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

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