Thursday 18 April 2019

Newcastle Writers Festival 2019

I so enjoy going to Newcastle Writers Festival each year in early April. It's one of my very favourite festivals for so many reasons. I get to catch up with lots of family and friends. NWF always puts on such a great line up - lots of free sessions that you can actually get in to. The compactness makes it fabulous to attend - you can actually attend back to back sessions easily.

I always line up too many sessions at NWF, so much temptation.... but I managed to limit that a bit this year, and went to a sensible number of sessions so I didn't feel too brain dead at the end of the day.

Kon Karapanagiotidis

This year I saw:

Fr Rod Bower
Mark Brandi
Jane Caro
Trent Dalton
Clementine Ford
Chris Hammer
Kon Karapanagiotidis (twice!)
Anisa Nandaula
Emily O'Grady
Holly Throsby
Gillian Triggs

A predominantly nonfiction experience! Very unusual for me. But writers festivals are definitely places to push the boundaries. 

Chris Hammer and Holly Throsby

I was sad to miss out on so many others, but especially:

Claire G Coleman
Ginger Gorman
Chloe Hooper
Ben Quilty

I do so love a festival bookshop. So much potential, and all those lovely stacks waiting to be touched and poured over. Provided here by Macleans Booksellers

All set up and ready to go
So pretty. So tempting. I fell. Naturally.
Nowhere near enough copies,
these were quickly sold out
I already had a copy of By Sea & Stars
I wanted to buy Boy Swallows Universe
but they only had nasty mass market paperbacks.
Book snob? Youbetcha

My NWF2019 book stack:

I took three with me to get signed
and bought three there

Naturally I bought another (rather large) stack of (new and second-hand) books whilst travelling to and from Newcastle. At some old favourites: Better Read Than Dead in Newtown. Megalong Books in Leura. And a visit to a new favourite: The rather huge Salvos store at Tempe.

The Top 10 NWF2019 Bestsellers:
  1. Speaking Up by Gillian Triggs
  2. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
  3. Kerry O’Brien: A Memoir by Kerry O’Brien
  4. Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford
  5. Accidental Feminists by Jane Caro
  6. The Power of Hope by Kon Karapanagiotidis
  7. One Hundred Years of Dirt by Rick Morton
  8. Scrublands by Chris Hammer
  9. Outspoken by Rod Bower
  10. Up to Something by Katrina McKelvey and Kirrili Lonergan

Newcastle Writers Festival do a great job of providing entertainment between sessions too. This year there were beach chairs set up in Wheeler Place with headphones to listen to short stories. 

Yes, guitarpwriter needs to be
seen, and heard, to be believed
Another great feature of NWF (well serendipitously at least) is that on Saturday the Olive Tree Market is across the road in Civic Park. I picked up some fab Charcoal & Mint Botanical Toothpaste from Lovebyt. A refillable deodorant from Asuvi! And I might have splurged on a fabulous lariat necklace from Olivia Raymond. My second of hers. 

I snacked on Halouminati Fries from
The Haloumi Hut

having already filled up on particularly incredible Crispy Skinned Chicken at Dumpling Flavour on Darby Street when I had an early lunch with friends. 

Due to travel commitments I think Newcastle will be the only writers festival that I can fit into my busy schedule this year - which is rather đŸ˜¢ obviously. At least it was a good one. I'll have to try to attend a new festival next year to help me along my quest to go to all the book festivals in Australia. Adelaide,  Byron and Brisbane all sound so promising. 

NWF 2015
NWF 2016
NWF 2017
I couldn't make it for NWF 2018

No comments: