Festival of writers brimming with local talent | Glen Innes Examiner
A RADIUS of local literary talent will headline the third High Country Writers Festival in Glen Innes on December 11.
Authors will share stories about the rural spirit and the black outback, a wellness manifesto, a hybrid memoir about growing up deaf in northwest New England, and more.
After previous delays, the festival will take place on Saturday at Makers Shed and Glen Innes Severn Library.
“We are so happy to be able to move forward with this year’s event,” said festival director Michael Burge.
“This year we have decided to promote the authors of New England North West in a more focused way than we have ever done before, and we have the support of Kristy Reading of ABC New England North West to do so.
“We are delighted that Jessica White, an acclaimed author who grew up in Boggabri and attended school in Armidale, can bring her latest title to our event.”
Hearing Maud is a ‘hybrid’ dissertation in which Jessica explores the challenges facing families with disabilities.
“It’s the incredible story of how this New England woman found her voice and shared it with the world,” said Burge.
Quirindi author and cattle rancher Richard Anderson will join Jessica, whose latest novel Small Mercies explores the unique challenges facing ranchers across Australia.
“Richard’s novel is rooted in the rural setting we all know, and it puts its characters on a journey to make a critical decision about the future of their property and the lives of an entire family,” said Burge.
Inverell veterinarian and first author Dr Gundula Rhoades will present his wellness manifesto, The Food Solution, at this year’s event.
“Gundi’s book is causing a stir everywhere it goes,” said Burge.
“This is the perfect read for our time, on how we can understand the connection between agriculture, the future of the planet and how to make better choices in the kitchen.
“Gundi is a passionate and inspiring speaker and I know readers will love this rare chance to meet her in person outside of her clinic. “
Glen Innes-based travel writer Amanda Woods will talk about her debut book Rock Pools of Sydney, having captured an array of stories during the lockdown months that accompany this exquisite photographic essay by Vincent Rommelaere.
Burge’s debut novel, Tank Water, a rural crime story set in the New England area, will also feature in the conversations.
This year’s festival will see a return visit to Glen Innes by author and journalist Mary Garden, whose 1970s Indian odyssey The Serpent Rising was read by resident book club The Makers Shed, one from a list of titles (including Hearing Maud and Small Mercies) that is in the running for the third High Country Indie Book Award.
This annual literary award is presented by readers of the High Country Book Club, with a handcrafted trophy by resident silversmith Richard Moon and a cash award donated by the Mayor of Glen Innes, Carol Sparks.
“The festival is extremely grateful for a small grant from the Glen Innes Severn Council Local Economic Development Fund this year,” said Burge.
“The Makers Shed is donating a wide range of services to the event, but the grant helps us move forward through this difficult year and allows us to engage a range of suppliers from Glen Innes and Nova -England for various elements essential to the organization of a festival of this type. “
With events for all ages, including a story hour session at Glen Innes Severn Library led by Armidale author Trish Donald (and her adult writing and publishing session right after), the festival goers can also participate in a poetry workshop with Gail Galloway of Tenterfield.
Galloway’s first collection Crow Speak: Wild Poems will be on display at this year’s event opening an exhibition of illustrations from the book, and more on the theme of crows and nature, by the Tenterfield artist Judith Harris, the usual Makers Shed Nadia Kliendanze, and Gail herself.
“This year, we are delighted to be working with the New England Writers’ Center,” said Burge.
“Our regional editorial organization has long played a pivotal role in focusing the New England literary community on a range of services, workshops, festivals and awards initiatives. “