From the Director

Well, here we go again. What a year it’s been since our inaugural festival in 2020.

During that festival one of our speakers, who’d flown up from Melbourne, received a call from her parent company in the USA telling her that she was to cancel all future travel arrangements on her return to Melbourne… that’s how close we were to the festival having not happened.

This year we were forced to push the festival back from our original dates in February. And along the way we absorbed our sister art festival, now renamed IF Maitland Art Fest.

One of the questions I’m often asked is why the word “writers” isn’t included in the festival title. I’ve resisted that inclusion from the outset because writers festivals often seem more like they should be called “book buyers” festivals and the emphasis on storytelling often seems to be left behind. The whole reason I wanted to start this festival was for the sake of encouraging people to tell their stories. Every one of us has an interesting story to tell and we live in an age where it’s easy than ever before to share your story with the world. Whether through memoir, fiction, poetry, film making or painting a picture, the means are there.

We’re really pleased with the program we’ve pulled together this year for both festivals and feel confident that we’ve included events to please everyone. The family day at MRAG is bigger than ever and now has its own theme, JIFF (Junior Indie Festival Funday). We have a plethora of speakers, panels, book launches and workshops. And once again, Gillian Swain has pulled together a poetry schedule that is second to none.

Needless to say, the festivals wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our major sponsors, Maitland City Council, Hunter Writers Centre, the Mutual Bank and IngramSpark.

On behalf of all of us at IF Maitland, I’d like to invite you to come along and discover how easy to can be to tell your story and take it to the world.

Graham Davidson
Festival Director