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Willow the Wonderer rubs shoulders with Australia's literati

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

The festivals are back and last weekend we welcomed the return of Bellingen Readers & Writers festival in the Mid North Coast of NSW. What a lineup: From Thomas Keneally to Peter Carey, David Williamson, Bryan Brown, Kevin Rudd, Dick Smith, Fran Kelly, Jane Caro, Norman Swan, Professor Doherty, Costa ... the list goes on. Amongst all the literati of Australia, Darren and I found ourselves running a midday session on our debut picture book Willow the Wonderer - We may very well have been the first picture book author and illustrator to have been on the main program of a literary festival! Here's the download.

Writers' festivals are a highlight of the cultural calendar

Writers' Festivals offer a rare access into the world of authors. They are a 'must attend' cultural event for anyone who loves books and perhaps one day dreams of publishing a few of their own.

It is a chance to hear first-hand from the authors; those we know and love, those we are curious about and especially those we haven't 'discovered' yet.

We can sit back and hear them read a small abstract from their book, learn what inspired the story, get an insight into their writing process and the choices and dilemmas they worked through. For those of us brave enough, it is possibly the only opportunity to ask that burning question on the characters and plot lines (and what's coming next). And of course, it is the chance to get our much loved hardcover copy signed by the author themselves.

Luckily for us, literary festivals are held throughout the year all over Australia, in capital cities and beautiful regional towns like Bellingen. I've outline the notable ones at the end of the post - this article though is an unapologetic ode to the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival that we recently attended and presented