Entertainment

Hot topics to be discussed at Readers and Writers Festival

George Negus enjoys a glass of red and a good read at his Bellingen home.
George Negus enjoys a glass of red and a good read at his Bellingen home. UTE SCHULENBERG

NEXT month's Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival will continue to challenge and encourage debate in the relaxed and casual atmosphere that it is known for.

Sessions on a range of crucial topics will be held including a panel discussion on mining and nuclear energy and George Negus in conversation with David Marr exploring political leadership.

Another highlight of this year's festival will be a celebration of women writers and writing in Australia.

"Our celebration of women writers and writing is timely given the fierce debate regarding the underrepresentation of women writers in literary awards," the festival's program manager, Annette Marfording, said.

"We are very pleased to have Sophie Cunningham, Chair of the Australia Council's Literature Board as a festival guest and she will host a special session celebrating the Stella Prize, the newly created prize for women writers."

In compiling the remainder of this year's program, Ms Marfording said that in addition to drawing attention to the gender imbalances in literary culture, there were a number of other critical issues that also needed debate.

"Now in its third year, our unique Festival continues to go from strength to strength and the 2013 program will offer something for everyone interested in reading and ideas with panels and forums covering topics such as the decline of political standards, mining, nuclear energy and native title," she said.

Program highlights include:

  • Historical Events through the Lens of Fiction and Non-fiction with Bill Gammage, Drusilla Modjeska and Belinda Castles. Chair: Venero Armanno;
  • Political Leadership: Personality or Policy? George Negus in conversation with David Marr;
  • The Biggest Estate on Earth Bill Gammage talks to John Bennett about writing history and his multi-award winning book on how Aborigines made the Australian landscape;
  • Dangerous Activities: Mining and Nuclear Energy with Paul Cleary, senior writer with the Australian, researcher in public policy at the Australian National University and author of Mine-field, The Men Who Came Out of the Ground and Too Much Luck: The Mining Boom and Australia's Future, Sharyn Munro, author of Rich Land, Wasteland - how coal is killing Australia which arose from her empathy with the people and places of the Hunter Valley being devastated from runaway open-cut coalmining, and former diplomat, Richard Broinowski Chair: George Negus;
  • How to get nonfiction published in literary journals with Jessie Cole, Mette Jakobsen and Romy Ash. Chair: Sophie Cunningham;
  • Anglo-Saxon Writers' Portraits of Aboriginal People with Melissa Lucashenko in conversation with Jeanine Leane;
  • The art of writing non-fiction with David Marr and Drusilla Modjeska (Contributing chair: Stephanie Dowrick); and
  • Native Title in Fiction and Non-fiction with Melissa Lucashenko and Patti Miller (Chair: Annette Marfording)

Dorrigo will also host two events:

  • All you've ever wanted to know about mining and its impact at the Dorrigo Hall, 7pm Thursday 21 March, with Paul Cleary and Sharyn Munro; and
  • Bill Gammage, author of the multi-award winning The Biggest Estate on Earth, on how Aboriginal people made the Australian landscape at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, Friday 22 March at 10.15am.

The Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival takes place in Bellingen, Dorrigo and Coffs Harbour from March 22 to 24.

To purchase day and weekend passes, and for full program details and author biographies, go to www.bellingenwritersfestival.com.au

Tickets are also available in person or by telephone from Roots Records, 2/52 Hyde Street, Bellingen, phone 6655 2159.

Topics:  bellingen readers and writers festival, george negus



Dumping tosses costs on charities and rates

FED UP: Lifeline's warehouse manager Marc Hutchinson and retail co-ordinator Jo Anne Auston are frustrated at the amount of rubbish dumped at the Toormina store.

Dumping costs charities and Coffs Coasts rate payers

Big prize on offer for the healthiest school canteen

HOMEGROWN: Grade 6 "Ministers for Health” Maggie McConnachie and Amilia Roberts help school canteen manager Meba Winter in the school's vegetable garden.

The Coffs Coast Healthy Canteen Awards kick off next term

Emma Moffatt calls it a day

BOWING OUT: Triathlete Emma Moffatt racing during the triathlon at the recent Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Emma Moffatt calls time on a great Olympic distance triathlon career

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

Spring property hard to find

SHORT ON SELLERS: Spring is yet to see the usual influx of vendors keen to sell.

Spring selling season off to a slow start

Coffs region is hot property

The region’s housing market is looking up, with projects on the radar in Tannum Sands and Boyne Island.

Units and houses are both pulling strong returns for Coffs

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction