L’amore della madre (Mother’s Love) by Alissa Booker
Delight in the language of sculpture at Byron Writers Festival 2021
Throughout the Festival site, sculptors of the region present their uniquely crafted works. Each piece represents the artist’s chosen subject in an individually composed language of sculpture, through a personal visual vocabulary of ideas, marks and materials.
Amongst the great selection of local sculptors, this year two local sculpture schools, The Byron School of Sculpture directed by Damien Lucas and Christopher Dean’s Marble Dreaming Studio bring students’ work to Byron Writers Festival 2021.
Both schools show an emphasis on the classical approaches of marble carving, bronze casting or the forerunners to these techniques with the human figure featuring prominently. Juxtaposed with these traditional media are works in the more contemporary media of found objects, recycled and innovative materials, ceramics as well as conceptual installations. Whatever the chosen materials the works convey a message, an idea, a fascination perhaps.
More information on the works and the sculptors is available at the sculpture tent on site (5) with curator Suvira McDonald. Suvira will gladly walk the exhibition with you and offer commentary on the various works, many of which are for sale.
L’amore della madre (Mother’s Love) Alissa Booker
Carrara Marble Created from a single source, L’amore della madre (Mother’s Love) conveys the complex and all-encompassing relationship between a mother and child.
Writers on the Road 2021
Continuing the Byron Writers Festival tradition of connection through stories, Writers on the Road will take to the road at the end of July 2021, to spread the words with readers in the northern NSW towns of Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Macksville, Bellingen and Harwood.
Authors and raconteurs Roanna Gonsalves, Nevo Zisin, Krissy Kneen and Isobelle Carmody will tour their latest books and the very latest ideas to schools, libraries and cultural centres from Coffs to Port Macquarie and back, returning to Byron for the 2021 Byron Writers Festival.
All events are free and open to the public. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, bookings are essential.
Date and Venue details
Coffs Harbour, Sunday 31 July
Venue: Cavanbah Centre & Meeting Rooms Address: 191 Harbour Dr, Coffs Harbour Times: 2pm Workshop followed by a 6pm Writers Panel Event and Q&A
We are continually aiming to improve access to Byron Writers Festival and enhance the experience of patrons of all abilities. Please contact us on [email protected] if you require any further information or advice in regards to the below.
Selected sessions from the main program are interpreted each day of the Festival. On-demand Auslan interpreters will also be available at the Festival site on an as-needs basis. If you require an Auslan interpreter, look out for the Auslan symbol in the program PDF (available on our Festival Program page), or go to the Information Tent at the Festival site to book an on-demand interpreter for a session of your choosing.
Assistive Listening System
The following marquees/stages are fitted with assistive listening systems:
First National Pavilion
Wheelchair Accessibility at the Festival
The Festival site is located at Elements of Byron Resort, approximately 5km from Byron town centre. The terrain is flat and grassy, but can become more difficult to navigate in a wheelchair after periods of rain. We advise to use a wheelchair with large wheels if possible.
Festival marquees and stages have wheelchair accessible allocated seating. Please make yourself known to the marquee supervisor and you will be ushered to an accessible seat.
Festival Satellite Events take place in various venues across the Northern Rivers. If you require a wheelchair accessible seat at any of our Satellite Events, please call the office on (02) 6685 5115 or email Emily Brugman at [email protected] to make the necessary arrangements.
An accessible parking and drop-off/pick-up zone is located close to the Festival entrance. Our parking volunteers will direct you accordingly. Please have your sticker on display.
Accessible parking at Satellite Events is dependent on council parking regulations in and around the selected venue. Please call the venue directly to discuss your options.
Byron Writers Festival is a participant of the National Companion Card scheme, offering patrons with disability who hold a current companion card a second ticket for their accompanying companion at no charge.
When you arrive, please make your way to the Festival Box Office and present your National Companion Card, along with your Festival ticket, to our friendly staff. You will be allocated a corresponding complimentary pass for your companion. There is a limit of one companion pass per person per day. For further information please visit www.companioncard.gov.au/
Assistance animals are welcome at the Festival site. If you are blind or have low vision and want to attend an event at Byron Writers Festival, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can provide you with free training on how to travel safely from any location to your event at the Festival. Call 1800 804 805 to discuss your travel needs.
Information on ticket releases, announcements and pricing
19 May: First guests announced, Sunday Locals tickets on sale (limited release)*, $90
23 June: Full program announced, all tickets on sale: 1-Day Pass, $110 members / $135 general
6-8 August: Festival Weekend
Notes and conditions
All tickets are available to purchase online, over the phone via (02) 6685 5115 or in person at our offices in Byron Bay.
Sunday Locals’ Ticket terms: Available to residents of the Byron, Ballina, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed council areas. Tickets are available for purchase online, over the phone or from the festival office. Purchasers will need to present proof of address (maximum two tickets per person) upon ticket collection at the Festival Box Office. Limited release, available until sold out.
As an iconic event within our community, Byron Writers Festival is striving to becoming an environmental leader in the arts with our approach to sustainability.
We are committed to working with artists, suppliers, crew, volunteers, donors, sponsors and audiences who share our environmental values and are passionate about preserving our region for future generations.
You can join us in our vision to reduce our impacts by following these tips and guidelines
Waste Reduction and Recycling
Byron Writers Festival and our food and coffee vendors are working with local waste warriors Revolve Your World to reduce landfill wherever possible. Information on our waste and recycling system will be available on-site for Festival patrons to follow.
What you can do:
BYO water bottle. Free water refill stations will be available on site. No plastic bottles of water will be available at the Festival.
Watch this space for updates on our BYO/reusable coffee cup system.
Recycle your program guide after you have finished with it (or keep it as momento!)
In partnership with
If staying in Byron CBD, take the solar train or Festival shuttle bus to and from the Festival site. An updated timetable for the solar train will be available on our travel page close to the time.
Ride a bike to the Festival site if you are able to. It is a short (5km) trip with a dedicated pedestrian/bike track from Byron CBD to Bayshore Drive.
We understand that public transport options are limited so if driving is your only option, opt to carpool with friends or other Festival patrons if you can.
If you plan on flying to and from Byron, please consider participating in your chosen airline’s carbon offset program when purchasing your flights. These programs comply with the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).
Based on current NSW Health guidelines, we are implementing some changes to the way Byron Writers Festival 2021 operates:
Increased cleaning and hygiene procedures.
Hand sanitiser stations will be available throughout frequently accessed areas.
Check in with QR code – all patrons will be required to check in upon entry to the Festival site and external venues (for Satellite events and Workshops). Staff and volunteers will be available to assist those without smartphones to check-in using the Service NSW Concierge app. All attendees will be required to show check in validation to staff at the festival entrance.
All tickets are issued as e-tickets. Please make sure to print out your e-ticket or have it ready on a mobile device as you enter the venue.
Contactless payments are encouraged at all Festival vendors and stalls where possible.
Festival audience capacity to be managed on the Festival site to ensure attendees safety. Events have been carefully scheduled to cater for reduced capacity.
No 3-Day Passes will be sold this year (only 1-Day passes) to allow us to more efficiently track how many people will be on site each day.
COVID Safe training will be undertaken with all festival staff members and volunteers.
Pre-event emails will be sent to all attendees should there be any changes to the safety regulations from the NSW Department of Health.
What you can do to help us have a COVID safe Festival!
Stay at home if you feel unwell at all or displaying any COVID symptoms as identified by the NSW Department of Health.
Check in on entry using the QR codes on display at festival entrances. Download the Service NSW app prior to attending Byron Writers Festival (assistance will be available if you do not have a smartphone).
Wearing of masks is strongly recommended particularly in indoor venues, including at Elements and where physical distancing is not possible. Please bring a face mask.
Practicing physical distancing at 1.5m is strongly recommended, including when queuing at entrances, into events and for food and beverages.
Practise good hand hygiene, sanitiser stations will be positioned around the Festival site.
Be patient with our staff and please adhere to any requests made by staff, including at check in.
Arrive with extra time to check in or address any problem with your tickets.
Bring your e-ticket either printed or on your mobile device
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We look forward to welcoming you. Have an excellent Byron Writers Festival 2021!
What happens if I can’t attend the Festival due to border closures or illness?
Byron Writers Festival has introduced updates to our ticketing policy giving people more flexibility in the case of illness or border closure:
If you cannot attend Festival events due to having flu-like symptoms, please contact the Festival to arrange a credit or transfer. If a credit or transfer cannot be facilitated a refund will be given.
If you are planning on travelling to the Festival and can’t attend due to travel and quarantine restrictions, or border closures, please contact the Festival, where possible, 7 days prior to the event to arrange a ticket exchange – and if that can’t be facilitated a refund will be given.
What happens if the Festival is cancelled by government order?
If the event is unable to proceed on the advertised date or location by Government order, Byron Writers Festival reserves the right to reschedule the event and offer a credit or exchange to the rescheduled date, or offer a refund request window of 28 days.
The Byron Writers Festival’s Student Competition winners have been announced!
This year we received over 130 submissions and were taken back by the creativity, originality and talent of the young writers in our region. Judging was difficult with many competitive submissions. Those who submitted deserve to be very proud of themselves.
Great stories come in many shapes and forms. In different ways they persuade the reader to enter the stories’ world, they allow the reader to relate to their characters, they move and surprise the reader, and they leave the reader thinking deeply or feeling differently by the end. The winning stories showed complexity and sophistication in many of these ways.
Stay tuned. First place stories will be published in the Byron Writers Festival’s quarterly magazine, Northerly, and runner up stories will be published at the Byron Writers Festival’s blog.
Congratulations to our winners…
Susie Warrick Young Writers Award Category 1 (yrs 10 – 12)
First place: Nipotino by Luisa Santucci
Runner up: I Do Not Know Which to Prefer by Saoirse Chu
Susie Warrick Young Writers Award Category 2 (yrs 7 – 9)
First place: The Hunter by Floyd Whitaker
Runner up: The Alley by Elise Nikkinen
The Jesse Blackadder Prize (yrs 5 – 6)
First place: Allegro Presto by Edith Barber
Runner up: The Thief by Caleb Scherrer
Susie Warrick Young Writers Award
In memory of Susie Warrick, this award celebrates the art of the short story and supports emerging young writers in furthering their career with a $500 cash prize for first place per category.
The Brief: Write an original short story up to 1000 words on any theme.
Prize Category 1: Year 10 to 12 students
Prize Category 2: Year 7 to 9 students
The Jesse Blackadder Prize
In memory of Jesse Blackadder, this prize celebrates creativity and imagination in Stage 3 writers with a $300 cash prize for first place.
The Brief: Write an original short story from 500 to 1000 words on any theme.
Prize Category: Year 5 to 6 students
Eligibility & Key Dates
Entrants of both competitions must live within the Byron Writers Festival footprint, from Taree in the south, Kyogle in the west and Tweed Heads in the north.
Winners notified: Wednesday 28 July, 2021. Please note all other entrants will be notified of the outcome at this time.
Susie Warrick Young Writers Award: a $500 cash prize per category.
The Jesse Blackadder Prize: a $300 cash prize.
A Festival Day Pass for Sunday 8 August, 2021
Publication of each winning story in the Byron Writers Festival’s quarterly magazine, Northerly.
A runner up from each category will have their stories published online at the Byron Writers Festival’s blog.
Write and polish an original short story.
Include the title in the header of your story.
Submit your story as a Word Document – Arial 12-point font preferred.
Submissions are judged anonymously. Your name should not be included anywhere on your story – it should only be entered on the submission form.
Entries are limited to one submission per person. A list of all Terms & Conditions can be found here.
Click on the online Application link to submit your story by Wednesday 30 June, 2021
About the Awards
Susie Warrick was a much loved staff member at the Northern Rivers Writers Centre (now Byron Writers Festival). The Susie Warrick Young Writers Award was established to honour her memory, celebrate the art of the short story, and to support emerging young writers in furthering their career.
The Jesse Blackadder Prize was created in 2020 in memory of Jesse Blackadder, much loved Board member, author and founder of Byron Writers Festival’s StoryBoard program.
Prizes are generously sponsored by the Warrick Family, Hilarie Dunn and the Byron Writers Festival Jesse Blackadder Memorial Fund.
Connecting students with some of the foremost writers and thinkers from the 2021 Festival program.
Featuring Matt Okine, Helena Fox, Nevo Zisin, Davina Bell, Craig Silvey, Isobelle Carmody, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Will Kostakis, Evelyn Araluen
About the day
Byron Writers Festival invites your school to participate in our annual Secondary Schools Program – a full day of live conversations and panel discussions with some of the foremost writers and thinkers from the 2021 Festival.
When: Thursday 5 August, 10am – 2pm Where: The Festival site (Elements of Byron, Byron Bay) Cost: $17 per student
View the day’s program below and scroll down for author bios and their books.
Southern Cross University Marquee
10.30am: Finding Humour in Hard Times Matt Okine in conversation with Marc Fennell
11.10am: Beyond Pronouns Nevo Zisin in conversation with Mia Thom
12.10pm: Paths to Understanding Craig Silvey in conversation with Zacharey Jane
12.50pm: Coming of Age during the War on Terror Randa Abdel-Fattah in conversation with Sunil Badami
1.30pm: Poetry and Identity Evelyn Araluen in conversation with Tony Birch
Greenstone Partners Marquee
10.30am: This is How it Feels Helena Fox in conversation with Siboney Duff
11.10am: Connecting Ideas and Imagination Davina Bell in conversation with Sarah Armstrong
12.10pm: Magical Thinking Isobelle Carmody in conversation with Tristan Bancks
12.50pm: Stuff Happens – Will K.’s unexpected journey to writing Will Kostakis in conversation with Grace Lucas-Pennington
How to Book
Click the ‘Book Now’ button to reserve the number of tickets required for your school.
After booking, you will have the opportunity to revise ticket numbers until 16 July. We urge you to determine your school’s numbers as soon as possible, as PLACES ALWAYS FILL UP FAST.
You may pay the booking fee immediately, or you may opt to receive an invoice.
After 16 July, we will send you an invoice if applicable. (Payment can be made via EFT, credit card or cheque to secure your students’ positions). Payment will also be accepted by credit card upon Festival entry. Our strong preference is that schools make payment in entirety BEFORE the event.
Program is designed especially for students in years 7 – 12
Gates open at 9am, sessions run from 10.30am – 2pm
The Festival does not provide supervision
Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the Festival site.
Complimentary waterfilling station is available onsite, please ask students to bring along their own bottle
Staying COVID Safe at Primary Schools Days 2021
Byron Writers Festival Schools Days will be operating under the NSW Public Health Order in place at the time of the event.
Teachers will be responsible for keeping a list of all participating students and will be required to share this information with NSW Health should the need arise.
Students experiencing flu-like symptoms should not attend.
Venues may be operating at restricted capacity with social distancing measures in place.
For the health & safety of all, signage & sanitising stations are set up throughout the venues.
We ask that you adhere to all COVID guidelines while attending the event.
View our COVID-Safe Conditions of Entry and full Ticketing Terms & Conditions here.
A digital program will also be available for schools unable to attend the live events. More information to come. Presented in partnership with Southern Cross University and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.
Do you have a way with words or a story to tell? Study creative writing, digital media or design your degree, combining more of your interests with our range of shared majors from a wide range of disciplines. It’s time to think outside the box with Southern Cross University. scu.edu.au/study
Featuring Davina Bell, Gavin Aung Than, Amie Kaufman, Oliver Phommavanh
Byron Writers Festival’s 2021 Primary Schools Digital Program connects Northern Rivers students with Australia’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators.
Supported by The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and Southern Cross University.
On-demand program available from 23 August
The on-demand digital program will be available to stream from your classroom for four weeks from Monday 23 August (Book Week). Sessions will be accessible from this page, and can be viewed via YouTube.
See below for author sessions and stage suitability.
Teacher resources will be available to download when the program launches. Resources are available as a PDF and include author information, curriculum links, discussions guides and activities.
Byron Writers Festival is a non-profit organisation, and most of our revenue is self-generated – with a majority coming from Festival ticket sales. So each year we think carefully about how to make the Festival accessible to our audience, while also covering our costs.
In 2021, the safety and well-being of our guests and artists is a priority and to ensure a Covid-safe event we will be following all NSW Health advice. This includes guidelines around social distancing and capacity regulations, and to help us manage this the Festival Board has decided we will only be selling 1-Day Passes this year (no 3-Day Passes).
What type of ticket should I buy?
Byron Writers Festival is set up a bit like a music festival, with six stages that you can move between as you please, featuring panel discussions and conversations. In buying a 1-Day pass you will get access to all sessions happening in the main Festival program for your chosen day(s).
Satellite Events are individually ticketed events during Festival week in venues across the region (a few of them are free). Access to Satellite Events is not included in 1-Day passes.
Ticket types and prices are explained here:
Sunday Locals’ pass, discounted price (from 19 May, 2021)
Looking after our locals in 2021! Discounted tickets for Sunday – save up to $45 per ticket – available to residents of the Byron, Ballina, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed council areas. Tickets are available for purchase online, over the phone or from the festival office. Purchasers will need to present proof of address (maximum two tickets per person) upon ticket collection at the Festival Box Office. Limited release, available until sold out.
Sunday Pass: $90 General
General Release Tickets (from 23 June, 2021)
1-Day passes give access to Festival sessions in the main program, excluding workshops and separately ticketed events.
1-Day Pass: $110 Members / $135 General
Workshop and Satellite Event tickets
A program of separately ticketed workshops and Satellite events – some of them free – runs in the lead-up to the main Festival weekend and on weekend evenings. Ticket prices vary and details will be released when the full program is announced in June.