Byron Bay Writers Festival 2009

EACH year at the beginning of August, the cream of Australia’s literary crop make their way to the idyllic beach-front town of Byron Bay in northern NSW for a little event known as the Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Now in its 13th year, the festival has gained a reputation for attracting some of the most interesting and respected writers in Australia to speak at the event, as well as for crafting a warm and relaxed vibe for the 45,000 or so literary enthusiasts who attend the event each year.
 The crowd cracks up under the white marquees.
When:    August 7-9
             Workshops begin August 3

             Full line-up announcement June 5

Where:   Belongil Fields, Byron Bay, NSW

  Discounted Early Bird tickets are on sale now.

             3 Day Pass - $170
             3 Day Pass (concession)* - $150

             Kids Pass - $20
             Kids Pass (concession)* - $15

*Concessions are only for students or members of the Northern Rivers Writing Centre

The Festival
Spread over three days, the 2009 Byron Bay Writers Festival will feature over one hundred of the brightest minds in literature, theatre, science, journalism, comedy, broadcasting, sport and social commentary.

Book lovers will get a chance to get up close and personal with their favourite authors through a series of lectures, workshops, forums, interviews and readings, which are designed to promote intelligent discussion, creative thinking and fresh ideas, all with a healthy dose of fun and humour mixed in.

The Line-up

The Byron Bay Writers Festival is unique among Australia’s major literary festivals due to its dedicated focus on celebrating local Australian writers. While you will find the occasional overseas name on the bill, a significant majority of the guest list is all home grown and varies from international best-sellers to young and emerging talents.

Geoffrey Robertson QC.This year, festival attendees are in for a rare treat with one of the most highly revered and significant figures in Australia’s social and cultural sphere, Geoffrey Robertson QC, returning to home shores specifically to speak at the festival and to deliver the Opening Address on Friday, August 7.

Mr Robertson is one of the world’s leading human rights lawyers, although he is probably best known for the television series Hypotheticals.

He has been counsel in landmark cases in constitutional and criminal law and has served part-time as a UN appeal judge at its war crimes court in Sierra Leone. In 2008, the UN Secretary General appointed Robertson as one of the three distinguished jurist members of the UN’s Internal Justice Council.

Needless to say, the organisers are thrilled to have him onboard.

Julian Shaw.Also on the bill for 2009 is award-winning film-maker turned writer Julian Shaw. Shaw made an impressive entrance into the literary world with his ground-breaking photo novel Modern Odysseus, and he is considered by many as one of Australia's most exciting young talents.

As far as the rest of the line-up goes, the festival team is remaining tight lipped until July 5 when the full list of speakers will be announced, however we can confirm that Delia Falconer, Tom Keneally, Linda Jaivin and Nicholas Jose will all be making appearances under the white marquees.

View the full festival program (pdf download)

Getting to Byron Bay
Byron Bay is a small coastal town on the Far North Coast of NSW, roughly two hours drive south of Brisbane. There are a range of transport options available depending on where your journey is originating from.

By Air
For flights and transfers to and from Ballina or Coolangatta airports and for car hire, contact Jetset Byron Bay on 02 6685 6554 (9-5pm Mon-Fri) or

Airport Transfers Byron Bay
For a shuttle bus from Ballina or the Gold Coast airport or a limousine transfer, visit or phone 0266 209 200.

By Train & Coach
Countrylink provides a rail/coach transfer service to Byron Bay everyday. For reservations and information ph: 132232 (6-10pm 7 days) or

By Bus
Byron Bay is serviced daily by interstate coaches. For information contact Jetset Byron Bay on 02 6685 6554 (9-5pm M-F, 9-12pm Sat) or

Getting to the Belongil Fields
Local Bus
Airport Transfers Byron Bay operates a continually looping Writers Festival shuttle bus between Byron Bay and the Festival between 8am-6pm. Fare $3.

Byron Bay Taxis & Limousines
Phone: 02 6685 5008 or visit

View Larger Map

Read more about the upcoming 2009 Byron Bay Writers Festival ...

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Council adds support for Writers' Festival

Writers' Festival turns over a new leaf

Writers' Festival tickets out now

Read about last year's Writers' Festival

Smiles all round for Writers Festival

A wonderful world of words

Writers Festival 'must go on'

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