The fourth annual High Country Writers Festival will take place in the Glen Innes region on Saturday December 3, with another great line up of authors participating at this yearly literary celebration in the New England high country, and a concurrent writer's retreat.
Festival director Michael Burge said the event will feature a mix of authors from the region, and some from further afield, with a particular focus on true crime and historical fiction.
"Across the last two years of publishing, rural Australia has featured heavily in the kinds of storytelling that flies off the shelves in our bookshops," he said.
"The New England North West has certainly inspired generations of writers, but in recent years our landscapes and communities have been recorded and portrayed in fiction and non-fiction at a rate not previously observed.
"For this reason, the fourth annual High Country Writers Festival is focussing on a special selection of this new crop of titles that relate compelling stories that speak to the heart of life in our region."
New England focus
Leading the event in a session branded CSI New England will be author and journalist Matthew Condon, whose series of true crime exposés gives him unique insight into the mind and skill of the crime writer.
Joining him will be Emma Partridge, whose gripping debut The Widow of Walcha is described a shocking true story about death, love and lies in the small New England town; and (via video link) author Kate Holden, who penned The Winter Road, a compelling record of the 2014 shooting of environmental officer Glen Turner by farmer Ian Turnbull at Croppa Creek.
ABC New England presenter Kristy Reading will lead Frontier Heartland, a session on historical fiction and the search for home.
Joining her will be Moree author Nicole Alexander in conversation about her latest novel The Last Station, which tells the fight for survival experienced by a once prosperous pastoral family; and (via video link) author Julie Janson, discussing her novel Benevolence, in which she gives voice to an Aboriginal experience of early settlement.
Assisting emerging writers
Emerging writers have the chance to participate in writing workshops. One will feature Armidale-based author Sophie Masson, giving tips about how to write a childrens' book.
Glen Innes-based author and journalist Michael Burge will give his 'Resuscitate Your Manuscript' session, designed to assist writers who are stuck on a literary project and need a restart.
The fourth annual High Country Writers Retreat will take place December 2-4 at beautiful Waterloo Station, for writers seeking guidance and a tranquil, inspiring escape. Mentors this year include retreat director, Inverell-based business strategist and writer Virginia Eddy; and guest author Matthew Condon, whose authorial experience ranges from fiction to non-fiction and journalism.
New England Writers' Centre is partnering with the festival for the second year, with an information and book sales stand inside festival venue The Makers Shed. New festival partner Seasons of New England has come onboard as an affiliate local bookseller, working with The Makers Shed to import a curated range of excellent reads to New England readers.
"We're also thrilled to be working with Glen Innes' newest space Highlands Hub as a festival venue this year," Burge said.
"With videoconferencing facilities, it allows some guest authors to appear via live video link, and gives us extra writing workshop space."
Bookings are now open via the festival website: https://highcountrywritersfestival.com or come to festival bookshop and information centre The Makers Shed, 123 Grey Street, Glen Innes, Wednesdays to Saturdays, 10am-4pm.
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