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Big names get ready to converge on the Western Downs for Words Out West!

Renowned Australian authors are preparing to head to Dalby for the first ever Words Out West Readers and Writers Festival, which is promising to inspire, uncover and excite all ages and interests.

The premier event is just two weeks away, with Australian literary royalty taking part in panel discussions and presentations as part of the three-day program from 14 to 16 February.

Featured Author John Marsden said Words Out West was an excellent chance to share thoughts about language, stories, writing and reading.

“These are such valuable aspects of being human,” Mr Marsden said.

“Language is the most powerful tool we have, and the more effectively we can use it, the more successful we are likely to be.

“It’s a delight to be involved in a literary event such as Words Out West which inspires people to put pen to paper and share their real-life experiences or capture their imagination in words,” Mr Marsden added.

“In our real lives, our stories shape us, our stories make us. But our fantasy stories are important to us too!

“Some of Australia’s greatest stories come from regional and rural areas and I look forward to visiting the Western Downs and sharing my knowledge and experience with readers and potential authors alike.”

Mr Marsden has written more than 40 books and sold more than five million copies worldwide, including the much-loved story Tomorrow, When the War Began.

He joins a stellar lineup of literary professionals including Fleur McDonald, Rachael Treasure, Hayley Maudsley, Tony Park and David Fagan.

The three-day program includes a Writers Retreat at the Bunya Mountains and two main festival days featuring talks from a huge line-up of authors, bloggers, illustrators, journalists and podcasters.

The program also features the Words Out West Gala Dinner which includes a three-course menu, special host and Narrator Stig Wemyss and keynote speaker and Australian Paralympian Kurt Fearnley AO.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the Festival would offer something for all.

“Words Out West is an exciting opportunity for our region to come together and hear from some of the best in the business right here on home soil,” Cr McVeigh said.

“People have the opportunity to hear from a variety of presenters ranging from renowned authors to cartoonists and podcasters across twenty exciting sessions, with several sessions free to attend.

“In encourage everyone to get in quickly to secure their spot.”

To book your tickets, visit or visit Western Downs Regional Council’s Facebook page.

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Media Contact:

Western Downs Regional Council Media Office | 07 4679 4265

Emily Kendall | Communications, Marketing & Design Officer | 0439 064 975