Kimberley Writers Festival 2016

The 2016 Kimberley Writers Festival brought together authors, playwrights, storytellers, travel writers and illustrators from across Australia and overseas to the East Kimberley town of Kununurra.

View the Kimberley Writers Festival video

Playwright Mary Anne Butler, the 2016 Victorian Prize for Literature Award winner, sums up the uniqueness of the Kimberley Writers Festival.

The difference between this festival and other festivals I’ve been to is the intimacy, the closeness with the audience is just beautiful, and a genuinely receptive audience, they are really engaged with the work and connected.

Playwright Mary Anne Butler had everyone mesmerised with her entertaining reading of Highway of Lost Hearts.  Her latest play Broken won the 2016 Victorian Prize for Literature and the 2016 Victorian Premier's Literary Award.

Playwright Mary Anne Butler had everyone mesmerised with an entertaining reading of her Play on the banks of the Ord River at the Kimberley Writers Festival Literary Brunch.  Her latest play, Broken, won the 2016 Victorian Prize for Literature and the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.

The Kimberley Writers Festival celebrated it 11th anniversary with the support of Writing WA.  During the 3 day event the Writers got a taste of life in the East Kimberley.  They experienced a literary brunch on the banks of the picturesque Ord River and held workshops at Kununurra District High School and further afield in remotes communities. They also got a grasp of Miriwoong language at the Sharing Our Stories event where local Aboriginal authors presented their interactive language books.

Miriwoong speakers share their books with the visiting Authors at the Sharing Our Stories session at Mirima National Park

Miriwoong speakers share their books with the visiting authors at the Sharing Our Stories session in beautiful Mirima National Park.

The event kickstarted with an official opening at the Kununurra Library where locals enjoyed the great sense of humour displayed by the visiting authors whilst having a glass of wine and listening to the Kununurra String Quartet. The opening night included the launch of Author Norman Jorgensen’s latest book The Smugglers Curse.

Award winning Children's book Illustrator, Dub Leffler Introduces Norman Jorgensen's new book Smugglers Curse.

Award winning Children’s Literature Writer and Illustrator Dub Leffler had the audience and fellow authors in stitches at the Kimberley Writers Festival opening night at the Kununurra Library.

Children’s book author Norman Jorgensen and Indigenous  Illustrator Dub Leffler travelled more than 1000km’s through the East Kimberley engaging youth in reading and writing during their workshops in the remote communities of Kalumburu, Doon Doon and Warmun.

Dub shared his award winning book “Once There Was A Boy “with the students. His passion for sharing his message anyone can be a writer or illustrator shone through in the workshops.

I like letting them know that they can be anybody.  They come from tiny communities, but they can go to amazing places and they can do what they love as a vocation. They just need to see it in action and to be shown what’s possible.

Norman Jorgensen is a WA award winning writer with more than a dozen books published for young people.  His motivation was to inspire the students to gain pleasure in reading.

I just love the enthusiasm they all have. I hope I can hook at least one kid onto reading, once they are hooked onto reading they will never be bored ever again.

Doon Doon Community Students with Children's Author Norman Jorgensen and Illustrator Dub Leffler. Showing off the books gifted to them by Writing WA

Author Norman Jorgensen and Illustrator Dub Leffler with Doon Doon and Glen Hill Students, showing off the books gifted to them by Writing WA.  ‘Near and Dear’ is a collection of 14 stories by popular children book writers, commissioned and published by Writing WA in collaboration with the National Book Development Council of Singapore.

Kimberley Writers Festival Organiser Joanne Roach is passionate about including remote community schools in the festival.

It it is so rare that children in remotes communities have people work with them one on one. I’ve had parents and teachers say to me that these workshops renew them, they suddenly become creative, the want to read, they want to write and draw, which is fabulous.

Author Norman Jorgensen talking to primary school students in Warmun

Author Norman Jorgensen had Warmun primary students transfixed with his stories.

Kimbelrey Writers Festival Organiser Joe Roach with Norman Jorgensen and Dub Leffler take a break on their road trip to admire a typical East Kimberley scene; the Iconic Boab Tree with windmill and water tank.

Kimberley Writers Festival Organiser Joe Roach, Dub Leffler and Norman and Jan Jorgensen take a break on their road trip to admire a typical East Kimberley scene.

Indonesian Travel Writer and Photographer Agustinus Wibowo felt a genuine connection with the locals he met at the Kimberley Writers Festival.

Here there is no wall between the writers and the audience,  here we all mingle and share stories and listen to stories, and this kind of intimacy and love is hard to beat by other writers festivals.

With more than 10 languages already under his belt, Travel Writer and Photographer Austinu Wibowo (far left) got a grasp of local Miriwoong language by reading the interactive books written by Mirima Language Worker Gavin Newry. Featured with Childrens Book Illustrator Dub Leffler and local Writer's Gavin Newry and Ted Carlton with Personal Development Author Nkandu Beltz.

With more than 10 languages already under his belt, Travel Writer and Photographer Austinu Wibowo (far left) got a grasp of local Miriwoong language by reading the interactive books written by Mirima Language Worker Dwayne Newry. Featured with Childrens Book Illustrator Dub Leffler and local Writer’s Dwayne Newry and Ted Carlton with Author Nkandu Beltz.

The Kimberley Writers Festival included a diverse range of Writers.  Author Nkandu Beltz, Young Leaders Commissioner with the G200, is passionate about the advancement of youth.  Once a Kununurra local and originally from Zambia Nkandu engaged students in her empowerment workshops and shared her personal development books “I have the Power” and “Fierce and Fabulous”.  Author Madelaine Dickie shared stories about living in Indonesia and read exerts of her award winning first novel Troppo.   Author Faye Bohling shared her personal journey as an orphan in Australia in the 1950’s and her true story The Laundry Girl.  Award winning essay writer, Professor Kevin Brophy, author of thirteen books of poetry, fiction and essays shared his latest book Walking: New and Selected Poems.

Engineer, Media Commentator and Author Yassmin Abdel-Magied spoke about her experiences as a Muslim in Australia and read exerts from her book Yassmin's Story - Who Do You Think I Am on the banks of the Ord River during the Kimberley Writers Festival Literary Brunch.

Author, Engineer and Media Commentator, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, spoke about her experiences as a Muslim in Australia and read exerts from her book Yassmin’s Story – Who Do You Think I Am on the banks of the Ord River during the Kimberley Writers Festival Literary Brunch.

Go to the Kimberley Writers Festival Facebook page –  LIKE the page and view all the photos from the 2016 festival.   For general information about the Kimberley Writers Festival call Librarian Joanne Roach at the Kununurra Library on (08) 9169 1227.   For more information about holidaying in Kununurra go to http://www.visitkununurra.com/  or call the Kununurra Visitor Centre on (08) 9168 1177.  WritingWA has been providing support to the Kimberley Writers Festival since its inception in 2004 and celebrates the achievements of  literary creators and provides a range of services to support emerging practioners, striving to bring WA writing to new audiences.  To view what WritingWA has on offer visit the WritingWA website

Get a taste of the East Kimberley by watching this promo and purchase the DVD here http://www.kimberleyexposure.com.au/dvd-sales/

 

 

 

 




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