Friday, Saturday, Sunday
July 23rd, 24th & 25th, 2021

Want to support the Burdekin Readers & Writers Assoc. Inc.

Calling All Writers!

It’s time to showcase your talent in this year’s

Burdekin Readers & Writers Short Story Competition

Fictional stories up to 3000 words

Open to Australian Residents 18+

Deadline: May 31, 2021 at midnight AEST


The recent Burdekin Library / Burdekin Readers and Writers Association Virtual Author and Illustrator week saw a group of 6 join with biographer Jeff Apter in a Zoom session where he  chatted about what lead him to take up a career as a biographer as well as the subjects of his publications. As a great fan of music he found himself motivated to be ‘part of the scene’ and by the desire to write ‘something different…better… about musicians and their world.’ As a journalist he had written for  the Rolling Stone magazine for some 20 years before he responded to a challenge to produce his own book. What followed his first publication that featured Daniel Johns and Silverchair has been a succession of biographies (some of which were co-written) that he believes were about revealing the true people behind the stardom and the reputations.     

His publications cover an impressive list of musical talent including Kasey Chambers, Keith Urban, Johnny O’Keefe, Helen Reddy, Dave Grohl, Chili Peppers, Gwen Stefani, the Finn Brothers, Jeff Buckley and Shirl. Jeff has also written Michael Slater’s sporting biography and two biographies detailing the wartime experiences of  Australian soldiers.

In response to questions from participants Jeff likened co-writing biographies to being on a psychiatrist’s couch where the relationship between the subject and the writer is one of trust where ‘you wait for stuff to emerge.’ It was obvious to all of us listening to him that he enjoyed working with ‘people’ and saw the non-fiction genre of biography as ‘a puzzle that already exists’ and that its key focus is to always deal with the facts. He believes a biography should avoid sensationalism where everything that is written is substantiated. He also enjoys being able to write about his subjects while they are alive so as to focus on what they have achieved along with the misfortunes and dark times that they have experienced. Jeff’s ambition is to have one of his works made into a TV show which would allow him to learn the art of screen writing. His secret hope is that his publication on the Gibbs Brothers may be the one that becomes the TV series.”


Morris Gleitzman

In 2016 I was a guest of the Ignite Your Mind Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival. In a few days I met a broad cross-section of local residents and several hundred local school students. These readers, young and old, embraced everything I offered them to enrich...

Dr Ruth Armstrong & Helen Fielder-Gill

It was writer, Nick Earls’ twitter feed that got us to the Burdekin. The tweet, which appeared in his timeline in about April, said something like this: “It’s confirmed! Going to the Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival. Ignite your mind!” We travelled from NSW to...

Chris Masters

The regional literary festivals have long been a personal favourite, with the Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival at the top of the list. I am grateful for council investment in intellectual and creative nourishment, which in my view is every bit as sustaining as...

Matthew Condon

I am writing to express my unconditional support for the Ignite Your Mind readers and writers festival. I have been privileged to have been invited to the previous festivals in Ayr, but the 2018 event, with its diverse program and its plethora of writers from a...

Nicole Alexander

‘Ignite Your Mind 2015 was a fabulous festival to be a part of. This was a ‘readers festival’ in the truest sense, with a fascinating weekend program that included a mix of well-known authors as well as great entertainment. The intimacy of the event allowed a level of...

Burdekin Catholic High School

I wish to formally express my support of the Burdekin Readers' and Writers' Association's (BRWA) valuable cultural initiative, Ignite Your Mind Burdekin Readers' and Writers' Festival. Over the past four years, I have been privileged to have the opportunity to...

Past Festivals

BRW Is incredibly proud of the amazing line-up of Authors and Journalists who have been involved in the event since it’s inaugural year in 2015.

Click on the images below to see details of our past festivals.

Burdekin Writing Group

BRW Scratchy Scribblers Writing Group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.

For those interested in joining please click through to our contact form.

Members Musings

Kid Lit & Adult Lit Festival – Unique Combination

Kid Lit & Adult Lit Festival – Unique Combination

Kid Lit and Adult Lit Festival - Unique Combination Festival co-ordinator Mickey McKellar talked, in an interview, about how the Kid Lit and Adult Lit program worked well. How a visionary aligned two venues — the Burdekin Theatre and Library, which are...



by Leanne Green “Flairy Floss and Flerris Wheels are my favourite things at the show” Billy told his class when it was his turn to answer the teacher’s question about the show. “OK” said the teacher, “but say it again slowly and think about the words, as saying it too...

Never Again by Mickey McKellar

Never Again by Mickey McKellar

Never Again – What a topic! What to write about? What is it about my life that I have no real regrets and I am struggling to recall something that I would never repeat? Over the past month I have wracked my brain trying to recall something to put on paper.  Nothing...

A poem for the poets

A poem for the poets

We gathered in the Library, Ten people with an aim, And first we introduced ourselves, Explained why there we came; Nine ladies and a gentleman, All like to use a pen, A pencil or computer to Spin words together, then Share what we’ve written with a hope It might go...

Want to support the Burdekin Readers & Writers Assoc.?


We are taking donations and sponsorships to help us bring the best quality workshops to our region. If you are interested in supporting us, or sponsoring our major festival please be in touch.

Past Events

Between our major festivals we host regular meet-ups, writers workshops, book launches, author talks and more. Here is where you will find all the events we have held in the last few years.

An Evening with Dame Quentin Bryce

An Evening with Dame Quentin Bryce

As Australia’s first female Governor-General, Quentin Bryce handwrote fifty or so letters each week. They were to people she had met and connected with as her role took her from palaces to outback schools, from war zones to memorials, from intimate audiences to lavish...

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