Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

EX­CITE­MENT is build­ing for the fifth an­nual Whit­sun­day Writ­ers Fes­ti­val, which opens to­mor­row (Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 10), at Can­non­vale’s Vol­un­teer Marine Club­house (VMR).

This year’s fes­ti­val has a new for­mat and is filled with a wide va­ri­ety of events for the en­tire com­mu­nity to en­joy.

So­cial events through­out the week­end in­clude an open­ing night func­tion, com­plete with mu­sic by Tay­lor and Silk, canapés cour­tesy of Fish D’Vine and live the­atri­cal sto­ry­telling.

On Satur­day night there’s a gourmet din­ner, hosted by for­mer rugby player-turned-jour­nal­ist Peter Fitzsimons and on Sun­day af­ter­noon, a ‘Pi­rates and Po­ets’ long-ta­ble lunch will wrap the fes­ti­val up.

Fes­ti­val founder Glo­ria Bur­ley said peo­ple could ex­pect a re-in­vig­o­rated and mod­ernised event.

“I re­ally feel that peo­ple will get a lot more out of this one and it might be some­thing they’ve never thought of be­fore – it’s not just about writ­ing and it’s not just about books any­more – it’s about blog­ging and it’s about how we com­mu­ni­cate,” she said.

Ms Bur­ley said she ex­pected fes­ti­val el­e­ments such as the blog­ging and travel work­shops and ‘Pi­rates and Po­ets’ lunch, to have univer­sal ap­peal.

“Peo­ple love to travel, I know I do, and you can make it pay – come and learn how. And po­etry – peo­ple may not have been ex­posed to much po­etry in the past and they might re­ally like it – plus who in Air­lie Beach does not have a pi­rate out­fit,” she said.

The fes­ti­val starts at 8.30am to­mor­row, with day one fea­tur­ing work­shops on a va­ri­ety of top­ics in­clud­ing mar­ket­ing, self-pub­lish­ing and travel writ­ing.

Satur­day’s agenda in­cludes pre­sen­ta­tions by an ar­ray of speak­ers in­clud­ing Fitzsimons, who is one of Aus­tralia’s best-sell­ing non-fic­tion au­thors and a jour­nal­ist with the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald.

Sun­day is a chance to hear from lo- cal au­thors be­fore the po­etry kicks in with a read­ing of David Reiter’s award-win­ning poem, ‘Hem­ing­way in Spain’, com­plete with a film clip.

Tick­ets are avail­able for in­di­vid­ual events or as day or full-week­end passes and can be bought on­line at www.whit­sun­dayt­ick­ets.com.au.

To see the full pro­gram with au­thor bio’s, visit www.whit­sun­day­writ­ers­fes­ti­val.com.

LIT­ER­A­TURE LOVERS: Whit­sun­day Writ­ers Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee mem­bers El­lie Shaw, Jan Smith, Cap'n Dan Van Blar­com, Glo­ria Bur­ley, Vanessa Har­tle and Deb­o­rah Friend (back) and Rachael Smith and Jen­nifer Copsey (front), are invit­ing book lovers and bud­ding writ­ers from far and wide to an ar­ray of events at Can­non­vale's Marine Club (VMR) this com­ing week­end.

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