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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Free Writers Festival in Federal coming up

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Local author Philip McLaren came up with the idea of a free
Writers Festival to be held at the Federal community hall. Photo supplied.

If you have been thinking about heading to the writers festival but haven’t quite made it now is your chance. The inaugural free Federal Writers Festival will be taking place on Sunday December 9 at Federal Hall from 9am till 7pm.

Kerry O’Brien will be opening the Free federal Writers festival. Photo supplied.

Kerry O’Brien is opening the festival, which will include writers from New York, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, French Noumea, Iran as well as Australia – including three award winning Indigenous Australian authors.

Local author Philip McLaren has been thrilled by the enthusiasm and support the idea for a free writers festival has generated.

‘We were determined this would be a free festival,’ he said.

‘Nobody gets paid, including our award-winning Australian and international guest writers, musicians, entertainers – and of course Kerry O’Brien – who have all generously donated their time and talent.’

The event is being sponsored by Southern Cross University while many volunteers have come forward to help billet writes and run the event.

Why free?

‘I’ve been invited to numerous overseas Writers Festivals, and was impressed by the fact that many of them are free. Festivals in San Francisco, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Bangalore, New Zealand… all offer free admission and I’m sure there are more. There are many avid readers out there on a limited budget, who just can’t afford admission and therefore the opportunity to hear authors speak about their books and air their views.’

Lunch will be available, as well as coffee, tea and a licensed bar. At the end of the day attendees are invited to stay and mingle with the writers over dinner from pizza and Asian food carts.

Booking essential

This is a free event but numbers are limited so attendees must register at www.facebook.com/JasperCornerFederal/. All money raised from the bar and food sales will go to support Federal Hall maintenance and upgrades.

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