Welcome to the 2016 Byron Writers Festival!
This milestone year is our 20th anniversary with a stellar line-up of 150-plus writers and thinkers converging on Byron Bay for Australia’s largest regional writers’ festival.
They will engage you in enlightening discussions throughout 123 sessions at the Festival site at Elements of Byron, and during the feature events and writing workshops that comprise this spirited, stimulating Festival.
The inspiration for this year’s Festival stems from our new brand and tagline: Where Stories Take You.
Conceived by Kevin Finn of TheSumOf, it recognises ‘the courage, wonder, joy, creativity and transformational power of storytelling represented through the exchange of compelling ideas in an accessible way’.
The Festival celebrates the stories in us all – myriad tales that provide resonance to our lives.
The program explores the importance and power of literature and debate through storytelling and the benefits that flow from these discussions.
The Festival has always showcased contemporary political issues.
Recent global events and the Australian election have heightened the political realities governing our world and our children’s futures. We will debate these issues, guided by expert political minds.
We will also celebrate the importance of reading for kids: the pathway to all learning. Sunday is a major drawcard for families in the region with Kids Big Day Out, a chance to make favourite stories come alive, to meet some of Australia’s most talented children’s writers.
Many feature sessions have already sold out but the relaxed nature of the event means you will be able to mingle with your favourite novelists and commentators during the three-day Festival.
Thank you to the Byron Shire community for your immensely enthusiastic support of the 20th Anniversary Festival and sincere thanks to the writers, commentators and performers whose energising creativity will surely affect us.
You are warmly invited to join us and discover where 2016 Byron Writers Festival stories will take you.
• This article is the introduction to the Byron Echo‘s liftout feature from this week’s issue.