New artistic director for Canberra Writers Festival

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Jeanne Ryckmans

THE Canberra Writers Festival has announced that literary agent, author and former publisher, Jeanne Ryckmans, will be its new artistic director.

Ryckmans, who replaces Michaela Bolzan in the role, has worked for two decades in Australian book publishing. A former publisher for Random House and HarperCollins, Jeanne worked in arts television as an on-air presenter, producer and documentary maker and was features editor at “Elle” magazine and books editor at “Vogue”.

Described by the organisation as “a native Canberran with an innate understanding of what makes the capital tick,” she served as a board member in 2019, contributing and helping to engage the participation of high-profile authors.

Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson to the effect that “Some books leave us free and some books make us free”, Ryckmans describes the event as “a popular literary beacon that at once informs, educates and entertains.”

She says she believes the festival’s theme, “Power, Passion, Politics” is ideal for imaginative programming.

“The essence of a dynamic writers’ festival is one that enables ongoing debate and discourse,” she says.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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