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As Margaret River gears up for its 9th annual Readers and Writers Festival so too do local schools who are set to be thrilled by six authors as part of the Margaret River Young Readers & Writers Festival to be 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.




The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival is calling for emerging and established artists to enter its Visual Stories Art Competition.

Each year, the Visual Stories Art Competition & Exhibition forms an exciting part of the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, with works displayed before and throughout the event adding a unique perspective on the festival theme for all to enjoy.

The theme for the 2017 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival is ‘Where stories come alive’. Festival Director Tanya Perdue encouraged the community to get involved. “This is a fabulous chance for both emerging and established artists to participate in this year’s Readers & Writers Festival,” she said. “Entrants are asked to create an artwork that shows stories coming to life, or an interpretation on where, or how, stories come alive for them. We are hoping to get a broad range of entries across many mediums and can’t wait to see what the community’s creatives have in store for us this year.”

With $2,000 worth of prizes including first, second, third and people’s choice, people can enter for the chance to win, for the fun of being involved and for the chance to have their artworks on display while some of the country’s top writers are in town.

Entries to the Visual Stories Art Competition & Exhibition are open until 21 April. Works will be displayed from 12 May – 04 June and the winners will be announced at the Festival Launch event on Friday 02 June.

An entry fee of $20 applies. The Entry Form and full conditions of entry can be downloaded at www.artsmargaretriver.com, www.mrrwfestival.com or collected in person from the Margaret River Cultural Centre, 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River.




Stories will come alive in Margaret this winter as the 9th annual Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival gears up to be the biggest and best yet. Held from 02-04 June, the festival will feature renowned British comedian, actor, writer and television presenter Michael Palin.

Well known as a member of Monty Python, Michael Palin has appeared in numerous films and has presented eight very successful travel series. Michael has written books to accompany his eight very successful travel series Around the World in 80 Days; Pole to Pole; Full Circle; Hemingway Adventure; Sahara; Himalaya; New Europe and Brazil. He is also the author of a number of children’s stories, the play The Weekend and the novels Hemingway’s Chair and The Truth and has published three volumes of diaries; 1969–1979: The Python Years and 1980-1988: Halfway to Hollywood, and 1988-1998: Travelling to Work.

The festival’s line-up of literary talent also includes one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected journalists Kerry O’Brien. O’Brien has been a journalist for 49 years covering print, television and wire service, as a reporter, feature writer, columnist and foreign correspondent.

Writer, speaker and feminist thinker Clementine Ford will also take the stage to talk about her first book Fight Like A Girl which was an instant bestseller and will later join author, novelist, journalist and social commentator Jane Caro.

Renowned Australian author Robert Drewe, known for his novels, short stories and memoirs will also feature, as will Bruce Pascoe; a Bunurong, Tasmanian and Yuin man whose book Dark Emu, won the Book of the Year and Indigenous Writer’s Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

West Australian talents include award-winning novelist Joan London, writer and broadcaster Ian Parmenter and Nicole Sinclair, whose short stories have won the Down South Writers Competition and whose first novel Bloodlines was shortlisted for the 2014 TAG Hungerford Award.

Festival Director Tanya Perdue said she was ecstatic that Palin would feature as part of the 3 Day event and encouraged festival-goers to get their tickets right away. “We truly have an incredibly strong and diverse line-up of writers coming to Margaret River for this year’s festival”, she said. ”The addition of Michael Palin to an already impressive line-up of authors, journalists, literary icons and rising stars means the festival will be bigger and better than even before.”

The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival is held at the Margaret River cultural centre where the celebrations will include author talks, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, book signings, free lunch time talks and free activities for children on the weekend in the festival’s storytelling tent.

“The festival is shaping up to be a great celebration of literature and yet another reason for people to visit Australia’s South West. Margaret River in winter, with books, wine, local produce, top accommodation and Michael Palin – it doesn’t get much better than that,” she said.

Tickets to the 2017 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival are now available for purchase online at www.mrrwfestival.com, by phone 08 9758 7316, or from the Arts Margaret River Box Office, at 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River. The State Government is proud to support the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, made possible by Royalties for Regions.


Image credit: John Swannell



Crime fiction author Candice Fox is set to visit Margaret River to talk about her latest book as a Pre Festival Event for the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, to be held at the cultural centre on Tuesday 28 February at 7pm.

Candice’s life is the stuff of fiction itself: raised by a parole officer father and an enthusiastic foster carer mother, her childhood was full of dark tales overheard while eavesdropping around doorways.

Hades, Candice Fox’s first novel, won the Ned Kelly Award for best debut in 2014 from the Australian Crime Writers Association. The sequel, Eden, won the Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel in 2015, making Candice only the second author to win these accolades back-to-back. Her third novel, Fall, was recently published to critical acclaim.
In 2015 Candice began collaborating with James Patterson. Their first novel together, Never Never, set in the vast Australian outback, was released in August 2016 and just recently hit The New York Times Best Sellers List. They have also co-written a prequel novella, Black & Blue.
Candice has just released her latest book Crimson Lake and will join us here at the Margaret River cultural centre to talk about her writing and her latest book.
Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival Director Tanya Perdue encouraged the community to come along and meet Candice as she reveals the story behind her latest book. “Come along to the cultural centre for a unique chance to meet Candice, hear her talk about her books and ask her any burning questions you might have”, she said. “Candice’s novels are going from strength-to-strength and we’re so excited to have her here in Margaret River.

Bring your friends, meet Candice and get your book signed, it will be great night out for any crime fiction lover,” she said.
Tickets to Candice Fox’s Author Talk are $12 and include a glass of wine on arrival. Bookings can be made at www.artsmargaretriver.com, by phone 08 9758 7316 or in person at the Margaret River Cultural Centre Box Office, 51 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River.