Bellingen's Old Butter Factory has always proved to be a hub of activity during the annual Readers and Writers Festival. Photo: Leigh Jensen / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Bellingen's Old Butter Factory has always proved to be a hub of activity during the annual Readers and Writers Festival. Photo: Leigh Jensen / The Coffs Coast Advocate Leigh Jensen

Fascinating line-up on right page

THE 2014 Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival (June 6-8) is shaping up to be another sensational event, with the announcement of program highlights this week.

"The 2014 program really engages across the spectrum of writing and for readers," said BRWF program director Brian Purcell.

"Some topical issue will be raised, such as our place on this Earth, indigenous cultures and generations. The line-up of authors and performers on the program are passionate advocates and compelling speakers.

"What's important about the BRWF is it's about sharing, learning, having fun and, of course, coming together with excellent writers in beautiful Bellingen," he said.

Highlights of this year's festival include novelist Alex Miller (two-time winner of the Myles Franklin Award), the famous Bellingen Poetry Slam, rediscovering nature in the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, and Dominic Knight, a founder of The Chaser, an idealistic cynic now heard on ABC Radio.

Yolju women from Arnhem Land will welcome us to the Country of Laklak Burarrwang, Arnhem Land, with great stories, including those told by "a library in the land", a library that cannot be destroyed.

Children and youth have been well catered for with three top writers - Nadia Wheatley, author of My Place, in print for 20 years now, and authors Lian Tanner and Isobelle Carmody.

There will be workshops, panel events and conversations dealing with a wide range of topics, including our heritage - place, history and the generations.

Poets will rock the boat at Paddle with a Poet on Friday afternoon with Omar Musa, Australian Poetry Slam champion.

The program also includes some more gentle walks and culinary delights and an absorbing talk at the literary dinner with Alex Miller in The Old Butter Factory.