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."


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

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

Dig deep for cash to keep the music alive in Ballina

Summerland Credit Union Ballina branch manager Amanda Petersen with the cash prize in the Ballina Coastal Country Music fundraising raffle, with (back, left) raffle co-ordinator Carmel Hayman from the Rotary Club of Ballina and Belinda Cordery from Summerland Credit Union.

Tickets for Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival.

Good Guys labels Ballina boy Braydan a Super Kid

National Super Kid finalist Braydan Webb with Good Guys Ballina store manager Dax Cowan.

Braydan Webb a national finalist in the inaugural Super Kid Awards.

WATCH: Bong throwing at Nimbin MardiGrass

GO LARGE: Mark visiting from Brisbane scored a huge 30-plus metre throw at the MardiGrass bong throwing competition.

No shortage of brave (or foolish) competitors in the "Hemp Olympix".

Latest deals and offers

Take your tastebuds on a gourmet tour of Northern Rivers

FLAVOURS of the Northern Rivers Gourmet Tour to be run as part of the Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival in July.

Dig deep for cash to keep the music alive in Ballina

Summerland Credit Union Ballina branch manager Amanda Petersen with the cash prize in the Ballina Coastal Country Music fundraising raffle, with (back, left) raffle co-ordinator Carmel Hayman from the Rotary Club of Ballina and Belinda Cordery from Summerland Credit Union.

Tickets for Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival.

Good Guys labels Ballina boy Braydan a Super Kid

National Super Kid finalist Braydan Webb with Good Guys Ballina store manager Dax Cowan.

Braydan Webb a national finalist in the inaugural Super Kid Awards.

WATCH: Bong throwing at Nimbin MardiGrass

GO LARGE: Mark visiting from Brisbane scored a huge 30-plus metre throw at the MardiGrass bong throwing competition.

No shortage of brave (or foolish) competitors in the "Hemp Olympix".

Calling all musos for NCEIA Dolphin awards

ON STAGE: Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at the 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony.

Entries are open to independent musicians to audition

Up front with Kim and Jimmy at Tintenbar

STATE OF BLISS: Kim Banffy will play at The UpFront Club this weekend.

KIM Banffy (pictured) and Jimmy Dowling at Tintenbar

See what’s on in this week’s gig guide

RHYTHM: Grace Barbe will be in Nimbin this Weekend as part of the Black Magic Woman show.

We have plenty of music gigs this week in the area.

Dash cam as car rolls dodging rabbit

A car rolls over after dodging a rabbit.

This is why they say don't swerve for wildlife.

ACF take Minister to Court

ACF chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy

The Australian Conservation Foundation go to court to stop Carmichael mine.

Dash Cam: Roo takes on car

Kangaroo leaps car.

Kangaroo could have kept going, jumps car instead.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances