Literary festivals: Reality Bites and Byron Bay Bay Writers’ Fest 2012

It seems this is the season of literary festivals. I’m heading to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast tomorrow for the Reality Bites Literary Festival, which runs from 26 to 29 July 2012, and to the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival next week (3 to 5 August 2012).

The Reality Bites fest is billed as ‘Australia’s premier literary nonfiction festival’ and takes place at the Cooroy Library in the hinterland west of Noosa. I’ll be speaking about the classics – ‘the books we love and why we value them so highly’, as the programme says – over afternoon tea tomorrow.

I’m also on a fascinating sounding panel on Saturday called ‘Counting the Beans’ with Ian Lowe, professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University, and climate change activist Anna Rose. The session will be chaired by Nicholas Bray, who’s the deputy editor of the illustrious Griffith REVIEW. We’ll be talking about population growth, climate change, economic growth on a finite planet, and no doubt many other things besides.

Writer Benjamin Law will be giving the keynote speech at the festival’s opening tomorrow night, which I’m so looking forward to. The programme says ‘Author of the screamingly funny but poignant memoir The Family Law, local boy made good, journalist and failed soap star Ben Law will have you in stitches’.

Next Friday (at 12.45pm) in Byron Bay I’ll also be talking about the classics, this time chairing a panel called ‘Our writing legacy: what role do the classics play in our culture?’. Talking classics with me will be Wayne Macauley, Shane Maloney, John Tranter and Susan Wyndham.

On Friday morning I’m on a panel called ‘Breakthroughs – how new words and languages fuel innovation’ which I’m very excited about, mostly because of the other two panelists – Nobel Prize winning scientist Peter Doherty, and mathematician and writer Robyn Arianrhod – and the chair, writer Ashley Hay.

I’m also looking forward to talking with the urbane and prolific writer Gideon Haigh and the jetset writer John M Green (who’s chairing the session) about ‘How the merchants of Florence and Venice changed the world’ on Saturday 4 August.

As you’ll see from the festival websites if you follow the links above, there are dozens of fantastic writers going to both festivals – too many to single out here – and I’m planning to blog about both festivals, so stay tuned.

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3 Responses to Literary festivals: Reality Bites and Byron Bay Bay Writers’ Fest 2012

  1. Arthur Robey says:

    I loved your “Merchants of Florence” talk on Big Ideas ABC. I have suggested that we post it up on aka chrismartenson,com. If it passes the review panel it will be in the news section on Friday 27/7/12
    Have you read “The Master and His Emissary” by Dr Iain McGilchrist? It has changed how I interpret how I see myself in the world.

  2. Hey girlfriend
    That was a great performance
    Four green tenors giving voice to dodgy accounting , green laundering , short termism , lack of accounting for environmental services & social costs.
    I also googled Ur trail and found along with Ur stunning discoveries over at doge inc in downtown Venice that triage of the three great artist/ mathamatitians and it’s linkage to the northern renaissance . On the ABC RN interview u thought that triple bottom line accounting was not effective and window dressing.
    How so? Have u done any for corporate , sme biz, NGOs or social enterprises? Have u researched the reviews and their ongoing benchmarking: ie westpac, smith family, brothers of st Lawrence, etc
    Love the banter and repore u all had and with the audience.
    I am endeavoring to set up a forum focusing on discussion and consensus making where both sustainable practice and the creative process, leading to sustainable enterprise or community grass root led initiatives can b dreamed and fostered…..
    Interested ? Stay tuned or even better sign up for a guest spot in the spring; emerging shoots?
    Regards and sustained good will
    Gareth( tewantin ) b of soc sc, feral surfer, and change agent.

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