ON THE ROAD: Zacharey Jane travelled on the Byron Writers Festival Road Trip in 2017.
ON THE ROAD: Zacharey Jane travelled on the Byron Writers Festival Road Trip in 2017.

Writers' bus taking the word to the people

THE Writers on the Road sattelite event from the Byron Writers Festival will visit a bigger number of Northern NSW locations after the NSW government awarded it $80,000.

This year, Writers on the Road will be visiting Kyogle on Friday, July 27, Alstonville on Saturday, July 28, Tenterfield on Sunday, July 29, Bonalbo on Monday, July 30 and Brunswick Heads on Tuesday, July 31.

The list of writers and details of the events on each location will be released in the next couple of weeks.

The writers will visit local schools to conduct free creative writing workshops with students from all stages.

In the evenings, they will meet local writers and readers to discuss their mutual love of storytelling.

The NSW government's Regional Cultural Fund has awarded $80,000 to Byron Writers Festival, enabling the organisation to run three tours taking visiting authors to regional towns and schools across the Northern Rivers in the coming 12 months.

The grant was presented to Byron Writers Festival this morning in Byron Bay by the Hon. Don Harwin MLC, NSW Minister for the Arts, and Ben Franklin, Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW.

Mr Franklin said Byron Writers Festival is internationally renowned.

"However Director Edwina Johnson and her team have always ensured our region remain their primary focus,” he said .

"A couple of years ago I was thrilled to be able to assist in providing the funding support to purchase the StoryBoard Bus to take talented authors to schools across our region.

"And I'm even more delighted that due to today's announcement, the bus will now be able to travel even further and benefit many more children in our region.”

Byron Writers Festival has run Writers on the Road since 2014 and from 2016 it formally included StoryBoard - the program delivering free creative writing classes in schools.

Byron Writers Festival Board member, local writer Jesse Blackadder, is the founder of StortBoard, and she explained the project provides free literary events for the communities it visits.

"(It also offers) free creative writing workshops for schools, all delivered by some of Australia's leading authors and storytellers,” said Ms Blackadder.

"Writers on the Road is arts equity in action, bringing a taste of Byron Writers Festival plus the hands-on schools program of StoryBoard to far flung communities that otherwise would miss out.”

Tour manager Zacharey Jane was looking forward to visitng the locations confirmed today.

"We're delighted to be returning by popular request to Tenterfield, where the writers will take to the stage at the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of the Arts Theatre to debate the great Australian Myths, from Captain Thunderbolt to Peter Allen,” she said.

"This funding boost means we can continue bringing this world class event to regional audiences not just once in a 12-month period, but three times, reaching so many more people.”

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