Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival 2021

The Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival is back in full swing this year. We chat with The Festivals’ own Adam Norris for a full rundown.

By Adam Norris, Head of Programming
As we move into the actual festival week – and after the 2020 cancellation, it’s a remarkable feeling to say the least – there is a lot of excitement in the air. Though there are a variety of sessions close to selling out, there are still tickets left to many truly memorable events, so check out the program while there’s still time!

Perhaps the biggest news has been the Victorian lockdown, and what that has meant for the festival. Although a handful of our Melbourne friends can no longer feature this year, we’ve been hard at work shoring-up sessions and adding a special guest here and there. In short, though there have been some minor updates, the heart and soul of the original program is unchanged. In the coming days we will launch our Updated Program, so that everyone can see the small number of authors and sessions affected. It’s been a difficult 11th-Hour task, but we think you’re going to love what we were able to do.

Author Kathryn Heyman

Oh, what the hell – we can’t keep this one a secret any longer. Just when you thought the lineup of authors was all said and done, stepping in to join several festival panels is the multiple award-winning (and ridiculously talented) novelist and playwright, Kathryn Heyman!

Reviewers have compared Kathryn’s work to that of Cormac McCarthy, Kate Grenville, Angela Carter, Peter Carey, William Golding and Joseph Conrad – so to say she is in fair company is an understatement. Her latest release, Fury, is one of the most striking releases of 2021. As Kathryn herself describes it:

‘Fury is the story of the year in my life after a sexual assault trial, when I ran away to work on trawler in the Timor Sea, and it saved me. I always knew I would write about my time on the Ocean Thief – the storms, the theft, the betrayal – but I didn’t know how. It’s taken decades of craft to harness this story, to have the skills to tell it. This is a story about taking the tools of fiction and using them to create a joyful life, a thriving life. Transformation is possible. I know that, because I lived it.’

We are thrilled to welcome Kathryn Heyman to the 2021 BRWF lineup. For more info on Kathryn and the Updated Program, please check our website and social media. See you at the Showground for a weekend of wild words, sumptuous food, and maybe a quick visit to the onsite bar …

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