© iStockphoto.com/Viorika Prikhodko

No blocks at Writers Festival

ASPIRING and inspiring authors alike gathered at Belongil Fields for the Byron Bay Writers Festival over the weekend.

Among them was possibly the next Roald Dahl, seven-year-old James Simpson, of Knockrow.

James insisted on joining his parents at the annual festival for the first time.

“I love reading,” he said. “My favourite book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl.”

James's mother, Alice Hudson, said James was looking forward to New South Wales hip hop duo, CuzCo, who performed on stage on Saturday.

CuzCo, known individually as Wire MC and Choo Choo, easily attracted one of the largest, and youngest, crowds.

The pair use hip hop music and literacy workshops to provide an alternative form of education and to empower young people from low socio-economic and disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We use hip hop as a strong tool to uplift kids in Australian and Aboriginal communities, but it's not like we're hip hop Nazi's,” Choo Choo said.

Speaking to a different beat, Wire MC, who is a descendant of the Gumbayngirri nation, taught the audience to beat box during CuzCo's talk, stirring up laughter throughout the crowd.

“Think of an angry sheep for a kick drum,” he said.

“And take the word fish and cut the head off and take the 'ish' to make a high-hat sound. Now combine all the noises and go home and annoy yourselves and your parents.”

Another big drawcard was television personality Gretel Killeen, who spoke of her life in television and as a single mother, and how writing her memoirs, The Night My Bum Dropped, helped to answer important questions while she was going into the next stage of her life.

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