4 mins reading

April 27-30

Kay & Burton is very proud to support the inaugural Sorrento Writers Festival, a coastal celebration of words, writers and big ideas.

The Festival is the brainchild of journalist and writer Corrie Perkin, who has established the new not-for-profit cultural organisation with a long-term commitment to improve literacy, enhance learning and provide a safe, stimulating and mutually respectful environment in which to discuss ideas.

The four-day world-class Festival promises to bring discussion, ideas, books, writing, journalism and children’s programs to the Mornington Peninsula because put simply, ‘words matter’. They matter in discussions and debates, in speeches and in commentary. They matter in books, newspapers, essays and magazines. They matter in stories for children. Words have the power to make the world a better place.

With more than one hundred Australian and international writers, guests, speakers, journalists, moderators, academics and creatives already confirmed, and a successful launch event held over the summer, the literary celebration is quickly gaining momentum and is the talk of town.

Kay & Burton Portsea Director Liz Jensen said the concept resonated with her wholeheartedly and will bring so much energy to the Sorrento community.

“I have always had a love of words, both personally and professionally. They play such a huge role in the property industry, describing and evoking the atmosphere of the homes we represent – from waterfront mansions to character-filled beach shacks.

I have no doubt the Sorrento Writers Festival will be embraced by the community and will be permanently etched on the calendar.  We’re thrilled to be part of the vision and look forward to a long and meaningful partnership.”

The objective of the Festival is to raise money to support a variety of local literacy and reading initiatives such as Story Dogs, the Mornington Peninsula Foundation, the Sorrento Primary School and St Joseph’s Primary School libraries. The ultimate goal is to create a much-needed library in Sorrento for readers in the community, young and old, to enjoy.

The beautiful townships of Sorrento, Portsea and Blairgowrie will be highlighted as key destinations, with the attendance at the Festival benefiting the local economy and businesses, such as short-stay accommodation, restaurants, cafes, boutique businesses and other lifestyle destinations. Events will be held at various locations in Sorrento, including The Continental Sorrento, a generous supporter of the Festival.

Notable speakers confirmed include Jane Harper (The Dry), Booker Prize winner Tom Keneally (Schindlker’s Ark), Sarah Winman (Still Life), Chris Hammer (Scrublands), Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees), Hannie Rayson (Hotel Sorrento), Jane Caro, Lindsay Fox, Bill Kelty, Barrie Cassidy, Niki Savva, Caroline Wilson, Mike Sheahan and Russel Howcroft to name a few.

While the full program is a work in progress, the inaugural Festival features the Barry Jones Oration. Fittingly, the 2023 oration will be delivered by its namesake – writer, polymath, teacher, lawyer and former politician Dr Barry Jones AC.  Every year thereafter, eminent Australians will deliver an agenda-setting oration relating to those topics reflected in Barry Jones’ lifetime contribution to Australian society.

The Sorrento Creative Writing Prize will also be awarded to a piece of creative writing by a yet to be published Australian writer aged over 18 years. The $5000 award is the generous gift of Dr Helen Sykes and the Future Australians organisation.

For further information about the Sorrento Writers Festival and to subscribe the newsletter for updates about the program visit or follow @sorrentowritersfestival