Media

Festival 2016 Opening Event Highlights

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Festival Director Marion Roubos-Bennett welcomes guests to the opening of Festival 2016.

The opening was held in the Festival Hub Marquee.

 

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Tim Fischer AC gives the opening address, Tango in Travel and Travel Writing: Bhutan to Batemans Bay!

 

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Opening address is followed by a fun debate, Pictures Speak Louder than Words. Moderated by Paul Brunton OAM.

 

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Festival-goers enjoy the opening event

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And vote for the winning team in the debate.

 

 

Five Minutes with Annabel Morley

Annabel MorleyAnnabel Morley has a rich and fascinating heritage. Her father was the renowned British actor Robert Morley CBE, her grandmother the society beauty Dame Gladys Cooper. She counts actor Joanna Lumley (The New Avengers, Absolutely Fabulous)  as a cousin and as a child enjoyed the company of such iconic stars as Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier and Spencer Tracey.

Annabel’s recount of a childhood growing up in the English countryside, almost seems as if it has been ripped from quintessential English novels.  She now calls Australia home and we are delighted that Annabel will be joining us for the 2016 Batemans Bay Writers Festival to talk about food, the arts and her memoir about that amazing childhood, The Icing on the Cake.

Your memoir, The Icing on the Cake, is a fascinating insight into a life that seems straight out of fiction. What prompted you to put pen to paper?

I was first prompted by a low impulse – my elder brother Sheridan (who died in 2007) was a prolific writer (26 books about the theatre, plus14 books he edited and 4 stage shows) and when my father died in 1992, Sherry took over the telling of the family stories. But the problem was he would get them slightly wrong, if it was a joke of my father’s the punch line would be changed (and not for the better). I thought: I want to tell those stories – and get them right.

The other trigger was my mother’s death and the selling and dismantling of the family house. The book was a thank you letter to my parents, my father was so wonderfully buoyant and never really seemed old so I wasn’t prepared for him to die, with my mother it was a long, gentle decline and I did write her a letter telling her how wonderful she had been as a mother.

Basic CMYKI started writing the book about 5 years before it was published (in 2008) and every Christmas I would self-publish a section and sell it through our theatre groups and the response was very positive but there were several pitfalls – one was how long is a book (or a piece of string)? What in a life do you include or exclude? How to structure it?  Will the combination of memoir and recipes work? And will anybody ‘get’ it ?

By chance I met Jane Curry (who published Icing) and I had the little booklets and so I could say: this is it in embryo. And she being English and from a similar background to me (but much younger) ‘got’ it. So when she agreed to publish it, I had about half written it and I wrote the rest very quickly. The most difficult part to write was Big Brother, Little Brother.

In contrast, the section on my mother’s funeral Funeral Blues I wrote very quickly and easily. I tried it out at a library talk I gave (before the book was finished) and a man came up to me and said “Well, we certainly know a lot about you and your family now” and the inference was: Rather too much !

And I could hear my mother saying “Really, darling !” in the way she did when she thought one of us had gone a bit too far but I think she would have loved the book and I think my Pa would have been very proud – he wanted me to be a writer. (Sorry I took so long, Pa)

Food is central to your life. You love entertaining family and friends. I’m coming over for lunch on Sunday. What are we likely to be feasting upon.

As I write this I have half an eye on the clock, neighbours for supper. What are we having?

Anti pasto which we will eat on our laps – hummus and taramaslata, some Manchengo cheese and marinated artichokes, figs and dried pears, Aldi’s cheese biscuits. Then orange and oregano roast chicken with olive and fetta relish served with little potatoes roasted in olive oil and watercress salad. Crème caramel covered with sliced strawberries for pud.

Last dinner party ― I think I am one of the last people who still has dinner parties ― was Italian Wedding Soup (Recipe in Volume II), my fish pie (recipe in Icing) and an olive oil and chocolate cake for pud.

AnnabelMorley2Your father was the renowned actor Robert Morley CBE. You were an actress yourself. The theatre is still important to you but why should it matter to us? What draws people to your tours?

I have a confession to make – most of the time I would rather see a film than a play. In a bad film, there is always something to look at. Perversely, in the theatre I still feel that thrill when the house lights go down and the stage lights come up (once it was a curtain rising – very rare these days.) But oh ! The sense of growing horror if it’s going to be a dud night in the theatre. And I’m spoilt – I’ve seen the best. So I leave at the interval if I’m not enjoying myself – I have never walked out mid performance –although I was in a play when the audience did that, and asked for their money back.

But what draws people to the theatre in our groups I think is that compact that you enter into as an audience member in a theatre. The cinema says: this is real (although of course, it isn’t. )The playwright says:  all aboard the train, we applaud at the same time, laugh, weep, shudder – this disparate group of people becomes one entity. Extraordinary! And to think people have been doing this since the Greeks went to see plays about their gods; when I go to the Globe in London and sit as the dusk falls and think, people have been listening to these words of Shakespeare’s here or very near here for 400 years….well, it’s incredible. It’s story-telling.

(Also in our groups, we organise the tickets, we all go together, to matinees and Charlie, my husband, is so amazing that if you are hard of hearing he puts you down the front and if you have a gippy knee he puts you where there aren’t any stairs and if you are claustrophobic, you are on the end of a row. And we tell you about the play before we see it and we might have one of the cast or the director to tell us about the production and we discuss it afterwards.)

What unexpected delights did publishing The Icing on the Cake deliver? Did old friends reappear or new ones made?

The biggest thrill when I wrote Icing ( apart from a great friend here in Australia and another great friend in London ‘launching’ it at two fabulous parties) was such a sweet note from Anna Volska (John Bell’s wife) congratulating me, also walking past an unknown man in Bondi Junction who just said out of the corner of his mouth “Great  book”. A dear friend of mine who I have known since I was sixteen saying it made him cry. Because he knew all the cast and misses them as I do.

We are so looking forward to welcoming you to the 2016 Batemans Bay Writers Festival. What are you plans whilst you’re with us next weekend?

I’ve never been to Bateman’s Bay. I love seaside places. I love being away for the weekend and not having to shop or cook or wash up and I love talking about myself, plus I’m always fascinated to meet the other writers at Literary events and the audience.

You can meet Annabel at the following events:

Saturday September 10 9am to 10pm

Lifestyles

What place does food play in our lives? Think beyond sustenance and nourishment with three authors for whom food is central to their existence. With Annabel Morley, chef James Viles and food photographer Simon Griffiths. Facilitated by Nick Rheinberger.

Saturday September 10 11.45 am to 12.45 pm

State of the Arts

Geoff Cousins, Annabel Morley and Sarah Rice have a wealth of experience in the arts sector. They explore how the arts can remain a vital and relevant expression of our many identities.

Sunday September 11 9.30am to 10.30am

Memoir—Telling True Stories

Although regarded as non fiction, memoir can easily merge with fiction. How does a writer distinguish memory from fact or determine truths long buried with their teller? Three authors, Annabel Morley, Deb Hunt and Rod Jones, discuss the telling of family tales and the process of discovering the emotional truths of their stories. Facilitated by Meredith Jaffé.

Five Minutes With Mark Dapin

Five Minutes With Mark Dapin

Mark Dapin is a man who wears many hats. He’s been a magazine editor for publications such as Ralph and the Australian Financial Review and a regular columnist for the Good Weekend magazine. He is also a writer of fiction and non fiction books. His novel King of the Cross won the 2010 Ned Kelly award for best first fiction and his 2012 novel Spirit House was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. His recent works have a very different flavour as Mark explores the impact of war.

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Mark is joining us at the 2016 Batemans Bay Writers Festival where we will have a chance to hear him talk about war, politics and the importance of the arts.

You’re currently completing your PhD at ADFA. You’ve written and edited several books around the impact of war. Most of us think of you as a pretty knockabout funny bloke. Where does such a serious passion come from?

I never intended to be a “funny” writer. At first, I was surprised people thought my stories were funny because they were often just descriptions of the world as it looked to me. I was a serious journalist (of a sort) before I began to write first-person humour columns, and real journalism was always more important to me. That said, I like my serious work to surprise the reader with moments of (inappropriate) humour. As for the war thing, I’m not sure how that came about. I think I just got old and boring and interested in military history, in the way that old and boring men do.

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The Vietnam War has been the subject  of both a fiction and a nonfiction books for you,  R&R and The Nasho’s War respectively. What is it about that particular conflict that makes you put pen to paper?

R&R came out of my research for the Nashos’ War. I just wanted to make sure that some of the ideas I could not use in non-fiction (because they weren’t true) did not go to waste. I wrote my novel Spirit House about the Burma Railway. I considered using the research for Spirit House to write a non-fiction book – and as the basis for a PhD – so it could have gone either way, I suppose.

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You’re a journalist by trade, when you’re not writing books, your teaching others how to write them. Why is teaching about writing important to you?

I enjoy it. I like the sound of my own voice – except on tape, of course. Also, I like the idea of helping people, My life can seem a bit selfish at times.

You’ve interviewed some pretty cool celebrities in your time, from Nick Cave to Lee Kernaghan to Frederick Forsyth. Any funny stories to share?

Kostya Tszyu once punched me and broke my rib. But I’ll save the other stories for the festival.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you at the 2016 Batemans Bay Festival. We’ve got you chatting about everything from life after war to the state of Australian politics to the state of the arts. What are you most looking forward to at the Festival?

Hearing myself speak. Selling and signing loads of books. Eating stuff.

You can meet Mark at the following events:

Saturday September 10 11.45 am to 12.45 pm

State of the Arts

Geoff Cousins, Annabel Morley and Sarah Rice have a wealth of experience in the arts sector. They explore how the arts can remain a vital and relevant expression of our many identities. Facilitated by Mark Dapin

Saturday September 10 1.45 pm to 2.45 pm

Keeping the Bastards Honest: the 2016 election in review

Join political and economics commentator George Megalogenis, and journalists Mark Dapin and Malcolm Knox as they reveal the horrors and humour of the 2016 campaign and what questions this latest shuffling of the deck chairs raises for the immediate future.

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Saturday September 10 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm

Life after War

Authors Mark Dapin (R&R and The Nashos’ War) and Leah Kaminsky (The Waiting Room) have written about the impact of war and how the effect of war crosses generations and affects lives long after the conflict itself is over. Facilitated by Suzanne Leal, a lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law.

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Highlight opening event

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Five minutes with Deb Hunt

Five Minutes with Deb Hunt

English born Deb Hunt has been a librarian, teacher, event manager, PR executive, actress and journalist. She has worked with Shakespeare in the Park in London, Australian House & Garden magazine in Sydney and for the past five years as a writer with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Her memoir,  Love in the Outback, reveals Deb’s experience of discovering an unimagined land and true love far from the green fields of home.  Her latest book, Australian Farming Families explores what it is that binds Australians to the land. Travelling tens of thousands of kilometres, Deb met farming families who are challenged every day by the weather, economic ups and downs and isolation and yet remain passionate and determined.

Deb is joining us at the 2016 Batemans Bay Writers Festival in September. We spent five minutes with Deb to find out a little more about her.

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The summary of your 2014 memoir, Love in the Outback, goes along these lines: “The true story of a tree-hugging vegetarian from a small English village who gave up a job she hated, stopped stalking a man who wasn’t interested and moved to Australia to work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”  What were some of the culture shock moments in that transition that make you laugh now?

I had so much to learn about the Outback. A single property in Australia can be the size of several English counties so it can take a couple of hours to drive across. I could never admit that I used to stop for a nap mid-way through a two-hour drive in England. That was considered a long way! I remember one time I found a mouse at home in Broken Hill so I captured it, thinking I might keep it as a pet or maybe release it. Then I heard about an epic plague of mice causing havoc in town, so I kept very quiet about the one I’d tried to save. And until I lived in Broken Hill I’d never heard of anyone having all their teeth removed when they got married. Apparently it saves having to visit a dentist.

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Before you came to Australia, did you have any idea of what the RFDS was and how important it was to outback life?

My only understanding of the RFDS was through watching that old TV series about the Flying Doctor from the 1970s and I’ve learnt so much since about the incredible work they do. I fully appreciate that tyranny of distance now, which is an ever-present threat in the Outback. I had no idea how vital the service is for survival in rural and remote areas.

Your experiences in rural Australia have also led to a collection of true stories called Australian Farming Families. Is it possible to sum up what you learned from them about life on the land?

I learnt it takes grit and determination to be a farmer in Australia. It’s not a question of if disaster strike, it’s when. Farmers, graziers and pastoralists cope with drought, fire, flood, debt, disease and the invasion of pests on a regular basis. Add to that the lack of schools, hospitals, dentists, libraries, shops, mechanics and all the other services the rest of us take for granted and you begin to understand how hard it is to operate in a remote area. Yet the people I interviewed wouldn’t live anywhere else; they’re passionate about what they do.

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Where to next with your writing? Are you sticking with non-fiction or is there a novel lurking in there?

I love non-fiction but I’ve always been an avid reader of fiction so right now I’m exploring an idea for a novel – set in the Outback of course!

We’re so looking forward to welcoming you to the 2016 Batemans Bay Writers Festival. But what are you looking forward to when you visit in September?

You’ve got a great line-up of speakers so I’m looking forward to hearing as many as I can. Tim Fischer was influential during his time as Chairman of the RFDS so I’m really looking forward to hearing what he’s got to say. And I’ve heard the coastline around Bateman’s Bay is spectacular.

Meet Deb at the following events:

Saturday September 10: Time 3 pm to 4 pm

The Royal Flying Doctor Service & Outback Life

Deb Hunt (Love in the Outback and Australian Farming Families) talks with Ian Campbell about the important role the RFDS plays on outback life.

Saturday September 10: Time 5.30 pm for 6pm to 7 pm

Free event

4 X 5 minutes

Four authors, four readings, four sets of literary trivia. Join us for drinks, trivia and book-readings. Authors Deb Hunt, Meredith Jaffé, Paul Hetherington and Rod Jones, give short readings from a work of their choice. In between, tease your brain with four sets of literary trivia. Prizes to be won.

Sunday September 11: Time: 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Memoir: Telling true stories

How does a writer distinguish memory from fact or determine truths long buried with their teller? Author Meredith Jaffé facilitates a lively discussion with Annabel Morley, Deb Hunt and Rod Jones.

 

 

 

Book lovers! Give the Festival a go!

BATEMANS BAY WRITERS FESTIVAL 9 to 11 September 2016

A festival for book lovers, budding writers, authors and readers

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We are thrilled to announce an exciting line up for the 2016 Festival. If you haven’t been to a festival before, then give it a go! You will be sure to enjoy the weekend, and if you can’t make it to the whole weekend, then there will certainly be some individual sessions which will appeal.

The Festival opens on Friday 9 September with the Honourable Tim Fisher AC talking: Tango in Travel and Travel Writing ― Bhutan to Batemans Bay!

Special guest and former Australian polititian Tim Fischer celebrates as he shows the number 10 in Alice Springs during The Ghan 10th anniversary trip from Adelaide to Darwin.

Special guest and former Australian politician Tim Fischer celebrates as he shows the number 10 in Alice Springs during The Ghan 10th anniversary trip from Adelaide to Darwin.

His talk is followed by a fun debate: Pictures Speak Louder Than Words moderated by Paul Brunton

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Buy a Platinum Pass ticket and this session is free.

There are sixteen sessions for book lovers over the weekend as well as five workshops. Here are some of the highlights.

  • For foodies, meet James Viles chef and owner of the two-hatted restaurant Biota Dining, and photographer Simon Griffiths who has worked with celebrated chefs including Maggie Beer and Kylie Kwong. They are joined by Annabel Morley, daughter of the renowned actor Robert Morley CBE. Annabel’s memoir is The Icing on the Cake.
  • Lovers of art cannot miss hearing Darleen Bungey in conversation with Paul Brunton about her biographies of John Olsen and Arthur Boyd.
  • Dr Leah Kaminsky has written the fascinating We’re All Going to Die, a book that asks why some of us fear dying and others embrace it.
  • Award winning journalists George Megalogenis, Malcolm Knox and Mark Dapin discuss the horror and humour of the 2016 election.
  • For lovers of fiction there’s Malcolm Knox author of The Wonder Lover chatting with Ian Campbell.
  • Award winning poets, Sarah Rice, Geoff Page and Paul Hetherington discuss rhythm and rhyme and read from their poems.
  • Deb Hunt talks about her books and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The festival closes with a Literary Lunch featuring Tim Fischer talking about Turning Points in our Great Country. We are in for a treat! And it all happens at the CoachHouse Marina Resort, Beach Road, Batemans Bay.

Bookings are open for all sessions including the Opening Night event, Platinum Pass tickets, individual sessions and the Literary Lunch.

For more information and to purchase your tickets: www.batemansbaywritersfestival.com or phone 0417 267 771

Marion Roubos-Bennett, Festival Director

Literary Lunch with Tim Fischer – Festival 2016

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ALL FESTIVAL SEATS are now on sale. Literary lunch tickets $60 ($40 for Platinum ticket holders) Tickets are available on EventBrite

Platinum Ticket holders can use their PROMOTION CODE to book 9 SESSIONS, and also as their Seat Discount Code for the Literary Lunch. These codes are available on EventBrite when you access your Platinum ticket information. You can request these be sent to you again here.

When you have your Promotion Code, click the button below, Enter the Promotion code, click View Event and purchase your seats. You will be able to select the seats you want, and ‘enter a promo code’ (your seat discount code) to get your discount.

Please Note: The Literary Lunch consists of a Two Course Meal with Tim Fischer AC as the Guest Speaker (incorrectly listed as a three course meal in recent newsletter).

Literary Lunch Tickets

Join consummate and extremely versatile speaker Tim Fischer at the Festival Literary LunchTim draws on his broad range of experience in public and private life to deliver illuminating and informative presentations on everything from Gross National Happiness to Military Civilian Leadership and Infrastructure Excellence. He may even talk about his obsession with trains and travel. More details to follow when the Festival Program is announced.

 The Honourable Tim Fischer AC is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and was the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See for three years until January 2012. A former Australian Army Officer, NSW State Parliamentarian, Leader of the National Party and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer is also a consultant, company director, author, broadcaster, and multiple patron.

Batemans Bay Writers and Readers Festival Literary Lunch

Date: Sunday 11 September 2016

Time: 12 for 12.30 pm

Venue: Festival Hub marquee CoachHouse Marina Resort

49 Beach Road Batemans Bay NSW

Cost: $60 ($40 for Platinum Ticket-holders)

Includes a two course meal and a glass of bubbly on arrival

Tickets are currently available for ALL FESTIVAL ACTIVITIES. Click below and purchase your Platinum Pass Ticket or on Ticket Links on every page.

Get Festival Platinum Tickets

Batemans Bay Writers Festival 2016 Launched

FullSizeRender-2Batemans Bay Writers Festival is thrilled to announce an exciting line up for the 2016 Festival. In its third year, the Festival welcomes a number of eminent Australian writers and leaders across a diverse range of interests. Lifestyle, history, health and the arts share centre stage with some of the best writers of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and memoir.

Federal Member for Gilmore, Anne Sudmalis MP officially launched the Festival at an event held Friday evening at the Coachhouse Marina Resort where the festival will take place over the weekend of September 9 to 11. Other guests included well known locals Eurobodalla Shire Mayor CR Lindsay Brown, author and musician Stafford Ray and Fellowship of Australian Writers President and author Rosie Toth. In a speech acknowledging the power of creativity, Ms Sudmalis said, “what youre doing now is youre nurturing people who are going to go the festival and you are going to be inspiring your friends to come to the festival and were going to be encouraging as many other people to come into the Festival in September.”

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The Honourable Tim Fischer AC will open the Festival 2016 on 9 September and will be VIP celebrity speaker at the literary lunch on 11 September.

The Festival will be bookended with drinks on Friday 9 September and a literary lunch on Sunday 11, both featuring the Honourable Tim Fischer ACformer Deputy Prime Minister, and Australian Ambassador to the Vatican Holy See and travel writer. Other highlights include award winning writer and GP, Dr Leah Kaminsky who will talk about her latest book, Were All Going to Die, a book that challenges our fears about death and dying. Journalist and author Malcolm Knox will be talking about his latest fiction work The Wonder Lover as well as joining renowned environmental activist and business leader Geoff Cousins AM in a post election conversation about our changing attitudes to the environment. Darleen Bungey will feature in conversation about her two award winning biographies on the artists John Olson and Arthur Boyd. 

At the launch, Festival Director, Marion Roubos-Bennett said, “a writers festival enriches us all with the coming together of readers and ideas. We are diversifying our program to cover the vast range of readers tastes and our popular workshops will have a new stimulating series as well.

For the foodies among us, we welcome Annabel Morley, photographer Simon Griffiths and Biota Dining chef James Viles. Authors Mark Dapin, Meredith Jaffé and Rod Jones will be talking about their most recent books and offering a thoughtful commentary on Australian fiction this year. For poetry lovers, we welcome three wonderful local poets in Sarah Rice, Geoff Page and Paul Hetherington. And author of Love in the Outback and Australian Farming Families Deb Hunt will talk about the challenges of rural life.’

Earlybird Platinum Pass tickets are on sale now: www.batemansbaywritersfestival.com

or phone 0417 267 771 Check the website for program updates

For further information visit www.batemansbaywritersfestival.com

Media inquiries: Marion Roubos-Bennett 0417 267 771

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Sponsorship Arrangements for 2016

BBWF Logo TransMWe gratefully acknowledge our fabulous Sponsors and Supporters whose support is so critical to the success of our festival.

For 2016, the Batemans Bay Writers Festival is offering significantly improved Sponsor and Supporter exposure and facilities on our website.

Typically the site is well used most days, but site visits really take off in the lead up to the BBWF Festival, this year in September. This increased site visitation rate usually starts with the announcements of Authors, Presenters, Sessions and Workshops for the coming Festival. The main announcement this year is on 27 May.

See the list of this years Authors and Presenters

With a large number of locals and visitors planning their festival activities, this site becomes a great place to showcase your services and products. Not all Festival visitors will want to be at all sessions of the Festival, so there are opportunities to promote your business or service on or around Festival time.

We have now added facilities to the site to showcase your organisation, service or product.

We will add categories suitable for your needs (i.e. food, accommodation, entertainment, activity, shopping) so your listing will be easily found. And appropriate listings will feature prominently on relevant pages of the site to help our clients, and you get the most from the festival.

We are offering three levels of sponsorship for your consideration.
  1. $75 for a logo or picture and link displayed on several pages of the web site as a Supporter of the Festival.
  2. Sponsors pay $250 for 250 words, a logo or business card pic and a photo (eg a product photo, a menu, a price list, whatever you need), your address linked to a map, and web link, a contact link, a phone number, all effectively displayed as a web page, and your first photo will be included in a page linked slider image (or random display list of sponsors) together with other festival sponsors, showing in the information section of each page of the festival web site; and
  3. $500 for everything listed in 2 above, plus up to 5 pictures, up to 600 words, featured on the home page slider. No more than 15 of these type 3 sponsorships will be sold, and they will be left in place until at least April 2017. These listings will feature on every page, and on relevant pages also.

Your patronage will help support the non profit festival organisation.

We are also keen to recognise and help sponsors and supporters who can contribute to the Festival in other ways. If you want to propose a special for Festival attendees, a discount or other offer, we would be very happy to hear your proposal.

All Supporters and Sponsors information is included in site searches and discoverable through Google.

To see examples of the type of coverage you can expect see our Sponsors and Supporters sections at the bottom of each of our web pages.

If you are interested, please fill in the form below with some detail of your requirements and expectations. We will get back to you.
Thanks for supporting the Festival.

Contact Us

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For all book-lovers

See our Festival Launch flyer below. Please feel free to download and distribute to anyone you think would be interested. Thanks.

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Enjoy the festive season – see you in September 2016

We are pleased to announce that the next Batemans Bay Writers and Readers Festival will be in Spring from 9 to 11 September 2016.

With thanks to you, our valued supporters, our previous festivals have been resounding successes and planning is underway for repeat performances. 

Keep the dates in your diary, tell your friends and share the experience with us next year. We are looking forward to announcing the terrific line-up of authors and highlights of the program.

In the mean time we wish all festival-goers a fantastic festive time, with celebrations, good health and enjoyment. 

Marion and the organising group

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Festival Director Marion Roubos-Bennett interviewing award-winning author Mark Henshaw who will be returning to talk about his new book at the September 2016 festival

All Eurobodalla Book Lovers Event

MarkHenshaw-credit-GeorgiaHenshawThe Book Lovers Event presented by U3A BB is open not only to U3A members but to all those who love books. This exciting event features Award winning Author Mark Henshaw in Conversation with Marion Roubos- Bennett, Director of Batemans Bay Writers Festival, plus a presentation by Eurobodalla Libraries on their digital services, a book exchange and afternoon tea. This event is being held 2-4pm on Thursday 17 September at the Bay Waters Holiday Resort corner Kings & Pacific Highways Batemans Bay.

The featured Author, Mark Henshaw, is the winner of the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for fiction for The Snow Kimono. U3A Book Group Co-ordinator Diana Cody says “The combined U3A Book Groups are delighted that Mark Henshaw has accepted their invitation to speak about his award-winning book which is a psychological thriller set in Japan, Paris and Algiers. So we are extending an invitation to all other Book Groups in the Shire as well as individual readers to attend.” Diana goes on to say “We are also very pleased that Marion – Roubos Bennett, Director of the Batemans Bay Writers Festival, has agreed to lead the discussion with Mark and we are inviting those attending to email their questions in advance to the contacts as set out below”.

The Snow Kimono is described in an interview with Susan Wyndham published in the Canberra Times as “a boldy creative and cinematic work” and Diana Cody adds “it is a complex book which we chose as an ideal subject for an in depth discussion with its author”. The first novel by Mark Henshaw, Out of the Line of Fire, was one of the biggest selling Australian literary novels of the decade. For many years Mark was a curator at the National Gallery of Australia. He only recently returned to writing fiction full-time The programme also features a presentation by Eurobodalla Libraries on their Digital Services, a Book Exchange in which guests can bring one or two books to swap and afternoon tea. Everyone is welcome, the entry fee is $5 and bookings are essential. For information and bookings contact Diana Cody [email protected] tel.44786 341 or Margaret McClintock [email protected] tel.4472 0336

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IN PRAISE OF SMALL FESTIVALS

Quoted from the Sydney Morning Herald’s article of 13 June 2015 by Susan Wyndham

“I spent last weekend at the Batemans Bay Writers Festival and I want to praise the entrepreneurial organisers. In its second year, the festival attracted a small but happy audience of South Coast locals plus some from Canberra and a few from Sydney and Melbourne.

Held on two bright days in a seaside resort with cabins for guests and a central hub for talks and book sales, it felt like Byron Bay Writers’ Festival in its early days 20 years ago – interesting, intimate and relaxed, if less bohemian. Festival Director Marion Roubos-Bennett put together a great program of talks and workshops by 20 writers including Graeme Simsion, James Bradley, Linda Jaivin, Mark Henshaw and Gabrielle Lord, as well as new and local names.

With just two sessions going at once I could see speakers I have missed at bigger festivals and discover others, and have dinner or coffee with them. Authors and audience members had a chance to talk. Roubos-Bennett and her volunteers were well-organised, generous and attentive hosts, and her husband Henk manned the green room, making excellent coffee and soup.

I urge any writer to accept an invitation, book lovers to plan a weekend there, and businesses to support a cultural event that enriches the region.”

Thanks Susan

Writing matters – Finding your voice with Linda Jaivin

The workshop: Acclaimed author Linda Jaivin will be talking to High School students on writing about what matters to them and how to put their passions on paper in this special practical and interactive event.

Whether you care about climate change, conservation, GLBT rights, education reform or any other social or political issue ― if you have ideas on how to make the world a better place or want to communicate them to the world ― then this is the workshop for you.

The presenter: We are incredibly proud have an author of Linda Jaivin’s calibre facilitating this special workshop.  Linda Jaivin is the internationally published author of ten books. Her fifth novel, The Infernal Optimist, a black comedy set in immigration detention, was short-listed for the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal. Her seventh novel, The Empress Lover, set in Beijing, came out in April this year and Beijing, a non-fiction guide to the city’s history and culture, is being released in June. Linda has also written the play Halal el Mashakel (published in Staging Asylum), the Villawood Detention Centre novel The Infernal Optimist and numerous other essays and stories about asylum seekers and refugees.

This is a wonderful opportunity for local students to engage in the writing process with such an inspiring and well-known author.

Make sure that you reserve your place!

Cost:     Free for High School students

Time:    2.30 pm to 4.30 pm Sunday 7 June Bookings essential

Venue:  Seabreeze Room, Coachhouse Marina Resort

Please bring:   Your charged-up i-pad, tablet, laptop or a pad and pencil – whatever you prefer to write with.

Linda Jaivin

Whats in Store at the Festival

Heres a video showing what you can expect at this years Festival.

Paul West Literary Lunch Media Release

Catalina kitchen pic

Download (DOCX, 212KB)

June 2015 Festival Launched

Festival FlyerBelow is the media release for the 2015 Festival Launch.

Australian authors Graeme Simsion, Julie Janson and Gabrielle Lord are among the exciting presenters for the 2015 Batemans Bay Writers Festival, to be held over the June long weekend at the Coachhouse Marina Resort.

Eurobodalla Mayor Lindsay Brown launched the event and an excellent turnout of supporters and media ensured an exciting atmosphere.

All the Authors and Presenters details are now available on this site.

Download (DOCX, 97KB)

 

Writers Festival 2015 Launch Friday 20 March

Coachhouse LogoJoin us for a celebratory glass of bubbly at the launch of the 2015 Batemans Bay Writers Festival.

Mayor Lindsay Brown will proudly launch the Festival at the CoachHouse Marina Resort Batemans Bay.

The fantastic line-up of authors and the exciting festival program highlights will be announced.

The Festival will be held on the June long weekend 5 to 7 June 2015

Launch Tickets are Free (but there are only 100 places). Please click here to RSVP by 16 March 2015 or phone 0417 267 771

When:

Friday 20 March 2015

5 pm for 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm

Where:

Rockwall Brasserie

CoachHouse Marina Resort

49 Beach Road Batemans Bay

Festival Launch Bookings

Here is the Media Release.

Download (DOC, 105KB)

Now it’s Survey Time

Thank you for helping to make the Batemans Bay Writers Festival a success.

It’s your Festival.

Would you kindly fill in the survey – see link below –  to help make the 2015 Festival even better. The more responses we receive the deeper and better our data will be – ensuring a wonderful 2015 Festival experience.

To complete the survey simply:

Click on this link to the Batemans Bay Writers Festival Share Your Experience survey

OR

Click on the link on the Facebook feed  ( in the right-hand column)

OR

Copy and paste the URL for the survey (below) into a new window

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1684964/Batemans-Bay-Writers-Festival-Share-your-experience

 

Thank you from the Festival Organising Committee.

Marion Roubos-Bennett
Events and Program Coordinator
Batemans Bay Writers Festival

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Food for thought

Join us for a taste of something special from the region and a glass of local wine ─ or two ─ at this highlight event to conclude the Saturday sessions.

Time: 4:45 pm to 6:15pm
Venue: Corrigans Room
Cost: $25  ( Please note that this session is included in the Platinum Pass -$155 )

Marion Halligan

Marion Halligan

Renowned author Marion Halligan’s books often include the great pleasures of food. Marion will speak about the importance of food as a theme in her prolific writing including The Point, about a fictitious restaurant. It is a novel of intricate complexity and wit about our appetites and desires, and the way they irrevocably shape the world.

the-point

 Robin Innes of historic Innes Boatshed fame is from one of the Batemans Bay families of fishers and oyster farmers. Robin’s focus will be on the history of fishing in the region, especially the Clyde River.

The Innes Boatshed, Batemans Bay

Innes Boatshed, Batemans Bay

 They are joined by local farmer Fraser Bayley who will speak about the philosophy of growing and using local produce. He will talk about the SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla) Project and Old Mill Road Bio-farm, his family-run small mixed farm enterprise that has been providing produce to a local consumer base for eight years.

Fraser Bred

Fraser and family

Thank God It’s Sunday!

Richard Glover

Richard Glover

A Literary lunch with Richard Glover

Finish the Festival on a high note with the witty and engaging Richard Glover, host of ABC Radio’s Thank God it’s Friday, and author of George Clooney’s haircut and other cries for help. You can be sure of being entertained as Richard chats about his humorous books and laugh-aloud journalist columns. You can also find out Why men are necessary. Many of the authors involved in the Festival will also be at the literary lunch ─ there may be an author at your table.

Date: Sunday 8 June 2014

Time: 1 pm for 1.30 pm to 3 pm

Venue: Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, Beach Road, Batemans Bay

Cost: $40, includes a two-course meal and a glass of bubbly on arrival ─ not to mention the talented and entertaining Richard Glover, the opportunity to purchase Richard’s books and have him sign them.

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A taste of books to come…….

There is something for everyone at the inaugural Batemans Bay Writers Festival.
From Susannah Fullerton’s books on Jane Austen to Jeff Apter’s book ‘ Up From Down Under: How Australian Miusic Changed The World”.

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Ensure that you get to the sessions that really appeal by booking your tickets now.

Becoming a text maniac – Annabel Crabb

The Sun-Herald
Sunday, 04.05.2014

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 10.22.55 amIn the past six months, I have slept with more than 160 women. I know: impressive. But I really have. I agreed to be a judge for the Stella Prize – the $50,000 literary award for Australian female writers – and at some point, I suspect just after I signed up, it became clear that this would involve me reading more than 160 books.

So in the past six months I have fallen asleep with my face in biographies, historical adaptations and with bold new voices in fiction lending brilliantly moving and tautly compelling narratives to my dreams. I have curled up with feminist polemics and graphic novels. My bedside table is a tottering tribute to my promiscuity. For months I read and read and read, with an appetite verging on the goatish; on buses, in traffic-stalled taxis, walking along the street, cooking dinner. But at some point each night, usually with my forefinger marking the page and the bedside lamp lightly tanning my eyelids, I inevitably dropped off.

I have learnt many things. I have learnt, for instance, that the very best thing about reading a great book is the same as the very worst thing about reading a bad book: the deep and unshakeable secret suspicion that perhaps if I wrote a book, it would turn out like this one.

When you read as normal human beings read, you are guided by all sorts of unseen forces. You choose things you think you’ll like. You avoid things you just know you’re going to hate. You read things you have to read. And necessarily, it means that you miss out. Increasingly, in recent decades, I have read for business rather than specifically for pleasure. The stack of porky political memoirs, essays, economic treatises, biographies, forensic accounts of the rise of this person and the fall of that one never seems to get any smaller. I should read them all, and I try to, so reading anything outside of politics has over the years – and this has got worse with every baby – started to feel like an indulgence. So I cut back on all those other genres: fiction, fantasy, exercise and diet books, self-help, horror and travel writing. Apart from, of course, Bob Carr’s memoir, which is – happily – all of those things.

So when I signed up for Stella, it was with the inexpressibly sick strategy that if I turned the reading of other books into an actual obligation, I could then enjoy them guilt-free. And it worked like a charm.

Reading as a judge is a completely different sort of experience. Instead of picking your own weird little goat track through the books published in any given year, all of a sudden you’re reading all of them, or at any rate all the ones written by women. This gives you a perspective unavailable to anyone else, apart from a tiny slice of the OCD community and a hardy band of retired English teachers.

All of a sudden, you start to see patterns. There’s the rash of “Every Mother’s Nightmare” books, for which I blame Lionel Shriver, whose 2003 bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin had a separate, but equally stimulatory effect on newspaper headline writers during the Rudd era of government. Then there is a strong contingent of emotionally knotty adventures set in exotic, Third World or geographically distant climes. I blame the artificially depressed price of international airline travel for these, plus the ghostly hand of Michelle de Kretser, who in her Miles Franklin winner Questions of Travel last year did what countless thousands of Australians before her have impotently aspired to do, which is to write a superb novel about backpacking. I am reminded of 1992, when Andrew McGahan’s Praise won the Vogel, and everyone I knew at university – myself included – sat down to write our own gritty works incorporating filthy share houses, doomed love affairs and stoned misadventures. I would like to express my sympathy for any Vogel judge subsequently forced to surf that derivative wave of dirty realism.

Folded inside every great novel are the countless spores of its illegitimate children; now there’s a depressing thought.

CWEurekaRebelsThe best thing, though, was finding some truly spectacular books and knowing that sticking them on the Stella short list would be like sneaking them on to the bedside tables of a vast new group of readers. The winner, Clare Wright, spent 10 years writing a new history of the Eureka Stockade, with all the women put back in. A more pulse-racing work of history than The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka I have not read, and to give people a little push towards it made me feel like Father Christmas. That’s the beating heart of the Stella Prize; it’s a bid not to create quality, but to remind you, by means of a discreet little bookshop cough, where you might easily find it.

We all need a little push.

Annabel Crabb is the host of ABC TV’s Kitchen Cabinet, airing Fridays at 8pm.

Twitter: @annabelcrabb

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/becoming-a-text-maniac-20140502-zr38m.html#ixzz30hYi1lxt