Three words: Bendigo Writers Festival. Put them together and they open up doors to rooms full of ideas, good company and great people.
In just a couple of years, Bendigo Writers Festival is already well known for its warmth and friendliness, for its superb location at the majestic Capital in View Street right next door to the Art Gallery, and also for the diverse, inclusive and unashamedly inviting program. Now in its third year, the festival lights up View Street, spreading over four venues, plus a Festival Hub for a bit of author-schmoozing and book browsing.
This year, there’s crimewriting (Michael Robotham, Garry Disher), big history (Joan Beaumont, Robert Manne, Blanche d’Alpuget), the way we are (Anne Manne, Jeff Sparrow), Australiana (Les Murray, Jackie French), songwriting (Charles Jenkins, Liz Stringer) and even dinosaurs (John Pickrell). We’ve got big names such as Alex Miller, Sonya Hartnett and Leslie Cannold. And we welcome new writers, such as Kirsten Krauth, Jenny Valentish and Julie Proudfoot.
“Expect a bit of irreverence,” festival director Rosemary Sorensen says. “When you put so many writers together (more than 100!), things always get lively. “The bar’s open from noon, too, and we think we’re the first festival in the country to invite our audiences to take their coffee or wine with them into the sessions – most civilised, eh!”
Ms Sorensen says Bendigo Writers Festival is built around the notion that writing is more than books.
“It’s a lifestyle and a way to enjoy being alive,” she says. “It’s as much about our audiences as it about our writers, what they want, how they respond, creating an atmosphere that works for everyone.”
To check out the program or for more information visit bendigowritersfestival.com.au or call the Capital on 5434 6100.