Having been a visiting writer at the Ignite Your Mind Festival, I have to say I was quite astonished by the fervour of the audiences to which I spoke.
The audiences ranged from primary school children through secondary school students to adults, and represented remarkably diverse backgrounds. In particular I was struck by the number of farmers who came to sessions, along with unemployed people, a couple of doctors, housewives, shop assistants and so on. Not surprisingly, a number of teachers attended, and they stood out as particularly eager to learn about new approaches to literature, writing, reading and literacy, and the new understandings they were able to gain from my distinguished colleagues, including in-demand authors like Morris Gleitzman and Nick Earls.
I’ve been to many writers festivals around Australia and overseas, but I haven’t often witnessed the desire for this kind of cultural experience that I experienced during my time in the Burdekin region. The festival was extremely well-run and organised, which no doubt contributed significantly to its success. I think we authors all felt exhausted by the time we headed back to the airport, but we also felt a sense that we had made a really worthwhile impact.
John Marsden – Contributing Author
It was writer, Nick Earls’ twitter feed that got us to the Burdekin. The tweet, which appeared in his timeline in about April, said something like this:
“It’s confirmed! Going to the Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival. Ignite your mind!”
We travelled from NSW to attend the Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival, and found it well worth the trip. We thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the impressive line-up of Australian authors, through interviews, panels, and even some shared meals – all in a friendly, relaxed environment. The people of the Burdekin have made this festival unique by infusing it with their own brand of hospitality and their immense enthusiasm for books and writing. We would highly recommend the event as a both a window into a fascinating region and a boost to your creative life.
Ruth Armstrong, Sydney
Helen Fielder-Gill, Newcastle
“From the start, the team behind the Ignite Your Mind Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival have got a great deal right. At the first festival, attending writers were unanimous in feeling that this was a festival that was well organised and running smoothly, with none of the usual challenges of a festival finding its feet. The second festival continued the high standard.”
Nick Earls – Contributing Author
‘Ignite Your Mind 2015 was a fabulous festival to be a part of. This was a ‘readers festival’ in the truest sense, with a fascinating weekend program that included a mix of well-known authors as well as great entertainment. The intimacy of the event allowed a level of contact between writers and readers not possible at larger festivals and of course the famed Burdekin hospitality added to an unforgettable experience.’
Nicole Alexander – 2015 Contributing Author