Inaugural writers festival to be held in Maitland next year

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A celebration of independent writing and publishing in all its forms will be held in Maitland in February. The inaugural Maitland Indie Festival will be held on the weekend of February 28 and March 1 and will feature a wide range of speakers, events, and entertainment. Keynote speakers will include best selling children’s author, Tim Harris and local author Susan Francis. Speakers will be coming from as far as Brisbane and Melbourne to take part in the 15 keynote speeches and panels. There’ll also be five specialist workshops on everything from creative therapy to self-publishing picture books, almost 10 book launches, and family activities in the green space next to Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG). A major highlight will be a poetry slam competition on the Saturday night with cash prizes. Other competitions include a short story award for secondary students (sponsored by Harry Hartog Booksellers) and a junior poetry competition, both themed around the word “if.” Festival director, Graham Davidson, said: “We want to let people who have a story to tell know that in this age of digital disruption they’re more empowered than ever to share that story with their community and the world.” The festival is supported by Maitland City Council and Hunter Writers Centre and will run concurrently with the first weekend of Artastique, creating a sense of a broader fringe cultural festival throughout the city for that weekend. Festival venues include Studio Amsterdam, Sun Street Studios, Maitland City Library, the Pourhouse, and Rama Bar. There will also be a school’s program on the Friday. For further details, call Graham Davidson on 0412 423682 or email maitlandindiefestival@iinet.net.au

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