Book it in: festival to flourish

May 12, 2022 BY

Page turner: Book lovers are set to flock to Bendigo’s premier venues this weekend for the annual Bendigo Writers’ Festival. Photo: FILE

THIS weekend, creative minds and storytellers will take to View Street and surrounds for this year’s Bendigo Writers’ Festival.

Event director Rosemary Sorensen has once again put together a program to savour, with big names Lisa Wilkinson, Elizabeth Gilbert and Norman Swan joined by veteran writers like Matthew Evans and Jon Faine, and new authors like Brandan Jack and Vanessa Len.

Over Friday, Saturday and Sunday a range of sessions will be held at premier venues such as the Ulumbarra and Capital theatres and Bendigo Bank Theatre, supported by the La Trobe Arts Institute and Bendigo Library.

Ms Sorensen said striking a balance between different writers and topics was the most important part of organising the program, especially so close to a Federal election.

“I think the balance is good and that’s why people are responding,” she said.

“I’ve tried not to overdo the serious topic stuff, I had in the back of my mind we’ll have a of media about the politics and the election.

“We need to, not ignore it, but have a way for people to move ahead of it.”

This year’s theme is ‘flourish’, which Ms Sorensen said is a contrast to last year’s theme ‘strewth’, with the idea of flourishing applicable to both writers and the region as it bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For some guests, a writers’ festival is not a usual occasion and Ms Sorensen said Bendigo provides the perfect setting for the event.

“The wonderful thing about Bendigo is they can enjoy themselves,” she said. “We’ve got this atmosphere and you can see other writers.

“This is the difference between a regional festival and a big city festival; you get to see the other writers.

“You see people so relaxed and comfortable; we’ve got a very good reputation for that because we’ve got a great city for it.”