Surrounded by books, Candida Baker is revelling in her new role as director of the Northern Rivers Writers Centre and Byron Bay Writers Festival.
Surrounded by books, Candida Baker is revelling in her new role as director of the Northern Rivers Writers Centre and Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Director juggles many roles

Candida Baker has two children, eight horses, three dogs, a cat and has written 12 books.


And if that’s not enough, the 55-year-old has recently taken on a challenging new role as the director of the Northern Rivers Writers Centre and Byron Bay Writers Festival.


Just two months into her new job, Candida’s schedule is hectic, but ‘lots of fun’.


“It’s been really busy, but very stimulating and I am loving it,” Candida said.


Surrounded by books, Candida, a journalist for 35 years, is in her element.


 And in an exciting move, the writers centre is about to relocate to new premises. “We are moving to a much bigger office upstairs above Witchery in Jonson Street,” Candida said.
 

“This will make a huge difference to us and give us more room for members and I will have an office of my own.


“We hope to grow the profile of the writers centre in 2011 and are looking to make it more appealing to younger members.”


Candida is also working on next year’s writers festival which will be held back at North Beach, Belongil, from August 5 to 7.


It will be the 15th festival and, according to Candida, it’s going to be ‘huge’.


“It’s a bit too early to release any details yet, but there’s going to be some big names and lots of emphasis on local authors and writers,” she said.


“I am hoping to cover more diverse subjects and introduce some new and different events and sessions.”


One of those new events will be a series of ‘In Search of Soul’ sessions which will tap into spiritual and religious beliefs, philosophy and health and well-being issues.


“I see the festival as a tree, with the main trunk representing mainstream components and all the things that have made this festival so popular,” Candida said.


“Then there are the branches which are new, with new shoots and new blossoms, and these represent the new ideas I have.”


There will be an emphasis on more art, more music and more environmental topics at next year’s festival and with a theme of ‘passion’, guests can expect lots of lively debates and interesting topics delivered by international and national writers.


“I am very excited and passionate about the festival and now I am just praying to the weather gods,” Candida said.


“Each festival has its own uniqueness and individuality and I don’t think you can compare them, and although the basic format stays the same each year, the 2011 festival will take on a life of its own.”


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