Writers emerge to chat

SOLITARY: The Port's Joanna Atherfold Finn will take part in the Newcastle Writers Festival in April.
SOLITARY: The Port's Joanna Atherfold Finn will take part in the Newcastle Writers Festival in April.

VISITORS to the second Newcastle Writers Festival next month will have access to a host of accomplished authors, and Boat Harbour's Joanna Atherfold Finn will be among them.

At the festival, from Friday, April 4 to Sunday, April 6, Mrs Atherfold Finn, a creative writing PhD student, will discuss her manuscript titled Watermark, a series of short stories in a coastal setting. She will also talk about the research behind them on a panel with other University of Newcastle students.

"I really enjoyed the last festival - reading and writing are such solitary pursuits," she said.

The short-fiction writer said the festival was "so interactive" and gave the public an opportunity to ask questions of their favourite authors in a "vibrant and engaging environment".

"It's a good opportunity to speak to people you wouldn't usually have access to," she said.

Forty-five workshops, forums and readings will run across the three-day event.

This year's line-up includes Wendy Harmer, crime writer Garry Disher, novelist Kathryn Heyman, former Vogue editor and author Kirstie Clements, comedian Tim Ferguson, social researcher Hugh Mackay, poets Anthony Lawrence and Mark Tredinnick, adventurer Tim Cope, Philip Nitschke and Caroline Jones.

The inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival last year attracted almost 3000 people across 35 events.

Mrs Atherfold Finn said she hoped that, being the second festival, even more people would attend.

Newcastle City Hall will be the festival hub, though some events will be held at the Newcastle Art Gallery, Reserve Wine Bar and Agosti Espresso.

Programs are available at newcastlewritersfestival.org.au and tickets can be bought via Ticketek.

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