Former Byron Bay Writers’ Festival (BBWF) director Jeni Caffin is returning to head up the festival.
Caffin will start in the role at the beginning of November. She will also resume her former role as overall director of the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre (NRWC), which stages BBWF.
Caffin programmed the BBWF for four years until 2010. During the past two years Caffin has worked at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) and is currently preparing for October’s UWRF.
Candida Baker took over the position in 2010, but left after the ‘management committee decided that a new model of operation would be instated’. Jonathan Parsons was then appointed festival director in 2011. With the return of Caffin, Parsons will leave the festival to run two major arts projects in Brisbane and Sydney.
NRWC chair Chris Hanley said in a statement that the centre is excited to welcome Caffin back. ‘I am particularly pleased to be renewing my professional relationship with Jeni, as we have worked very closely together during her previous tenure as director and I really enjoy her energy, her ideas and her passion for our organisation and for this community,’ said Hanley.
‘I can’t quite believe that I am in the privileged position of once again calling myself director of the NRWC and BBWF,’ said Caffin. ‘I have had two brilliant years tearing around the world since leaving the Byron Bay nest, much of that time spent as international program director for UWRF, and there’s a job and a half. Now I’m coming home. Not the same home I left—the NRWC and BBWF have moved on. I look forward to leading the centre and the festival into the future.’
Approximately 3000 people attended this year's BBWF, which was held between 3 and 5 August.