Festival Team

AN INITIATIVE OF The Makers Shed, Glen Innes, the High Country Writers Festival is an independent annual celebration of books and writing. Created by author and journalist Michael Burge and silversmith Richard Moon, working with key collaborators in the region, the first event took place in 2019.

The Makers Shed acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we operate, the Ngarabal People (also: Ngoorabul, Ngarrabul, Ngarrbal), and pays respect to their elders past, present and emerging.

We also acknowledge with thanks the many festival partners (individuals and host venues), Glen Innes and New England businesses and traditional and indie publishers who generously collaborate in bringing this event to our region, making it a rich experience for local and visiting readers and writers.

The 2021 event was made possible by a small grant from the Glen Innes Severn Council Local Economic Development Fund.

MICHAEL BURGE Festival Director | Author and journalist Michael Burge was born at Inverell. He was inspired to empower indie publishers on the release of his memoir Questionable Deeds which lifted the lid on homophobia in Australia during the marriage equality campaign. His first novel is Tank Water (MidnightSun Publishing).

VIRGINIA EDDY Retreat Director | A business strategist and writer, Virginia co-created the High Country Writers Retreat with Michael Burge under the banner of her company Boorama. Whether retreaters are from the bush, the city, or both, Virginia believes the escape is a chance to pause, absorb the landscape and find inspiration.

MARY MOODY Festival Partner | Author, journalist and broadcaster Mary Moody headlined the first High Country Writers Festival in 2019 with her popular ‘Writing From the Heart’ memoir-writing workshop and her book The Accidental Tour Guide. Mary is passionate about family, food, travel, gardening and the enrichment of country towns.

MARY GARDEN Festival Partner | Author and journalist Mary Garden is a regular High Country Writers Festival attendee. Her memoir The Serpent Rising won the 2021 High Country Indie Book Award. The seminal biography of her aviator father Oscar Garden – Sundowner of the Skies – was a finalist in the NSW Premier’s History Awards.

CAROL SPARKS Festival Partner | A long-time Glen Innes resident and serving councillor, Carol served the community as Glen Innes and Severn Council Mayor, the first woman to hold that position in the council’s history. She has sponsored the annual High Country Indie Book Award with an annual cash prize since 2019.

PARTNER COMPANIES We encourage you to follow!
Boorama business strategies | Seasons of New England | New England Writers’ Centre | Captive Light Media

PARTNER VENUES We encourage you to visit!
Waterloo Station | Glen Innes Highlands Hub | For more information about visiting the region go to Glen Innes Highlands.

PARTNER PUBLISHERS We encourage you to buy!
Simon & Schuster Australia | Penguin Books Australia | UWA Publishing | Scribe Publications | MidnightSun Publishing | Boogie Books | Giramondo Publishing | Bad Apple Press. Special thanks and admiration for all the inspired, proactive and courageous indie publishers whose work we stock at The Makers Shed bookshop.