'The contemporary popularity of the writers' festival might appear something of a
contradiction, given that such festivals are based around an art form that has been
chiefly a solitary experience for the reader for several centuries. Taking the 2009 Eye of
the Storm Writers' Festival in Alice Springs as its case study, this article examines the
motivations of the audience for participating in community-based writers' festivals.
Interviews with audience members suggest that the writers' festival serves a much
larger cultural and social role for the audience participant than simply increasing their
enjoyment of literature.' (Authors abstract)