In only its second year, Words on the Waves Writers Festival attracts some of Australia’s best authors to its 2022 program

After the roaring success of the inaugural Words on the Waves, held in various locations on the Central Coast in June 2021, the not-for-profit writers festival is now gearing up for its second event taking place June 3 – 6, 2022

Thanks to financial support through its funding partner Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, the festival was able to secure the appearance of a number of top tier authors from across Australia, including: from Adelaide, author of bestseller Burial Rites, Hannah Kent; from Canberra, crime writer Chris Hammer; from Tasmania, Gourmet Farmer star Matthew Evans; from Darwin, Uluru Statement from the Heart campaigner, Thomas Mayor; from Melbourne, award-winning literary authors Favel Parrett and Lucy Treloar; from Victoria, cultural commentator and theatre-maker Van Badham; from Far North Queensland, Indigenous fire management advocate Victor Steffensen; from western NSW, regional editor Gabrielle Chan; from Melbourne, artist, memoirist and mental health advocate Heidi Everett; from Victoria, Miles Franklin winner Sofie Laguna; also from Melbourne, political reporter Judith Brett; and from Queanbeyan, poet Omar Musa; and more.

From closer to home, we welcome cinema icon Bryan Brown; trailblazing businesswoman Wendy McCarthy; investigative journalist Louise Milligan; Archibald Prize finalist Amani Haydar; Crikey editor Bernard Keane; literary favourites Charlotte Wood and Delia Falconer; bestselling commercial writer Kate Forsyth; award-winning historians Ian Hoskins and Anna Clark; bibliotherapist Germaine Leece; memoirist Patti Miller; and many more. 

The festival will once again feature a memorable array of intimate conversations and panels, ranging over inspirational true stories, untold histories, current human truths and contemporary fictional narratives. 

As the festival sold out in 2021, it has responded to demand by doubling its program in 2022. In addition to the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club, the festival will also host simultaneous author talks at the nearby Umina Surf Life Saving Club. Both these venues have a 180 degree coastline view, prompting one speaker to proclaim: “This is the most beautiful literary festival in the world!” Additional funding support from the Building Better Regions Fund, and Central Coast Council, enabled this additional offering.

Attendees can access the author talks held at these two venues by purchasing a Saturday Day Pass, a Sunday Day Pass, or a Weekend Pass all available as part of this First Release Tickets.

As part of the Second Release, Words on the Waves will also offer standalone special events across various venues, including an opening night conversation event at Naughty Noodle Fun Haus, adult writing workshops, a family fun day, a cinema screening at Cinema Paradiso, a literary cruise touring up the Hawkesbury, and more. Local authors will receive a spotlight through the introduction of a Book Launch program, hosted at various venue partners including Woy Woy Library, Bar Toto and Work Collective. More information on these events to follow. 

Local independent bookseller, The Book Shop Umina will run festival bookshops in event venues, and each session will culminate with author book signings. 

Festival Director Angela Bennetts comments: “It is a great honour to be able to welcome authors and thinkers of such enviable talent to the Central Coast. We have taken great pride in crafting a program of diverse voices from across Australia that we know our community of readers will relish, whether it’s through the fiery debate, brave histories and life-affirming stories shared on stage; or in the deep reservoir of artistic work as represented by their books. These are writers with something important to say, and we can’t wait to hear it in person whilst overlooking the stunning waters of Broken Bay.” 

Words on the Waves Chair Jacqui Barton adds: “The Board is delighted with the authors that Words on the Waves is bringing to the Central Coast. The Festival consistently challenges our expectations by providing varied experiences and engaging conversations – we look forward to this vibrant and diverse program on the beautiful Central Coast.”


Words on the Waves Writers Festival is a celebration of words and ideas set on the scenic Central Coast, NSW, Australia. It launched to acclaim June 11 – 14, 2021, and is now looking forward to its second outing June 3 – 6, 2022.

The festival spans two full days of riveting author talks and panels. In addition it offers special events including an evening conversation event, a literary cruise, family fun day, cinema screening and more taking place on either side of the weekend.

Words on the Waves is a not-for-profit literary festival, the first of its kind for the Central Coast region. Its mission is to deliver an immersive annual festival of stories, ideas and connection, set against the scenic Central Coast, and to enrich the cultural landscape of the region year-round. Its vision is to become one of Australia’s leading regional literary festivals, known for its vibrant and diverse program as well as its unique setting.

Words on the Waves Writers Festival
When: Friday June 3 – Monday June 6, 2021

Where: Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club

176 The Esplanade 

Umina Beach NSW 2257


Umina Beach Surf Life Saving Club

509 Ocean Beach Rd

Umina Beach NSW 2257

As well as select venues around the Peninsula area of the Central Coast, NSW

Ticket information


Saturday pass (4 sessions across 2 venues) $89 + booking fee

Sunday pass  (4 sessions across 2 venues) $89 + booking fee

Weekend pass (8 sessions across 2 venues) $160 + booking fee


Special events range from free – $50 + booking fee 

More information: 

Sign up for updates: