Organisers of this year's Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival have hailed the event a resounding success.
As the pack down of the purpose-built event village began in the grounds of Voyager Estate, creative director Tanya Perdue said crowds were overwhelmingly receptive to the lineup of authors, journalists and broadcasters.
"There were fits of laughter from the crowd any time William McInnes took the stage and perhaps more laughter than may have been expected in some of Germaine Greer's sessions - along with a dose of controversy of course," Ms Perdue said of the headline guests.
"There was admiration for Michael Leunig's uncanny ability to change the emotion of a character with a single stroke of his pen and tears as local writer Tom de Souza and Dr Gregory Peel Smith from NSW, shared their deeply personal stories and their aspirations for the future."
The Voyager Estate site was transformed with marquees and special event areas, as well as a welcoming community vibe in the dining area, where food trucks and coffee vans joined the reliable Wash Against Waste trailer.
The threat of rain did little to deter the crowds who arrived early on Saturday morning for a full day of talks, activities and workshops including slam poetry readings, author talks, Q&A sessions and book signings.
A special moment at the opening of the festival saw Wadandi custodian Zac Webb perform a traditional welcome to country.
"Our audience and guests were all completely blown away by Zac's passion and the way in which he welcomed our guests and shared his knowledge," said Ms Perdue.
The festival continues this week as the Young Readers & Writers Program tours authors to schools in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and the City of Busselton to inspire a love of reading and writing in young people.
Ms Perdue said countless hours of work from the Arts Margaret River team, including event manager Michelle Wright and the ArtsMR staff and volunteers, allowed the weekend of events to run smoothly.
"Everyone told us how welcome they felt in Margaret River and at the festival thanks to the Arts Margaret River staff and our wonderful volunteers.
"There was a fabulous buzz - and there is already huge anticipation for next year's festival."
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