There were so many other highlights â€“ too many to list â€“ but I had an encounter on Sunday after the final session had concluded. More than 250 people were filing out of the Concert Hall after the lively launch of Radical Newcastle: Unearthing the Radical Past and Present of Newcastle and the Hunter Region and a woman stopped me. "Hello Rosemarie, I'm from Muswellbrook, and this might upset you, but I don't read and I'm not a writer. I come to the festival each year and go away filled with ideas. It's wonderful." I wasn't upset at all. I have always felt that the festival is as much about the exchange of ideas as it is about books and writing.
Thank you for your ongoing support and if you attended the festival and have a couple of minutes to spare, I would appreciate your feedback via our online survey - please click here to participate.
I want to thank the NWF board, as well as the guest writers, the brilliant hosts, and our key sponsors â€“ Newcastle City Council, University of Newcastle, Newcastle NOW, Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, as well as Hunter Writers Centre. Our media partners, Newcastle Herald and 1233 ABC, help spread the word about the event and the line-up of guest writers. Thank you to MacLean's Booksellers for their hard work and enthusiasm. The festival atmosphere would be diminished without an on-site bookshop. Thank you to photographer Chris Patterson, of Intervision Photography, who captures beautifully the many facets of the weekend. Scion Audio and City Hall staff, aka The Men in Black, are reliable, professional and help me with logistics. I couldn't do it without them. I want to also thank designer Miranda Whittle, who created a good-looking 2015 program, which was no mean feat given its expanded size. Staff at Newcastle Region Library helped organise and manage a very successful kids' program this year and NWF board member Katrina McKelvey brought together a team of keen volunteers across the five-day program. Thank you!
Don't forget to mark the dates for the 2016 Newcastle Writers Festival in your diary, 1-3 April.
I am going to take a short break and get stuck into my day job at the Newcastle Herald so the next newsletter will reach you in May.
Until then, happy reading.