By HARRY CLARKE

THE author of a New York Times best seller, a Gold Logie winner and a legendary Maroons footballer will headline a bush readers and writers festival which has fast become a ‘must-do’ event on the regional Queensland cultural calendar.

The third annual Words Out West festival will be held at Dalby in March, returning in 2022 with another stellar lineup for which the event has become renowned in just two years.

Markus Zusak, who wrote international best seller The Book Thief, will join actor and philanthropist Samuel Johnson OAM and rugby league great Sam Thaiday on the lineup for this year’s Words Out West.

The main event will span four days from March 4 to March 8, comprising talks and workshops at the Dalby Events Centre with acclaimed Australian writers, speakers and public figures.

LOOK BACK: Words Out West 2021

Also among guests are ABC news presenter and former foreign correspondent Lisa Millar, renowned journalist and writer Matthew Condon and ABIA-winning author Rachel Johns.

The main Festival Day will be held on Saturday, March 6. The hugely popular ‘Writers Retreat’ events will be held at Jubri’s Hideaway on March 5 and March 6 with acclaimed authors Kristina Olsson and Ally Blake.

The see official Words Out West website for the full lineup, schedule and ticketing information.

School students will enjoy workshops in Chinchilla and Dalby on March 8 and 9, while Thaiday will share ‘Schooners & Stories’ at the Dulacca Hotel, Jandowae Exchange Hotel and Tara Commercial in the evenings from March 17 -19.

“Words Out West is a fantastic opportunity for our region, creating rare opportunity to explore the incredible world of storytelling, hear from some of the best literary minds, and generate an economic boost for the region,” said Western Downs councillor Kaye Maguire.

Guests in previous years include, Francis Whiting, Nick Earls and John Marsden.

Words Out West 2022 Fast Facts

·         Returning to the Western Downs from 4 March to 19 March 2022

·         Cocktail Party featuring Gold Logie winner Samuel Johnson on Friday 4 March 2022

·         Main Festival day on Saturday, 5 March 2022 at Dalby Events Centre

·         Writers Retreat on Sunday, 6 March 2022 at Jubri’s Hideaway, Dalby

·         Regional author tours featuring Australian author Rachael Johns from 7 – 9 March 2022

·         Two school days featuring renowned entertainer Andrew Daddo (Chinchilla – 8 March, Dalby – 9 March 2022)

·         Schooners & Stories regional pub events featuring Rugby League personality Sam Thaiday from 17-19 March 2022

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