THE second annual High Country Writers Festival kicks off at a free author talk with Tamworth-based author and teacher Yumna Kassab, who will join local writers and readers at The Makers Shed Glen Innes on Saturday August 15.
Kassab’s first book The House of Youssef was published in 2019 by independent press Giramondo Publishing, and quickly drew acclaim, garnering a place on the ‘longlist’ for the 2020 Stella Prize for Australian women writers, and the shortlist for the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. This week it was cited at a finalist in the short fiction category of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.
A collection of short stories set in the suburbs of Western Sydney The House of Youssef explores the lives of Lebanese migrants who have settled in the area, circling around the themes of isolation, the expectations of the family, and nostalgia for the home country.
The High Country Writers Festival, dubbed ‘Spring Into Storytelling’ continues with Clarence Valley-based author Hayley Katzen in conversation with Glen Innes-based journalist Michael Burge at The Makers Shed on Saturday September 19, talking about her riveting country memoir Untethered.
A range of events will take place at Glen Innes on Saturday October 24. Glen Innes Severn Public and TAFE Library will host an author talk with Moree-based historical novelist Nicole Alexander on Saturday October 24 about her new book The Cedar Tree; and festival partner, author and broadcaster Mary Moody will be returning to The Makers Shed for a cold-climate food-growing chat.
Local journalists Lucy Munro, Amanda Woods and Michael Burge will be moderating talks across the region with visiting authors, including novelist Kim Kelly and journalist Mary Garden, whose biography of her aviator father Oscar Garden has this week been shortlisted in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
Writers are encouraged to book a place at the second annual High Country Writers Retreat, taking place on October 24 at Waterloo Station, just 18 kilometres west of Glen Innes on the Gwydir Highway. Day passes to this skill-sharing event are free and extremely limited, and writers will have the opportunity to meet experienced authors and ask questions about fiction and non-fiction writing processes. Accommodation packages are also available.
More information about the second annual High Country Writers Festival can be found at the event website, or at festival bookshop The Makers Shed, 123 Grey Street Glen Innes, or by contacting festival director Michael Burge on 0400 977 816.
All festival events will operate under a COVID-safe plan including social distancing and sanitising measures.
For all festival information: https://highcountrywritersfestival.com/