Popular crime thriller writer Michael Rowbotham credits the Geraldton Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival for the release of his latest book Life or Death. According to a recent interview in the West Australian newspaper, he said it was while he was taking part in last year’s Big Sky festival in Geraldton, Western Australia, that fellow guest author Toni Jordan reckoned he was incapable of writing a love story. He set out to prove her wrong, and it seems, has succeeded.
This sort of camaraderie at Big Sky is what makes authors and guests want to return, and this year sees the return of author Liz Byrski and Geraldine Mellett as MC, for the festival from September 12-14.
First time guests taking a leap of faith into the Wild Blue Yonder – the theme of this year’s Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival – are well known comedian and writer, Tim Ferguson (fresh from a Doug Anthony Allstars show in Perth), children’s author Sally Murphy, Pemberton chef Sophie Zalokar to keep the foodies entertained and fed, Annamaria Weldon who will provide poetry in the pub at the Hampton Arms Inn, Gabrielle Carey (co-author with Kathy Lette of Puberty Blues), who is infatuated with the late Geraldton-born writer Randolph Stow – the list is long and you can find the full program of authors and events at www.library.cgg.wa.gov.au.
A reading of Annamaria Weldon’s poem Birthbed from her book The Lake’s Apprentice will be read on ABC Radio National on the same day she conducts a workshop for the Big Sky festival.
Two other guest authors, Dawn Barker and Sarah Drummond, are both shortlisted in the WA Emerging Writers category of the WA Premier’s Book Awards of which winners will be announced on September 22.
A book launch for Search for HMAS Sydney: An Australian Story will be held at the WA Museum -Geraldton on Saturday September 13. The book has been edited by Finding Sydney Foundation past directors and commemorates the 645 lives lost when the HMAS Sydney II was sunk in 1941.
The festival has a diverse line up of events – held at various venues – for all ages including youth.