Kyogle
Writers Festival
2021

14-16 May in Kyogle NSW

About The Event

About the Festival

A small town festival with big ideas.

The Kyogle Writers Festival (14 to 16 May 2021) seeks to bring the best of contemporary Australian writing to our town, to explore meanings of 'Country' in this unique area, which incorporates the Traditional Lands of the Bundjalung and the Gidhabal.

A wild area, of which recent history features the cedar getters, farming and dairy, and also the migration of the Aquarius generation. With hidden valleys that stretch up to the subtropical rainforest of the Border Ranges National Park and rolling bush to the west through Toonumbar to Bonalbo, and up to Woodenbong. The Land. The Country. The streams. The bridges -so many.

We are 'west of Byron' so why do we look east to the coast for culture?

Join us for three packed days of ideas, writing and art.

Kyogle Writers Festival acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and waters on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

Please note that COVID restrictions apply at venues.
Some events are included in the Brolga Pass. Otherwise, please purchase individual tickets via Get A Ticket.

Byron Writers Festival Storyboard

Byron Writers Festival Storyboarding

Kyogle Writers Festival is delighted that the StoryBoard will be visiting Kyogle schools on Friday 14 May as part of the 2021 Festival. An initiative of Byron Writers Festival, StoryBoard is a travelling creative writing program fostering the next generation of readers and writers in the Northern Rivers. This free program brings exceptional authors and illustrators directly to regional schools, igniting young minds to create their own stories.

Kyogle Writers Group

Kyogle Writers Group Poets Breakfast

Join local readers and writers from Kyogle and the surrounds for a morning of poetry, coffee and friendship. Email Susan at hospitality@kyoglewritersfestival.com to register your interest as a reader.

Graeme Gibson

Writing for the Media with Graeme Gibson

Understanding media requirements is crucial to getting published. This workshop explores and offers the opportunity to produce a media release and a news report. It will also apply aspects of creative non-fiction to a short feature article. This is suitable for stories of place, people or events, whether current or historic. Register via Get A Ticket.

Repentance

Kyogle Writers Festival presents Alison Gibbs

Join Alison Gibbs, acclaimed author of Repentance for a discussion of her work with another local author, Jarrah Dundler, on the Roxy Gallery verandah. Please note Alison will be conducting a book signing straight after this event.

David Hallett

Poetry on the Verandah presents David Hallett

David Hallett's Out of the Blue is his fifth publication, and his first collection of performance poems in ten years. The entertaining and insightful poems address the spin of politics, media, environment, love, shopping and our maddening digital world.

Roxy Gallery

Kyogle Writers Festival Launch Party and WORD Exhibition Launch

Join us for a jar or two to kick off this year's inaugural festival.

Stuart Rees

Kyogle Writers Festival presents Stuart Rees

Join us as Professor Stuart Rees AM discusses his most recent book, Cruelty or Humanity, in conversation with Dr. Richard Hil. Stuart's book identifies the nature and extent of cruelties, perpetrators and victims, causes and cultures. Non-destructive, life enhancing alternatives are explored, using poetry, music and other art forms to explain and illustrate.

Kyogle Library logo

Children's Story, Rhyme and Picture Time

Join local creatives as they share their work and the work of others for our smallest audience. Featuring Hot potato, hot potato.

Stuart Cooke

Poetry On The Verandah presents Stuart Cooke

Join us for an open reading of Stuart's work and the work of others on the verandah of the Roxy Gallery.

Graeme Gibson

Kyogle Writers Festival presents How Local Histories Shape Country Australia

Understanding local history is important, but how are local histories shared? Indeed, what is history and how do interpretations change over time? Who is a local and who speaks for a place? Join Rob Garbutt, Jo Kijas and Andrew Johnston as they grapple with these questions in a panel anchored by Graeme Gibson. NOTE: This event is FREE but requires registration at the booking website.

Lynette Lounsbury

How to Create Strong Character and Voice in Young Adult Writing with Lynette Lounsbury

To write engaging young adult fiction it is vital to create authentic characters. This practical workshop digs into what makes a character believable and their voice compelling. You will have the chance to try out and refine different voices and characters for your YA novel and to share your ideas with other writers.

Laurel Cohn

Nail Your Story and Your Pitch with Laurel Cohn

In a world of communications dominated by headlines and hashtags it is crucial to pitch your project to others concisely. You may need a verbal pitch and one in writing. You may need a one-liner and a 500-word synopsis. The key is to know exactly what it is you are writing - harder than it sounds, but fundamental to developing your ideas. This workshop offers tips and tools to help understand your story and frame your work for different publishing opportunities. NOTE: This workshop will run over two 90-minute sessions. Laurel is also undertaking a limited number of editorial consultations on Sunday, 16 May. For more information, visit her website.

Songwriting

Songwriting with Thor Phillips and Brendan Smoother

Join award winning songwriter and performer, Brendan Smoother, along with producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Thor Phillips, for an insight into songwriting and music creation. In this workshop they will be sharing our experiences and methods around lyric and music creation, songwriting collaboration methods, registering your songs, and ways of getting them out there. They will also be performing some of their own works and talking about how they were written and the stories behind them. Bring a notepad and pen.

Scott Bevan

Scott Bevan Taking it Slowly - Journeys on Water and in Words

Author Scott Bevan likes to go with the flow. Literally. He uses his kayak, Pulbah Raider, to explore places, to meet people, and to experience life. He has taken readers with him on paddling adventures in three acclaimed books: The Hunter, as he kayaks the river that flows through the region where he grew up; The Harbour, an exploration of Sydney Harbour, and; The Lake, a circumnavigation of Lake Macquarie. Join Scott as he talks to old friend and fellow slow-poke, Dr Kevin Markwell.

Kaitlyn Sawrey

Lucky Dip with Frank and Kaitlyn

Join us as accomplished journalists and podcasters Kaitlyn Sawrey and Frank Lopez interview a mix of writers and creatives on the verandah of the Roxy Gallery.

Barnaby Smith

Poetry on the Verandah presents Barnaby Smith

Join us for an open reading of Barnaby's work and the work of others on the verandah of the Roxy Gallery. The MC will be Stuart Cooke.

Kyogle Library

Front Up!

Front Up! is a program of informal sessions covering an eclectic literary palette. These will provide opportunities to learn how writers and artists go about their work, discuss issues of burning concern and network with like-minded individuals. Family history, running a writer’s group and tackling writer’s block are some areas covered in these free sessions. Featuring wide variety of intellectuals, writers and thinkers.

Melissa Lucashenko

Kyogle Writers Festival presents Melissa Lucashenko

Melissa Lucashenko will be in conversation with Lynda Hawryluk about her Miles Franklin Award winning novel Too Much Lip. They will discuss how writing intergenerational stories often illuminate larger truths, and talk about how both place and people have come together in Melissa's prize winning narratives of Bundjalung and Australian life since her first novel was published in 1997.

Jasper St. Aubyn

Tailjar Jasper St. Aubyn West

Raised in the beautiful valleys of the Kyogle shire, Jasper St. Aubyn West (aka Tailjar) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in film, television, advertising, fine arts, animation, music, podcasting and occasionally abstract mashed potato sculpture… If you asked him though, he'd probably just say he "likes making stuff."

Front Up

Front Up! with Cheryl Matthews

See and hear how Cheryl Matthews has researched and compiled her family history. Join the conversation on any and every aspect of family history. Further sessions are available via appointment. The museum will be open from 10am to 3pm on each day of the festival. Volunteers will be working at the Museum as usual (at least two people each day).

Kaitlyn Sawrey

Lucky Dip with Frank and Kaitlyn

Join us as accomplished journalists and podcasters Kaitlyn Sawrey and Frank Lopez interview a mix of writers and creatives on the verandah of the Roxy Gallery.

Mandy Beaumont

Kyogle Writers Festival presents Mandy Beaumont

In one of the hidden gems of the festival, join master short story writer Mandy Beaumont, winner of the MOTH International Short Story Award and whose collection Wild, Fearless Chests was shortlisted for the Richell Prize and the UWAP Dorothy Hewett Award, as she chats with Dr Lynette Lounsbury.

Gwen Gray

Writing Children's Stories with Gwendolyn Gray

This workshop is for anyone looking to explore their creativity, open their imagination, and learn new skills to enable their hidden inspirations to start the journey to create a children's story. Join Gwendolyn in a fun, interactive workshop with like-minded people.

Graeme Gibson

Creative Non-Fiction with Graeme Gibson

After an exploration of turning facts into story, this highly participatory workshop will unpack the most famous writer's adage of all: "Show, don't tell". This is suitable for memoir, biography, personal essay or whatever your creative non-fiction interest is. Bring an idea or an empty slate and see what happens.

Vince Stead

Poetry Workshop with Vince Stead

Join local poet Vince Stead in this workshop for aspiring and experienced poets.

WOB

Mixed Tape: I love you but I love me more presented by WOB

Join the writers featured in our festival program and others as they read something they love, and something from their own work.

Daniel Browning

First Nations with Daniel Browning

Join ABC Radio National's Daniel Browning as he discusses the best of contemporary First Nations writing with celebrated authors Nardi Simpson, Mykaela Saunders, and Lisa Fuller. Also featured will be a very special reading by Mununjali poet Ellen van Neerven. This event was made possible by the generosity of the Standfield and Parker Families.

Odette Nettleton

The Kyogle Writers Festival presents In Kyogle Tonight

A TV chat show without the bother of TV cameras. Hosted by Kyogle’s Odette Nettleton, the show features stand up comedy by Alexandra Hudson and Ting Lim, a live ‘Ask Odette’ show and surprise guest authors from the festival line-up. It’s not a chat show without a house band, and local legends The Barkers Vale Brothers are on board. This event is BYO. Food will be available from our food vendors on Stratheden Street, but is not included in the ticket price. Doors open at 7:00pm. A $5.00 donation from each ticket sale will be donated to the Kyogle CWA.

Mikala Maloney

Morning Yoga Flow with Mikala Maloney

Drop out of your mind and into your body with this fun Yoga Flow practice. Explore new ways to move your body and breath. BYO mat, though there might be a spare couple floating around. If it's raining, we'll be at the Richmond River Independent Stage for a 45-minute class.

Belinda Eslick

The Anti-Violence Alliance presents Women to the Front

Join us as Brisbane academic, Dr. Belinda Eslick, guides us through an exploration of the best of contemporary Australian women's fiction. She will be joined by Mirandi Riwoe, Laura Elvery, and Kristina Olsson.

Social Futures

Children's Book Making with Sarah Daley

Ever wanted to know how a book is made? Sarah Daley from Social Futures and children from KidZ Space, Guggin Gaddaba Aboriginal Land Council, will be showing kids how to make an 8-page mini-book. We’ll also introduce to you a book we made all about Kidz Space.

Tim Cadman

Surviving in the Amazon Ecosystem with Tim Cadman

Tim will run an introductory course in navigating the Kindle Direct publishing platform, and demonstrate how to create a title, upload, add cover and publish. For comparison he will also briefly introduce Ingram Spark, Amazon's main competitor. Online publishing is not without its traps, and Tim will help troubleshoot based on personal experience of what not to do.

Flamingo Writers' Salon

Poetry on the Verandah presents The Flamingo Writers' Salon

The student-run Flamingo Writers' Salon, born in the Summer of 2019, is the brainchild of Southern Cross University lecturer, Emma Doolan. Students and others read their writing and buzz with the high of connecting with a live audience. Post-Covid hiatus, the Salon returns! Monthly events are planned in Lismore. Featuring Zoë Richards & Andy Spencer.

Jarrah Dundler

Writing Place in the Country anchored by Jarrah Dundler

Hayley Katzen, an urban academic who settled down on a cattle property in Northern NSW, Jessie Cole, who lives in her childhood home in the rainforest, Scott Bevan, a Hunter Valley local with a connection to Lake Macquarie, and Jarrah Dundler, who lives and writes in his home town of Kyogle, talk about how place has shaped their lives and informed their writing.

Katinka Smit

Writing from Place - Awakening Historical Imagination with Katinka Smit

The best historical writing imagines what it was like for those who lived then; it is the day-to-day lives of the past that fascinate the most. Through a selection of sources, participants will understand what makes for vibrant historical writing, focusing on place and the body lived. Participants will then apply these principles in writing exercises, with an emphasis on creative writing, using local history sources. Suitable for poets, fiction and creative non-fiction writers.

Dettra Rose

Flash Fiction - Powerful Stories in Tiny Wordcounts with Dettra Rose

Flash Fictions are stories with plot and character development, conveyed in very few words. Through discussion and examples of the form, participants will use writing prompts to practise the skills required to create compelling flash fiction. These skills are transferable and will help inform and sharpen any other form of creative writing. Flash is gaining global popularity for its immediacy and punchy bite-sized storytelling. Come along and find out why so many writers are getting hooked.

Frank Lopez

Narrative Podcasting with Frank Lopez and Kaitlyn Sawrey

Interested in narrative podcasting but don't know where to start? Podcast veterans Kaitlyn Sawrey (Gimlet, Spotify, triple j) and Frank Lopez (ABC Radio National, Pineapple Street, Gimlet), fresh from New York, will help you figure out how to turn your idea into something that can hook an audience. They'll reveal the process behind hit narrative podcasts, and participants will flesh out possible structures and story arcs for a series. PLEASE NOTE that this workshop does not contain technical advice on how to record a podcast or use editing software, but is focused on content.

Ellen van Neerven

Poetry on the Verandah presents Ellen van Neerven

Join celebrated Mununjali poet and author, Ellen van Neerven, for a reading and discussion of their work with ABC Radio National's Daniel Browning.

Kyogle Library

Front Up!

Front Up! is a program of informal sessions covering an eclectic literary palette. These will provide opportunities to learn how writers and artists go about their work, discuss issues of burning concern and network with like-minded individuals. Family history, running a writer’s group and tackling writer’s block are some areas covered in these free sessions. Featuring wide variety of intellectuals, writers and thinkers.

Roxy Gallery

Everything You Ever Said

This is a playful and participatory experience in which well-known speeches, stories, songs and letters are given new meaning by a computer program. The program allows you to take any piece of text and add/subtract 'concepts', with ironically earnest consequences. At its heart is a model of the entire English language, trained upon enormous data dumps of (your) everyday online conversations--entirely legally and without your permission. Everything you ever said provides an intuition for how it is that computers can predict what we'll say next; and the way that they 'understand' the meaning behind our words.

Tim Cadman

Kyogle Writers Festival presents Writing in the Face of a Collapsing Climate

Join Tim Cadman in discussion with three very different writers with different responses to climate change: Stuart Cooke, Linda Woodrow and Lisa Walker. Resilience in a failing world, eco-poetry and romance. What more could you want as the temperature rises?

Jasper St. Aubyn

Tailjar Jasper St. Aubyn West

Raised in the beautiful valleys of the Kyogle shire, Jasper St. Aubyn West (aka Tailjar) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in film, television, advertising, fine arts, animation, music, podcasting and occasionally abstract mashed potato sculpture… If you asked him though, he'd probably just say he "likes making stuff."

Art

Art and Advocacy in the Country

Speaking up doesn't need to be all brown rice and angry slogans. Join us as an ensemble of creative activists explore alternative ways of being heard.

Wrap Up

Wrap Party: Let's Tie a Bow on this Thing

Join us for a few welcome drinks to celebrate the completion of the festival, featuring whatever the festival washes up on these strange shores.

Venue

The entire festival will take place a short stroll from the Kyogle Memorial Institute (KMI) main stage on the corner of Stratheden Street and Summerland Way, Kyogle. Venues include The Richmond River Independent Stage, The Business Hive, the Roxy Gallery, the Laneway Community Space, the Library, the Garden Stage, and the Occasional Studio. A mud map of venues will be available shortly for download.

 

As a festival we believe that all our patrons and artists should come through the front door, so we have set up our venues accordingly. However, we are a small town with some old buildings, and some of you may require extra assistance in accessing two of our workshop venues: The Business Hive and the Occasional Studio. If access to these venues becomes an issue for you, please email Paul at hello@kyoglewritersfestival.com and he will be more than happy to help.

Sponsors

Kyogle Writers Festival has been made possible by support from Kyogle Council, Arts Northern Rivers, Country Arts Support Program (CASP) via Create NSW, the Richmond River Independent, the generosity of the Standfield & Parker Families, Southern Cross University and our friends of the festival. If you would like to assist with the costs of running the festival, email Paul at hello@kyoglewritersfestival.com.

Get a Ticket

Brolga Pass
$40
$30 concession

  • Click Buy Now below and you will be taken to the Trybooking website where our events are listed in chronological order.
  • Guaranteed entry to the six author events at the KMI Hall from Saturday, 9.00 a.m. to Sunday, 5.00 p.m.:
    • KWF presents Stuart Rees
    • KWF presents Melissa Lucashenko
    • First Nations with Daniel Browning
    • The Anti-Violence Alliance presents Women to the Front
    • Writing in the Face of a Collapsing Climate
    • Art and Advocacy in the Country
  • Excludes the Saturday night social event.
  • Refer to the program for details.
  • Refer to the ticketing website for terms and conditions.
  • Note that tickets are limited, and we expect them to sell out.

Workshops & Individual Events
FREE to $70

  • You can buy tickets for individual workshops and events.
  • Concession tickets are available.
  • Refer to the program for workshop details.
  • Refer to the ticketing website for terms and conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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