The Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival Inc was launched last year in 2016 to provide an international platform for our regional creatives to promote their work, and importantly, to attract creatives from around Australia and the world to showcase their work - to open our minds to new and exciting performers who are celebrated in regions such as Europe and Asia and yet are relatively unknowns in Australia. Our 2017 Sunshine Coast is now firmly on the international writers' festival map.
Our festival is all about WORDS - using words to express our thoughts and passions and to entertain. Using words as expressions includes novels, short stories, poetry, performance poetry (bush poetry and slam poetry), scriptwriting, original singer-songwriters, journalists, comic book writers - and the pictures with words - graphic artists, illustrators and film makers.
The festival brings together regional, Australian and international writers on a world stage – creating a space for conversation and connection across cultural and geographic divides. Our festival's intention is to connect and network our regional creatives with those across the world, thus enriching their career opportunities.
Our festival also features publisher workshops to give our regional creatives a "one-stop shop" to support all their publishing dreams and to teach creatives how to be effective public speakers, which is all important when launching their works on tour.
Our festival pays tribute to not only our region's rich Aboriginal and South Sea Islander heritage, but also to Indigenous writers across the world. Each year we strive to present Indigenous writers so that we can further understand their world. We also provide a platform for environmental groups to showcase their hard work in safeguarding our environment - and the world ecosystem.
Our Sunshine Coast lifestyle is marked by our hinterland, beach and surfing culture which has inspired many writers to produce books, songs, poems and artworks celebrating such a creative landscape. Many creatives have chosen to make the Sunshine Coast their home for exactly this reason. This festival provides a platform to bring these creative works together as one diverse expression.
Like any work in progress, our festival is evolving. Last year we sponsored four creative writing students from the University of the Sunshine Coast to not only present at our festival but also at the biggest writers' festival in Asia - the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. A rare opportunity we are proud to have facilitated and funded.
This year we are excited to announce the first-ever official Sunshine Coast Poetry Slam Championships held as a heat of the Queensland Poetry Slam Championships in partnership with Queensland Poetry Festival, the State Library of Queensland, Australian Poetry Slam and the nation Word Travels. The two winners from our Sunshine Coast heat (on Saturday, August 12 at Coolum Civic Centre) will go on to compete for the State championships in Brisbane in late August and possibly the national championships in Sydney later in the year.
Also, our 2017 festival is the launching pad for our 2018 SCIRWF Short Story Competition with the top three winners performing at our 2018 festival and the top 20 being published in an anthology. This exciting new competition is being sponsored by Finite Publishing and Field of Dreams.
We are also partnering with the global Brisbane-based I Heart Songwriting Club to present masterclasses in September this year and March next year with the winners performing at our 2018 festival. And we are partnering with Tim Lloydell Management to host two slam poetry masterclasses in November and December with the top 10 students showcasing at the famous Woodford Folk Festival in December.
In short, our festival is an Xpression Fest! Please support our endeavours, buy tickets and ENJOY! The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful place to feed your creative curiousity and passions. And, if you are travelling to our region for the festival, we have partnered with many beautiful Coolum resorts which are offering accommodation deals to support our festival.