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.”


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...

Nick Earls

"From the start, the team behind the Ignite Your Mind Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival have got a great deal right. At the first festival, attending writers were unanimous in feeling that this was a festival that was well organised and running smoothly, with none...

Oliver Phommanvanh

SOMETHING IN THE AYR………… I can tick off another region on my Australia map, thanks to the Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival. I caught a plane with Warren Mundine from Sydney, where it was 14 degrees and flew up to Townsville where it was more than double the...

Bill Tweddell

On 14 October 2018, at the invitation of Ms Mickey McKellar, I moderated a session of the Ignite Your Mind Festival in Ayr with the author and journalist Chris Masters focused on his book No Front Line: Australia's Special Forces at War in Afghanistan. This was the...

Professor Roly Sussex

Reflecting on your outstanding Festival, it strikes me that you have got several things very much right. First, the size. I am sure there is a critical mass below which festivals like this won’t work. But I suspect there is also an upper limit, which has been exceeded...

Burdekin Catholic High School – Indigenous Education

Fire Starters – How to be an Agent of Change The Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival – the content, the context and the contributors all converge, creating a uniquely “Burdekin” experience. On Friday, 12 October, Burdekin Catholic High School hosted Warren Mundine,...

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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