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Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival announces new Festival Director for 2021

Arts Margret River is pleased to announce the appointment of Sian Baker as the new Festival Director for Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival 2021.

Sian will be taking over the reins from outgoing Creative Director, Tanya Perdue, and Festival Events Manager Michelle Wright who has stepped into the role of General Manager for Arts Margaret River.

Sian fell in love with the Margaret River region on her first visit many years ago and is now proud to call the region home. She has worked extensively in the festival space creating, programming and producing highly successful festivals and has run marketing and communications companies in both the UK and Australia. She is passionate about creating events that give audiences positive lasting experiences and that deliver real impact and support for local communities.

“I’m extremely honoured and excited to be offered this opportunity to work on such a fantastic high profile event, building on the amazing work that Tanya and Michelle have done to create a festival that can truly stand shoulder to shoulder with great literary events around the world”.

“In our post COVID-19 world, the opportunities to innovate and evolve the festival and to take our audience on that journey with us, presents an incredible and rewarding challenge for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Following the cancellation of the 2020 festival due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the festival team have been hard at work creating the program for 2021 which will see a new creative theme and a packed schedule of Australian writers, journalists, poets and thinkers plus special guests musicians, artists and performers. The addition of satellite locations and new ways to attend the festival is also being explored with the aim of opening the festival up to a greater audience outside of Australia.

The Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival will be held from 14 – 16 May 2021 at the Margaret River HEART.

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Comedian, screenwriter & bestselling author Ben Elton, returns with a blistering satire of the world as it crumbles around us. No one is safe as he sends up everything from fake news culture to extreme gender politics, from political sloganism to the power of the hashtag, and everything in between.

DATE: Monday 27 May 2019 at 6.30pm

VENUE: Margaret River HEART, 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River

TICKETS: $15 | Drinks and books available for purchase.
Bar and doors open from 6pm.

Book your tickets online, call (08) 97587316 or visit Arts Margaret River Box Office  at the Community Centre, Tunbridge St, Margaret River.

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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

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