FOR Brian Purcell this Sunday's charity marathon reading of Peter Carey's prize-winning novel Oscar and Lucinda beside the church that inspired one of its best know scenes was an outlandish idea that stuck.
"This festival started as an outlandish idea - it is a celebration of imagination and the journeys books take us on," the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival founder said.
"Peter's image in the book of the glass church floating down the Never Never goes beyond the normal barriers…from there the leap to having the event as a fund-raiser for Life without Barriers was not a big one."
Mr Purcell said Mr Carey was very moved to imagine his 24-year-old novel returning to its true community, being read aloud in the place of its conception.
And for Life without Barriers the festival connection is an exciting one.
Residential house manager, Anne Cichra, said the Australia-wide organisation worked towards helping their disabled clients find an independent life beyond foster care.
In the case of 16-year-old Gabbie, Life without Barriers has supported her at Orara High, encouraged her to paint and has helped her enrol in an animal care course at TAFE.
"I'm really excited because this week we start caring for real animals," Gabbie said.
The plan for Sunday's event is simple - the reading will take place at Gleniffer Hall from 7am until 9pm.
Readers will be sponsored for their 15 minute sessions (multiple sessions are possible) with all proceeds going to Life without Barriers.
To be a reader email the festival: firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: 'Marathon'.
Everyone is encouraged to get involved.
And if you don't want to read, the event certainly needs an audience; the cost is a gold coin donation for an entertaining day out in the Promised Land, bring your family and a picnic.
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