Queensland writer Nick Earls.
Queensland writer Nick Earls.

Authors to tour the Northern Rivers for Writers' Festival

HUMORIST writer Nick Earls loves the Northern Rivers almost as much as he does word-based parlour games.

But the real appeal behind the 5 Writers, 5 Days, 5 Towns road trip was all about giving aging writers the chance to pretend they were in a rock band, he said.

Part of The Byron Bay Writers Festival, the authors will stop in at Lismore and Goonellabah for a children's workshop and adults' panel, respectively.

According to Mr Earls, what goes on tour is open slather.

Last year (award-winning indigenous poet) Samuel Wagan Watson took on board sugar-free lollies, he said.

"I read the ingredients list and warned Samuel about a laxative effect but he ate them anyway. Sure enough my pharmacology was correct. We had to make a lot of stops," Mr Earls said.

"Instead of trashing the hotel rooms, I suspect we will be taking detailed notes, which will come to life years later through a narcissistic and angsty middle-aged protagonist in a novel."

Jokes aside, budding etymologists aged 9-12 are in for quite a show in Lismore.

The Word Hunter workshop is an interactive time travel adventure aimed at giving children a historical frame of reference to a language that can often vex children with its idiosyncrasies.

"It's great to take them down rabbit holes," he said.

There will be interactive puzzles and a fascinating exploration of the history and origin of our family names. At the time of interview, Mr Earls revealed there was a vigorous email exchange between the five writers regarding the word games on offer at the adult panel workshop.

Nick Earls will be joined by "band members" Ashley Hay, Craig Sherborne, Samuel Wagan Watson, Zacharey Jane, blogger Angela Meyer and film maker Tim Eddy.

Writers in town

Lismore and Goonellabah libraries are hosting the 5 Writers Road Trip presented by the Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Join them at the Lismore library for Zacharey Jane sharing her book Tobias Blow for the little ones at 10.30am followed by Nick Earls Word Hunt workshop for 9-12 year olds at 11am.

Goonellabah library will host a Writers Panel in the afternoon from 3-4pm featuring award-winning authors Samuel Wagan Watson, Craig Sherborne and Ashley Hay.

All events are on Saturday July 26 and are free. To book your place phone Lismore library on 6621 2464.

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