The Dip

The Dip: Saturday June 1 & Sunday June 2

The Dip 2024

In 2024, Words on the Waves debuts an exciting new space and program stream, The Dip!

For the festival weekend we will take over the Peninsula Recreation Precinct (adjacent to existing venues) and fill a marquee with a series of accessible, short-form author talks for curious humans. These sessions are affordable or even free! Why not ‘dip’ in for a refreshing tonic of ideas and stories?

Saturday June 1

Welcome to Country Smoking Ceremony with Girri Girra

Welcome to Country
Smoking Ceremony
with Girri Girra

Central Coast Reads:
Judy Nunn

As part of our Central Coast Reads program, please join us in welcoming megaselling, much-loved Judy Nunn to the stage for a cosy book club chat about her breathtaking historical novel Khaki Town. Bring a warm coffee and start the weekend right.

Rom-Com Lovers Unite!

We’ve gathered three of the best rom-coms on bookshelves this year: first up, megaselling favourite Rachael Johns’ The Other Bridget, a sweet and sexy ode to librarians and books. Natalie Murray’s Love, Just In is a red-hot friends-to-lovers romp (think Emily Henry, but set in Newcastle!) And James Colley’s The Next Big Thing is a quintessentially Australian yarn about finding young love.

You Think You Know_____
Debunking Mental Health Myths

Debunking many of the myths and misconceptions around hot button mental health diagnoses, we have: certified practising counsellor Tammi Miller (Paperback Therapy); writer and podcaster Elfy Scott (The One Thing We’ve Never Spoken About); and bestselling journalist Jill Stark (Higher Sobriety). Prepare to have your mind changed, for the better.

Workshop: Creativity is Good For You! 

Join the Creative First Aid team to access your creativity – no experience required! Learn how and why creativity is an essential tool for accessing joy, connection, and delight to support mental health and wellbeing. Plus try out a range of prescriptions including mark-making, drawing, painting, writing and storytelling.

Uncovering History

James Vella Bardon will transport you to 16th-century Ireland through his historical fiction, while esteemed historian Grace Karskens will illuminate the shadows of Australia’s colonial history and Sue Williams‘ work ranges from Colonial Australia to the corridors of power in Putin’s Russia.

The Art of Parenting... Enough

The Art of Parenting … Enough!

How do we master the art of parenting… just enough to make everyone happy? Author of 50 Risks to Take With Your Kids, Daisy Turnbull, and Sunday Life columnist Kerri Sackville will engage in a fun and lively chat about raising small humans and being the best – if not most perfect – parent you can be.

Get Cooked with Nat’s What I Reckon

Australia’s favourite sweary best mate in the kitchen, YouTube star Nat’s What I Reckon, will be joined by pal Cheryl Akle from Better Reading, in an action-packed conversation roving over good-time meals, mental health, success and more. For this festival first, this session will be recorded for the Better Reading What Are You Cooking podcast series launched in 2024. Be there, legends!

Book Launch: Anna Downes

Take a nerve-tingling journey into the outback with best-selling local author, Anna Downes, as she celebrates the launch of her third novel, Red River Road, a road trip thriller set on the Coral Coast of WA. 

Debut Crew Revue

Debut Crew Revue:
Six Authors. One Party.

On this mid-winter eve, be warmed by the glow of literary discovery at the first-ever Debut Crew Revue held in the festival marquee. Six debut authors will treat us to readings and conversation under a starry festoon sky, alongside musical interludes and mingling by the on-site bar. Grab a table and meet a new favourite – be that author, book, or friendly face!

Sunday June 2

Family Fun Day 2024

Family Fun Day

As part of the Words on the Waves’ mission to foster literacy and a love of reading in the next generation of readers and writers on the Central Coast, the festival offers a range of events for children and teens. Featuring authors and illustrators Nat Amoore, Matt Cosgrove, Eva Amores and Charmaine Ledden-Lewis, there will be a host of talks and live illustration demonstrations, free craft activities, storytime, face-painting, book launches and more.

Event Partner


The Dip is supported by the NSW Government through CreateNSW.

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.