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September 26, 2023

Byron Writers Festival introduces $35 pass for under 35s

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Byron Writers Festival. Photo Kurt Petersen

Byron Writers Festival 2023 invites audiences aged 35 and under to soak up the festival experience with a Saturday PM Under 35s Pass. This new pass gives access to twelve sessions taking place at the festival site from 2pm, Saturday 12 August for just $35.

With a similar set-up to a music festival, pass holders can wander between five venues and choose what they want to listen to on the day. Sit down and hear from leading thinkers and changemakers spanning the big issues of misinformation, race, gender and sexuality. Or delve into the worlds of fiction, memoir and fantasy authors at the top of their game.

Read on for a closer look at the incredible conversations on offer Saturday afternoon…

Nakkiah Lui

It’s 2023 and feminism has a new agenda. The Feminist Trajectory will explore how feminism(s) have changed over the years and what’s possible for tomorrow. Featuring Michelle Arrow, Madison Godfrey, Nakkiah Lui and Tracey Spicer, this session is set to be an empowering one.

Madison Godfrey, who has performed at The Sydney Opera House, Glastonbury Festival and St Paul’s Cathedral, will again be gracing the stage for Dress Rehearsals, a genre-blurring work that explores coming of age, gender euphoria and the complicated colours of memory and desire.

Grace Tame

For those who want to hear from one of our most inspiring leaders in person, the 2021 Australian of the Year will discuss her bestselling memoir The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner in her deep dive session, Grace Tame In Her Own Words. An intelligent, raw, and witty speaker, Grace Tame offers a vision for a better future for all of us, which, let’s face it, is what we all want and need.

Misinformation is currently rife and wreaking havoc in Australia and around the world. In this mind-blowing session Monica Attard, Antony Loewenstein and Anke Richter will discuss with Misha Ketchell how and why misinformation and disinformation derail public debate and what we can do about it. From cults, to weapons manufacture, to the impact of tech and AI on the media, this session will shift the way you think about the world.

Antony Loewenstein

Thankfully, mental health is a topic that is being more openly spoken about these days. Fragile Minds will see a poet, memoirist and psychologist explore the big questions: who decides what is normal, is mental fragility necessary for creativity and is it part of our inner wildness?

Lovers of fantasy won’t want to miss Worldbuilding – an Act of Wild Imagining, where Grace Chan, Ben Hobson and New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman will explain how they build mind-blowing fictional worlds. From a virtual reality called Gaia, to Victorian goldfields and a magician’s ocean journey, this session will transport and delight.

Fiction-aficionados can lose themselves in Kate Morton’s Homecoming. The author will deep dive into the epic story that spans continents and generations, asking what would you do for love, how do we protect the lies we tell and what does it mean to come home?

Australians have always loved sport, but our relationship with it has become more complicated in recent years. Ellen van Neerven’s session Personal Score, delves into the issues our country’s sport has with race, gender and sexuality from a queer, First Nations perspective.

Bertie Blackman

For the creatively and musically inclined, Wild Notes is a must-see. Bertie Blackman, the creatively gifted memoirist daughter of the legendary artist Charles Blackman, and Eliza Hull, a singer and pianist who advocates for people with disabilities, discuss in depth how they go about their craft.

With such an inspiring array of panellists and soulful conversation, the afternoon of Saturday 12 August is shaping up to be one wildly epic ride. Saturday Under 35 passes give access from 2pm for $35, and are available via byronwritersfestival.com/tickets.


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