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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/