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Discover our exciting Author Talk Program with visiting authors inspiring your reading and writing:

Orange Readers and Writers Festival 2024 Friday 2 and Saturday 3 August 2024:

Tickets on Sale!


Snuggling up beside the fire with a great read is one of winter’s pleasures. Be inspired with amazing guest authors at this year’s Orange Readers and Writers Festival to be held on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 August at the Hotel Canobolas, 248 Summer Street, Orange.  The Festival is hosted by Central West Libraries.

Writing Workshop: Making Your Writing Shine with Kim Kelly

 Friday 2 August | 10am – 1pm | Cost $45 pp  | Hotel Canobolas |


Writers are often told about the importance of ‘polishing’ their work, but how do we go about it? Editing is the answer. In this workshop from award-winning writer and editor Kim Kelly, you’ll get a book industry insider’s view of the importance of the editorial process. You’ll learn what editing is, how can we learn to do it ourselves, and when to ask for help. You’ll gain an understanding of how polished your writing needs to be in order for it to be publishable. Most of all, be inspired by how editing can make you more confident in your words.

Kim Kelly is an award-winning author of novels and short stories. Her novella, The Rat Catcher: A Love Story, was longlisted for the prestigious ARA Historical Novel Prize 2022, and her latest, Ladies’ Rest and Writing Room, won the 2023 Finlay Lloyd 20/40 Prize. Kim is also a well-known book editor with over 25 years’ experience working for Australia’s major publishing houses on all genres of fiction and creative non-fiction. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Literature at Macquarie University, where she has lectured on editing, too.

Book your spot for Making Your Writing Shine here

Festival Main Day Program

Saturday 3 August | 10am – 4pm | Cost $75 Early Bird Prior 15 July | Cost $95 After 15 July | Hotel Canobolas |

Celebrate all things reading and writing with a day-long event including morning tea and lunch – held at the Hotel Canobolas, 248 Summer Street, Orange with a line-up of incredible writers including broadcaster Indira Naidoo author of The Space Between the Stars: On Love, Loss and the Magical Power of Nature to Heal.  


A deeply moving and uplifting exploration of the power of nature – to heal the deepest hurts.

During her 30-year award-winning journalistic career, Ms Naidoo has hosted and reported for some of the country’s most distinguished news and current affairs programs. She currently hosts ABC TV’s Compass at 6.30pm on Sunday nights. 


Meet Central West crime writer Rhys Gard, author of the successful Four Dogs Missing


Art theft, revenge and murder play out against the Mudgee wine region vineyards in this ‘edge of your seat’ thriller.

Rhys Gard is a writer and a chef. Between careers, he studied English and Film at the University of NSW. He has worked as a journalist, marketer, wine writer and restaurateur.  He lives in Mudgee. Four Dogs Missing is his first novel. 


Discover the writing of Gabbie Stroud with her novels Teacher, Dear Parents and The Things That Matter Most:


“Lionel Merrick stumbled into my heart like a kid late for class, then the whole book swept in after him…gut-wrenching and important,” Trent Dalton

Gabbie Stroud is a writer and recovering teacher. Teacher is Gabbie’s smash-hit memoir that brings readers into today’s classrooms. Her follow up book, Dear Parents, challenges parents and caregivers to reframe their perception of our education system and to reconsider the purpose of schooling. The Things That Matter Most is her debut fiction for adults.  Gabbie lives on Yuin Nation on the far south coast of New South Wales, with her totally awesome daughters—Olivia and Sophie.


Immerse yourself into the world of bushranging when author of The Golden Gang – Ian W. Shaw – shares the first comprehensive biography of the godfather of Australian bushranging – Frank Gardiner – leader of the Lachlan gang and mastermind of the largest gold heist in Australian History – the Escort Rock gold robbery, near Eugowra. 

“Richly detailed, The Golden Gang shines a new light onto Gardiner’s remarkable life – one that ended in shocking tragedy – and reinstates his place in the pantheon of Australian outlaw heroes.” Simon & Schuster Australia

Ian W. Shaw is the author of twelve books including: The Bloodbath, On Radji Beach, Glenrowan, The Ghosts of Roebuck Bay, The Rag Tag Fleet and Murder at Dusk. The Bloodbath was nominated for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and was shortlisted in the Local History category. Ian is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and holds postgraduate degrees from Monash University and the University of Michigan. After a decade as a secondary school teacher, Ian worked in the Commonwealth public service, and private enterprise for three decades, and is an expert on security issues. He lives in Canberra.


Don’t miss the witty and hilarious Rachael Mogan McIntosh author of Pardon My French and Mothering Heights:

“Raising small children is like living on an island just off the coast of the real world. It’s so beautiful, but it’s all-consuming, and often lonely,” says Rachael. ” I longed to hear stories of how other people coped when I was in that place. So, I wrote the book, which emerged like my three children: slowly and painfully, with a big dramatic rush as the end.” 

Rachael Mogan McIntosh is a writer and crisis counsellor from the south coast of New South Wales. She’s a mum of three (four if you include the dog; she does) and the author of Pardon My French, which tells the riotous story of a year spent in France with her young family. Her writing has appeared in publications across Australia, France and the USA. Rachael loves books, baths, coffee, podcasts, TV and Terry’s Chocolate Orange, consuming them simultaneously whenever possible. Mothering Heights: A year of joy and survival in the trenches of early parenthood is her second book. It is a truly hilarious, raw and moving celebration of early parenthood – written by someone who lived to tell the tale.


Orange Readers and Writers Festival Tickets now on sale:

Festival tickets are now available for sale online here. 

Coming Up: 

Meet Local Author Seana Smith Launching Going Under on Wednesday 18 September 5.30pm at Orange

Join local author Seana Smith when she launches her latest book going under: A memoir of family secrets, addiction and escape at Orange City Library on Wednesday 18 September at 5.30pm. Book your spot here.  From the outside, Seana Smith lived an enviable life. An Oxford graduate, a successful career with the BBC and Sydney’s Channel 9, a bestselling author, happily married with four lively children. But behind this perfect life she had a secret: Seana was a drinker, and alcohol was slowly taking way her life, destroying her health, her emotional well-being, her world. 

With engaging style and wit, going under reveals the true story behind Seana’s lifelong battle with drink. It lays bare a confusing childhood of Scottish sailing adventures and also brutal violence from her bullying, alcoholic father: where punches were thrown, broken bones hidden and her family lived in fear. 

Learning from the best, Seana drank her way through tutorials at Oxford University (which were held at the pub), through the sexual misadventures of her twenties and through the intensity and mundanity of motherhood. It took the death of her parents and a tree-change to Orange for Seana to find the courage to break free: a new life in a new world. She had finally left the past behind. 

Turning Your Dream Into Reality: Author Talk with Eila Jameson-Avey

During a battle with mental health, Eila Jameson-Avey wrote Wellworth which was published. It was a dream she’d had since she was a child but never expected to fulfil. It was this dream that helped overcome the mental health condition that crippled her for half a decade.

Eila would like to share her experience and motivate others to be brave enough to realise their dreams when she presents an author talk at Orange City Library on Wednesday 16 October at 5.30pm during Mental Health Month. Book your place here. 

Eila had a fantastical existence as a young child, writing stories and making them into small books, with stapled spines. She has completed The Year of the Novel with Emily Maguire at Writing NSW and has a Graduate Certificate in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. Winning the Lane Cove Literary Award in 2021 gave her the faith to keep writing.

She’s happiest spending time on the rural property she shares with her husband and two Dalmatians with a few writing projects to work on.

Meet Bestselling Author Benjamin Stevenson at Orange City Library on Wednesday 6 November at 5.30pm


Benjamin Stevenson is an award-winning stand-up comedian and author and will be our guest at Orange City Library on Wednesday 6 November at 5.30pm. His first novel Greenlight, was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Fiction and his second novel, Either Side of Midnight, was shortlisted for the Internatinal Thriller Writers Award for Best Original Paperback. 

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, his third novel, was a HUGE bestseller and has so far been sold in twenty-seven territories around the world. It will soon be adapted into a major HBO TV series!!! It was shortlisted for the Dymocks Book of the Year 2022, ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year 2023 and BookPeople’s Book of the Year 2023, as well as being named as one of The Sunday Times’ best crime novels of 2022. His novel Everyone On This Train is A Suspect was released in October. 

Come along to Orange City Library to discover Benjamin Stevenson’s latest work in time for Christmas!


Thank you to all our wonderful authors who visited during the 2023:

Nat AmooreThe Right Way to Rock

Lisa IrelandThe One and Only Dolly Jamieson

Christine StewartCollits’ Inn: Uncovering the Past

Seana SmithThe Australian Autism Handbook

Inga SimpsonWillowman

Rachael Mogan McIntoshPardon My French – Library UpLate event

Maggie Mackellargraft

Dianne YarwoodThe Wakes

Harold Treasure King’s Spur – “in conversation” with Reading and Writing Coordinator Jasmine Vidler

Claudia HarrisonDinner First

Kate Gadsby Convicts, Capitalists and Corruption – Research and Maps Talk to celebrate Orange Family History Group’s 40th anniversary

Colin Bower and Richard MeddOrchids of Central Western NSW

Beckie Plant – children’s art book Amazing Like You

Sallyanne PiskEating For You

Greg Mutton 12th Realm – Sci-Fi series

Kamille Roach – former Banjo Paterson Writing Awards winner launched crime novel Pine Creek set in the Central West

Dirty Janes duo Athol Salter and Jane Crowley – launched Beeswax and Tall Tales

Judy NunnBlack Sheep

Penelope Janu and Pamela CookA Country Vet Christmas

Amanda HampsonThe Tea Ladies and The Cryptic Clue

Dr Gregory SmithBetter Than Happiness: The True Antidote to Discontent 

Hannah DivineyI’ll Let Myself In

Hayley Rawsthorne shared her debut children’s book – These Little Feet – at Storytime

Stuart LloydStarted Out Drinking Beer – The Mental As Anything Story – “in conversation” with drummer David ‘Bird’ Twohill

David MarrKilling For Country: A Family Story – “in conversation” with Orange City Librarian Sean Brady

Kim KellyLadies Rest and Writing Room co-winner of the Finlay Lloyd 20/40 Novella Publishing Prize 

Special 2023 Author Events:

Touring Kids One Library One Book author Nat Amoore with The Right Way to Rock

Touring Adults One Library One Book community read – Dianne Yarwood with The Wakes

Live-streaming annual Sydney Writers Festival in May (2nd Year)

Orange Readers and Writers Festival on the first weekend in August with guest authors – Grantlee Kieza – The Remarkable Mrs Reiby, and Knockout, Yvonne Weldon- Sixty-Seven Days, Adam Courtenay – Mr Todd’s Marvel, Michael Thompson – How to be Remembered and Kim Kelly – The Rat Catcher