A Festival of Words

A Festival of Words

Magic Moments of the past few months

The Watchful Wife is the contemporary novel by Australian multi award-winning author, Suzanne Leal, which deals with issues which plaque the ethical and moral decisions taken within society’s institutions of religion, education and the law. The protagonist, Ellen, takes us on her journey from parental religious blinkered practices bordering on cultism to its slow unfettering by Gordon her gentle teacher colleague who releases her from its constraints. The safe harbour she finds with this moral man is cruelly taken from her when he is accused of sexual misconduct by a student. Institutional injustices abound and keep the reader alert to the minefields which a misspoken word can create. Love, faith and enduring courage carry the reader through the choppy seas of the aftermath of the accusation. The craft of the author is skilled, sharp and subtle. It’s a compelling read.

Intrigued? Just as I was to hear from Suzanne herself, the opportunity presented itself to invite her to be the guest at Word Fest Toowoomba’s Literary Lunch on Thursday 8th June. She graciously accepted and will be winging her way north from Sydney to join us. How exciting! Toowoomba readers will be enlivened by Suzanne’s insights as a finely-tuned speaker, and will enjoy a couple of hours of fun as part of the Fibbers Club, a Literary Quiz and a delicious lunch. The chance to chat with Suzanne and take a copy of her book to soak up in the warmth of an Autumnal sun is very tempting.

Suzanne will be reacquainting herself with Toowoomba which once saw her father in a leading academic role at the University of Southern Queensland. More intrigue to hear from Suzanne herself! She will be part of the annual Author Expo at the Community Meeting Rooms at the Toowoomba Regional Library in Herries Street on Saturday 8th June between 9.15am and 2.15pm. A wonderfully diverse range of our local authors and creatives will join her across the day’s program.

A novel inclusion (pardon the pun) is the opportunity for two lucky people to ” borrow” a living library book – author of historical fiction and non-fiction works, Jane Smith, and poet and author Antonia Hildebrand will give personal one-on-one sessions with ” borrowers” on the day. A bit of fun to end this year’s festival offerings.

Highlights for me in 2024 have been:

Sharing the Creativity

Sharing the creativity of artists at the Invasive Species Punk Rock Festival at the Mouse Proof Brewery – especially the beautiful interpretation of the spirit of the land of Daniel Blades and the enduring mural now there.

Rural and Remote Women Storytellers

Capping off an 11 day workshop facilitation role in the joint-project with UniSQ’s Research team and the Drought Hub, and Catholic Care and its amazing Coordinators in Hebel, Cunnamulla, Charleville and Mitchell saw a great learning experience for me. Oral stories now stored in my mind and new knowledge about resilience, community solidarity and raising others up have now become part of my own writing journey.
” You can’t fall asleep when you are cleaning a trough.” The most memorable quote of the busy itinerary holds powerful images.
“So much did I enjoy the tales of her life that whenever I could, I’d slip into the pages to join her.”

Train Tracks and Telling Stories

Conversations with Creative colleagues Michael Burge, author of the mind-worm novel Tank Water and Suzanne Leal, as well as Michael’s super-engaging workshop in the carriages at Downs Steam Railway Museum at Drayton.

Movies – Script it! Wicked Little Letters.

Oh my…..what an incredibly scandalous story turned into an hilarious film…words which shocked and rocked the audience, based on a true story, resonated long after my highly intuitive grand daughter and I left the cinema giggling our way back to reality.

Zero Waste

Was the message and our Word Fest vehicle for getting the message out was the fun-filled Trashion Parade hitting the catwalk at Grand Central in April…..The Words? The stories behind the outfits…and the awesome work of Jennifer Summers Wright and Natalie Fogarty…..wow! Hopefully this concept building community awareness will build bigger and better in the years to come.


Images of Eclipse, Harmony Day, Recipes and the launch of the second edition of More Tastes of Toowoomba, Happy Shiny Art…..words unsaid but imaged! Thank you to Cutta Murphy Photography and Anna Battle of Shiny Happy Art and Ben Moore of B4 Art for your support and skills.


Antonia Hildebrand…interview, and launch of her anthology Broken Dolls – a wonderful creative family collaboration and community!

Team Collaboration for the Women on the Move 20th Anniversary Booklet

The ongoing support of Kim Cahill and her KC Social Media Strategies has been a much loved constant support.

Travelling Away with Words

Supporting the publication of Aileen Bradley’s amazing travel journal guide ” Everyday Day was a Chooseday” which produced a lovely friendship; and looking forward to presenting The Magical Mystery of Words session at the Australian Outback Writers Festival as part of a trip to the rugged outback at the end of June and catching up with cousins along the way.

Family Stories

Finishing the next booklet in the series of the Forsyth Clan in Queensland was a milestone after a few disappointments along its journey, but it also gave me the impetus to offer a writing workshop ” Writing Your Life Story” which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Who knows, this may be the springboard into tackling my own writing in 2025 and beyond.

This past three years has been a roller coaster of adventures with words, wordsmiths and wonder…..thanks to everyone who volunteered, sponsored, supported (especially dear friends and family) and encouraged me along the way.

It’s been a blast! Now to tackle that “To be Read’ pile and the art of podcasting!

Take a Peak at Our Latest Posts

April 2024 Newsletter: The Word’s OutApril 2024 Newsletter:

April 2024 Newsletter: The Word’s OutApril 2024 Newsletter:

Word Fest Toowoomba notched up a program of great events for March 2024.

THANKS to absolutely everyone who was involved along the way, and to those who came along to our events.  Entertainment money is tight for everyone, so we really appreciate the support.
Conversations With… saw book lovers, art lovers and poetry lovers, assemble in the surrounds of Kat Lynn’s spectacular photographic exhibition at The Write Gallery at The Lighthouse for an evening of literary entertainment. Our creatives were nationally recognised authors Michael Burge and Suzanne Leal, in conversation as colleagues on the literary scene.

Introducing the evening was celebrated local artist Anna Battle from Shiny Happy Artwho introduced the audience to her most recent paintings and spoke about the impact words have on the viewers of such paintings. Her engaging exposé of her creative process and the result and enjoyment she receives from comments of her viewers set the scene and enhanced the profiles of the six Empowering Women, Kat had engaged in her exhibition.

After Suzanne and Michael spoke about their recent works, The Watchful Wife and Tank Water, they embraced the questions readers often ask about the sustainability of characters, the importance of location and the choice of protagonists and antagonists in their works.

The evening was rounded off by the author of the new poetry anthology Broken Dolls.  Author, poet, essayist, reviewer and biographer Antonia Hildebrand, chose to follow the lives of broken women across the ages. From Cleopatra to Sinead O’Connor the images of her poems reflected the theme of invisibility of women, the disregard for women’s skills and achievements and the outcomes of neglect, abuse and disenfranchisement.

WFT was proud to be invited to launch the anthology at Impress Studio and Gallery at Wooloowin on Friday the 22nd of March.

Writer’s Retreat

On Saturday 16th March a small enthusiastic band of writers occupied the Training Carriage at Downs Steam Tourist Museum at Drayton for a lively writer’s workshop withMichael Burge. After a morning of skill building the group enjoyed a lunch prepared by Café Loco and a personal tour of the amazing Dreamtime Carriage on the platform before working individually with Michael through a mentoring session to Write Regardless. Our thanks go to Michael for such an engaging day.
A small group of writers supporting each other has been developed from this day to keep the motivation flowing.

Harmony Day

Harmony Day saw a great gathering of our multicultural community at Picnic Point where WFT was collaborating with Study Toowoomba and sharing knowledge and tastes of Bunya Nuts and Cob Loaf from our recently launched second edition More Tastes of Toowoomba.

While March was a busy month, April has lots to offer.

Writing Your Life Story – Wednesday 10 April

Limited spaces are available for this memoir writing workshop with Mardi Sands. You may have missed her at Words out West at Dalby but now is your chance here in Toowoomba. Full details, tickets and costs below.
Be quick and book your tickets online at www.wordfesttoowoomba.com.au/events

Puppet Making with recognised script writer and puppeteer Marianne Buchanan

School holiday fun for children at the Puppet Making workshop at Mosaic Hues – Level 1, Rowes Complex, Keefe Street CBD, Saturday 13 April.
Details and tickets available at www.wordfesttoowomba.com.au/events

Toowoomba Show Cooking Demonstrations 

WFT was delighted to be invited back to this year’s Heritage Founders Pavilion for cooking demonstrations on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday 18 April – 3:30 pm – Sri Lankan curry & Ezidi Naan and dips.
  • Friday 19 April – 4 pm – Nepalese Momo Dumplings
  • Saturday 20 April – 12:45 pm – Nepalese Momo Dumplings
  • Saturday 20 April – 4pm – Cob Loaf & Ezidi Naan and Homus

Copies of More Tastes of Toowoomba will be available for sale. Please come and support our fundraising efforts.


  • Trashion Parade – Thursday 6 May at Grand Central Shopping Centre.
  • Literary Lunch –  Thursday 6 June, Suzanne Leal guest author
  • Queensland Day Breakfast – Thursday 6 June, details of speakers and venues to come
  • Author Expo – Saturday 8 June, 12 wonderful diverse authors, workshops and popup bookshop – more details to come

Grab Your Trashion Parade Tickets Here:

Looking forward to seeing you at some of these events!

Newsletter February 2024: The Word’s Out

Newsletter February 2024: The Word’s Out

Everyday was a Chooseday

After the success of Everyday was a Chooseday’s  launch at Cobb& Co Museum, it has sold out of its first print run, and is in negotiation for reprinting.  Congratulations to Aileen Bradley on such a great effort!

Everyday was a Chooseday

Sponsorship for 2024

This means we can support the smaller creative artists and events in the region.  Please support our sponsors 🤗

Thanks to the generous support of KC Strategic Media Services, Cracker Print and Paper, and All Star Brokers Insurance, our second recipe book, More Tastes of Toowoomba will soon be launching mouth-watering tastes from our wonderful multicultural community.  At this point we hope to launch it on Saturday 24th February in the Courtyard at the Rowes Complex near Ruby Lane Coffee and Flowers, hosted by Mosaic Hues.  * PLEASE save the date.

If you are a Volkswagon enthusiast…

You can also enjoy a drive out to Dubs on the Hill on Sunday 10th March (Date to Save) at the Crows Nest Tourist Park and pick up your copy of the recipe book, Aileen’s book, our other Word Fest publications and quality local artisan products at the Mosaic Hues stall.

Storytelling Under the Stars

Thanks to the support of Reconciliation Queensland for its grant funding support, the creative partnership with Mouse Proof Brewery, and the sponsorship of the Festival Flyer from Cracker Print and Paper, Word Fest Toowoomba was able to provide a community artist space at the Invasive Species Festival.

The recognition of the artistic talent of Daniel Blades and his team was extremely well received by the patrons and the mural will be a vibrant addition to the story of Toowoomba’s early history. The mural depicts the famous Meewah, or Table Top mountain, also known as One Tree Hill, the flora and fauna and the early Indigenous inhabitants. It stands proudly under the imposing building of the Unity/ Dairy Farmers co-operative which indicates the development of industry and the more recent history of Toowoomba and its key business identities.

During the evening when the mural was recognised, stories from other artists present were shared, and the quality of the works highlighted how the creative arts are blooming in Toowoomba with many Indigenous artists now nationally recognised for their styles and hard work and partnerships in the region. Word Fest Toowoomba will be sharing images and stories via our social media and podcast this week.

The input by the Queensland Government to this venture shows its commitment to the creative arts community in Toowoomba, and the confidence it has that this work will build awareness and understanding well into the future as more and more patrons attend other events along the revitalised Brook Street precinct, and learn the story of the mural and its significance. It indicates a very worthwhile addition to the diversity and inclusivity of Toowoomba.

Word Fest Toowoomba is excited to be presenting Ways to Tell Your Story workshops

With wonderfully innovative and resilient rural women in Hebel, Cunnamulla, Charleville and Mitchell from 25th February til 5th March.  If you have been watching the story of Muster Dogs on the ABC these stories will be just as engaging!  Stay tuned for the podcasts, written stories, videos and social media that will follow the workshops.

March Events 

And you need to book early for these exciting March events – and thanks to the early birds who have already let us know.  Limited spaces are available

  • Fri 8th – Word Fest Toowoomba supporting the  Women on the Move 20th Anniversary celebrations on International Women’s Day by writing their story.  
  • Fri 8th – A hungi featuring recipes from First Nations, Kiwi and New Caledonian recipes the new More Tastes of Toowoomba at Crows Next Tourist Park 
  • Fri 15th – Suzanne Leal in Conversation with Michael Burge –part of Kat Lynn’s exciting  month-long feature celebrating Inspiring Women at The Lighthouse PLUS a fabulous Art Exhibition of Daniel Blade’s work for sale and auction
  • Sat 16th – Writers Workshop and  Mentoring with Michael Burge – one not to miss at Downs Steam Tourist Museum at Drayton
  • Sun 17th – The much anticipated Steam Train adventure to Clifton with snippets from our Words From the Past history of the writers from the Darling Downs
  • Fri 22nd and Sun 24th  – Join the Jotters – a trail hunting for the words that highlight the CBD history with Debbie Mulligan

For booking information, check out the WordFest Toowoomba Event webpage at Events | Word Fest Toowoomba – A Writing & Word Festival or contact admin@wordfesttoowoomba.com.au 

Newsletter December 2023: The Words Out

Newsletter December 2023: The Words Out

Book Launch

Excitement is building for the Launch of Aileen Bradley’s Everyday was a Chooseday travel companion.  Word Fest Toowoomba was humbled to be asked to partner with Aileen to bring this enormous undertaking to fruition.

Aileen and fishing-fiend husband, Gordon, travelled Australia for 7 years of adventures, challenges and wonderful experiences of motor homing – and all in their 70s.  Aileen amassed 17 travel journals, and at the instigation of her family and friends, she has converted them into a detailed compendium of each route undertaken.  With an eagle eye for detail, and a steady photographer’s hand, she has presented a traveller’s reference: maps, humorous anecdotes, photos and intricate descriptions of each route, recommendations for attractions – both natural and man-made –  and particularly useful recommendations for camping spots and a TIP section that is a must for prospective tourers.  

This is a wonderful gift for armchair travellers or the means to avoid disasters and find hidden gems if planning trips in any direction around this vast nation.

You are Invited to the launch of Aileen Bradley’s Everyday was a Chooseday at
 Cobb and Co Museum
Tuesday (Chooseday) 19 December at 10 am
for Morning Tea and meeting and hearing author Aileen
Book Signing and Sales – Great Christmas Gift!
RSVP for catering 14 December to aileen41@bigpond.net.au or 0447360349

Profile:  Michael Burge 

Word Fest Toowoomba is privileged and excited to have Michael presenting our Key 2024 Workshop at the exciting venue at DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum in March.  Details of the public author lecture and Writers’ Workshop are being confirmed and tickets will be available in the New Year……so stay tuned.

Michael Burge is an Australian author and journalist who lives at Deepwater in the New England region of NSW with his husband and their dogs. After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Michael undertook media studies in the United Kingdom.

His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love lifted the lid on familial and institutional homophobia in Australia during the marriage equality campaign. Michael has written, edited, directed and broadcast for Fairfax Media, Intermedia, United News & Media, Margo Kingston’s NoFibs and a range of lifestyle mastheads.

He is director of the annual High Country Writers Festival in Glen Innes. His complete works can be found at www.burgewords.com. Tank Water is his first novel.

About Tank Water:  James Brandt didn’t look back when he got away from his rural hometown as a teenager. Now, he’s returned to Kippen for the first time in twenty years because his cousin Tony has been found dead under the local bridge.

The news that Tony has left him the entire family farm triggers James’s journalistic curiosity – and his anxiety – both of which cropped up during his turbulent journey to adulthood. But it is the unexpected homophobic attack he survives that draws James into a hunt for the reasons one lonely Kippen farm boy in every generation kills himself.

Standing in the way is James’s father, the town’s recently retired top cop, who is not prepared to investigate crimes no-one reckons have taken place. James must use every newshound’s trick he ever learned in order to uncover the brutal truth.

A coming-of-age story and crime thriller with a large and gentle heart.

Debbie Mulligan and Lyndall are heading to Inverell Library for the Workshop with Michael on December 9th to get a handle on how the Toowoomba Workshop will be.  Excited to have Michael on board.

The Nourish Program

WFT has been enjoying bringing the words involved in training for Certificate 3 in Hospitality to a fresh program in partnership with the Community Hub supported by Multicultural Australia and Ricky Adams.  Each Tuesday, an enthusiastic group of mature students hone their English language skills, learn hospitality skills through the Aurora Training  course, and practise their skills in how to operate the running of the school tuckshop at our hosts Darling Heights StateSchool.

An offshoot of this partnership has been the production of the next volume of our very popular multicultural recipe book.  Celebrating More Tastes of Toowoomba is well underway.  Thanks to the photography work of Cutta Murphy Photography, the generosity of recipe sharers and the compilation of the recipes by our wonderful volunteers, we are hoping to launch the new recipe book on Valentine’s Day – 14 February 2024. 

Invasive Species Concert and More

Please keep your holiday spirit running high on 27th January at Mouse Proof Brewery, Brook Street.  With 10 Punk Rock Bands playing between 11am and 11pm, including our chart topping local band Kathleen Turner Overdrive, plus profiling and partnering by Word Fest Toowoomba and Daniel Blades with his thought-provoking art providing the backdrop for the bands; and an outdoor artisan market and Storytelling Under the Stars you will be highly entertained.  Claim the date NOW.

Newsletter October 2023: The Word’s Out

Newsletter October 2023: The Word’s Out

This phase of our annual planning is always busy, but presents us with lots of interesting and unusual activities and potential partnerships so that we can support the regional creative art of writing and words in all forms.  Please hop on board for West Fest Toowoomba 2024.


We are very excited to present From Script to Stage as our theme in this our third year of WFT.

Here is the draft program so you can add to your diaries:

November 2023

  • setting up our podcast studio ready to interview and share our 2024 presenters via Spotify – short, sassy sharing tasters for the program events
  • Calling for your favourite recipes – * EOI below

December 2023

  • Launch of Aileen Bradley’s travel tips and tales Chooseday – details tbc
  • Debbie Mulligan road trip to Inverell for Michael Burge’s Write Regardless workshop

January 2024

  • Jan 27 – Mouse Proof Brewery Invasive Species event – Storytelling of Toowoomba’s landscape through the eyes and paintbrush of Daniel Blades and his art crew.

February 2024

  • Launch of Celebrating More Tastes of Toowoomba  – the second edition of our very popular multicultural recipe book – details tbc
  • 7th – Progressive  Poetry Trail – Japanese Garden
  • 9th – Progressive walking Capturing the CBD History Trail
  • 10th – Progressive Script Writing Trail

March 2024

  • Mar 16 – Terrific guest author, Michael Burge presents the Get on Board workshop and mentoring at Downs Steam, Drayton for a Writers Retreat with a difference – keeping you on track!  *  EOI below
  • Yet to be confirmed, but anticipating a Words From the Past  train trip to Clifton via Nobby with a lot of fun words, history, food and visual arts along the way *  EOI below

April 2024

  • April  9th – Family History writing Workshop – 100 Years From Now 
  • Cooking Demos from the new recipe book at the Toowoomba Show

May 2024

  • May 9th – Following our Zero Waste campaign and Podcasts, the excitement for the next Trashion Parade – theme is Mother – details in the * EOI below.  I am working on There was an old Woman who lived in a Shoe for my entry….how about getting your imagination into gear?

June 2024

  • Under wraps for now, our fantastic  Warm Words in Winter Author Expos and Workshops, Literary Lunch, book launches and performances will be held from 4th– 9th June and will include our annual book launch at the Queensland Day event

Sponsors and Partners

A huge thank you to our previous sponsors and welcome aboard to those supporting us for 2024.

KC Strategic Media Services – Toowoomba and Darling Downs is our Gold Sponsor for Marketing and Media.  Thanks Kim for your energy and creativity in getting the Word out for us.

Our printers – Cracker Print and Paper
Mosaic Hues
Totally Workwear
Cutta Murphy Photography
Ian Wickham’s in the Booth
Community Hub – Darling Heights State School
Aileen Bradley
Sonia Christou – All Star Brokers
Grand Central – Georgina Bayly
Mouse Proof Brewery
Ruth Atkinson and Marianne Buchanan
Daniel Blades

Volunteers keep our wheels turning  – Thank you unreservedly to the Word Fest Toowoomba Team:  Kath Kelly, Suzie King,  Debbie Mulligan,  Garry Chew, Ben Moore, Vanda Murphy, Lizzie Cook-Long and Wendy McKeen for your massive and ongoing support.

Would you like to join us, or offer to sponsor an individual event? 

On the Page

  • Creating Curriculum to supplement the Certificate 3 in Hospitality for migrant and refugee adult students seeking work.  The Nourish program is designed to complement the Smart Choices guidelines for school tuckshops and is an example of our Words across the community capacity.
  • Excitedly getting Daniel Blades and his artistic crew on board to create something amazing as the backdrop for the Invasive Species event at the Mouse Proof Brewery on 27th January.  This will be a great day for live music with Lead Singer of Punk Band Kathleen Turner Overdrive gathering band from SE Qld to rock the day.   You need to claim the date now!
  • WFT working behind the scenes on blogs and newsletters for Study Toowoomba – the Council – supported program to showcase Toowoomba as a wonderful educational, safe and welcoming place for International Students.  Here are the 6 Student Ambassadors enjoying a meal together at Durbar restaurant at Uni Plaza and promoting their proud cultural heritage at the International Fiesta.
  • Assisting local identity, Aileen Bradley, prepare her travel adventures for Cracker Print and Paper to publish her guide and anecdotes ready for launching Chooseday.
  • Excited to be producing more quality publications next year….stay tuned for these new works.

Darling Downs Community Hub

What a great vibe we had in the Hub and Tuckshop on Friday, 27 October.  Lyndall Hill from Word Fest Toowoomba and her gang of excited participants, started their Cert III in Hospitality with Aurora Training Institute Toowoomba through our Community Hub.

And to top it off, guess what the first cooking project was??  100’s of sausages for our Daniel Morcombe Foundation, fund raising day.

Not only are the participants learning, they are giving back to our community. Community Hubs Australia, Darling Heights State School, Word Fest, Aurora and our amazing participants all working together to make our world a little better. 

If you felt that you would like to help support this great initiative, please consider donating to the Hub to help buy food or if you are a business looking for employees, please contact Ricky Adams via Darling Downs Community Hub Facebook.


More Tastes of Toowoomba

We are creating another Taste of Toowoomba recipe book to share traditional recipes and to celebrate our cultural diversity.  If you would like to have your favourite recipe included in the book, complete the details below, outlining the recipe and why it is important to you.

Get on Board Writers’ Retreat with Michael Burge

16 March at DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum, Drayton

About Michael Burge:  
Michael Burge is a journalist, author and artist who lives at Deepwater on Ngarabal Country in the New England region of NSW.  His debut novel Tank Water is a coming-of-age crime thriller set in the bush and was released by MidnightSun Publishing.  His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love (High Country Books) lifted the lid on familial, institutional and government homophobia in Australia.

Michael co-manages The Makers Shed, a creative hub in Glen Innes. Browse his books in his online bookshop and view his artwork at his online art gallery.  He is director of High Country Books. A graduate of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, Michael was touring co-ordinator for Arts North West.

In a series of hard-hitting articles for Guardian Australia, Margo Kingston’s NoFibs and Gay Star News, Michael’s journalism has always covered issues of equality, LGBTIQA+ history, popular culture, politics and pathways for independent artists and writers. He has also edited and written for Fairfax Media, Australian Community Media, Intermedia, United News & Media UK and News Corporation.  His article ‘Backwards to Bourke: Bulldust about Gays in the Bush’ was published internationally in the Journal of Australian Studies.

For more detail on his work history check out his LinkedIn profile.

The workshop will be held on site at DownsSteam Museum, which is located at the historic Drayton railway station and features a range of historic carriages, it’s very unique dreamtime carriage and a number of operational locomotives.  DownsSteam are planning to have day-trip train journeys operating in the very near future. 

Cost of workshop will be dependent on number of participants, but cost will include venue, catering and presenter fees.  A very unique opportunity to get your writing on board and on track! 

Words from the Past

March 2024 – To be confirmed
Take a trip into the past to learn more of writers from the Darling Downs.  While many of us know the Steele Rudd story from Nobby, you may be surprised to discover many other writers from our local area.  WordFest is currently working with DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum to organise a steam train journey to Clifton.  More details to come.

Trashion Parade

9 May – Grand Central Shopping Centre
Next year’s theme is Mother.  This year’s parade was such a success, we can’t wait to see the designs that will be on display!  We want to see reloved, remade, reused, recycled, reworked, refashioned, recast, revised, redone, reforged, refitted … you get the picture!  To link in with Wordfest’s 2024 theme of Script to Stage, we will be asking that each garment has a story/script to accompany it on stage.  To assist with covering costs, there will be a small fee of $5 per entry.  


A Smorgasbord of Exciting Upcoming Word Related Events

A Smorgasbord of Exciting Upcoming Word Related Events

Word Fest Toowoomba September Newsletter 2023

After the diverse offerings of our last program we have had two months to revive and we are now underway with an exciting smorgasbord of word related events from September 2023 to July 2024. 

This will be our third Word Fest Toowoomba program and it is going to have something for all word lovers.  Each year we try to cover the interests of as many creatives and their stories as possible.

This program’s theme is From Script to Stage.

To whet your appetites and give you the chance to avoid disappointment, we are outlining the dates to jot into your diaries.  We are in the planning and commitment phase, so we will be releasing details in coming newsletters once they are confirmed.

Why we are here?

As in previous years, we are a not-for-profit entity and exist simply to provide opportunities for local writers, readers and wordsmiths across all genres of the spoken and written word to share with our Toowoomba and surrounding regional audiences. 

Thanks – very deep and heartfelt thanks go to our supporters willing to give our alternative events oxygen, the in-kind help for venue, and our staunch volunteers for admin and marketing help to get the word out… and keep the prices to the public very low or free where possible.  This year we are working hard to build and be even bolder.

Our revenue comes from the sale of our publications and ticketed events and we have a number of great new books coming out – travellers, gardeners and foodies will be well-catered for.

How can you help?

By buying our books and attending our events you are supporting local creatives and minority groups through our partnerships.  You can purchase these very reasonably priced, quality publications from Mosaic Hues at the corner of Victoria and Keefe Streets, the Visitor Information Centre in James Street, through Dymocks and The Book Tree or online.  Free delivery within Toowoomba.

Book Store | Word Fest Toowoomba – A Writing & Word Festival

 Did you get your Street Libraries brochure?  Here is your chance to check out the free 24/7 Community book libraries lovingly created and maintained by everyday folk who are happy to share and care.

The full Street Libraries brochure  – please get in touch if you would like some to distribute or if you can add more.

Street-Library-Brochure-June-2023.pdf (wordfesttoowoomba.com.au)

The 2023-2024 Program

September 2023

  • Itty Bitty Float inthe Grand Central Carnival of Flowers display Hop along to see it displayed.

October 2023

  • Our Podcast Series on Spotify where local, national and international authors share their works and where fun poems and stories are read
  • Expressions of Interest  open for the 2024 events – Author Expo; Writers Retreat and Progressive Writers’ Days; Plays and Lyrics
  • Plays, Lyrics, and Puppets – planning for the Stage  Performances in June 2024

November 2023

  • Stories and Recipes Celebrating our colourful community
  • Producing the new recipe book More Tastes of Toowoomba
  • Workshops at Mosaic Hues – Book Folding; Puppet making; Story Lines and more to come over the following months

December 2023

  • Jimbour House event – Workshop for parents and School Leavers around Cyber Safety, Friendships and Families – tbc
  • Launch of a new Travel Book  – a Christmas gift for the travel itch 

2024 – Theme is From Script to Stage

January 27

  • Invasive Species -the message in music and art – Mouse Proof Brewery


  • North, South, East, West – Progressive Writers’ Walking Days


  • Open Writing Competition
  • Jimbour House Writers’ Retreat – tbc

April 18-20

  • Cooking Demonstrations at Toowoomba Show

May 9

  • Trashion Parade – Zero Waste Wearable Fashion Parade around the theme Mother just before Mother’s Day
  • Book a Business Buddy – a Word Fest first.  Stay tuned for the details


Our Winter Week of Words Festival

  • Tues 4 – Literary Lunch with an exciting guest author and word lover – and a super fun venue
  • Thurs 6  –  Queensland Day – An amazing Story and a unique First for Toowoomba
  • Fri 7 – Celebrating musos and stage performers
  • Sat 8 –  Author Expo – local and regional authors across all genres on panels, delivering workshops and reading their work

Claim the dates now

Mystery Date With a Book

2024 a chance to judge a mystery book by its first lines. 
All brand new books at a budget price. 
Check out the Face Book page and follow to grab your bargains (Facebook:  Mystery Date with a Book Toowoomba)

Jeremy’s Book Exchange

A shop full of soul.  Jeremy is a super supporter and we love his children’s books.  Do yourself a Molly Meldrum favour and head over to Uni Plaza and enjoy a rummage in this treasure trove. (FaceBook:  Jeremy’s Book Exchange)

Expression of Interest 

Keep an eye out in the next newsletter for our Expression of Interest for our Author Expo, Fashion Parade and Writers’ Retreat. 
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