Paul Davies.

The look is a little bit retro this year, but Bendigo Writers Festival is up-to-date when it comes to innovation.

With interest in this year’s program booming and ticket sales ahead of expectation, The Capital Venues and Events team are stepping up preparations for the best festival yet.

This year, the festival precinct will be improved, with an information booth at “Camp Junction”, midway along the pathway between The Capital and Ulumbarra Theatre.

There’s also a “save-your-legs” golf-cart service that will shuttle along that route between these two venues throughout the day.

For those who like to kick-on after a packed day of talks and discussions, the Festival Club in the bar at Bendigo Bowls Club will be open until late.

There are also free crime-genre readings on Friday night, and “Bendigo’s Best Bits” readings on Saturday night, following the Paul Davies “What Is Life?” feature event in Ulumbarra Theatre.

The Festival Club will be open during the day as a meet-up place between the Festival Pass sessions, which run in the comfortable meeting room at the Bowls Club.

Festival guests who will be appearing in the Bendigo Bowls Club include Claire G Coleman, Clare Wright, Jane Caro, Jon Kudelka, Kate Forsyth and Ginger Gorman.

One innovation which is getting lots of interest is the festival’s use of the Slido online Q&A platform.

Audiences at sessions in Ulumbarra Theatre and the Capital Theatre will be able to ask questions via smartphones, improving both the range and efficiency of the traditional end-of-session question time.

With a quality program, warm hospitality and excellent value for money, Bendigo Writers Festival is set to build on its strong reputation to showcase the best Bendigo has to offer.