Sydney Writers Festival Live & Local @ Coffs Harbour



Hold onto your hats everybody, we’re going Live & Local at the Sydney Writers Festival!

After the success of its inaugural Live & Local program in 2015, Sydney Writers’ Festival returns to Coffs Harbour in 2016!

One of Australia’s best-loved forums for literature, ideas and storytelling, Sydney Writers’ Festival will stream its headline events from Roslyn Packer Theatre in Walsh Bay direct to Coffs Harbour from 20-22 May. Prepare to be stimulated and engaged by conversations, debates and discussions, as the Festival brings the world’s finest authors to Coffs Harbour in real time. As well as hearing new ideas from great thinkers, audiences have the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions at each event, sending questions direct to the Sydney stage.

Live & Local will be streamed live by the Sydney Writers’ Festival, delivered locally by the Jetty Memorial Theatre, and MC’d by The Triple Sifted Word Refinery’s very own Kylie Castor.

At the bargain price of only $5 a ticket or $30 for the festival pass (7 sessions), we know you’re going to have a wonderfully wordy weekend!


Friday, 20 May, 10am – William Boyd and Julian Barnes: History and Fiction

Can fiction go where history fears to tread? Join William Boyd and Julian Barnes, for a rich and provocative conversation about the delicate intersection of history and fiction. Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes’ latest novel, The Noise of Time, explores the life of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his struggles with the brutal Stalinist regime. William Boyd’s Sweet Caress sweeps across twentieth century history in his fictional account of photographer Amory Clay. This is a rare chance to hear from two masters of their craft, in conversation with Amelia Lester.

Friday, 20 May, 11:30am – Jonathan Franzen: My Reading Life

Jonathan Franzen is not only a great writer, but a great reader, standing up for writers who have fallen out of favour and writing impassioned essay on authors such as David Foster Wallace and Alice Munro. In this session Tegan Bennett Daylight walks through Franzen’s life as a reader – from the seminal books of his childhood, past great writers like Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, Franz Kafka and Karl Kraus and finishes up with what he’s reading now.

Friday, 20 May, 1:30pm – Let Nature Be Your Teacher

When author Jeanette Winterson posted a photo of a dead rabbit she was about to put in her cooking pot, the Twittersphere erupted. In this age of pre-packaged everything, how do we keep our connection to the land? Winterson, who farms her own land in the Cotswolds, and is a partner in a small herd of rare breed sheep called the Lions of the Wold, joins Australian scientist and natural heritage advocate Tim Flannery and James Rebanks author of (The Shepherd’s Life) whose family can be traced back in the Lakes District for over 600 years, and expert advisor to UNESCO on sustainable tourism. Join these three land lovers for a discussion that roams freely across our complex and often contradictory relationship with nature.

Friday, 20 May, 3pm – Inside the New Yorker

Go behind the scenes at one of the world’s most influential publications with some of its most talented and prominent editors. Ann Goldstein began her career at The New Yorker in 1974 in the copy department, and eventually rose to editor, working with the likes of John Updike. Pulitzer-prize winning poet Paul Muldoon is the magazine’s poetry editor deciding exactly what 100 poems they will publish each year after having received thousands. Ann and Paul speak with Amelia Lester, the magazine’s former managing editor. Discover the highs and lows of working for the legendary masthead, from making decisions on controversial stories to working with some of the world’s greatest living writers.

Friday, 20 May, 4:30pm – Andrew Denton: Better off Dead

Modern medicine can do remarkable things to prolong our bodies, but is it giving us a better quality of life? Andrew Denton has come out of his three-year hiatus to push for a re-think on assisted dying laws with his podcast series Better Off Dead. He has interviewed all sides of the debate – the elderly and disabled, doctors, lawyers, ethicists, academics, people for and against – in countries around the world. Whatever your point of view, the conversation is certainly one worth having. He speaks with David Leser.

Saturday, 21 May, 10am – Why Women Should Rule the World

Fewer women run big companies than men named John, according to a 2015 report by Ernst & Young. Yet in a recent Washington blizzard, the Senate chamber discovered the only senators hardy enough to show up were the so-called ‘weaker’ sex. George Megalogenis hosts a panel including feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Indian writer and activist Ira Trivedi and Australian journalist Laura Tingle for a frank and fearless discussion about the advantages of making room for more women at the top.

Sunday, 22 May, 10am – Kerry O’Brien: Living with Keating

Towards the end of Keating, the former PM offers these words of wisdom: ‘We all get carried out in the end. The big question is, what sort of trail you can blaze.’ Love him or hate him, Paul Keating lights up whatever political stage he walks on. Veteran journalist Kerry O’Brien talks to Ellen Fanning about writing what may be the only biography of one of Australia’s most formidable leaders, a man whose vision transformed the economic and political landscape forever

Tickets are on sale now at The Jetty Memorial Theatre. Get in quick. At $5 per ticket, you don’t want to miss out!