Renowned Aussie authors converge on Townsville for literary festival

Date published: 10 April 2017

Residents will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the country’s award-winning authors next month as CityLibraries Townsville presents its biennial literary festival Savannah: Townsville’s Festival of Stories.

Magda Szubanski, Mem Fox, Jackie French, Professor Frank Bongiorno and Fay Gee-Hoy will be among the authors making an appearance for the festival from May 25-28 at Mercure Townsville.

Tickets went on sale today for the event which is designed to inspire North Queensland residents to read, write, tell stories and connect with each other and their local library.

Community and Cultural Development Committee chair Cr Colleen Doyle said attendees were encouraged to get creative with myriad activities on offer.

“We’ll have story writing, zine creation, ochre painting, bush tucker tasting, 80s roller skate disco and of course, author Q&As and conversations,” Cr Doyle said.

“The sessions are designed to provide an insight into the writing process and inspire budding authors.

“The packed four-day program will have something for all ages and interests, including programs for children and youth.”

Cr Doyle said a new feature of this year’s festival was the opportunity to pitch a story to a literary agent.

“Local authors with a complete fiction manuscript ready for publication are invited to book a rare opportunity to pitch their manuscript to literary agent Alex Adsett,” Cr Doyle said.

“Alex is seeking fiction manuscripts and narrative non-fiction manuscripts, for adults, young adults, and children. With specific focus on genre fiction, Alex is open to exciting new author voices of all kind of manuscripts.”

In the lead up to the event, CityLibraries will host a movie night screening Babe on the Strand on Friday, May 5.

Most of the workshops and events in the Savannah calendar are free or low cost to give as many people as possible the opportunity to access the event.  Ticket bookings are essential for all sessions and workshops, including those that are free, and numbers are limited.

For more information and to book your tickets, visit

Festival sponsors are the Townsville Bulletin, 4TOFM and Mercure Townsville.