Literature lovers unite at annual Somerset Celebration of Literature.

Somerset Celebration of Literature
Arts & Culture

Literature lovers to unite at the annual Somerset Celebration of Literature to explore reading and writing beyond the book.

Throughout the three-day writers’ festival Somerset College in Mudgeeraba will play host to some of Australia’s most recognised authors and illustrators.

With tales of success and failure they will entertain and educate students from more than 50 schools throughout Queensland, northern NSW and the Northern Territory.

The pupils will get an insight into the minds of some of the country’s most talented artists and adults will take part in interactive workshops and seminars from renowned authors such as James Moloney, Tara Moss, Michael Gerard Bauer and Kari Gislason.

This year’s festival explores literature beyond its traditional form; connecting reading and writing with a whole digital realm.

Highly regarded children’s author Geoffrey McSkimming partners with Sue-Anne Webster, one of the world’s leading magicians, to bring to life the Phyllis Wong Mysteries to the stage.

ABC journalist and northern NSW resident Samantha Turnbull has just released her first four novels – The Anti-Princess Club series.

The children’s author was inspired to write the books when she visited a major department store and couldn’t find anything to read that didn’t feature a princess or a fairy.

“I’ll be talking about how you can turn something that makes you angry into a great idea and maybe even help change the world,” she said.

“I want aspiring writers to know that they don’t always have to write for someone else and that writing for you can be one of the most enjoyable things ever.

The 22nd Somerset Celebration of Literature starts with the Alumni Prologue Party at 5.30pm on March 18. The free community event gives the public the chance to meet the authors and celebrate the written word. There’ll be food and drinks available and fireworks.

Festival chairman Michael Brohier said the three-day carnival infused people of all ages with a passion for reading and writing.

“Over its 22 years the celebration has seen dynamic growth and transformation. With more than 16,000 tickets sales last year, and with the array of popular authors and illustrators we have this year, we are expecting an even greater response.”

Mr Brohier said this year the aim was to encourage not only students, but adults as well to gain a fresh perspective of literature and to explore the different ways in which stories can be expressed.

“Literature is no longer confined to just words on a page but now extends into a whole realm of digital engagement,” he said.

The Literary Long Table officially closes the festival and is sure to be a Celebration of Literature highlight with debonair Queensland author Kári Gíslason discussing his new novel, The Ash Burner.

Full festival details are available at the Somerset College website.

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