Following on from the rousing success of this year’s inaugural event, the Words Out West: Western Downs Readers & Writers Fest will return to Dalby in 2021 with another amazing lineup of speakers.

As well as renowned columnist Frances Whiting, bestselling novelist Nick Earls and league legend turned typist Shane Webcke, the second annual event will include podcasting extraordinaires Michel Laurie and Emily Webb, award-winning author Kristin Olsson and accomplished journalists Madonna King and David Fagan.

For the full list of speakers, visit the official Words Out West website.

Hosted by the Western Downs Regional Council, Words Out West was launched in February 2020 and became an instant highlight on the region’s cultural events calendar.

From the comfort of the Dalby library, attendees enjoyed speeches, workshops and presentations from some of Australian’s most acclaimed writers and artists, as well as local literary talent.

The festival is the brainchild of council CEO Ross Musgrave and drew an impressive lineup for its first instalment. Premier Australian writer John Mardsen and Paralympian Kurt Fearnley headlined an inaugural guest list that would seemingly be hard to top.

But the March 11-14 event in 2021 is just as exciting.

Beloved actor and children’s entertainer Jay Laga’aia and prolific Australian author Anita Heiss will join high achieving local writers and artists Jo Cuskelly, Janet Gover and Geordie Lillis.

The main event day will be held at the MyAll 107 (Dalby library) on Saturday, March 13. Local school students will enjoy visits from guest speakers on the Thursday and Friday.

Ticket prices range from $16.91 – $86.54. Tickets can be purchased here.

“We are delighted to announce Words Out West: Western Downs Readers & Writers Fest will return to the region from 11 to 14 March next year, with an assortment of events, experiences and workshops on the agenda as part of the massive four-day Festival,” said Western Downs mayor, Paul McVeigh.

“Last year’s inaugural event confirmed the Festival’s presence on our annual events calendar, with people of all ages and interests coming from all over to take part in this fantastic literary celebration. 


Words Out West 2021 will deliver the same high calibre of Literary professionals, with some of the keynote presenters including popular actor and children’s entertainer Jay Laga’aia, respected columnist Frances Whiting, Australian author and indigenous literacy advocate Professor Anita Heiss, true crime podcasters Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb, and novelist Nick Earls.

“Legendary Queenslander Shane Webcke will also join this year’s Festival line-up, visiting regional pubs for ‘Schooners and Stories’ in the days leading up the Festival, giving locals a chance to sit back and have a yarn at their favourite local.

“A huge list of local identities will also join Words Out West 2021 for various presentations, panel discussions, and workshops,  – including podcasters, illustrators, videographers, journalists and authors.”


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