The second outing of Words on the Waves Writers Festival will take place May 31 – June 5, 2023.

What are the dates of the 2023 Words on the Waves Writers Festival?

The 2023 Words on the Waves Writers Festival main program will run from Saturday 3 June to Sunday 4 June 2023, with an opening night event on Wednesday 31 May, a range of new events in the evenings of Friday 2 June and Saturday 3 June, and a literary cruise on Monday 5 June.

There will be range of special events and local book launches also added to the program which will run from Wednesday 31 May through until Saturday June 10.

The program for the Words on the Waves Festival will be released on April 21, 2023 along with ticketing options.

Sign up here for exciting news and programming updates.

The Schools Program will take place in the first week of June 2023.

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 2023 Festival Program?

The full 2023 program for the June festival will be available on the website and you can sign up here for updates.

Where can I get a hard copy of the 2023 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 (3 and 4 June 2023) 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; Work Collective, Umina; Jasmine Greens at the Precinct Park, Umina; Everglades Country Club, Dunban Road Woy Woy; The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah Campus, Chittaway Road Ourimbah; The Arthouse Wyong, Margaret Street Wyong, with more to be announced.

More Venue information will be posted here.

How does the Festival work across two venues?

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

Each day comprises a Morning Session (2 events) and an Afternoon Session (2 events).  Once you have had a look at the program, you will choose which Morning Session you would like to attend and then which Afternoon Session (4 sessions total for your Day Pass, until sessions are fully booked). You have the option of choosing either two sessions in the same venue (one Morning Session and one Afternoon Session), or booking your choice of sessions across both venues (e.g. a morning at Umina Beach SLSC and an afternoon session at Ocean Beach SLSC, or vice versa.)

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.

You can only change venues in the Lunch Break, between the Morning and Afternoon Sessions.

Can I just book into a Morning Session or an Afternoon Session?

No, attendance at our Morning Sessions and Afternoon Sessions is only possible with the purchase of a Day Pass or a Weekend Pass.

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 4 June will be entry via donation.

Are there any events for children?

Yes, our Ripples program is live now.  We offer a Primary Schools Program and Secondary Schools Program called The Ripples Program.  Interested schools can register their interest here.

There will also be a Family Fun Day on Sunday June 4 , 2023 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 2023 festival, but we welcome ideas from Central Coast writers as well those from further afield for 2024.

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?

We are planning writing workshops to run on the Festival Weekend for 2023, as well as at other times throughout the year.  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 events.

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 a 10% discount offered to those opting for a Weekend Pass and attending both Saturday and Sunday.

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 Day Passes 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, wrist bands issued 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 program@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.

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