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Prizewinning surfer-author to headline Writers Festival

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William Finnegan, author of Barbarian Days, will headline the 2016 Byron Writers Festival.
William Finnegan, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning memoir Barbarian Days, will headline the 2016 Byron Writers Festival.

Byron Writers Festival 2016 will feature US author and journalist William Finnegan, who this year won the Pulitzer Prize for his memoir Barbarian Days.

Cheryl Strayed, Charlotte Wood and Madga Szubanski will join him in a stellar line-up of more than 150 writers, poets, journalists, politicians and thinkers who will converge on the Byron Bay from August 5-7 to celebrate the Festival’s 20th Anniversary.

Director Edwina Johnson says it is a coup to attract the lauded William Finnegan to the festival.

‘There is appealing synchronicity too in the fact that his Pulitzer Prize winning carries the sub-title: A Surfing Life,’ she said.

Discounted early bird tickets, which are sure to be snapped up, go on sale today.

‘Last year, we had sell-out days on  Friday and Saturday, so I encourage everyone to order tickets early to avoid disappointment,’ Ms Johnson said.

Finnegan will be joined by fellow American author Cheryl Strayed whose bestselling memoir Wild was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Her books have been translated into 40 languages.

Australian authors will include the provocative and fearless writer Charlotte Wood whose unflinching novel The Natural Way of Things recently won the Stella Prize.

She will share the limelight with one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers, Magda Szubanski. Szubanski recently won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction for her remarkable memoir Reckoning that tells not only her own life story but of the bravery of her Polish family in WW2.

The festival unfolds from August 5-7  with workshops commencing on August 1.

Early bird tickets are only on sale until June 14, unless sold out prior. The full festival program will be announced on June 15.

‘Byron Writers Festival is renowned for its sense of community and treasured by those who attend,’ says Ms Johnson

‘Its power lies in the evocative expression of real and imagined stories that strike chords and captivate because they are authentic, and are told by exceptional thinkers, writers and communicators.’

To purchase early bird tickets visit byronwritersfestival.com or call 02 6685 5115.


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