Kyogle Writers Festival ready to launch, with Southern Cross as partner

Published 11 May 2021
Misty green mountains with a rainbow in the background The township of Kyogle is hosting is own literary event, May 14 to 16 (credit Kyogle Writers Festival).

Surrounded by valleys and mountain ranges and bursting with ideas and creativity, the small Northern Rivers town of Kyogle is set to unveil its own celebration of writing.

Southern Cross University is proud to partner with the organisers of the inaugural Kyogle Writers Festival, May 14 to 16, to showcase more than 40 writers and thinkers in a smorgasbord of author talks and conversations, lively panel discussions and workshops.

The University is also supporting the Festival’s inaugural Brolga Young Peoples Writing Prize for high school students from the Northern Rivers region.

Embracing its spectacular location north west of Lismore, on the traditional lands of the Bundjalung and Gidhabal peoples, the Kyogle Writers Festival theme is ‘Country’.

Special guests include acclaimed Aboriginal writer of Goori and European heritage, Melissa Lucashenko, whose novel, Too Much Lip, earned her the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2019, Australia's most prestigious literature prize; Stuart Rees, human rights activist and founder of the Sydney Peace Foundation, who will be discussing his latest book, Cruelty or Humanity: Challenges, Opportunities and Responsibilities; and former ABC journalist (7.30; Foreign Correspondent) Scott Bevan, who will be reflecting on the set of three non-fiction books he has written while kayaking on the Hunter River (The Hunter), Sydney Harbour (The Harbour) and Lake Macquarie (The Lake).

Melissa Lucashenko will be in conversation with Dr Lynda Hawryluk, Senior Lecturer in Writing and Course Coordinator of Writing Programs at Southern Cross University, on Saturday May 15. The session will explore how writing intergenerational stories often illuminates larger truths, and how both place and people have come together in Melissa's prize-winning narratives of Bundjalung and Australian life since her first novel was published in 1997. Melissa Lucashenko is an Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University.

The University is thrilled to see its writing alumni featured in several sessions, including Jessie Cole; Linda Woodrow; Katinka Smit; Anastasia Guise; and Paul Shields who is Festival Co-Convenor.

Along with Dr Lynda Hawryluk, other Southern Cross academics sharing their insights with festivalgoers are Adjunct Professor Kevin Markwell; Adjunct Professor Richard Hil; Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Garbutt; and professional historian and Adjunct Fellow Jo Kijas.

Mr Ben Roche, Vice President (Engagement) at Southern Cross University, said the University was especially proud to be supporting the inaugural Brolga Young Peoples Writing Prize.

“The Brolga Prize is an excellent initiative that will help nurture and encourage young people from the region to explore writing in all its forms,” Mr Roche said. “It provides an important opportunity to value the achievements of young people in writing and to encourage them to develop their talents further.”

Paul Shields, Co-Convenor of the Festival and a Southern Cross University Arts with Honours graduate, said: “Writers festivals provide opportunities for the sharing of new ideas, they celebrate literature and they also bring in business to regions through tourism.  We are very happy that Southern Cross University has come on board to help sponsor the festival and, in particular, the Brolga Prize.”

For details about the Festival, including the full programme and ticketing, visit

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or