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‘Biggest’ writers festival opens in Byron

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Well known human rights lawyer and author Julian Burnside QC, with local lawyer and Writers Festival board member Adam van Kempen at the opening of the Byron Bay Writers Festival last night.

This year’s Byron Bay Writers Festival will be the biggest ever: that’s the proud boast made by festival chairperson Chris Hanley at last night’s official opening at the Byron Bay surf club.

Three-day passes and Saturday tickets have sold out, although some Friday and Sunday tickets and session tickets are still available.

Mr Hanley and new festival director Edwina Johnson acknowledged the high quality of writers in this year’s program.

From an idea hatched as Chris walked around the Adelaide Writers Festival in the mid-90s, the festival has grown from attracting 200 people to the first 1997 event to its current level.

This year Mr Hanley said Collins booksellers, who normally bring a ‘warehouse of books’, have ‘two warehouses’.

The writers were welcome in the area, Mr Hanley said, ‘there is no more receptive or appreciative audience or community than you are going to find here in Byron in the next two or three days’.

~ Photos Eve Jeffery

 

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