The fourth annual Words on the Waves Writers Festival – and its biggest and brightest yet – will take place May 29 – June 3, 2024.

What are the dates of the 2024 Words on the Waves Writers Festival?

The 2024 Words on the Waves Writers Festival main program will run from Saturday 1 June to Sunday 2 June 2024, with a special evening event on Wednesday 29 May, a range of events in the evenings of Thursday 30 May, Friday 31 May and Saturday 1 June, and a literary cruise on Monday 3 June.

There will free local book launches spanning Wednesday 31 May through until Saturday June 10.

The main program (Weekend Pass, special events) for the Words on the Waves Festival will be released on April 17, 2024 along with ticketing options.

The program for the new festival venue The Dip as well will be released on April 24, 2024 along with ticketing options.

Sign up here for exciting news and programming updates.

The Ripples Primary Schools Program will take place on Thursday May 30.

In addition, Words on the Waves will announce satellite events throughout the year, including workshops, author talks, the very popular Words at Wagstaffe run in conjunction with The Bouddi Society, and more.

Where can I view the 2024 Festival Program?

The full 2024 program will be available on the website and you can sign up here for updates.

Where can I get a hard copy of the 2024 Festival Program?

We will advise where you can pick up your hard copy of the program closer to the date.

Where does the Festival take place?

The Words on the Waves Writers Festival main program events (1 and 2 June 2024) will take place at the Umina Beach Surf Life Saving Club (509 Ocean Beach Rd, Umina Beach) and the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club (176 The Esplanade, Umina Beach). With both boasting a panoramic beach view, these Festival venues are hard to beat!  There are large free car parks adjacent to both venues.

Select events will also take place at Naughty Noodle Fun Haus, 5 Broken Bay Rd, Ettalong; Jasmine Greens at the Peninsula Recreation Precinct, Umina; Everglades Country Club, Dunban Road Woy Woy; The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah Campus, Chittaway Road Ourimbah; with more to be announced.

There will also be a new festival marquee called ‘The Dip’ launching in 2024, held at the Peninsula Recreation Precinct next to Jasmine Greens. The programming for this will run across Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2. Information on that new development here.

More Venue information will be posted here.

How does the Festival work across two venues?

The Festival is running two main streams on Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2 – one at Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) and one at Umina Beach SLSC.

Each day comprises four (4) sessions (author talks, in-conversations or panels), at each venue; so eight (8) total.

Once you have had a look at the program, you will choose which sessions you would like to attend at which venue (until sessions are fully booked).

There is an hour lunch break and it is an easy seven minute stroll to move between venues, or you can take a ride on our courtesy bus.

These 16 sessions at the Surf Clubs are only accessible via a Saturday Day Pass (4 sessions), a Sunday Day Pass (4 sessions), or a Weekend Pass (8 sessions).

Can I just book into a single session?

No, attendance at our Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2 Surf Club sessions is only possible with the purchase of a Day Pass or a Weekend Pass.

However, other events are ticketed singularly, including the new Dip program (Saturday June 1); our special events (Wednesday May 29 evening event, Thursday May 30 Late Night Lit, Friday May 31 Story Club, Saturday June 1 Naughty Noodle Fun Haus conversation, and Monday June 3 Literary Cruise); and professional development Writing Workshops and panels (Saturday June 1).

Are there any free events at the Festival?

Please check in closer to the event for the full program, or sign up here for updates.

The local author book launches will be free events but you will need to book a seat.

The Family Fun Day on Sunday 2 June will be free, as will the Central Coast Reads Author Talk as part of The Dip on Saturday June 1. More information to follow.

Are there any events for children?

Yes, our Ripples program is live now. We offer a Primary Schools Program entitled ‘Ripples’.  Interested schools can register their interest here.

There will also be a free Family Fun Day on Sunday June 2 , 2024 aimed at families with children aged from toddlers through to upper primary school.  Sign up here for updates.

Can I volunteer at the Festival?

Yes! We are incredibly grateful to our team of volunteers, and consistently recruit. Please see the Volunteers page (in the footer of the website) for more details or contact us here.

Can I present my work at the Festival or recommend an author for the event?

We have confirmed our authors for the 2024 festival, but we welcome ideas from Central Coast writers as well those from further afield for 2025.

Author invitations are issued at the discretion of the programming committee, who design the program well ahead of each festival.

Do you run professional development events for writers?

Yes. In 2024 we will once more partner with industry heavyweights Writing NSW and Faber Writing Academy to deliver a suite of professional development events for aspiring writings, including an industry panel and writing workshops. These will take place on Saturday June 1. Sign up here for updates.

Can you put me in touch with an author on the program?

We cannot pass on contact details for, or messages to, authors attending the Words on the Waves Writers Festival – please contact the writers’ publisher or agent. If you have a media enquiry, please contact: media@wordsonthewaves.com.au 

Do I need to buy tickets to attend the Festival?

The Words on the Waves Writers Festival comprises a 1- or 2-day pass. A daily pass gives you access to a minimum of four Words on the Waves Festival sessions.

We limit the sales of day passes to comply with the venue capacity. It is recommended that you purchase your tickets well in advance.

Special Events will be also be listed, and you will need a ticket to attend.

How do I book tickets?

Weekend and Day Passes are now available to purchase through our website. You can explore the program on the website and then purchase Passes, or you can click to go straight to the Buy Tickets page.

How much are tickets?

Tickets range from $5 – $100. Our Day Pass is $89 + booking fee, with an Early Bird Weekend Pass discount on offer until April 6, 2024 for $140 (saving you $38). Otherwise there will be a 10% discount offered to those opting for a Weekend Pass and attending both Saturday and Sunday. For more Ticketing FAQs, please visit this page.

Why does the ticketing look different in 2024?

In 2024, we have moved to trusted ticketing platform Ferve Tickets, so that we could offer an Early Bird discount to our dedicated community. If you’ve bought with us before, this ticketing process will look a little different, however we hope that you will find it easy to use. Any questions please get in touch: marketing@wordsonthewaves.com.au

Will there be door sales?

To help manage seating and venue limits, we strongly recommend you book tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment, however there may be a limited number of door sales available for purchase at the Festival Venue if the event has not fully sold out.  Please check the website to see which events have sold out. We also suggest you arrive well in advance of event start times so that tickets can be checked and so that you can choose your seats.

How are tickets delivered?

Your tickets will be sent via email after you purchase your tickets from our site.  Further instructions for the day will be communicated at this time. Please always remember to check your Spam or Junk folders in case our communications end up there.

What are the service fees?

Service fees are $3.50 per transaction.

What if I have any problems?

You can contact us at coordinator@wordsonthewaves.com.au with any problems and we will endeavour to help you.

Is seating allocated at the Festival?

The seating is General Admission and is not allocated.

There are wheelchair accessible areas in each venue. Please contact us on coordinator@wordsonthewaves.com.au and we will try to assist you.

If you have any accessibility needs (i.e. aisle seats, space for a wheel chair etc.), please keep these in mind when purchasing and add a note in the comment box when purchasing so that we can make sure to meet your needs as best we can. On the day, Festival volunteers will be happy to assist you where possible.

How do I get to the festival?

For information on bus, ferry and train services to the Central Coast, visit the Tourism Central Coast website here.

Will there be an information desk at the Festival?

There will be a Festival Information Desk near the door or within each main venue. Lost property, information about the program, venue and other general information will be available here.

How long do the events last?

The majority of events last one hour. Start and end times for each event will be detailed on their online event listing and in the program.  Time is allowed after each event for book sales and author signings.

Can I buy books at the Festival?

The Festival has its own dedicated bookseller located onsite, The Bookshop, Umina. Audience members will be able to purchase books by authors appearing in the Festival in the bookshop.

Can I get my books signed at the Festival?

Yes. Book signings will take place immediately following most events, near the Festival bookshop run by The Bookshop, Umina.

Will any Festival events be recorded?

We record our Festival events where possible (please visit our Live Recordings & Podcast page for past highlights). It is possible that audience members’ images will be included from time to time in the filming. Should you wish not to be filmed, please advise a volunteer. No flash photography or recording by attendees is permitted.

What provisions will be in place at the Festival for those with disabilities?

All of our locations are accessible by wheelchair. We are working on our Accessibility Information and will be updating this closer to the date.

Auslan Interpreters will be available by request, subject to availability, or you can bring your own. Please email coordinator@wordsonthewaves.com.au if you would like to discuss this further.

Support our Festival

As a not-for-profit organisation run with a small team of volunteers, contributions of any size go a long way in enriching the creative culture of our community. The Committee includes local Peninsula residents passionate about bringing the arts to the Coast. We are seeking support from the community to help us create a wonderful and inclusive festival.