John Safran has released a new book, Depends What you Mean by Extremist: Going Rogue with Australian Deplorables.
John Safran has released a new book, Depends What you Mean by Extremist: Going Rogue with Australian Deplorables. Penguin Random House

Writers Festival unveils celebrity-filled line up

AUSTRALIAN music icon Jimmy Barnes is coming to Lennox Head to talk about his memoir, Working Class Boy.

The book, published in 2016, is about Barnes' childhood in Glasgow and Adelaide.

It debuted at number one on the Australian bestseller list, and remained in the top 10 for a number of weeks.

Barnes will be discussing the book with Matt Condon on a special event at Lennox Head organised by the Lennox Arts Board and Byron Bay Writers festival.

 

HIT: Jimmy Barnes will discuss his book Working Class Boy.
HIT: Jimmy Barnes will discuss his book Working Class Boy. Lesley Apps

Barnes' appearance is one of the events unveiled by the Byron Writers Festival's line-up for 2017.

Featuring more than 130 guests, the three-day festival will unfold across six stages plus writers' workshops, satellite events and literary dinners throughout Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers.

AmOng other celebrities included in the line up are TV and radio presenter John Safran and musician Tex Perkins.

Master illusionist and escapologist Cosentino will share his greatest trick - how he learned to read - and was transformed from a bullied isolated 12-year-old boy with learning difficulties to one of the world's most popular magicians.

 

Byron Writers Festival Chair Jennifer Saint George with the new 2017 program.
Byron Writers Festival Chair Jennifer Saint George with the new 2017 program. Christian Morrow

Acclaimed Australian novelists include Kate Grenville, Ashley Hay, Anita Heiss, Hannah Kent, A.S. Patric, Nicolas Rothwell, Kim Scott and Byron Bay based Rob Drewe who will launch his new novel Whipbird at the Festival.

They join a best-selling line-up of Australian crime writers including David Free, Mirandi Riwoe (MJ Tjia), Michael Robotham and Jock Serong.

Sudanese refugee Deng Adut will recount his journey from child soldier to lawyer and 2017 NSW Australian of the Year.

Other highlight memoirists and biographers include Caroline Baum, Jane Hutcheon, Nikki Gemmell and Kim Mahood.

Politics and humour

Peter FitzSimons will argue The Case for a Republic in the annual Thea Astley Lecture; satirist John Safran and respected journalist David Marr will unravel the second coming of Pauline Hanson and the socio-political landscape that has given rise to the likes of Trump.

Susan Carland will make the case that feminism and Islam can be complementary in Fighting Hislam; The Hon. Dr Barry Jones will take audiences on a journey through the music and literature that has inspired him, while Gold Walkley award-winning reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna will give an insight into her investigative journalism for ABC TV Four Corners.

 

Deng Thiak Adut.
Deng Thiak Adut. FSM

The hugely popular Best of Insiders event will return to Byron Theatre with host Barrie Cassidy and panelists Malcolm Farr, David Marr and Laura Tingle taking us through all the big political developments of 2017.

The festival will also pay tribute to John Clarke with a special evening event at Elements of Byron featuring Bryan Dawe and Andrew Knight.

The event will also feature media luminaries Julia Baird, Paul Barclay, Jennifer Byrne, Richard Fidler, Clementine Ford, Peter Helliar, John Lyons, Kerry O'Brien, Tracey Spicer, Lisa Wilkinson and Tony Jones, who will talk about his debut novel and political thriller The Twentieth Man.

Natural sciences

Charlie Veron, known as 'the Godfather of Coral', will invite audiences to explore the wonders of his Life Underwater. He will also introduce a special screening of his documentary Chasing Coral.

Lawrie Zion will takes audiences into the eye of the storm with Our Weather Obsession.

 

Leading Australian writer, scientist and conservationist Professor Tim Flannery who will present a free public lecture as part of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2014 Research Week.
Photo: Damien Pleming
Leading Australian writer, scientist and conservationist Professor Tim Flannery who will present a free public lecture as part of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s 2014 Research Week. Photo: Damien Pleming Damien Pleming

Acclaimed scientist Tim Flannery investigates exciting new technologies with Sunlight and Seaweed.

Best-selling author and long-time farmer with a PhD in social change, Charles Massy, will discuss regenerative agriculture, while Bruce Pascoe will challenge the claim that pre-colonial Aboriginal society was essentially a hunter-gatherer society in his award-winning book Dark Emu.

Kate Cole-Adams explores of the gift of oblivion with Anaesthesia; and David Gillespie reveals the science of identifying and dealing with psychopaths at work and home with Taming Toxic People.

Numbers nerd Adam Spencer will encourage everyone to get their geek on, while broadcaster and author of more than 15 books, Robyn Williams, will guide people through 40 years of ABC Radio National's Science Show.

Visitors

International guests travelling to Byron Bay include US novelist Kayla Rae Whitaker whose debut novel The Animators is a dazzling story of female friendship, plus one of Indonesia's most influential writers Eka Kurniawan, and also celebrated columnist for The New York Times Roger Cohen.

They will be joined by acclaimed UK writer and foreign affairs reporter Christina Lamb; Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Mei Fong whose recent book One Child reveals the true cost of China's one-child policy, and by Indian-born British writer, lecturer and broadcaster Kenan Malik who traces the developments from The Satanic Verses to Charlie Hebdo in his book From Fatwa to Jihad.

 

SCIENCE: American writer Dava Sobel.
SCIENCE: American writer Dava Sobel.

Award-winning science writer Dava Sobel looks to the stars to reveal the hidden history of female astronomers in The Glass Universe, while American biology professor David George Haskell puts a stethoscope to nature's most magnificent networkers and listens to The Song of Trees. Celebrated New York based philosophy professor Emrys Westacott shows us why less-is-more and shares The Wisdom of Frugality.

  • In Byron Bay, plus satellite events in Lismore and Lennox Head, August 5 to 7. For the full list of festival events, guests and workshops, visit byronwritersfestival.com or phone 66855115.

X Factor star coming to Lismore for Christmas carols

X Factor star coming to Lismore for Christmas carols

The event will be held on Sunday, December 9, at Crozier Field

Our Kids bets on Melbourne Cup to raise funds

Our Kids bets on Melbourne Cup to raise funds

Our Kids charity frocks up for Melbourne Cup fund raiser

NORPA needs you

NORPA needs you

Company must raise $50,000 by May 2019

Local Partners