Storyfest set to stimulate and inspire young writers



This year’s Somerset Storyfest is set to once again stimulate and inspire, with a festival program jam-packed with workshops and events for literary lovers of all ages.


A full celebration of literature, the Storyfest Writer’s Festival will be held over eight captivating days – 14-21 March on the Gold Coast.


Storyfest CEO and Festival Director, Andrea Lewis is thrilled to present a diverse program featuring a stellar lineup of Australia’s finest authors and illustrators who will inspire readers and writers of all ages.


“Adults and students will have the opportunity meet and greet, as well as learn from and be inspired by more than 30 of Australia’s best selling authors, including Andrew Daddo, Tim Baker and Matt Stanton plus first-time novelists Helena Fox, TC Shelley and Carl Merrison,” Ms Lewis said.

“There are masterclasses, workshops, events and activations that will stimulate, inspire, provoke and awaken thoughts, ideas and creative processes for children and adults.


“From podcast workshops to persuasive writing, writing to help mental health, or exploring visual narratives, there really is something for everyone.”


Ms Lewis said, “Long standing adult events again include the Literary Lunch and Literary Long Table, this year with authors Jess Hill and Elliot Perlman respectively.


“Exploring current societal issues including domestic and family violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, and corporate corruption – these sessions are guaranteed to be compelling, thought provoking and at times confronting.

City of Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate welcomes Storyfest as an artistic and cultural event which adds to the richness and vibrancy of the city.


“Quality of life can be measured in many ways but a vibrant cultural experience can provide real contentment which is the key to happiness,” Mayor Tate said.


“Language is how we share meaning, it enables us to communicate and pass on stories from generation to generation.


“Audiences have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of venues throughout the festival, including the Gold Coast’s cultural hub, as The Home Of The Arts (HOTA) Reads program returns with monthly activations at the precinct.”


Storyfest welcomes back the Beach Library Activation in partnership with the Sand Safari Arts Festival on spectacular Surfers Paradise Beach.


The Beach Library Activation sees pre-loved books made available to the community, along with free author readings and interactive workshops daily from 14 February – 1 March.


Author and Festival Patron, Jackie French AM – perhaps best known for her much loved title Diary of a Wombat – is regarded as one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors and speaks to her deep passion for the importance of storytelling.


“I write for kids because each book builds kids’ intelligence, to help create our future,” Ms French said.



“I write about the past for kids to show them that every generation of humanity has faced challenges, and has survived.


“I write for kids because the best way to inspire kids to fight for a good future for our species and our world, is to help them love it, from wombats to the stars.”


Budding illustrators will be intrigued by iconic Australian illustrator Bruce Whatley as he shares insights into the development of illustrative narratives, including 3D modelling and computer generated mock ups.


Younger audiences will be captivated at a reading of Diary of a Wombat, with Mr Whatley and Ms French.


Meanwhile, adults will have the opportunity to enjoy some insights from best-selling author and three-time winner of the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame Culture Award, Tim Baker, when he is joined by local author Sally Mackinnon and hosted by Lauren a breakfast titled ‘Life Lessons from the Ocean’.


“Given the Gold Coast’s relationship with surfing, we thought a panel discussion around connecting surfing to life was quite apt for this year’s Festival,” Ms Lewis said.


“Whilst Storyfest runs from 14-21 March, the celebration continues throughout the year, with corporate events later in the year including our Storyfest Business Lunch in May featuring Michelle Payne and the Charity Golf Day scheduled for September.”


A full program of events can be found here. Many events throughout the Festival are free, however most are ticketed as spaces are limited, visit the website to book or subscribe to keep up to date with happenings throughout the year