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Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival is thrilled to have former Margaret River resident Tanya Heaslip as part of its line-up of literary talent for the 3-day event, which runs from 03-05 May.

In 1994, with a battered copy of Let’s Go Europe stuffed in her backpack, Tanya Heaslip left her life as a lawyer in outback Australia and travelled to the post-communist Czech Republic. Having witnessed firsthand the fall of the Berlin Wall (and taken a piece of it back to her office in Alice Springs), she couldn’t stop dreaming about the once-hidden Eastern Europe.
Alice to Prague cover

With no teaching experience whatsoever, Tanya headed off to work at a high school in a Czech town she’d never heard of where the winters plunged to sub-zero temperatures. In the land of castles, history, music and culture her value system was turned on its head. Falling in love with Prague and its people, Tanya learnt about lives that were very different to hers.

Returning to Australia some years later, Tanya moved to Margaret River with her husband Steve Jarrett. She wrote about her Czech experiences while there and won a place in the Australian Society of Authors’ Mentorship Program.

On Saturday 04 May at 4pm, Tanya will launch her novel Alice to Prague at Riversmith Café in conversation with Margot Edwards as a feature event at this year’s Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival. Tanya is very much looking forward to the event in which she will share the bittersweet story of her search for identity, belonging and love, set in a time, a place and with a man that filled her life with contradictions.

“I’m so excited to be coming back to Margaret River where I wrote the first draft of my book,” she said. “During our seven years in Margs, I made many wonderful friends who supported me in the writing journey, and it is such a thrill to share this book with them at last!”

Tanya will then join journalist-turned-novelist Chris Hammer, together with writer and musician Dave Warner, on Sunday 05 May at 3.30pm at the Voyager Estate festival hub, for an intriguing talk titled Strange Things in Small Towns.

Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival is running a special offer for locals to attend Tanya Heaslip’s Book Launch at Riversmith Café – simply use the code word ‘LOCAL’ to access $10 tickets and to go into the draw to win an Alice to Prague Prize Pack, including a copy of the book, a bottle of Voyager Estate wine and a $30 Riversmith Voucher. The winner will be announced at the event.



Geraldine Doogue AO will join MRRWF line-up of literary talent for the 3-day event, which runs from 03-05 May.

Born and raised in Perth, Geraldine Doogue is a renowned Australian journalist and broadcaster who has carved out an enviable reputation across print, television and radio, working on The Australian, ABC’s Nationwide, 2UE, Channel 10 news and hosting ABC TV’s Compass program.

In her ongoing role as presenter of the ABC Radio National program Saturday Extra and ABC TV’s Compass, Geraldine continues to tackle a wide range of subjects with rigour, optimism, humour and warmth.

On the Saturday of the festival, Geraldine will take the stage to interview festival headliner Professor Germaine Greer on her controversial new essay, On Germaine Greer - Margaret River Readers and Writers FestivalRape, in which Professor Greer argues that centuries of different approaches to rape, as inflicted by men on women, have got us nowhere and there has to be a better way.

On Sunday, Geraldine will interview Professor Greer in a session titled Protecting Wild Places, which recounts Professor Greer’s experience of rehabilitating 60ha of forest in southeast Queensland.

Festival Creative Director Tanya Perdue is ecstatic that Geraldine has agreed to join the festival “Having an articulate, talented journalist like Geraldine Doogue interviewing Professor Greer adds yet another level to what’s already expected to be two outstanding events,” she said. “There is really something special about experiencing a talented interviewer draw out all sorts of interesting perspectives from an author, especially one as revered as Professor Greer. While tickets to Germaine Greer: On Rape have already sold out, a limited number of tickets to Protecting Wild Places remain,” she said.

On Sunday night, Geraldine Doogue will join local personality and former ABC journalist Ian Parmenter for an exclusive dinner at Cape Lodge, called Memories,Ian Parmenter - MRRWF Media, and Chateaubriand – a lively evening of conversation, music, and nosh-stalgia. Geraldine will be in conversation with Ian as they reflect on their early days in the Perth media landscape and what has happened since. The evening will feature a grand four-course dinner prepared by Chef Tony Howell showcasing dishes from the 1970s and 80s, paired with top wines. Plus, with live music and an exhibition of works by legendary cartoonist Paul Rigby, the premium event is the perfect chance to continue the celebrations once the main program concludes.

Memories, Media, and Chateaubriand  tickets: $175 | Arts Hub Members: $165
Includes Pre dinner drinks, 4 Course Dinner with wines and plenty of entertainment!

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



After almost five million copies of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect sold in more than 40 countries, The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion is finally here. A not-to-be-missed Readers & Writers Festival Fundraiser.

DATE: Thursday 18 April 2019 at 6.30pm

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

TICKETS: $10 | Drinks & books available for purchase.

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




Arts Margaret River is gearing up for what’s expected to be another big 3-day event from 03-05 May 2019 when the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival (MRRWF) takes place on the picturesque grounds of Voyager Estate. Arts Margaret River is getting in early to call for volunteers who may be able to help at the festival with a variety of roles.

During the festival, the grounds of Voyager Estate will become a hive of activity with two large marquees called the Main Stage and Writers’ Room coming alive with author talks, a Festival Box Office, a food & coffee marquee, food vans, live music, free entertainment and more.

In addition to the events at Voyager Estate, a number of feature events and workshops will be held at other locations throughout the region including, The River Hotel, Settlers Tavern, Swings Taphouse, Riversmith, Margaret River Organic Garden, South Regional TAFE and the Augusta and Margaret River libraries.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival relies on the generous support of volunteers to assist with the set-up, running and pack-down of the festival which has grown in size each year – including at the festival hub and its satellite sites.

A Volunteer Information and Recruitment evening is being held on Tuesday 19 March 2019 at the Margaret River District Club from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

The festival now hosts almost 60 writers and presenters from overseas and across Australia, as well as talented West Australian writers. Festival Event Manager Michelle Wright encourages people with a friendly ‘can do’ attitude to get involved to help give visiting authors a warm Margaret River welcome and to help with the smooth running of the event.

“The festival relies heavily on the support of volunteers and it simply wouldn’t run without their assistance”, she said. “The number of volunteers required continues to increase as the event becomes bigger and the variety of job roles has changed considerably compared to years gone by. Volunteer roles include everything from car park attendants, to food and beverage assistants, to stage runners, people to set up and pack down, the list goes on. If you are curious about what you could do to help, please come along to the information evening, we would love to meet you,” she said.

Those who are unable to attend the information night but would like to help out, are asked to please call Arts Margaret River on 9758 7316 or email to register their interest.

The State Government is proud to support the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival as part of its Regional Events Program.

This project is also supported by the Australian Governments regional arts program, the Regional Arts Fund, which gives all Australians better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. The Regional Arts Fund is administered in Western Australia by Country Arts WA.



The Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival (MRRWF) is geared up for another inspiring, intriguing and thought-provoking 3-day event, featuring writer, contrarian, activist and feminist, Professor Germaine Greer as its headliner. To be held from 03-05 May 2019 on the picturesque grounds of Voyager Estate, the festival will see Professor Greer speak about her life and career, as well as her latest book On Rape, and her environmental work.

Michael Leunig calendar portrait - MRRWF 2019
Leunig – Calendar

The festival’s line up of literary talent also includes Australian cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet Michael Leunig, who will appear in events on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, to share his love of cartooning and human observation.

South-East Asia Correspondent, James Massola, who was on the ground at the miraculous 2018 rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from the Tham Luang cave in Thailand, will share his story as told in The Great Cave Rescue. He will be joined by journalist turned novelist, Chris Hammer, for what’s expected to be a sell-out breakfast event called Foreign Correspondent to be held in the Voyager Estate restaurant on Sunday morning. On Saturday night, festival guests have the chance to enjoy an evening with one of Australia’s most popular writers and actors, William McInnes.

Award-winning astrophysicist, presenter of ABC television’s ‘Stargazing Live’ and author of When Galaxies Collide, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith will also join the line up for a session that will ensure you’ll never look up at the night sky in the same way again.

Dr Gregory Peel Smith will speak about his remarkable memoir Out of the Forest which follows his journey from living in near total-isolation in the forest, foraging for food and eating bats, to his life today where he has a PhD and teaches at university.

Featuring literary icons Kim Scott, Anna Funder, Liz Byrski and Amanda Curtin, as well as a range of other established and emerging writers, the festival is a must for anyone who loves reading, cultural events, current affairs and of course, Margaret River.

Festival Creative Director Tanya Perdue said the 2019 festival program explored wild, weird and wonderful stories in keeping with this year’s theme. “With writers from overseas and across Australia, including top WA and local talents, this year’s program is sure to spark curiosity and ignite debate,” she said. “With the festival at the gorgeous Voyager Estate, a top line up, and a range of ticket and accommodation packages ready to go, you can organise a memorable weekend away in no time.”

Tickets to the 2019 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival will be available for purchase online from 10am on Monday 25 February by phone 08 9758 7316, or from the Arts Margaret River Box Office, Margaret River Community Centre, Tunbridge Street, Margaret River.

The State Government is proud to support the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival as part of its Regional Events Program.

Michael Leunig - Credit Sam Cooper-MRRWF

James Massola - MRRWF

Chris Hammer Credit Alex Ellinghausen-MRRWF

William McInnes Credit Tessa Ross-MRRWF

Lisa Harvey-Smith - MRRWF

Anna Funder - MRRWF