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  • intouch Magazine

Newcastle Writers Festival 2024 Program OUT NOW!

The 2024 Newcastle Writers Festival program is the largest since the Covid disruption, featuring 150 writers across 95 free and ticketed events from 5 to 7 April across Newcastle’s Civic precinct, Cessnock and, for the first time, Port Stephens.


The bumper festival program has been overseen by founding director Rosemarie Milsom and Amy Lovat, author and co-founder of bookstore Secret Book Stuff, who joined the organisation as program manager in August 2023.

“It is an exciting, diverse program that includes Australia’s most respected writers and a strong lineup of debut writers. Amy has done a brilliant job,” said Milsom.

The festival program features workshops, book launches, readings, panel discussions, one-on-one interviews, a dinner, a literary trivia event, and a special program at the University of Newcastle’s Wollotuka Institute.

After its debut in 2023, Words & Music returns to the Conservatorium of Music on 6 April. Dan Flegg and Nick Milligan curate the event, which features musicians who perform new work inspired by books by festival guests. The lineup includes Elijah Amoss, Piper Butcher, Deborah Conway, Jim Moginie, Adam Newling, and Sunbiirds.

Family events have been scheduled for the first time since 2019, including Hunter and Central Coast talent Dan Marshall, Sara Acton, Katrina McKelvey, and Liz Anelli. Several other Hunter writers are appearing across the festival, including 93-year-old debut writer Rosemary Lewis and adult romance writer Natalie Murray.

Respected ABC journalist Leigh Sales is the special opening night guest and will speak to Indira Naidoo on 5 April at Newcastle City Hall about the art and craft of journalism and its future in the face of cost cuts and an increasingly divided world.

Popular identities who will also be speaking about their recent books include actors Bryan Brown and Pia Miranda, musicians Deborah Conway and Jim Moginie, Wendy Harmer (in Newcastle and Cessnock), Richard Glover, and Newcastle baker Reece Hignell.

The program is available at, and tickets are now on sale. An audio version of the program is available on the website.


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