Social justice is important to many people of the Otways. It was local people, with the support of others, who defended the forest from logging; ultimately leading to the creation of the Great Otway National Park. In more recent times, Apollo Bay citizens formed the Apollo Bay Rural Australians for Refugees group. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the Apollo Bay Writers Festival chose to make social justice the theme of this year’s festival.
Delivering on that theme is an exciting line up of speakers, bound to get everyone talking. Prominent feminist, Clementine Ford, will deliver the keynote address as well as forming part of a Q&A style discussion panel on the Saturday evening. Artist, writer and philosopher, Michael Leunig will be in-conversation with Desh Balasurbramaniam, CEO and Artistic Director of Ondru, an organisation whose ‘purpose is to provoke thought and evoke change through art.’ Joining the discussion panel will be award winning writer, educator and human rights activist, Arnold Zable. He will also be delivering a workshop on Writing and Advocacy and speaking in-conversation with community activist Les Twentyman talking about their new books.
Warm Winter Words, now in its twenty-forth year, is full of fight. This year it will be hosting Clementine Ford, Susan Carland and Charlie Ward. Clementine will be talking about her book, Fight Like A Girl, described as ‘an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, [that] exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women.’
Susan’s new book, Fighting Hislam, tackles the issues for Islamic women pointing out that ‘when the media trumpets scandalous revelations about life for women from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, Muslim women are always spoken about and over, never with.’ Historian, Charlie Ward, will talk about his new book, A Handful of Sand, which ‘tells the story behind the Gurindji people’s famous Wave Hill Walk-off in 1966’.
This year, the Writers Festival will be held in conjunction with the new WinterWild festival to be held in Apollo Bay over four weekends. The Writers Festival falls on the third weekend of WinterWild. Writers festival events on Saturday will be followed by a cabaret show by Amy Bodossian and local legends Spyndrift.
The three categories are: Open, Youth (12-20), and Children (under 12). The Open category is open to all ages and all styles of writing with a first prize of $1,000. In addition, the Open category includes a Best Local Entry prize of $500 for the best entry by a person living in the local area (see the terms and conditions). The Youth category is for people between the ages of 12 and 20 years that live in the Colac Otway Shire. The prize for the Youth category is $500. The $175 prize for the Children’s category is for kids under the age of 12 years who live in the Colac Otway Shire.
Entry is free and closes on 27th of June.
The Apollo Bay Writers Festival is on the weekend of 29th and 30th of July. For more information and tickets visit http://apollobaywritersfestival.com. Contact the festival at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak with festival director, Pete Mawhinney on 040 923 366.