For three days in March 2014 the quiet Tamar Valley town of Beaconsfield became the epicentre of a rare community and cultural experience.
The inaugural Beaconsfield Festival of Golden Words became Tasmania’s biggest writers festival. Audiences and writers loved it.
We did it all again in March 2016 under a new banner, the Tamar Valley Writers Festival, that reflects the true regional nature of the event – and its ambitions to be even better and to become a signature event for Northern Tasmania.
The Tamar Valley Writers Festival is held every two years and the 2018 Festival will be held at Grindelwald in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley.
In just 18 months, the idea of a writers festival based in the town became a reality in March 2014 – all because of the vision and energy of one man.
Awarding-winning, best-selling author Stephen Dando-Collins, supported every step of the way by his wife Louise, worked on the idea for several years and the breakthrough came when he convinced the West Tamar Council to back his proposal.
Beaconsfield then was at the crossroads. It had been on the map before because of the 2006 mine disaster and rescue that made international headlines. But with the mine closure it was drifting into a backwater.
Those three days in March 2014 changed that in an extraordinary way. The normally quiet street was full of people. The marquees were packed. Books were sold and signed. Businesses in the town in some cases barely coped with the crowds. It was also state election day on the Saturday and people voted, then voted with their feet by flocking to the festival.
There was gold still – in words. And there was more gold when the festival returned in March 2016.
For the 2018 Festival however, the venue will be Aspect Tamar Valley Resort at Grindelwald. Still in the Tamar Valley, but a little closer to Launceston making it even more accessible to a broad cross-section of people.
The Festival will still be run by Festival of Golden Words Inc and its all-volunteer committee, and volunteers who delivered the first two festivals to such acclaim.
As the Tamar Valley Writers Festival, the ambition, following its initial success, is to become a regional event and to connect with the strong tourism brand that is the Tamar Valley.
As well as a different venue, the 2018 Festival will be held at a different time of year, so note the dates: 14th – 16th September 2018. We hope to see you there.