Storyfest officially launches with lineup of literary legends

Somerset Storyfest Writer’s Festival is back, bigger and better than ever starring a stellar lineup of Australia’s finest authors and illustrators across three action packed days.

The festival has firmly planted itself as the largest youth literature festival in the southern hemisphere, bringing the Gold Coast alive with an exciting array of literacy events across the city.

Wordsmiths and bookworms will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with 24 of Australia’s most notable storytellers – from investigative journalist Jess Hill, children’s author Andrew Daddo, adventurer and author Tim Cope, and indigenous poet Evelyn Araluen – across a range of events suitable across all ages.

Storyfest CEO and Festival Director, Andrea Lewis is thrilled to launch the literary event with an array of immersive events tonurture and inspire emerging writers.

“Following what was a traumatic year last year and having to cancel the event last minute, we are thrilled to be able to plan and deliver a bigger and better Storyfest for 2021,” Ms Lewis said.

“Storyfest will be one of the first major events to return to the Gold Coast this year and we are thrilled that it will bedelivered according to plan, just as are so many local and regional schools.

“From the moment we announced Storyfest would be going ahead, we’ve received an influx of enquiries from schools acrossthe nation eager to be involved.

“Some schools, like Longreach School of Distance Education, will be travelling over 15 hours to ensure they are here for the event.”

Workshops, masterclasses and events, will fuel the creative processes for children and adults at venues scattered across the Gold Coast.

Storyfest’s program aims to inspire, educate and captivate students through a range of immersive digital and storytelling workshops including Visual Narrative, Podcast Workshop, and Writing Stories That Matter.

Andrew Daddo, who has written dozens of children’s and young adults books, plans of sharing his wisdom onstorytelling.

“I want to get their attention and try to make them see authors are fun. I really want to see I’m having a good time writing andany idea is a good idea,” Mr Daddo said.

“I want them to not worry too much about spelling and grammar. I want to give them some ideas to get their ideas from theirhead to the page. It’s all about having fun.

“The nice thing about books is that they do have a life and kids sort of read their own things into them and kids can putthemselves into them. That’s one thing I try to do when I write.”

Renowned Australian author Melina Marchetta, known for her young adult novel Looking for Alibrandi, will be meeting with aspiring novelists and will be sharing exclusive insight as to life as a writer across three events.

“I’m very excited to be involved in this year’s event and helping to educate and inspire writers of all ages,” Ms Marchetta said.

“I’ll be hosting three sessions throughout the festival where I’ll be speaking about the working life of a writer and giving exclusive insight into the tools of my trade.

Fun for all ages, internationally bestselling adults and children’s author Fiona McIntosh will be hosting a night to remember during the Literary Long Table at Somerset College at 6pm on March 19. The cross- genre Australian writer will be sharing her stories, wit, insight and context of some of her massive range of novels and stories.

City of Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate said he was proud Storyfest is “part of the Gold Coast way of life”.

“As our youngest generations face the difficult challenges of coping with an increasingly complex world, it is essential we encourage their love of and capability with words,” Cr Tate said.

“There is something for everyone in Storyfest 2021 and its beauty is that it blends both enjoyment and learning.”

Storyfest will operate under a COVID safe plan with all details listed on their website.

A full program of events can be found at www.storyfest.com.au. Many events throughout the Festival are free, however, most are ticketed as spaces are limited.