The 2023 installment of Geraldton’s Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival has wrapped up, after four days of literary celebrations in the Mid West. Beginning as a small group gathering in 2005, the festival has cemented itself in the city’s calendar as a reminder of everything Geraldton has to offer in the literary arts. The theme for this year’s festival was The Art Of Words, which invited participants to “harness the power of language through the many different mediums of expression”. Guest speakers for the events held from Thursday to Sunday included Dr Charmaine Papertalk Green and famed cartoonist Dean Alston. The annual short-story competition was won by Matilda Scotney for her piece, Living The Dream, which explores the dystopian post-pandemic life for a young girl named Helene. Marc Christoffersen took home the runner-up prize for his story, Elegy for Gaia. Popular authors Rachael Treasure, Anthea Hodgson, Laurie Steed and Suzanne Ingelbrecht made appearances over the course of the festival. Memoir and life writer, Laurie Steed presented on the topic of writing real life stories into compelling literature. Author talks were held in Northampton with Treasure and Kenyan-born human rights educator Chemutai Glasheen who are known for their works which focus on country life. More discussions with authors were hosted in Mullewa with Anthea Hodgson, Suzanne Ingelbrecht and Gemma Nisbet, who discussed their stories which follow lived experience and family ties.