Smiles all round for the writers festival

LAUGHING at funny stories about cane toads was the highlight of the weekend's Byron Bay Writers Festival for 10-year-old Oona Burless.

The Bangalow girl and other youngsters could not control their giggles as children's author Morris Gleitzman spoke about his series of books based on toads.

“He was really good, so funny,” Oona said.

“Melaina Faranda was good too. She told stories about being a kid.”

The authors were just two of more than 100 writers who shared stories and insights with the hundreds of people who attended the festival, held at the Byron Bay Beach Resort over the weekend.

Wet weather meant the first day of the festival, Friday, had to be cancelled so staff could pump water off the grounds and spread gravel to ensure the crowds would not get bogged at the event.

Oona's mum Cornelia Burless came prepared for the wet weather, wearing her stripy rainbow gumboots. Luckily, though, the rain stayed away.

“They warned us to come prepared for wet weather, so I thought I might as well wear my gumboots,” Ms Burless said.

“Fortunately we have fantastic weather today, so I didn't really need to wear them after all.”

Festival director Jeni Caffin yesterday had a big smile on her face.

“Everything is going wonderfully,” she said.

“We have massive numbers turning up, and the weather is great.

“It was unfortunate we had to cancel the event on Friday, but it was the only thing we could do under the circumstances. Better to cancel one day than lose the whole weekend.”

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