IN what has been tipped as a long-overdue occasion, the city will see its first celebration of local and international writers as well as literary enthusiasts at the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival.
Officially launched last week, a stellar list of writers and media commentators were named on the guest list for the April 5 to 7 festival - with British actress Miriam Margolyes billed as the opening keynote speaker.
Well-received local authors Jaye Ford, Barry Maitland and Deborah Challinor will be among many others holding workshops throughout the two-day festival, along with ABC presenter Richard Fidler.
The festival will cover topics and genres such as crime, romance, climate change, horror, poetry and history and events will be held at a number of inner-city venues, including the Lock-Up Cultural Centre, Noah's on the Beach and Newcastle City Hall.
Volunteer festival organiser Rosemarie Milsom, who is also a Newcastle Herald senior journalist, said the diversity of talent and the overwhelmingly positive response to the festival showed that Newcastle was more than ready to boost its literary profile.
"I've attended writers' festivals in Australia and overseas, and always wondered why Newcastle didn't have its own event, given the depth of creativity in the city and beyond," she said.
A full program list of the 35 events - 16 of which are ticketed - will be published in the Newcastle Herald on March 9.