News

No rest for Jeni

TIME OUT: Jeni Caffin relaxes with a good book after a hectic festive season.
TIME OUT: Jeni Caffin relaxes with a good book after a hectic festive season. Jann Burmester

SHE found some time to put a set of Christmas lights on her head and drink a glass or two of champagne, but Jeni Caffin spent most of the festive season sending out invitations to 120 international, national and local writers who will spice up the program at this year's Byron Bay Writers' Festival.

Sixty of the writers have already accepted their invitations to the popular literary event, which will be held at the North Byron Events site from August 2-4.

"I was working right up until Christmas Day, but I was determined to get the invitations out," festival director Jeni said.

"Considering we are in the midst of the silly season, I think the response is fantastic.

"There are some amazing writers coming this year and I can't wait to get the program organised. It's already coming together in my head."

Some of those wordsmiths attending include an "incredible" Booker Prize winner; a "knockout" female writer from Burma; a journalist from the Gaza Strip; a "beautiful" young male Indonesian writer who's had a film made from his book; and some "wonderful" Australian writers including the author of a book which is being touted as the "next big thing" and was the subject of a bidding war between publishers.

Jeni said local writers would once again feature prominently, with the likes of Jesse Blackadder, Lisa Walker and Susanna Freymark.

The program will also feature lots of comedy, with some familiar faces as well as some new ones, lots of music with an "oh my god name" on the list, workshops, master classes, literary lunches and dinner.

"Food and stimulating conversation is always a winning combination," Jeni said.

"I'm also going to organise some walking tours which were always very popular at the Ubud Writers' Festival.

"Ubud has its rice paddies, but look at what Byron's got."

Jeni said 2013 was shaping up to be a watershed year in Australia for publishing.

"Everyone's talking doom and gloom about the future of the book industry but, when I sit with publishers, I see them taking a punt on first-time writers and books are being published from the slush piles," she said.

"The positive response I've had to the festival shows that books and the written word will always be popular.

"This year's program will be inspirational and kick-ass and I am celebrating being back in the director's chair."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

A practical stand against violence against women

TAKING A STAND: Taekwondo black belt and owner of Strike Martial Arts, Shane McKeahnie, is holding free self-defence classes for women later this month.

Black belt offering course in martial arts

Pacific Highway lanes reopen after 4WD, trailer crash

Crash involving a 4WD and a trailer causing disruption to traffic

Vanessa is ready for a new challenge

Ballina local, Vanessa Farrell, 25, was welcomed into the Australian Army today through an Appointment Ceremony at Brisbane Defence Force Recruiting Centre. She will now travel to the Royal Military College-Duntroon in Canberra to commence her training as a General Service Officer.

Vanessa Farrell was one of 79 recruits appointed to Duntroon

Latest deals and offers

Guide to the ‘perfect day’ on the Northern Rivers

GOT visitors in town and not sure where to take them for the “Northern Rivers experience”?

A practical stand against violence against women

TAKING A STAND: Taekwondo black belt and owner of Strike Martial Arts, Shane McKeahnie, is holding free self-defence classes for women later this month.

Black belt offering course in martial arts

Pacific Highway lanes reopen after 4WD, trailer crash

Crash involving a 4WD and a trailer causing disruption to traffic

Vanessa is ready for a new challenge

Ballina local, Vanessa Farrell, 25, was welcomed into the Australian Army today through an Appointment Ceremony at Brisbane Defence Force Recruiting Centre. She will now travel to the Royal Military College-Duntroon in Canberra to commence her training as a General Service Officer.

Vanessa Farrell was one of 79 recruits appointed to Duntroon

Poisoner robs preschoolers of friend

Wollongbar Community preschoolers look mournfully at the figtree in the preschool grounds which was poisoned during the school holidays.

Wollongbar kids return to school to find beloved figtree poisoned.

How an interview became a contact with my loved one

Spirit medium Charmaine Wilson brings messages of love and healing to those suffering the loss of a loved one on her Mystical Messages Tour.

During a chat to medium Charmaine Wilson

Pokémon Go makes Ingress into Clarence Valley

Pokemon Go player Dan Optland is pictured in the game w ith a "Pidgey" Pokemon he lured to a Pokestop at the Clarence Valley Conservatorium.

Pokemon Go Pokestops evolved from hard work of unsuspecting friends.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

Licking incident bars Ariana from performing at White House

Ariana Grande has been blocked from performing at the White House

Taylor Swift's ex throws support behind Kanye West

Calvin Harris shares a sing-along with Kanye West

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started