Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

Image. Advertisement:

Wollongong Writers Festival to close

Wollongong Writers Festival has announced it is closing following the loss of Create NSW annual organisations funding.

Founded in 2013 by writer Chloe Higgins, the not-for-profit festival received annual funding from Create NSW for the past four years. The most recent round of Create NSW annual organisations funding was announced in December 2020.

‘Wollongong Writers Festival has been first and foremost a labour of love by a small group of people who believe in the organisation’s mission to foster and support the arts within our regional community,’ said a message from the festival’s board. ‘But running a not-for-profit festival also comes with overhead expenses, and the loss of this key state grant means we are regrettably unable to continue paying our staff, artists, contractors and other operating costs.’

The 2020 festival ran entirely online and featured writers including Helen Garner, Tara June Winch​, ​Bruce Pascoe, Dervla McTiernan​ and Jess Hill. A representative from Wollongong Writers Festival told Books+Publishing that work had not yet started on the 2021 festival, as it was held in November each year and work usually commenced in March.

‘We know we are not alone in the pain of having to make a decision like this,’ said the board’s statement. ‘Many of our peers in the literary community have had their funding applications denied in recent years. There is also the ongoing pressure on arts organisations under Covid-19. We offer our solidarity to those organisations whose futures are uncertain or untenable as a result.’


Category: Local news