Byron Bay Writers Festival

It’s time to get ready for Byron Writers Festival 2023! Now just days away, this year’s theme, “Wild Imagination”, promises a program where leading storytellers direct creative and daring conversations that will envision our world anew and bring the power of imagination to the fore.

This year, Byron Writers Festival has moved to the Bangalow Showground. It’s the perfect venue to come together with thousands of book lovers and listen to talented writers talk about their books and the ideas contained within them.

Over the years, Byron Writers Festival has grown from a local community event run by a small team of staff and a large group of more than 160 volunteers to winning Key Festival status in 2020 from the NSW Government. Today the event also runs student writing competitions and residential mentorships, both of which have contributed to its well-earned reputation as Australia’s favourite regional literary festival.

Festival Director Zoe Pollock invites you to come along to this year’s event and enjoy an incredible program of workshops and events hosted by today’s emerging and prominent writers. Eighty sessions will take place over three packed days, with the dates firmly in the diary between Friday 11 August and Sunday 13 August 2023. 

This year’s event promises to help us reimagine our world through stories that will inspire and uplift us. Featuring high-profile activists, such as Grace Tame and authors, including Richard Fidler, Brigid Delaney, and Anna Funder, you’ll hear from some of Australia’s top writers and thinkers, alongside journalists, environmentalists, poets, politicians, comedians and more.   

A free shuttle bus service will take you back and forth between the festival site via the Byron Bay bus interchange on Butler Street and the Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Road. Alternatively, if car-pooling isn’t an option, limited onsite parking is available by donation (EFTPOS facilities available), opening at 7.30 am daily. If you’re using the shuttle bus service, you can park your car for free at the Cavanbah Centre. Check out the timetable here.

Tickets are on sale now. Buy a 1 or 3-day pass to access the sessions listed in the main festival program on your chosen days. Alternatively, you can buy a Sunday Family Pass to attend the Kids Big Day Out or purchase ticketed feature events and workshops separately. A Saturday Under 35’s pass is also available, which gives entry for a reduced price after 2 pm.

You’ll find copies of this year’s festival program in cafes and bookshops across the Northern Rivers and the Gold Coast. Choose from an exciting selection of lectures, workshops, events, and panel discussions. Plus, you can explore the sculpture walk and check out the selection of artisan market stalls at the festival site. Foodies won’t be disappointed either, with a range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options on offer and coffee, nutritious snacks, and delicious breakfasts available.

Last but not least, don’t forget to drop into The Book Room’s pop-up store before you leave the festival site so you can buy the books written by the festival authors that have inspired you. 

Download a digital version of the festival program here and book your tickets today!

See you there! 

Ed

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