Words, stories, ideas in Hepburn Shire winter festival

This year’s Words in Winter Festival launch is just around the corner. 

The annual literary and arts festival is held each August in Hepburn Shire and surrounding districts. This year, the festival’s theme is Change and Chance.

IDEAS AND STORIES: Daylesford's Words in Winter festival directors Kevin Childs and Maria Irell are preparing for its 16th year with a pre-program launch. Picture: Dylan Burns

IDEAS AND STORIES: Daylesford's Words in Winter festival directors Kevin Childs and Maria Irell are preparing for its 16th year with a pre-program launch. Picture: Dylan Burns

The festival, which was run by founder David Hall and his wife for 14 years, is now in its 16th year and is organised by co-directors Kevin Childs and Maia Irell. 

The festival is fully run by volunteers and relies on the support of local businesses like the Farmers Arms Hotel. This year, it has also secured a grant through the Regional Centre for Culture.

The festival is a celebration of words, stories and ideas shared by locals, visiting authors and presenters through a range of events, including readings, poetry, theatre, music, talks, workshops and exhibitions. 

A wide range of authors have been lined up for this year.

They will speak about a range of topics and issues, from Aboriginal history, to refugees and immigration, to human and women’s rights, sexuality, permaculture, crime, religion, war and other aspects of history. 

So far, the lineup includes Bain Attwood, Cassandra Pybus, Cate Kennedy, Shokoofeh Azar and Arnold Zabel.

A free pre-program launch will be held this Friday at the Woodshed in Daylesford from 6.00pm, where local artists will read poems, stories and perform music. Bookings through the website are essential.

The festival runs from August 17 to 26.