Word Fest Toowoomba notched up a second program of great events for 2023. 

THANKS to absolutely everyone who was involved along the way, and to those who came along to our events.   

Literary Lunch

The Literary Lunch saw 83 book lovers treated to a great talk from local, but now nationally and internationally recognised author, Nikki Mottram.  She entertained the appreciative audience about her process in writing her debut novel Crows Nest and the challenges along the way. 

As well as the delicious meal provided by Renee the caterer and the ladies of the Toowoomba Town and Country Club, the Fibbers Club was introduced to Toowoomba.  Fibbers Pauline Gordon, Carmen Darwin and Emma Mactaggart tried valiantly to convince the audience that their definition of the word SELCOUTH was the correct one.  Emma’s won!  Then the tables tried their hand at creating definitions for the word FERNWEH – the wanderlust ache you can’t put your finger when desiring to be places you’ve never seen.  Some quite creative responses were given!  Fibbers have fun! 

The beautiful hand-made I Spy quilt made and generously donated by Marie Newberry was won by Emma Mactaggart. Word Fest Toowoomba would like to thank Ann Hewitt from The Book Tree and MollyB Blogging for their donations for prizes. 


Poetry Slam

Then came the Poetry Slam  held at Team Ngapuhi’s Muay Thai venue at 88 Water Street. Our fabulous sponsors for the night were Andrew and Nicole Erlandson of RAMS Toowoomba. Generous use of the ring meant that contestants sharing their poetry were under and on the ropes during the night delivering their original poems.  Thanks to Phil and the team lead by Isiah for the martial Arts demo during the program.  Thanks to the raffle and entrance we were able to donate to Isiah’s fund to get him to Thailand to further his fast-rising status in the sport. 

Food provided by Nibbles by Renton and Quick & Easy Food by Nepalese Goodies and a sausage sizzle were helping to get those nerves out.  A good crowd for a first time, with bigger and better to come in 2024. 

Winner of the purse was Bronte Geitz  and runner up was Mark Cook-Long.
View Bronte’s Entry Here.
View Mark’s Entry Here.


Storytelling Under the Stars

Sadly our planned event Storytelling Under the Stars was postponed because of ill-health issues for Uncle Wayne Fossey.  We are still hopeful of a revamped version – keep an eye out! 

Ask an Artist

Saturday afternoon saw a lovely friendly group of art lovers eager to hear the Ask an Artist  panel chat with colourful character Anna Battle of Shiny Happy Art interviewing Ben Tupas, Natalie Fogarty and Rora Ewell.   

The exhibition was designed to offer locals the chance to see the diversity of art creatives in the region.  The curation by construction artist, Ben Moore of B4 Present recycled artworks showed the diversity of local talent – from beautifully crafted and decorated bags by JLW; Summerholm Studio ceramics; Indigo Skies intricately detailed botanical textile art; paintings in many different styles by Jenny Foxton, Marianne Buchanan, Terese Eglington, Murray Hill, and Ben Moore;  fascinating Book Folding by Marissa Thompson; jewellery by Mosaic Hues  and floral artistry by lorenzocaso_artistry 

Food was provided by Nibbles by Renton a young 3rd Year Apprentice from the Gatton cafe Love and Karma. 

The exhibition space at Level 3 3 Railway Street was generously donated for the 2 weeks by the delightful Bec and Jo at their new independent Toowoomba Gallery.  


Author Expo

Sunday saw the small but very satisfied audiences head to the Community Meeting Rooms at the Library for the Author Expo.  What wonderful speakers, interviews, workshops and practical fun was had across the amazing program.  A big thanks to Dusty who helped with the AV, and to the local authors who set up their book stalls.  Next year already has a different format in mind, so stay tuned for exciting events around our 2024 theme From Script to Stage.

Sadly this saw the departure of the lovely Ashleigh Hartley who interned from UQ with WFT for this first part of the 2023 program, and who kept the admin, emails and newsletters on track.  Ashleigh initiated the Short Story Writing competition and was very excited to see the number and standard of the writing.  She enjoyed the judging experience with Peter McGrath. 

Winning entries by Frank Prem and Joanna Turner are now on the website for your reading pleasure. 

Thank you Ashleigh so much – you will be missed! 

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words. By Anonymous


Queensland Day Breakfast

This block of events ended with our support for the Queensland Day Breakfast organised for its second year by Kim Cahill of KC Strategic Media Services. Inspiring guest speakers JamieLee Wagner, Jai Gordon and Councillor Dr Rebecca Vonhoff shared their love of Qld and Toowoomba.  Carmen Darwin, newly claiming Toowoomba as her home, launched her beautifully crafted coffee table book What Now Sisters depicting a series of letters defining the challenges of cancer and how the challenges can be overcome. 

The beautifully crafted table centres by lorenzocaso_artistry inside our Word Fest Books, along with the raffle from McAdam and Turnbull Reality were sold to support Jai’s training on his journey in athletics excellence, and the Blush Cancer charity benefitted from ticket sales. 

So we have been busy and buzzing.  Now we plan for 3 exciting events between now and the end of this year, and a brand new theme and concept for 2024.  Hope you will come along for the ride.