Thursday, September 7, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Writers Festival Dates Announced

Open your books, put pen to paper and write down the date of the newly announced Whitsunday Writers Festival which is due to take place from September 6-8 next year.

Following an eight-year hiatus, the festival is making a triumphant return to the region and the long-awaited event promises to be a celebration of words, writers, and readers, rekindling the literary flame in the heart of Queensland.

Packed with a diverse range of engaging events, the festival promises to be a hot bed of inspiration, bridging the gap between writers and readers, fostering a sense of camaraderie among literary enthusiasts.

Festival Chair, Karen Jacobsen said she is thrilled to see the festival outline come together so everyone can start getting excited about the event.

"It is such an exciting time for arts in the Whitsundays,” she said.

“All of us involved in bringing the writers festival back in 2024 are overjoyed to be announcing the dates, for an event that will showcase our region.

“We expect it to delight readers and locals and the countdown is on!"

Commencing with an enchanting supper club-styled event entitled "A Love Letter to Queensland”, the Thursday night will set the tone for what’s to come, enthralling and enlivening the audience with spirited tales and heartfelt memories.

Featuring passionate Queenslanders, this event will give attendees a unique opportunity to connect with the soul of Queensland.

Another introduction to the newly revitalised festival itinerary is the inaugural Whitsundays Literary Heart Awards, set to be a highlight of the weekend.

Launching in February 2024, these awards will culminate in a glamorous Festival event on the Saturday evening.

With various categories including poetry, short stories by adults and under 18-year-olds, and published book covers, the awards aim to recognise and celebrate the diverse talents within the literary world.

In honour of the Festival's founder, Gloria Burley, a distinguished award will be presented for the best unpublished manuscript. The Gloria Burley award comes with a prize of $2,000, acknowledging Gloria's remarkable contribution to bringing the Festival to the Whitsundays and commemorating her legacy.

Another highlight of the event is the Kids Day Out on Sunday morning, which aims to instil the love of reading and writing in the young hearts of our community.

Workshops on writing for children and young adults will also be available, nurturing the next generation of talent.

Festival Co-convenor, Richard Evans, says the festival program has been crafted to include a rich tapestry of writing genres.

“From Karaoke Poetry to a Big Book Club High Tea featuring engaging discussions with authors, a local authors' long lunch to thought-provoking panels and workshops – there's something for every literary enthusiast!” he said.

“Let's come together and celebrate the magic of words, the art of writing, and the joy of reading.

“Join us in making history once again at the Whitsundays Writers Festival.”

WHAT: Whitsunday Writers Festival 2024

WHEN: September 6-8, 2024

WHERE: Venues across the Whitsundays

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