Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Get Your Pen and Creativity at the Ready...

From the 19th – 25th May, the annual Sydney Writers' Festival brings some of the biggest names in literature to NSW for a whole week of performances, talks and panel discussions. With over 300 events and 400 participants, this is the event that will get your left and back brain into gear. Inspired to move, stimulate and provoke creativity, you can book tickets at their website and check out the line up.

The festival launched in 1997 and by 1998, there were over 169 participants in venues around the city, which proves that the intellectual in us all can be enhanced through the power of knowledge and collaboration. With further expansions from interest by locals and tourists, the event has grown to multiple venues in the Walsh Bay area (the renovated piers) near The Rocks, Sydney alongside the Sydney Theater, Town Hall and Opera House. 

The popularity of this event’s 17 year success has also spread to include venues at Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and Campbelltown.The best part is that at least 50 percent of the events are free of charge! Maybe this is why the attendance has reached over 80,000 attendees annually in the past seven years. As a not-for-profit organisation that has an independent Board of Directors, the board members and steering team have included Meredith Curnow, Caro Llewellyn and the most recent Executive Director, Ben Strout. You can also like their Facebook page and interact with them on Twitter

The website is quite intense and includes information about purchasing tickets, event updates, festival nights and search for participants by type, gender, location, writer and date. Absolutely no stone is left unturned on this website which will no doubt, rattle your inner IQ to hunt around the site (and blog posts) to help schedule your attendee calendar. 

Take into account that the free events book up fast at Walsh Bay and seats can’t be booked, so they fill in quickly for first come-first served. The festival suggests that if you’re on a tight budget and looking to attend a free event, then arrive early….seriously early. In addition, there are other free events in various venues around the city which you can book, but you need to check the individual listings and reserve your seat. 

Naturally, if you’re visiting the city for the festival, and on a tight budget so looking for the most affordable accommodation in Sydney, you’re a short ferry, train, bus or car ride from many of the event venues. Now that you’ve grabbed a free seat and staying at Cremorne Point Manor so your budget is in check, you can optionally donate to the Festival - every penny helps. Just click on the ‘support us’ page on the website and not only will you enjoy an intellectual event but also have the opportunity to pay forward. It’s that simple!

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