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Top Writers Festivals in Western Australia

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by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published March 8th 2013
Learn how to release the best-selling writer within you
Have you always harboured the secret desire to be a writer? If so, then join the club. Whether we're yearning to create a bestselling novel, enjoy pottering around with poetry or simply keep a journal recording the pains and pleasures of our lives, many of us in the privacy of our own homes love to scribble away in some form or another.

I strongly believe that everyone is, at heart, an artist or writer. Each of us has our own, unique way of perceiving the world, and the thoughts and feelings which we express as a result of these perceptions are unlike those of anyone else on the planet. However, most of us require some expert tuition and encouragement if we are to transform our ideas creatively, and lucratively, into a form that can be shared with others.

It is for this reason that the aspiring writer, like the wannabe in any profession, needs to find other likeminded souls for inspiration, encouragement and creative sharing. In the same way that business entrepreneurs or nuclear physicists require the association of others who are further along their desired career path, so too does the writer who hankers to take his or her work to a higher level.

Here in Western Australia we're very fortunate to have access to several excellent writers' centres where such encouragement can readily be found. Reaching out further into the wider community, over recent years an increasing number of writers' festivals are being held throughout the state. Generally extending over a few days, these events feature seminars and workshops by established writers of various genres, as well as special activities to stimulate and encourage children's creativity.

The following is a list of some of Western Australia's best writer's festivals and literary events. Try to check them out and find out how to release the talented writer residing within you.

Perth Writers Festival
Although Perth Writers Festival is now over, be sure to keep it in mind for next year. Based at the University of Western Australia, this exciting celebration of all things literary is part of the larger Perth's Arts Festival, and consists of a vast assortment of events including presentations by prominent Australian and international authors, workshops and discussions. If you love the process of creatively crafting words, this is an event which you must mark into your calendar for 2014.

Storylines Literary Festival
Held from the 20th to the 22nd March at All Saints' College in Bull Creek, Storylines Literary Festival is especially focused on children's and young adults' literature. At this special event, children from kindergarten to Year 12 have the opportunity to meet writers and illustrators from across a wide range of genres, along with journalists, adventurers, scientists and much more. This festival will be especially of interest to primary and secondary teachers, as well as aspiring writers of children's and young adult's literature. For more information, check out the Storylines website.

This image is from the Storylines website.
This image is from the Storylines website.

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival
The south-west of Western Australia is a haven for all types of creative folk, and Margaret River is well-known as one of their favourite haunts. The 2013 Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival will be held this year from the 15th to the 19th May, and will include an exciting variety of literary events. Several authors have already confirmed their attendance including John Dow, Peter Docker, Dawn Barker, acclaimed poet Mark Tredinnick and children's writer Andy Griffith. For more information as the date comes closer, phone 08 9758 7316, email or check out the Arts Margaret River website.

Kimberley Writers Festival
Situated in the state's spectacular eastern Kimberley region, Kununurra hosts this wonderful annual writers' festival which will be held in 2013 on July 26, 27 and 28. During the festival, various writers, illustrators, musicians, songwriters and storytellers will present workshops and participate in forums sharing their craft and their life experiences. The event will be held at the new Kununurra Library, and you can get more information about what's happening on 08 9169 1227. For anyone with a love of the written word, this is an event which shouldn't be missed, so head north and escape the winter's chill.

Corrugated Lines Broome
One of the most exciting new literary festivals in Australia would have to be Corrugated Lines, held in beautiful Broome from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August 2013. Last year's inaugural festival was a huge success, and this year the organisers are determined to make the event even bigger and better. Described as a 'literary feast for language lovers, readers and storytellers', the festival is presented by Broome publishers Backroom Press and Magabala Books. The events for the 2012 festival included talks by acclaimed Australian writers and illustrators, panels discussions, exhibitions, writing workshops and many other special cultural presentations. While this year's events still haven't been finalised, without a doubt this will be a festival that aspiring writers and illustrators will want to mark into their social calendars. For more information about the festival schedule, keep an eye on the Broome Community website.

Romance Writers of Australia Conference
An academic conference as opposed to a community literary festival, the focus of this event is on the role of 'romance fiction' in the twenty-first century. This year's conference has been named, 'Riding the Waves: Writing Romance in Tempestuous Times', and will be of particular interest to both established and aspiring writers of romantic fiction as well as academics and members of the general public with an interest in the genre. It will be held at The Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle from August 16 - 18, and will feature an impressive list of guest speakers including successful writers, agents and editors. For more information about the event, check out this website.

WA Poetry Festival
If you're a wordsmith whose genre-of-choice is poetry, this is an event which will nourish and inspire you. Although I couldn't out find out the date for this year's festival, last year's was held in mid-August, so as the year progresses, watch out for more information. The WA Poetry Festival is connected with WA Poets incorporated, so check their website regularly.

This image is from WA Poets Incorporated website.
This image is from WA Poets Incorporated website.

Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival
Held from Friday 13 September until Sunday 15 September 2013, the Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival is certain to be an awesome event, and several popular Australian authors, poets and musicians are already committed to take part in it including Boori Monty Prior, Deb Burrows and Ian Reed. The exciting and jam-packed program will include a selection of workshops on writing, poetry and illustration, as well as question and answer forums and much more. Amazingly, most of these events are totally free of charge. Full details are still to be finalised but to find out more, bookmark the City of Geraldton Library, where details will be regularly updated.

This image is from the City of Geraldton Library website.
This image is from the City of Geraldton Library website.

Avon Valley Writers Festival
Held on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September, the Avon Valley Writers Festival is certain to be popular with literary lovers, due to the region's close proximity to Perth and the terrific range of workshops and presentations which it will host. With the first day of the festival based at Toodyay Library and the second at Northam, the festival will be a great chance to meet our Western Australian writers and learn about their creative journey. For more information as the event comes closer, contact Kay on 08 9621 1600 or email

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Why? We all need encouragement in our chosen field, and these awesome literary festivals will inspire you to go and write a best-seller.
When: Throughout 2013
Where: Throughout Western Australia
Cost: Various
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