Jun 9, 2014

Romancing the Byron Bay Writers Festival

I’m excited to announce that I, along with fellow LoveCat Amy Andrews, will feature on a panel at the 2014 Byron Bay Writers Festival. Amy and I will be in discussion with, and at the mercy of, local celebrity comedian Mandy Nolan.

It’s going to be great teaming up with Mandy again. Mandy, whose latest book is titled Boyfriends We’ve All Had (and Shouldn’t Have), launched my book Sweet Seduction at Mary Ryan’s in Byron last December. I laughed so hard, I could barely answer her hilarious questions. She got people so excited, the book sold out that night.

The panel titled Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance, will explore the world of romance writing and discuss what it's like to be a contemporary romance author.

It seems so many people are unaware of the enormous popularity of the romance genre.  I’m looking forward to quoting statistics and facts such as:

...romance fiction generated over $1.3bn in sales in the US alone in 2013

...romance was the top-performing category on the best-seller lists in 2012 across the NYT, USA Today and PW lists.

As I’m also the Communications Manager for the Festival, I have to spruik some of the other amazing writers attending. Securing celebrated UK author, Jeanette Winterson, is an enormous Festival coup. Winterson considered one of the world’s Top 10 writers to see live and will deliver the Festival’s Keynote Address. I just finished reading one of her latest offerings, The Daylight Gate based on the trials of the Lancashire Witches in 1612. A disturbing but powerful read.

The Festival will also probe into our past with authors of fiction and non-fiction including the 2014 Stella Prize winner, Clare Wright, M.L. Stedman, James Brown, Ashley Hay and Mike Carlton. Also see Geoff Dyer, Benjamin Law, Bob Brown, Tim Flannery, Julian Burnside, Antony Loewenstein, Joanne McCarthy, Kate McClymont and so many more.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a festival without food events. Travel the Indian spice route with fêted chef Christine Manfield at her Literary Lunch at the Byron at Byron resort.
With over 130 writers, thinkers and creative spirits and a world of ideas over three action-packed days there’s something for every literary taste. The Festival runs from 1-3 August and there are lots of fantastic workshops on offer too.  Be Still My Beating Heart: Writing Romance will be held on Festival Sunday and you can buy tickets online. I'd love to see you there.


  1. Looking forward to forming an awesome threesome with you and Mandy, Jen!

  2. Jennifer

    This sounds like so much fun I so wish I could make it and of course Byron Bay is such a beautiful part of the world and it is years since I have visited :) I am sure you are going to have a great time

    Have Fun

  3. I'd love to see you there, Helen. It is great living in such a beautiful place. The Byron Festival is so special as you walk between marques in the gorgeous outdoors to see all the fabulous writers.

  4. I so wish I could be there, it sounds wonderful with some amazing and talented writers- you'll have a blast! Best of luck on the panel- although I know you'll all be awesome!

  5. Like Louisa, I wish was over there to be with you all. Sounds like you're going to have a fabulous time. Great topic too. Go give em the facts.

    1. Don't worry, Sue. They won't be able to hold us back on giving them the facts about romance!! Wish you could be here.

  6. What a fabulous line up, Jen. I keep promising myself a trip to the Byron Bay Writers Festival one year. I would LOVE to hear Jeanette Winterson speak -- loved "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit." And I'd really, really, really love to be there for your, Amy's and Mandy's panel -- it sounds like it'll be a scream and I don't doubt for a moment that you'll all have a ball. :-)

  7. So Michelle, I think you should just come!!! Don't think, just book. Would be lovely to see your smiling face in the front row.

  8. I'm sure it will be great. Well done on organising it!

  9. Jen, it looks like you guys are in for a fabulous weekend! Bet you come away full of inspiration!