The 2019 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival has wrapped up after an overwhelmingly popular response to its program of ‘wild, weird and wonderful’ stories.
The 11th annual festival started spectacularly as former broadcaster and radio personality Verity James MC’d the festival launch which was headlined by writer, contrarian, activist and feminist, Professor Germaine Greer. Wadandi Cultural Custodian Iszaac Webb had the audience enthralled – as well as many of the headline guests it seemed – as he welcomed festival guests to Wadandi Boodja.
The festival drew sell-out crowds to most events on Saturday and Sunday, including those of Professor Greer and Australian icon Michael Leunig, with people coming from Perth and other parts of WA to experience the event, as well as a strong cohort of locals.
Festival Creative Director Tanya Perdue said she and Event Manager Michelle Wright enjoyed staging the event and seeing it all come together. “There were fits of laughter from the crowd any time William McInnes took the stage and perhaps more laughter than may have been expected in some of Germaine Greer’s sessions – along with a dose of controversy of course,” Ms Perdue said. “There was admiration for Michael Leunig’s uncanny ability to change the emotion of a character with a single stroke of his pen and tears as local writer Tom de Souza and Dr Gregory Peel Smith from NSW, shared their deeply personal stories and their aspirations for the future.”
‘We have been fortunate to retain local support while also garnering a bigger and better reputation further afield, putting the event firmly on the literary festival circuit. There was a fabulous buzz – and there is already huge anticipation for next year’s festival,” she said.
The festival continues this week as the Young Readers & Writers Program tours authors to schools in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and the City of Busselton to inspire a love of reading and writing in young people. Children’s authors Cristy Burne and Kylie Howarth will also appear for a free book signing event at the Margaret River Bookshop after school on Wednesday 15th May at 3.30pm – all are welcome.
Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival is proudly presented by Arts Margaret River Inc.
Image credit: Michelle Troop