After a challenging couple of years, Writers Unleashed is coming back with a bang to Tradies Gymea.
The popular Sutherland Shire writers' festival, which is in its twelfth year, will be held on Saturday September 3. Tickets are on sale (see website link at bottom of story).
Volunteers from the Sutherland Fellowship of Australian Writers run the annual community event.
Organisers say, "with author talks, book signings and workshops across three rooms, announcement of the 2022 Picture Book Competition winners, and catering for the whole day, this is a local festival with a big heart which has something for everyone".
Program coordinator Dinuka McKenzie said the last two years had not been easy.
"Like so many events, we had to move our festivals online," she said. "It was a huge learning curve for us.
"Our digital festival last year was a huge success, reaching an online audience across the country. But there's no doubt that everyone is craving being back at in-person events."
Ms McKenzie is a local crime author whose debut novel The Torrent was released in February. She said most authors who released books in 2020 and 2021 missed out on launches and book events.
"Online events were vital in keeping the book community connected," she said. "After so long, it will be a joy to mingle with real life readers and writers once more."
The program features award-winning Yuwaalaraay storyteller Nardi Simpson, crime fiction powerhouses Anna Downes, Petronella McGovern and Rae Cairns, best-selling commercial fiction writer, Cassie Hamer, author of the cli-fi hit, Ghost Species, James Bradley and Penguin Literary Prize winner, James McKenzie Watson.
Kid lit fans are in for a treat with crowd favourites Deborah Abela and picture book author and host of the popular Words & Nerds podcast Dani Vee, as well as Yuin writer, Gary Lonesborough, author of the hit young-adult novel, The Boy from the Mish.
The festival will showcase local writers including award-winning authors Helena Fox and Christine Sykes, kid lit author and podcaster Kate Simpson, and crime fiction authors Felicity McLean, Dinuka McKenzie and Hayley Scrivenor.
Emerging writers are invited to pitch their manuscripts to editors from major publishing houses including Penguin Random House, Walker Books, Larrikin House, and Harlequin.
"We'd like to thank Tradies Gymea and The Best Little Bookshop in Town for supporting us," Ms McKenzie said.
"Writers Unleashed is a great opportunity to meet and learn from your favourite authors, network and join in the fun."
For the full program and tickets, visit: www.writersunleashed.com.au
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