What's On

The Central Coast's literacy festival returns | 3-6 June

Following a hugely successful inaugural event, Words on the Waves, the not-for-profit literary festival is looking forward to its second outing June 3 – 6, 2022. A celebration of words and ideas set on the scenic Central Coast the festival spans two full days of riveting author talks and panels.

words on the waves central coast

With the mission being to deliver an immersive annual festival of stories, ideas and connection, set against the scenic Central Coast, and to enrich the cultural landscape of the region year-round. Its vision is to become one of Australia’s leading regional literary festivals, known for its vibrant and diverse program as well as its unique setting. 

Through its funding partner Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund, Words on the Waves has been able to secure the appearance of a number of top tier authors from across Australia, including:

Adelaide, author of bestseller Burial Rites, Hannah Kent
Canberra, crime writer Chris Hammer
Tasmania, Gourmet Farmer star Matthew Evans
Darwin, Uluru Statement from the Heart campaigner, Thomas Mayor
Melbourne, award-winning literary authors Favel Parrett and Lucy Treloar
Melbourne, artist, memoirist and mental health advocate Heidi Everett
Victoria, cultural commentator and theatre-maker Van Badham
Far North Queensland, Indigenous fire management advocate Victor Steffensen
Western NSW, regional editor Gabrielle Chan
Victoria, Miles Franklin winner Sofie Laguna and also from Melbourne, political reporter Judith Brett
Queanbeyan, poet Omar Musa; plus many more. 

Closer to home, the festival welcomes cinema icon Bryan Brown; trailblazing businesswoman Wendy McCarthy; investigative journalist Louise Milligan; Archibald Prize finalist Amani Haydar; Crikey editor Bernard Keane; literary favourites Charlotte Wood and Delia Falconer; bestselling commercial writer Kate Forsyth; award-winning historians Ian Hoskins and Anna Clark; bibliotherapist Germaine Leece; memoirist Patti Miller; and more.

The festival will once again feature a memorable array of intimate conversations and panels, ranging over inspirational true stories, untold histories, current human truths and contemporary fictional narratives.

With the festival being a sell out in 2021, it has responded to demand by doubling its program in 2022. In addition to the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club, the festival will also host simultaneous author talks at the nearby Umina Surf Life Saving Club. Both these venues have a 180 degree coastline view, prompting one speaker to proclaim: “This is the most beautiful literary festival in the world!”. 

Attendees can access the author talks held at these two venues by purchasing a Saturday Day Pass, a Sunday Day Pass, or a Weekend Pass – all available as part of this First Release Tickets. 

As part of the Second Release, Words on the Waves will also offer standalone special events across various venues, including an opening night conversation event at Naughty Noodle Fun Haus, adult writing workshops, a family fun day, a cinema screening at Cinema Paradiso, a literary cruise touring up the Hawkesbury, and more. Local authors will receive a spotlight through the introduction of a Book Launch program, hosted at various venue partners including Woy Woy Library, Bar Toto and Work Collective. 

Local independent bookseller, The Book Shop Umina will run festival bookshops in event venues, and each session will culminate with author book signings. 

Festival Director Angela Bennetts comments: “It is a great honour to be able to welcome authors and thinkers of such enviable talent to the Central Coast. We have taken great pride in crafting a program of diverse voices from across Australia that we know our community of readers will relish, whether it’s through the fiery debate, brave histories and life-affirming stories shared on stage; or in the deep reservoir of artistic work as represented by their books. These are writers with something important to say, and we can’t wait to hear it in person whilst overlooking the stunning waters of Broken Bay.” 

Words on the Waves Chair Jacqui Barton adds: “The Board is delighted with the authors that Words on the Waves is bringing to the Central Coast. The Festival consistently challenges our expectations by providing varied experiences and engaging conversations – we look forward to this vibrant and diverse program on the beautiful Central Coast.” 

Waves Writers Festival 

Friday June 3 - Monday June 6, 2021
Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 176 The Esplanade, Umina Beach  


Umina Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 509 Ocean Beach Rd, Umina Beach 

As well as select venues around the Peninsula area of the Central Coast

First Release April 13 

Saturday pass (4 sessions across 2 venues) $89 + booking fee 
Sunday pass (4 sessions across 2 venues) $89 + booking fee 
Weekend pass (8 sessions across 2 venues) $160 + booking fee

Second Release April 20 
Special events range from free - $50 + booking fee 

For more information and to book your tickets visit www.wordsonthewaves.com.au