Exciting program announced for NT Writers Festival

The 2022 NT Writers Festival returns to Larrakia Country from 23-26 June for four days of inspiring panels, immersive events and powerful performances celebrating language, culture and story. Bringing together readers, creators and some of the nation’s finest artists, the Festival explores the theme of ‘balarr | catching the light’. In Larrakia, balarr means ‘to light up’ or ‘to become light’.

Some highlights of the event shed light on forgotten or concealed parts of the past, such as Hidden Histories, Untold Stories, featuring two inspiring Aboriginal advocates, academics and authors, Jackie Huggins AM and Larissa Behrendt OA, alongside popular historical fiction author Hannah Kent.

Other highlights include an evening in conversation with bestselling author Hannah Kent and The Book Show’s Sarah L’Estrange; an unmissable event in Darwin’s World War II Oil Storage Tunnels featuring music and readings; a panel exploring the story of Yothu Yindi with founding member Witiyana Marika; and a storied walk by Gurambai/Rapid Creek that brings together writers, artists and environmentalists to explore our relationship to place.

With around 70 artists and close to 40 events, storytellers from around the Territory will be joined by interstate luminaries, such as Delia Falconer (Signs and Wonders), Prime Minister’s Literary Award-winning poet Sarah Holland-Batt (The Jaguar), and Wiradjuri poet Jazz Money.

The Festival is supported by the Northern Territory Government through the Northern Territory Major Events Company (NTMEC) Event Funding Program.

“Alternating yearly between the Top End and the Red Centre, the NT Writers Festival showcases beautifully the diversity of this unique place we call home, and continues to evolve and develop, drawing people together to share stories in a number of ways,” NTMEC CEO Tim Watsford said.

“This year that includes a story tour through the much-loved Parap markets, the chance to learn at workshops run by award-winning writers, poets and publishers, and Kim’s Cubby, featuring activities for little ones and readings by Territory children’s authors. Stories unite us, offer us a glimpse into another’s world and show us similarities with our own. They shed light on the past and offer hope for the future.”

NT Writers Festival Artistic Director Rita Horanyi said this year’s theme is very relevant after the last few years.

“The theme balarr | catching the light refers to fleeting moments of hope or insight, and the attempt to hold onto these glimmers through stories and art, especially in times of difficulty and crisis. The theme speaks to the concept of truth-telling, but also of moving on from periods of darkness,” she said.

The Festival opens on Thursday, 23 June, with a free event on the Front Lawns of the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT. Tickets for all events are on sale at www.ntwriters.com.au.