What I See with Peter Fiorenza: Geraldton’s Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival is doing something write

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Peter Fiorenza
Camera IconPeter Fiorenza Credit: Supplied

Later this week, I get to do something very special.

And that is hosting the opening night to this year’s Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival.

It is a gig I have had in the past and I am so lucky to be asked to be MC again.

I can remember the very first festival, an event that attracted some big names, including well-known journalist, Ita Buttrose.

Since then Big Sky has created a wonderful niche, which has seen it gain a reputation that is respected throughout Australia.

For a number of years now, writers from around WA and Australia have been invited and taken this unique opportunity.

In this changing world, it’s good to know that both the skills of reading and writing are still important to the community.

Authors and other guests have been part of presentations, intimate workshops and social gatherings with a special Geraldton-Mid West flavour.

In recent times, guest have included Grantlee Kieza, a great boxing enthusiast and Australian history author, and Judy Nunn.

Nunn, also an actress, is one of Australia’s best-selling authors, with her books selling in the millions.

In fact, a recent effort, Sanctuary, was a fictional tale set around Geraldton and the Abrolhos Islands.

It was inspired by her visit during Big Sky several years ago.

Even though COVID-19 has had an impact, the organisers of Big Sky have been able to bring something original together again for the 2021 festival.

This year’s theme is Weave Your Magic.

And I believe the blend of visitor and local guest authors is sure to hold an interest for a broad cross-section of the community.

The blend of talent — from children’s book writers to famous sportsmen and comic strip artists — is impressive.

One of the great things about Big Sky is there is plenty of opportunity for those who come along to be involved in an up-front and personal way.

In fact, the festival could be described as a total immersion experience.

The festival gets under way on Thursday night with the opening, when we get to meet our authors, writers and other guests, and then into four days of exciting happenings.

These happenings, will be held at various locations in the city, Mullewa and Chapman Valley, including workshops for budding writers and poets, author chats and stimulating conversations.

There will also be pop-up book shops enabling you to purchase current works and have them personally signed by the author.

In this changing world, it’s good to know that both the skills of reading and writing are still important to the community.

And the continued success of the Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival is certainly testament to that.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails