Coming together in the name of words

READY: Julie Proudfoot, David Lloyd, Rosemary Sorensen and Terry Jaensch get ready for the weekend. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

READY: Julie Proudfoot, David Lloyd, Rosemary Sorensen and Terry Jaensch get ready for the weekend. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

WHETHER it be dinosaurs, bird watching or ekphrastic poetry that piques your interest, the Bendigo Writer's Festival is sure to offer an eclectic weekend for all those involved. 

And don't let the title fool you - the sessions are not limited to words, but rather focus on the power of communication, coming together and inspiring a community to be part of something bigger than just themselves. 

Artistic director Rosemary Sorensen once stood on the steps of The Capital and realised the city was in dire need of a writer's festival. 

The Bendigo woman admits she "isn't a big people person or a festival person" but says there's something quite special about a regional festival. 

"I get the same feeling at the Bendigo festival as I did when I climbed the Brisbane Bridge," she said. 

"You look around and feel better about the world because you're in it together. 

"These sort of events bring people confidence that people can interact, that it's not all about the Gaza Strip and those horrible national events. There is hope."

Not many would deny that books bring out the best in people, and this idea is exactly what the festival thrives on. 

Established writers Les Murray and Blanche D'Alpuget headline the festival, but many lesser known writers launching their first books have created just as much buzz.

Authors, poets and experts who focus on niche topics - some who have never even been invited to a writer's festival because of their small market - will also share their passions on the weekend. 

Because, as Ms Sorensen says, no matter what you love, you should have the opportunity to share it with the world. 

"It doesn't matter if five or 500 people like the sessions, we want to offer a variety of opportunities," Ms Sorensen said. 

"We shouldn't have to miss out because we live in this lovely place. 

"It's important we as a community feed people's creativity and enable pride and ambition, while having a great time too." 

The full program can be found here.

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