 10th anniversary event. “When the first festival was held in 2013, I couldn’t have imagined we would still be here 10 years later – and have weathered a pandemic. Our audience has remained enthusiastic and loyal and we wouldn’t be here without them or the support of writers, our team of 150 volunteers, and sponsors.”

The festival will be held in the Civic precinct and includes 75 free and ticketed events, six of which will be live streamed. Tickets are on sale now.

The program is available via newcastlewritersfestval.org.au