Berry Writers Festival
  21st - 23rd October 2022   

2021 Festival Postponed

We announce with great regret  that, due to the Covid-19 situation in New South Wales, we have postponed the inaugural Berry Writers Festival to October 21-23 2022.

Our heartfelt thanks to the  authors, volunteers, donors and  sponsors,  and to the Berry community as a whole for their enthusiastic support this year.  We will continue to count on that enthusiasm and support as we plan for the 2022 Festival.

Please check this website for updates as we move forward in the coming months.

Peter Hartcher Joins Festival Line-up

This has been a very busy week behind the scenes in the build up to the Berry Writers Festival. We have almost finalised our line-up of speakers and are thrilled with the quality of the talent that we are able to offer.

It is a testament to the reputation of Berry that almost all of the writers we have invited have accepted our invitation. We will be tapping into your intellectual curiosity with speakers on literary fiction, historical fiction, and memoir as well as scientific and political topics.

Our latest coup is to have Peter Hartcher, the international editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, on one of our panels. His latest book, Red Zone: China’s Challenge and Australia’s Future analyses how we are meeting future political challenges. We expect our thinking to be challenged as well!

Suzanne Burdon

Suzanne Burdon is a local, a book lover, an author, a researcher and is passionate about writers festivals. She is very proud to be part of the Berry's first Festival.

School of Arts will be Festival Hub

  • The School of Arts and the neighbouring Scots Presbyterian Church Hall will be the hub of speaker events at the Berry Writers Festival on Saturday 23rd and 24th October. There will also be a coffee/food hub behind the School of Arts, where audience members can regroup and socialise between events.

    Other locations around town will host breakout events and workshops on 22nd, as well as on the Saturday and Sunday.  These include the CWA Hall, The Uniting Church Hall, the Anglican Church Hall, JoJo’s and the Coach House. 

    Everyone in Berry has been so generous in supporting the Festival. We are continually receiving offers of catering, printing and accommodation as well as funding. Everything is very, very gratefully received. We are a new festival and I for one had no idea of the complexities of the organisation required, or of the resources we would need. But somehow it is happening.

    Please come and join our teams if you would like to contribute. You can register your interest here.

Suzanne Burdon

Suzanne Burdon is a local, a book lover, an author, a researcher and is passionate about writers festivals. She is very proud to be part of the Berry's first Festival.

Some very exciting news for the Berry Writers Festival

Pip Williams, who wrote the immensely popular, The Dictionary of Lost Words, is coming to Berry as part of our Writers Festival. She has agreed to appear in a special lead up event, on Sunday 10th October (before the main Festival weekend of the 22nd-24th October).

Pip’s novel has been named overall Book of the Year by Australia’s independent booksellers, where it was also awarded the prize for Debut Fiction. It was also chosen as the best debut literary novel by an Australian writer, in the MUD Literary Prize awards in Adelaide.

We are so looking forward to hearing her discuss her breakthrough novel. 

Suzanne

Suzanne Burdon

Suzanne Burdon is a local, a book lover, an author, a researcher and is passionate about writers festivals. She is very proud to be part of the Berry's first Festival.

Everyone’s a writer

woman in yellow and black floral dress sitting on brown wooden chair

W. Somerset Maugham said,

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

I was thinking that perhaps that is why writers’ festivals are so popular. Everyone wants to discover the rules!

My experience of attending writers‘ festivals over many years tells me that almost every visitor I meet at these events has a book in them, whether contemplated, started or abandoned. It’s not just novels either, it’s also personal stories and some that are the result of a lifetime of research. That is why I think that Berry has got behind our very own writers festival with such gusto. It’s a really creative community, as well as being a warm and generous one.

The offers of support have been amazing with every day bringing a new offer of skills as well as financial support (but we still need more!). We have a meeting every second Wednesday at the Uniting Church hall in Albert Street Berry (next one, 9th June), if you would like to join the Berry Writers Festival volunteers.

We now have more than twenty authors on board in many genres from literary fiction to memoir, politics and history. On Friday 22nd October there will be workshops, then on Saturday 23rd we have a full day of talented speakers, with more on the Sunday. It promises to be an exciting three days.

Thanks to everyone, and let’s keep up the stellar progress!

Suzanne.

Suzanne Burdon

Suzanne Burdon is a local, a book lover, an author, a researcher and is passionate about writers festivals. She is very proud to be part of the Berry's first Festival.

The mission of a Writer's Festival

Lisa Dempster is perfectly accurate in her assessment of the mission of a writer’s festival: Supporting the machinations of the publishing industry – promoting and supporting writers, celebrating and selling books, creating networking opportunities – is only one aspect of the mission of a writer’s festival. The other major purpose is to entertain and inspire audiences, adding to the creative and intellectual life of a city, and promoting the values of literature and literacy overall. Lisa Dempster The Wheeler Centre

Lisa Dempster The Wheeler Centre

Lisa Dempster is perfectly accurate in her assessment of the mission of a writer’s festival:

Supporting the machinations of the publishing industry – promoting and supporting writers, celebrating and selling books, creating networking opportunities – is only one aspect of the mission of a writer’s festival. The other major purpose is to entertain and inspire audiences, adding to the creative and intellectual life of a city, and promoting the values of literature and literacy overall.

Suzanne Burdon

Suzanne Burdon is a local, a book lover, an author, a researcher and is passionate about writers festivals. She is very proud to be part of the Berry's first Festival.

It’s hard to believe that only three weeks ago the first planning meeting of the Berry Writers Festival took place!

Those first weeks have been so much more rewarding than we could have imagined. Everyone who has heard of the project has been as much head-over-hills in love with it as we are. There have been so many offers of time, energy and contacts, ideas and moments of inspiration. We knew it would take a village, but who knew how engaged the village would become and how the virtual village would be so widespread?

So far, we have a dozen authors who have agreed to appear, we have at least four workshops lined up, we have an official organisation: Berry Writers Inc, we have a web site, a bank account, and avenues for funding. 

Watch this blog as we profile some of our authors and workshop convenors over the next few weeks. Also look out for competitions!

AND… Make sure you keep the weekend  clear and invite your friends down to Beautiful Berry to join in!

Suzanne Burdon

Suzanne Burdon is a local, a book lover, an author, a researcher and is passionate about writers festivals. She is very proud to be part of the Berry's first Festival.

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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.

Berry Writers Festival is a not for profit community event.
ABN: 63 903 506341 
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WATCH THIS SPACE FOR PROGRAM DEVELOPMENTS AS THEY HAPPEN
2021 Festival Postponed
Peter Hartcher Joins Festival Line-up
School of Arts will be Festival Hub
Some very exciting news!
Everyone’s a writer
The mission of a Writer's Festival
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