Vikings, video games and more to be illuminated at week-long Lake Macquarie history festival

PERFORMANCE: Comic, writer and broadcaster Michael Veitch will present his one-man stage show 'Hell Ship' on September 1, then talk about his book of the same name on September 2. Picture: Supplied.
PERFORMANCE: Comic, writer and broadcaster Michael Veitch will present his one-man stage show 'Hell Ship' on September 1, then talk about his book of the same name on September 2. Picture: Supplied.

Vikings, video games, the history of Lake Macquarie and more will be on show in a week-long festival set to bring authors, historians and researchers to the region in September.

The event will showcase local, national and international stories, and will comprise more than 35 sessions across the three locations, with a split between academic-focused teachings as well as gatherings for the more casual attendee.

It was confirmed in early August exhibitions would take place at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and SEEN@Swansea, as well as the Toronto, Belmont and Speers Point libraries.

It’s an unmissable week Karen Croft, director of the Hunter Writers Centre, said, and confirmed 2018’s program would be a major expansion on last year’s offerings.

“There’s been a big emphasis on true stories, as well as things outside the box and not just people speaking to attendees about events,” Ms Croft said.

“I think everyone who comes is going to love the feel, there’s individual stories, and then really interesting topics like the world’s deadliest snake. Overall, it’s a big and better event than it has been before and it’s really an expansion on what it was before.

“We are also bringing as much local flavour to the event as we can, there’s a lot of interesting topics like video games, vikings, and true stories from around the world, but we wanted to supporter Lake Macquarie historians and writers as well.”

KNOWLEDGE: Dr Chelsea Barnett shares a seminar on cinema in postwar Australia in one of the 2017 sessions of History Illuminated. Picture: supplied.

KNOWLEDGE: Dr Chelsea Barnett shares a seminar on cinema in postwar Australia in one of the 2017 sessions of History Illuminated. Picture: supplied.

Lake Macquarie mayor Cr Kay Fraser will officially open the event at Toronto Library on September 1, which will also include award-winning actor and writer Peter Phelps speaking about his grandfather’s extraordinary escape through the jungles of New Guinea during World War II.

Other highlights of the festival include performer, writer and broadcaster Michael Veitch, who will be bringing his latest release Hell Ship: The Journey of the Ticonderoga to life at Belmont 16s on Saturday evening, Heather Morris speaking about interviews with Holocaust survivor, Auschwitz-Birkenau’s tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov and local historian Ed Tonks will share the origins of local hotels and pubs in Lake Macquarie.

To book in for a session at History Illuminated: library.lakemac.com.au.