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Debate gives printed word strong future

The printed book is not doomed.

That was the verdict of the inaugural Thirroul Readers and Writers Festival debate, which pitted a mix of educators and authors against one another.

The spirited debate capped off a successful weekend for the budding event, which attracted hundreds of amateur writers, avid readers and book lovers to Thirroul Community Centre’s doors.

The festival, conducted over three sessions on Saturday and Sunday, featured several talks with Illawarra authors, playwrights, journalists and academics, as well as a literary quiz and Q&A panel discussing citizen journalism.

Among the highlights was journalist Caroline Baum’s incisive interview with Illawarra author Shady Cosgrove about her recent book What the Ground Can’t Hold and Kiama author Noel Beddoe’s opening address.

“Noel Beddoe was a strong hit at the festival, he gave a charming opening address,” festival organiser, author and philosopher Dr Denise Russell said.

“It was a really inspiring talk and great for people who are starting to think about writing a novel, I think it gave them a lot of advice.” Dr Russell said she was delighted by the positive response the event received, including the number of offers from people to pitch-in next year. All profits from the weekend will go to the Indigenous Literary Foundation.

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