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Your guide to the Words on the Waves Writers Festival

Nestled along the picturesque shores of the Central Coast, the 2024 Words on the Waves Writers Festival promises six days of literary celebration, intellect and creativity.

The events will feature a range of author talks, engaging panels, and captivating evening conversations. But it’s not just about the words; it’s an immersive experience, offering writing workshops, local book launches, and even a literary cruise against the backdrop of the stunning coastal scenery.

With activities catering to all ages and interests, from the young minds in the school program to families seeking a day of literary exploration, the festival is one book lovers won’t want to miss.


Bookworms eager to immerse themselves in the Words on the Waves Writers Festival experience, there are several ticket options tailored to suit every schedule and preference. The Weekend Pass emerges as the pinnacle choice, granting access to an impressive lineup of eight sessions spread across two days, Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2. Held at both Ocean Beach SLSC and Umina Beach SLSC, this pass offers a comprehensive exploration of literary delights at a discounted rate. Alternatively, if a single day of literary indulgence is more appealing, attendees can opt for the Saturday or Sunday Day Pass. Each pass unlocks access to four sessions, ensuring a fulfilling and enriching experience.


The lineup for the Words on the Waves Writers Festival 2024 is nothing short of extraordinary, boasting an impressive array of renowned authors and journalists from various literary spheres. From bestselling novelists to investigative reporters, the festival promises to be a melting pot of literary talent and intellectual discourse. Notable names gracing the event include the likes of Alice Pung, known for her poignant storytelling; Amanda Hampson, celebrated for her evocative narratives; and Bruce Pascoe, revered for his exploration of Indigenous histories and cultures. Joining them are esteemed figures such as Cheryl Akle, a prominent literary influencer, and Rosie Batty, whose advocacy work has left an indelible mark on Australian society. With over fifty speakers in attendance, including emerging voices and established icons, the Words on the Waves Writers Festival is set to captivate audiences with its diverse lineup and thought-provoking discussions. Whether you’re a seasoned bibliophile or simply curious about the world of literature, this year’s festival promises an unforgettable journey into the realm of words and ideas.


Late Night Lit is just one of the special events planned for the 2024 Waves Writers Festival. Held at Bar Toto, attendees are invited to sip on signature cocktails and embrace the allure of the night as they embark on a journey of spoken word, poetry, and literary revelations. This year’s edition promises to be particularly captivating, with esteemed guests including Australian Slam champion Rob Waters, human rights activist Sara Saleh, and acclaimed novelist Miranda Darling. Alongside these luminaries, an array of open-mic performers will take the stage, ensuring an eclectic mix of voices and perspectives. As the event unfolds, guests are encouraged to support the featured authors by purchasing their books from Umina Beach Book Nook, the designated bookseller for the evening, and indulging in personal signings. With unallocated seating and a promise of unexpected delights, Late Night Lit is an unmissable opportunity to celebrate the power of words in a truly atmospheric setting.


An Evening with Indira Naidoo is another eagerly anticipated special event on the lineup. Hosted in conversation with Michelle Seminara, this Saturday evening event promises to be an unforgettable experience with the remarkable Indira Naidoo. With a career spanning three decades in Australian broadcasting, Naidoo has left an indelible mark on the industry, gracing the screens of esteemed news programs and currently shining as the host of ABC TV’s Compass. Beyond her media prowess, Naidoo is a force for environmental and food sustainability, recognized for her award-winning gardens and advocacy work. Her book, “The Edible Balcony,” stands as a testament to her commitment to cultivating produce in small spaces. Additionally, Naidoo’s dedication extends to community initiatives, including her role as an ambassador for Sydney’s Wayside Chapel, where she actively addresses homelessness.


This year the festival will present an exciting lineup of activities tailored specifically for children and teenagers. The Family Fun Day Program promises a day filled with entertainment and enrichment, featuring esteemed authors and illustrators such as Nat Amoore, Matt Cosgrove, Eva Amores, and Charmaine Ledden-Lewis. Attendees can look forward to engaging talks, live illustration demonstrations, and captivating storytelling sessions that are sure to ignite imaginations. In addition to these enriching activities, children can unleash their creativity with free craft sessions, indulge in face-painting fun, and celebrate the launch of new books.

29 MAY – 3 JUNE 2024