‘Byron Writers Festival has been built and sustained by a passionate community – being part of it has nourished my soul for 20 years. It will continue to nourish the hearts and minds of our broad family of patrons, guests, partners and volunteers for many years to come.’ – Chris Hanley, Founder of Byron Writers Festival.
Byron Writers Festival had its beginnings in 1997, when a small group of locals wondered whether authors might accept an invitation to spend a winter’s weekend in Byron Bay. They did, and since then it has become Australia’s largest regional celebration of storytelling, literature and ideas.
As a non-profit organisation, Byron Writers Festival receives less than 20% of its revenue from public funding, with the remainder coming from partners, supporters and donors.
Our Donation Programs
Byron Writers Festival Fund
Children’s Program Fund
We rely on your support to continue celebrating (primarily) Australian stories and literature, enhancing the skills of local writers, and nurturing the next generation of readers and writers. As a not-for-profit organisation run with a small team of staff and volunteers, contributions of any size go a long way in enriching the creative culture of our community. Amounts over $2 are tax deductible.
Your donations will:
Enable us to bring the most significant writers and thinkers to the annual Festival to share their remarkable stories.
Fund the professional development of emerging regional writers through our Residential Mentorship and Mentoring Scholarships programs.
Bring together local writers and industry professionals through our year-round workshop and mentoring programs.
Subsidise Festival tickets for young and disadvantaged people.
Inspiring every child in the Northern Rivers region to write and tell their story.
‘My son has struggled with reading and writing for 2 years. He has been diagnosed with everything from dyslexia to audio processing delays… After the Byron Writers Festival “StoryBoard” visit to his school, I have to say, something has changed in him. He came home bursting with ideas and confidence and has since created six books. It gave me SUCH joy because this is a kid who was too anxious to even attempt to read until recently, let alone write. Thank you, you are doing truly beautiful and important work!’ – Sarah, Bangalow NSW.
Byron Writers Festival is committed to getting young people excited about literature, literacy, and creativity. According to UnitingCare, in some parts of the Northern Rivers as many as 1 in 3 children live below the poverty line, but research shows that if these kids are “language rich” they are more likely to have the same opportunities to thrive as other children. Words literally have the power to move kids out of disadvantage, and give them the tools to create their future.
Byron Writers Festival aims to help give these kids a better start through our children’s programs:
StoryBoard is our year-round travelling creative writing workshop, bringing leading authors and illustrators in to schools. Workshops are free of charge, and in 2017 we reached over 7,000 students in the Northern Rivers region, travelling as far as Tenterfield and Kempsey.
Byron Writers Festival Primary Schools Days connect young school students with much-loved children’s authors in the lead up to the annual Festival. The interactive sessions are a powerful way of engaging reluctant readers as well as inspiring those who have already found a love of literature. 2,250 students and 135 teachers from 43 schools attended our 2017 Primary Schools Days.
Byron Writers Festival Secondary Schools Day provides an opportunity for older students to engage with authors from the main Festival program exploring various genres and topics – an insight into storytelling, debate and big ideas delivered by some of our foremost writers and thinkers. 688 students and 43 teachers from 18 schools attended our 2017 Secondary Schools Day.
Kid’s Big Day Out is our fun-packed program on Festival Sunday, with creative writing workshops, a Storytelling Tipi, craft and drawing activities and of course, the chance for children to meet and be entertained by their favourite authors and illustrators. In 2017, 200 children aged 6-12 attended with their families.
Whilst we are lucky enough to receive some grant funding to support this work, we need your help to achieve our vision of inspiring every child in the Northern Rivers to write and tell their stories.
By making a tax-deductible donation, you will help:
Primary and Secondary pupils across the Northern Rivers region engage with world-class writers and thinkers
Students learn how to be active creators through participation in workshops
Disadvantaged young people access free tickets to our programs
Teachers develop their professional skills through sessions designed to build specific knowledge and skills
Alleviate the cultural and geographic isolation experienced by regional communities with limited access to the arts