Welcome to the Words in the Valley Festival 2021, a four-day celebration of literature. While the festival has been postponed due to Covid-19, the quality remains assured. We are very proud to deliver a writers’ festival with a terrific line-up of international writers that all live locally within Western Australia

The Words in the Valley festival is an event that will showcase our town and the many attraction that are on offer.

Australiana is the theme of this year’s festival with a very big focus on the South West of Western Australia. I urge you to join the conversations with acclaimed authors.

The opportunity to immerse in books, words, stories and their authors, to uncover meaning, discuss ideas and debate issues has never seemed more important.

The festival has gone from strength-to-strength because we have loyal and generous partnership with Writers WA who share our vision for a distinctly national writers’ festival.

Tickets Information

Booking can be made online https://www.bridgetown.com.au/words-in-the-valley-readers-writers-festival or in person at the Bridgetown Visitors Centre

  • Workshops – $15.00 per workshops (Excluding Workshop 6) – Limited to 30pax
  • Workshop 6 – $55.00 includes a long table dinner – Limited to 18pax
  • All Festival Pass – $100.00 to access all workshops (Excluding Workshop 6)
  • Bridgetown Ghost Tour – $8.00 per person
  • Welcome Q & A – $30.00 per person includes finger food.

Accommodation (freemasons Hotel)

  • 3 nights’ accommodation, Meals and weekend tickets (Freemasons Hotel) Limited spaces available
    • Standard Room with ensuite per person ($330 per person in twin share – Single supplement $100
    • Standard Room with shared Bathroom per person (300 per person in twin share – Single supplement $70
    • Additional Children $250 each

All bookings can be made on Bookeasy or through the Bridgetown Visitors Centre


Saturday 23 January 2021

1:00pm (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 1 (Steve Heron)

Writing Real and Unreal in Kids Books.

  • Creating genuine Australian children’s voices in realistic fiction for children
  • Writing about the tough stuff and conflict in children’s books
  • References to Maximus and 1000 Snapshots – my middle grade novels set in Busselton
  • Writing picture books for kids – Writing serious and funny stuff – reference to my new Picture Book Where ya Goin’? (with Aussie animal characters) due for release in 2021

3:30pm (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 2 (Monique Mulligan)


In this editing workshop, participants will learn why Monique broke up with her debut novel, Wherever You Go multiple times, how she did it, and how it led to a new and improved relationship with her writing. 


The journey of a book: from lightbulb idea to the bookshop. Monique will share her experience of writing and publishing Wherever You Go. Ideally, this would include an afternoon tea based on some of the treats served in Brewed to Taste, the café at the heart of the book.

6:00pm (The Rabbit Hole) – Welcome drinks and nibbles with a Q&A with the authors (Donna Mazza, Monique Mulligan, Steve Heron, Sarah Evans)

Sunday 24 January 2021

10:00am (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop3 (Donna Mazza)

How to spot Australian Gothic

Ever wondered why Australia’s literary characters often find themselves doing battle against nature in some way? Even where there is a sense of connection with the landscape there is also often a threat: sometimes human or snake but also sometimes unnameable – just something weird. Dive into the subterranean world of the Australian Gothic with writer and academic Donna Mazza and see what’s lurking out there in the literary shadows.

1:00pm (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 4 (Bill Gordon)

Definition of Bush Poetry. Theme, rhyme and metre

3:30pm (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 5 (Steve Heron)

Growing Your Writing Wings

  • Making your fiction writing shine
  • Descriptive writing (Show don’t tell)
  • Writing about realistic emotions
  • Based on my middle-grade novel Maximus (set in Busselton)

This workshop can be conducted for adults or children (9-13 year-olds)

6:00pm (Freemasons Hotel) – Workshops 6/Dinner (Monique Mulligan)


Learn the essential ingredients for writing about food and “cook up” a scene or two of your own, while enjoying a long table dinner inspired by the Around the World Supper Club in the novel, Wherever You Go.

Duration: 3 hours including dinner

Monday 25 January 2021

10:00am (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 7 – (Donna Mazza)

Speculative fiction in your backyard

Get your pens out and your eyes open because you never know when you might spot a great ‘what if’ around the corner. Australian speculative fiction is on the rise and our landscapes make the perfect setting for brewing up a great story. Writer and academic Donna Mazza will lead you through some strategies for taking your ‘what if’ and turning it into a short story, or maybe the premise of a novel. 

1:00pm (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 8 (Mary Elgar)

Writing Histories for others to enjoy

Mary’s professional life started in 1970 as a nursing student. It wasn’t until 2010 that circumstances permitted a change of career to editing, along with an honours degree focussing on oral histories. In 2015 Mary moved to Bridgetown with her husband – again circumstances changed, and Mary recorded oral histories from residents of Bridgetown so that history of the region wasn’t lost. These oral histories were used to write her book, A Mere Country Village, along with many others that had been taken back in the 70s and 80s.

Mary’s workshop: ‘Writing histories for others to enjoy’ will focus on using diaries, oral histories, photos, family recollections to put together entertaining and informative narrative that relatives and strangers will enjoy reading in a published format.

3:30pm (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 9 (Sarah Evans)

Once upon a time: Crafting short stories – anyone can do it!

This is a fun and interactive workshop with seasoned author Sarah using prompts, writing exercises and the world around us to stimulate the creative juices and unleash the story-teller within.

7:30pm (Old Police Station) – Bridgetown Historical Society

Bridgetown Ghost Tour

The tour will commence and finish from the old Police Station located on Hampton Street. The tour will last for approx 1 hour. The tour is very interactive and will take you on a tour of Bridgetown after dark.

Tuesday 26 January 2021

8:00am (Bridgetown Swimming Pool) – Australia Day Breakfast

Free Community Event – Breakfast included

11:00am (Bridgetown Library) – Workshop 10 – (Sarah Evans)

Memoir ~ mine those memories to feed the muse

Memories are a writer’s unique resource. Whether you are writing fact or fiction, these gems can enrich your writing, adding colour, depth and emotion to an otherwise pedestrian piece of work.

Creative writing tutor and author Sarah explores basic writing techniques and offer tips on how to tackle memoir writing without getting bogged in the details.

One thought on “Words in The Valley Readers and Writers Festival

  1. Thank you for this comprehensive synopsis of the Words in the Valley Festival.

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