I am writing to express my unconditional support for the Ignite Your Mind readers and writers festival.
I have been privileged to have been invited to the previous festivals in Ayr, but the 2018 event, with its diverse program and its plethora of writers from a variety of genres, surpassed all expectations.
As a writer, I attend festivals across the country year after year, some with crowds in excess of 50,000 people.
But as far as I can see, there is nothing quite like the Burdekin festival on offer in Australia. This is an absolutely unique event. It is warm, welcoming and intimate.
This is a festival where there is genuine contact with readers. And there is a very real sense – expressed by all of the participants this year – that the crowds that attend the Burdekin festival are there because they truly want to be. They are there to properly engage with the writers and satisfy their interest in reading and writing.
This is a real readers and writers festival in every sense of the word.
For the first time this year, too, I was fortunate enough to meet and talk with people who had travelled great distances to enjoy the festival. This is tangible proof that word is getting out about the quality of the Burdekin festival, and it needs to be encouraged and supported.
I can tell you that all the invited writers were thrilled by the experience. When I tell other writers about Ignite Your Mind they invariably admit they’d love to be invited.
I would encourage the state government, local council and any other interested parties to get behind this extraordinary event.
It has built a first-class reputation. It would be a tragedy – for both readers and writers – for that to be lost.