Riverina writers say the love of language, learning and literature is a sad thing to lose.
A “booktique” weekend will bring together lovers of poetry and prose at Jugiong, igniting a fresh passion for words.
As younger generations appear to be neglecting spelling and grammar, choosing digital worlds over ink and paper, published writers across the region hope events like the Writers’ Festival will enrich and inspire a fading pastime.
The small village of more than 300 people will overflow for the second time in two years as visitors and guests come together to talk words.
Festival committee director, decorated firefighter and author Vivien Thomson said words were exciting and she looked forward to a weekend of reading, writing and really good fun.
Stan Grant will open the festival on Saturday, March 18, joined by Di Morrissey, Professor Bill Gammage, Pip Courtney and Margareta Osborn.
An ‘Under the Windmill’ Concert on Sunday will entertain young and old with poetry, readings, music, mime and drama.
Ms Thomson said limited tickets for Saturday provided the event with a small, boutique feel.
“It was a conscious decision to keep it quite manageable,” Ms Thomson said. “I’m very excited… We’ve tried to keep that rural feel in the festival.”
An avid reader herself, Ms Thomson said everyone she knew had a book in them and a story to tell, which was why she felt so strongly about keeping literature alive.
“To me, it’s that love of words – not the individual words – but how we commit those words together,” she said. “There’s so much we can do with them.”
Colac author Gillian Ingall said it was an absolute tragedy to lose the quality of language as more and more seemed to lack a strong command of Australian English. She said it would be a great disappointment to see the love of reading lost.
Ms Ingall said she was also excited to be launching her latest book, Napoleon’s Glass, on Saturday.
Another Riverina author, Freda Nicholls, said event’s like the Jugiong Writer’s Festival inspired people to read and write as it was accessible to everyone.