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2023 Festival Program

Weekend Pass 2023

Weekend Pass

Submerge yourself in a weekend of life-changing conversations and roving exploration.

The Weekend Pass is the best value, entitling you access to eight (8) sessions across two days, Saturday June 3 and Sunday June 4, and two venues, Ocean Beach SLSC and Umina Beach SLSC. You receive nearly a $20 discount when buying a Weekend Pass!

Words on the Waves. Saturday June 3, 2023

Saturday Pass

Plunge into a day’s worth of probing inquiry and playful story-sharing with your Saturday June 3 Pass, entitling you to four (4) sessions across two venues, Ocean Beach SLSC and Umina Beach SLSC.

Highlights include:

  • On Kindness with Kath Koschel
  • Everything and Nothing with Heather Mitchell
  • Thriller Instinct with Petronella McGovern, Dinuka McKenzie and JP Pomare
  • & more
Sunday Pass 2023

Sunday Pass

Relish a series of stirring observations and timely author talks with this Sunday June 4 Pass, entitling you to four (4) sessions across two venues, Ocean Beach SLSC and Umina Beach SLSC.

Highlights include:

  • Sin City with Louis Nowra, Mandy Sayer and Fiona Kelly McGregor
  • Small Town Secrets with Holly Throsby and Julie Janson
  • Outsiders & Outcasts with Pip Williams and Eleanor Limprecht

Opening Address

Please join us for the inaugural Words on the Waves Writers Festival Opening Address, held in partnership with The Art House Wyong, the Central Coast’s premier arts venue. Together, we will hear urgent missives from three acclaimed writers – Diana Reid, Tracey Spicer and Claire G. Coleman – as they ponder the Festival theme: the mind swims.

Thursday 1 June: Late Night Lit

Settle into the old-world charm of Bar Toto, Ettalong’s neighbourhood trattoria for Late Night Lit, an evening of spoken word: poetry, literary readings and other surprises.


Friday June 2: Story Club

Storytelling sensation Story Club takes brilliant Australians from all walks of life and makes them sit in a big comfy chair to tell a true, personal story around a theme. This Central Coast edition will chart a course for theme ‘The Tempest’ with four guest speakers and host Zoe Norton Lodge.

Saturday June 3: An Evening with Craig Silvey

Western Australian author Craig Silvey has charmed legions of readers with his Australian classic, Jasper Jones. Along with moderator Kaya Wilson please join us for a moving discussion exploring his latest adult fiction Honeybee, and identity, friendship and family that is found through love, not blood. Please note: this event is ticketed through a third-party vendor.

Monday June 5: Literary Cruise

Let the currents slide by and stories wash over you on the annual Words on the Waves Literary Cruise. For this outing we are joined by 2022 Miles Franklin Award-winning author Jennifer Down, acclaimed playwright and novelist, Burruberongal Darug woman Julie Janson and veteran host, historian Ian Hoskins. 


Saturday Professional Development

Saturday June 3 – Professional Development

Introducing Writing Up Stream: a Professional Development Day in partnership with Faber Academy and Writing NSW, featuring an Inside Publishing Panel, Editing Workshop with Ellen O’Brien, and Novel Workshop with Eleanor Limprecht.

Panel: Inside Publishing
Workshop: How to Edit Your Work
Workshop: Novel Starter

Saturday Workshop: My Words Count – Afternoon

Saturday June 3: Workshops – My Words Count

A workshop for people with intellectual disability to come together and have their voices heard through the power of storytelling. We will have fun finding story ideas within accessible creative thinking activities and feel confident using those ideas to tell the stories hiding inside each and every one of us.

Morning and Afternoon Sessions available.

Sunday Workshop: Write a Thriller or Crime Novel

Sunday June 4: Workshop – Write a Thriller or Crime Novel

In this two hour workshop with bestselling writer JP Pomare, participants will work through a series of exercises to develop foundational skills to write a thriller or crime novel.

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