The Festival was held over the Easter Weekend in Jindabyne. Originally a tent was to be erected in Banjo Paterson Park, but due to the heavy rains and subsequent overflow of the lake the designated area was flooded. An alternate venue was made available through Council in the car park behind the Memorial Hall.
The tent proved to be an enormous success. Bookings were not essential for the free events and at every session there were more than expected crowds of attendees who had planned to come, which was also bolstered by a large number of passersby. Other events were held at the school libraries of Snowy Mountains Grammar School (thanks to Chris Ryrie) and Jindabyne Central School, Blue Lake Brasserie, Kunama Gallery, Iona Gardens, Corriggioli, Quality Resort Horizons and the Station Resort and included creative writing workshops, storytelling, a garden party, a scrabble night and art workshops.
The Lions Club held a barbeque in the car park and were delighted to announce that this was their most successful fund raiser in Jindabyne.
Popular among the attendees were the panel sessions ‘Canberra Voices’, ‘4 Women Writers’ and of course John Marsden. 16 authors provided an entertaining programme for the Festival, and included local celebrities such as Jane Carroll, Sandy Mackinnon, Sulari Gentill, and Canberra based Karen Viggers, Marion Halligan, Daniel O’Malley and Peter Rees.
The weekend was highlighted by a literary dinner at Journey Food & Wine Bar which was sold out very early and called for additional places to be made available. The evening diners were entertained by guest speakers George Negus, Sandy Mackinnon and Rosamund Burton, and the food was delicious.
A huge thank you needs to go to all the sponsors of the Festival for their support as well as all the Council staff who assisted the Committee to comply with all the regulations and insurance specifications.
The Committee has met since the Festival to debrief and discuss future festivals. There has been so much encouragement from many of the attendees, the authors, authors who wish to be included and local businesses that it has been decided to incorporate in order to continue the Readers Writers Festival on a yearly basis.