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Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival (MRRWF) is kick starting the New Year with two stellar events to get the conversation started for its 10th anniversary festival to be held from 01 -03 June this year.

Festival Director Kerrie Yabsley said there were some great opportunities coming up for locals to be entertained and inspired while supporting the festival, which is a not-for-profit event.

“While the festival will again bring an array of thought-provoking writers to the region, the importance of these fundraising events can’t be underestimated,” she said. “With added costs this year, due to the relocation of the festival because of the Cultural Centre upgrade, it’s more important than ever before to garner community support and funds in the lead up to the event. I also hope to get people excited and inspired to support the event and hear from some interesting authors and speakers throughout the year,” she said.

The movie screening of Tulip Fever, adapted from the novel by Deborah Moggach is a historical drama film set against the backdrop of the 17th century Tulip Wars which stars Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz, Judi Dench and Cara Delevingne. Tickets to the screening at the Margaret River Cultural Centre on Sunday 14 January are $20 and the bar will open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.

For the travel buffs, best-selling Vancouver-based author, journalist, blogger and broadcaster Robin Esrock will be talking travel, based around his latest book The Great Global Bucket List. For over a decade, Robin Esrock has sought out the extraordinary, visiting 110 countries on 7 continents in search of the adventures, destinations and cultural spectacles that make life worth living. With tickets just $10, this not-to-be-missed event will be held on Wednesday 24 January at 6.30pm, with books and drinks available for purchase from 6pm.

Tickets to both events are available from www.mrrwfestival.com/whats-on, by phone 08 9758 7316 or in person at the Margaret River Cultural Centre Box Office, 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River and all funds will contribute to the 2018 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival.




Judy Nunn will return to Margaret River to share her stunning portrait of love, hope and survival on an isolated island off Western Australia, captured in her latest novel Sanctuary. An out-of-season fundraising event for the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, Judy will appear at the Margaret River Cultural Centre on Monday 30 October at 6.30pm.

Many years ago, as part of a local writers’ festival, Judy had the opportunity to visit the Houtman Abrolhos, a chain of islands off the coast of Geraldton. The desolation of the islands was the perfect inspiration for her 14th novel, Sanctuary: What if people in search of sanctuary landed on this remote island, with no idea of where they might be, only to discover that, despite the starkness of the place, it provided everything necessary for their survival? This is a story about the human spirit; the will to survive under horrendous circumstances and the spirit of people who put themselves at risk to help those in peril, says Judy.

Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival Director Tanya Perdue encouraged Judy’s fans to come along to hear about her latest novel and for the chance to hear about the inspiration behind her latest book.

“Whether you’re a die-hard Judy Nunn fan or simply enjoy hearing a talented author speak about their writing, this is a great event to come along to,” she said. “Judy Nunn has had an extraordinary and multifaceted career from her internationally successful acting career with scriptwriting for television and radio, through to her hugely successful career as a novelist that has seen her achieve numerous best-selling titles.”

“Judy has been part of the Readers & Writers Festival before and I’m sure a lot of people will be keen to see her again and to hear all about her latest book, as part of this out-of-season event for next year’s festival,” she said.

Tickets to ‘An evening with Judy Nunn’ are $10 with funds going towards the 2018 Readers & Writers Festival. Drinks & books will be available for purchase. Tickets available from www.mrrwfestival.com/whats-on, by phone 08 9758 7316 or in person at the Margaret River Cultural Centre Box Office, 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River.





Rusty Young, author of the international bestselling book Marching Powder, is set to visit Margaret River to talk about his latest book Colombiano as an out-of-season fundraising event for the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, to be held at the Cultural Centre on Wednesday 9 August at 6.30pm.

When law-graduate Rusty Young was backpacking through South America, fate drew him to Bolivia. After a visit to the notorious San Pedro Prison where he met and befriended the charismatic drug-smuggler Thomas McFadden, he remained in Bolivia to write Thomas’ story – a book that became the worldwide bestseller Marching Powder.

Blending fact and fiction, Rusty Young’s second book Colombiano takes us on a heart-thumping journey into the violent and unpredictable world of post-Escobar Colombia. For seven years Rusty Young lived and worked in Colombia, interviewing special forces soldiers, snipers, undercover intelligence agents and members of two vicious terrorist organisations – the FARC and Autodefensas. During this time he was both shocked and touched by the stories of child soldiers he encountered. He vowed to one day turn their tales into a book and let their voices be heard. Colombiano is due to be released at the end of July and Rusty Young will join us here at the Margaret River Cultural Centre to talk about his writing and his latest book.

Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival Director Tanya Perdue encouraged the community to come along to meet Rusty as he reveals the stories behind his latest gripping book. “Those of you who have read Marching Powder or who have a fascination with South America simply can’t miss this event,” she said. “Rusty’s first book is extremely well-read and I’m sure a lot of people will be keen to hear him talk about his latest book in our first out-of-season event following on from this year’s festival.”

“Bring your friends, get your hands on a copy of Colombiano and meet the author. It will be a fascinating night out and a once in a lifetime chance to ask questions about Rusty’s life and writing,” she said.

Tickets to Rusty Young’s Author Talk are $10 with funds going towards the 2018 Readers & Writers Festival. Drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets available from www.mrrwfestival.com/whats-on, by phone 08 9758 7316 or in person at the Margaret River Cultural Centre Box Office, 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River.




The 2017 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival has wrapped up after an overwhelmingly popular response to its inspiring program aimed at bringing stories to life.

The 9th annual festival started spectacularly with writer and social commentator Jane Caro as MC for an evening of entertainment on Friday night. Headline international author Michael Palin drew the crowds to the launch event and to a standalone event on Saturday where he shared his adventures in the Himalayas, Africa and a Dutch town in Japan.

Renowned Australian Journalist Kerry O’Brien revealed some of the stories from his 50-year career in a feature event at Voyager Estate winery while also discussing his book Keating and participating in a discussion on Media & Politics with Jane Caro.

Stephanie Alexander, Robert Drewe and Clementine Ford all had sell-out events and Indigenous writer Bruce Pascoe held the audience in his hand, with his compelling description of aboriginal agriculture prior to colonisation. Isabelle Li spoke about her book A Chinese Affair, which is considered a novel but consists of sixteen connected short stories.

West Australian writer Rashida Murphy spoke of her novel inspired by the Iranian revolution, while Josephine Wilson spoke about her latest novel Extinctions which was recently long listed for the Miles Franklin award.

In a festival first, sessions ran in parallel for much of the weekend, as did the storytelling tent, which had young readers spilling out the door to create comics with James Foley and hear stories from many other children’s authors.

Festival Director Tanya Perdue said she was delighted that audiences had responded so well to the program. “The idea was always to encourage, challenge and inspire a diverse audience,” she said.

“This year we sold over 5,600 tickets excluding free events. 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.”

“With such a diverse and talented line-up of writers from WA, interstate and beyond, there was a feeling of excitement not only for the event in progress but also for what the future of the festival may hold,” she said.

The State Government is proud to support the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program.


Image: Full Circle with Michael Palin by Elements Margaret River



As Margaret River gears up for its 9th annual Readers and Writers Festival local school students are being entertained and inspired by six authors as part of the Margaret River Young Readers & Writers Festival being held from 22 May – 02 June 2017.

Over 3,500 school children are expected to participate in author talks at schools as part of the 2017 Young Readers & Writers Festival – from Busselton to Margaret River, Karridale, Nannup and Augusta.

Authors this year include author and illustrator James Foley whose books include My Dead Bunny which was shortlisted for Picture Book of the Year in the 2016 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards and The Last Viking which won a 2012 Children’s Book Council of Australia Junior Judges Award, amongst several others.

Felice Arena’s books have topped bestseller lists and garnered several awards, including six Australian Children’s Choice Book Awards. His works include the incredibly popular Specky Magee series, the hilarious Farticus Maximus books, Whippersnapper, Wish, the Boyz-Rule and Girlz-Rock books, the action-packed bionic-hero series Andy Roid, and most recently the Sporty Kids series.

David Hunt will showcase his book The Nose Pixies, which is a hilarious picture book with a grossness that kids will love and a message that parents will adore. He will also talk on Australian history (with a good dose of humour of course), as depicted in his adult books Girt and True Girt.

Abdi Aden will share his experiences of growing up in Somalia, while Tim Baker will talk surfing and Sophie Hardcastle will speak on her experiences with bipolar 1 disorder. Sophie has written two books Running like China and Breathing Under Water and is now a mental health spokesperson for Batyr. She was recently named as one of Triple j’s ’25 Under 25 who are nailing it!’.

Festival Director Tanya Perdue said she was really pleased with the response from local schools. “Schools from Busselton to Augusta and everywhere in between are really excited about this years’ authors,” she said. “There’s something really special about giving kids the chance to meet the authors of the books they know and love – and to share a broader perspective as well.”

“This program would not be possible without the support of the Rotary Club of Margaret River, Margaret River

& Busselton Lions Clubs, Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, City of Busselton, Cowaramup Lions Club & Dunsbourough Lions Club. I would like to pass on my thanks to these organisations who help us to keep costs low and participation high. Providing opportunities for country kids to have access to such amazing writers and illustrators is what it’s all about,” she said.


Image credit: Christa Walsh