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A weekend of inspiration Write Here! in Lake Mac

Award-winning children’s author Jess Black will take centre stage later this month as part of one of the Hunter Region’s largest literary festivals.


Write Here! 2021 will feature three days of workshops and author talks, featuring more than 40 local and national writers, who will share their secrets about how ideas become words, and how those words become stories.

Lake Macquarie City Council Arts, Culture and Tourism Manager Jacqui Hemsley said the festival, to be held 26-28 March at Rathmines Theatre, was the perfect opportunity for emerging and established writers and readers to learn and be inspired.

Write Here! will provide a wealth of advice, insight and guidance from some of Australia’s most accomplished writers,” Ms Hemsley said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic meant we weren’t able to host the festival in 2020, but the inaugural instalment in 2019 was a huge success and showed us how many enthusiastic and talented budding authors we have in our community.”

Jess Black, author of more than 40 children’s books, will share the challenges and delights of writing a series of books, most notably her new Pepper Creek Ponies series.

The locally-based author said it was an incredible journey of growth and determination.

“I hope I can give people an understanding of how rewarding series writing is and why, and impart some words of wisdom along the way,” Black said.

“I’m very passionate about the power of stories for readers – books can change lives.”

The festival kicks off at 9am with a ‘Writing Fiction and Getting Published’ session hosted by successful author Annie Seaton.

The hands-on workshop includes tips on preparing manuscripts for submission, editing and how to approach a publisher.

“The festival covers so many genres and styles, with something for everyone,” Ms Hemsley said.

“Visitors can come to one session, or they can come for the whole day.”

Other sessions include:

  • Life on the Land, with internationally selling authors of Australian rural romance stories, Cathryn Hein, Karly Lane and Fiona McArthur.

  • Visual Literacy, with picture book illustrators Kirrili Lonergan, Liz Anelli, Gwynneth Jones, Nicola Bolton and children’s author Katrina McKelvey.

  • How to Write a Book You Can’t Put Down, with suspense authors Wendy James, Benjamin Stevenson, Kelli Hawkins and Jaye Ford.

Entry to most Write Here! sessions are by gold coin. Other in-depth workshops are up to $60. Write Here! Festival will be a COVID-safe event. with bookings essential for all sessions. Go to for more details, bookings and the full event timetable.


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