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UQP authors at Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival
11 June 2021 – 13 June 2021
Bellingen, NSW

UQP authors at Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival

Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival is a unique literary festival devoted to engaging with readers and delivering sessions that are fun, challenging and thougt-provoking. Join attending UQP authors Tony Birch, Ellen van Neerven, Rebecca Jessen and Mirandi Riwoe, who are participating in this year's Bellingen program.

The Power, The Poem

Saturday 12 June, 10:30am. Tickets here.

Mary Oliver once wrote, “Poetry isn’t a profession; it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.” In this conversation three outstanding voices come together to discuss their ‘empty basket’ and the lives born of them. These award-winning authors not only share their words, but their insights into where the poet ends and the poem begins. Includes Tony Birch and Ellen van Neerven.

Freedom, Other, Life

Saturday 12 June, 3:00pm. Tickets here.

Conflict and compassion. Freedom and suspicion, hatred and love. From the harrowing reality of life under occupation, to the hostility of racial prejudice, history overflows with the struggles of those simply trying to survive the times. Join us for a powerful conversation stretching from the Gaza Strip, to the Queensland ghost settlement of Maytown as these authors share their insights into stories shaped by resistance and redemption. Includes Mirandi Riwoe.

Shortcuts 2

Saturday 12 June, 6:00pm. Tickets here.

Prepare to be swept up in a cavalcade of words as four different authors take the stage to share their stories. With each guest giving a short reading followed by a Q&A, this is the perfect opportunity to sink back and enjoy some good ol’ fashion storytelling. With three different Shortcuts session, each with a different set of authors, you’re certain to find your next favourite read. This session: Mikey Robins, Ramona Koval, Tony Birch, Mirandi Riwoe, Rebecca Jessen.

Fiction, History, and the Stuff of Stories

Sunday 13 June, 9:00am. Tickets here.

As long as there have been stories, there has been historical fiction. Tales of ancient heroes reshaping the world, tales of impossible journeys, or simply the echoes from a past that can still be heard. These award-winning authors have both created retellings of Australian history that are as mesmerising as they are confronting. “The past is never dead,” said William Faulkner. “It’s not even past.” Join us for a remarkable foray into the world that was, and the world that is today. Includes Mirandi Riwoe.

Prizes! Prose! Pandemic!

Sunday 13 June, 12:00pm. Tickets here.

In short … it’s been one hell of a year. On the plus side, there’s never been a better time to be a reader, and for a number of authors out there, there have been some fairly epic silver linings. Jess Hill, winner of the 2020 Stella Prize, Favel Parrett, winner of the 2020 Indie Book of the Year, and Mirandi Riwoe, winner of the 2020 ARA Historical Novel Prize come together to talk about their writing and reading lives, and what it means to receive such accolades.

In Conversation: Tony Birch

Sunday 13 June, 1:30pm. Tickets here.

From leaving school at age 15 after two expulsions, to winning some of the most prestigious literary awards in the country, Tony Birch has enjoyed one wild trajectory. He is the first Indigenous writer to receive the Patrick White Award, and wherever his books appear, awards and accolades are quick to follow. Novels, poetry, short stories – his talent is voracious. Join him in conversation with celebrated interviewer Ramona Koval for a one-off session not to be missed.

In Conversation: Ellen van Neerven

Sunday 13 June, 3:30pm. Tickets here.

When Ellen published their first book, Heat and Light, it immediately went on to a carousel of must-read lists, won various awards and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. In 2019 they won the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award, while their latest release, Throat, won the inaugural Quentin Bryce Award. Join us to hear this remarkable voice on the essential power of reading and writing.

Setting in Stone

Sunday 13 June, 6:30pm. Tickets here.

It’s no secret that setting is more than just the space you dump your characters so they can get on with the story. A good setting is like a good character – it has personality. It evokes the dust beneath your finger in a long-sealed room, or pricks your ear with the sound of a snapping branch in the forest dark; it builds the world that the words inhabit. Each of these acclaimed authors are masters of story and place – across time, terrain and continents. How do they make these worlds come to life? Join us for a vivid conversation about imagination, research, and the magic in between. Including Mirandi Riwoe.

Uneasy with the Fit

Sunday 13 June, 6:30pm. Tickets here.

“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit”, said David Sedaris. They are a fugitive form; sudden and sharp, leaving you breathless; like waking up on strange shores in an unfamiliar land, they can make us experience the world anew. Each of these authors writes across different styles, genres, even different forms – yet what ties them together is the thrill and possibility of short fiction. Join us for what is certain to be one hell of a story. Including Tony Birch and Ellen van Neerven.