Berry Writers Festival - 25 - 27 October 2024Berry Writers Festival 2024 - 25-27 October 2024
Because words matter

About the Festival

Meet the Team

The expertise and enthusiasm of our Organising Committee is a driving force behind this unique festival.

Meet the people working together to nurture the diverse range of activities at the 2024 Berry Writers Festival:

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James Robinson

James believes that Berry provides a wonderful environment to work, play and raise a family, and that events like the Berry Writers Festival are essential to its fabric. He brings 25 years experience in successful property and construction businesses to assist the committee in developing the 2024 Festival.

Christa Wood
Vice President

Christa Wood had a varied career, including company director, HR consultancy, trust and company assessor, and over 20 years as an academic. She is passionate about volunteer work and sits on several boards of community organisations.

Mary Cunnane
Artistic Director

Mary is a former publisher and literary agent -- now a freelance editor and publishing consultant -- with extensive experience in the industry in both the United States and Australia.
Her full details can be found here...

Tori Haschka
Associate Artistic Director

Tori Haschka is the author of two novels; Grace Under Pressure and A Recipe for Family and two cookery books: A Suitcase and a Spatula and Cut the Carbs!. Once upon a time her blog Eatori was named by Saveur as one of the five best food and travel blogs in the world. She lives in Berry with her husband and two children.

Julie Janson
First Nations Cultural Advisor

A Burruberongal woman of the Darug Aboriginal nation, Julie is a prize-winning novelist, playwright, and poet.

Her novel Benevolence was published in Australia in 2020 and in the USA and UK in 2022 and was longlisted for both the NIB Literary Award and the Voss Literary Award. Her latest work, an Indigenous crime novel, Madukka the River Serpent (2023) was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and the Davitt Award.

She is co-recipient of the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize 2016 and the Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2019.

Stephanie Kemp

Stephanie has been a chartered accountant for many years, specialising in financial reporting, audit and regulatory issues. She has written numerous articles and was technical editor of The Audit and Assurance Handbook Australia. She is now a partner in a small forensic accounting business.

Nuala Higgins

Nuala spent her early career working as a forensic chemist for Federal Law Enforcement in the USA. She then switched tracks, becoming a senior administrator in universities and hospitals, both in Ireland and Australia. Nuala moved with her husband and daughter to Berry in 2013.

Ian Carroll
Committee Member

Ian is fortunate to have owned a farm in Berry for 12 years and is a passionate believer in the diversity and strength of the Shoalhaven community.  Ian was once a lawyer, media executive and digital investor and hopes to bring some of his 20+ years experience working in media and events in Asia to assist the committee.

Colleen Fry
Committee Member

Colleen Fry, who has lived in Berry since 2016 , has had an extensive career as an educator, writer, exhibition director, and curator. The former Head of Visual Arts and Digital Media at Pymble Ladies College, she was Director of Sculpture in the Valley from 2017-22 and is the author, with Graham Hopwood, of The Handbook of Art.

The Berry Writers Festival acknowledges the Dharawal and Dhurga language-speaking groups who are traditional owners of this area. We acknowledge their customs and culture, which have nourished, and continue to nourish, this land. And we extend our respects to Elders, past, present, and future.

Principal donor:

Festival partners:

Berry Writers Festival Partner: BundanonDymocks books & giftsBerry Writers Festival Partner: South Coast Writers Centre