Packed venues and sizzling debates at the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival

The love of words, books and those who create them was on display all weekend at the 10th Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival.

From the poetry slam on Friday night to the final interview with retired ABC broadcaster Kerry O'Brien on Sunday evening and hip hop performance by Zohab Zee Khan, venues were mostly full and often overflowing.

Committee president Jenni Clement said feedback had been flowing in, especially praising the easy, friendly atmosphere of the festival.

"More than a few of the authors have said it was the "best festival they'd ever been to", which to me means not only was the festival a success, but the whole ambience of the town and the way the community responded ... I can't thank everyone enough, their attendance was simply fabulous," Jenni said.

People clearly loved it and that's what it's all for.

Festival chair Jenni Clements

Festival publicist Seth Jordan said it was an "absolute killer of a weekend" that saw record crowds.

"The box office was excellent, which gives the event a strong foundation for its future. We want to sincerely thank the small army of volunteers, the billets and everyone else who played a role in making it such a memorable, happy event."

For this journalist, the richness of what was on offer made choosing what to see more than a little difficult.

Everything I attended offered fresh and stimulating insights.

There was the wonderful Science Writing panel, ably chaired by Tim Cadman on Saturday and the unforgettable Media and Journalism line-up that evening, where the Australian Federal Police raids on ABC studios and the apartment of NewsCorp journalist, Annika Smethurst got a good work over, as did the desperate need for a Bill of Rights and the arrival of 'clickbait' into our daily lives.

Sunday's Indigenous Writing and Storytelling session was insightful and heartfelt with anthropologist Marcia Langton saying we can all pull our weight in helping to protect this country, not least by getting rid of cats and wild dogs.

GUMBAYNGGIRR DREAMINGS: Precious knowledge shared with a great crowd present

GUMBAYNGGIRR DREAMINGS: Precious knowledge shared with a great crowd present

"We need to co-manage this biosphere in co-operation with the traditional owners," Professor Langton said.

The session later in the day where she and historian Henry Reynolds spoke about the Frontier Wars turned out to be a sizzling interactive event that confronted the views of some.

The festival is now looking to 2020 with its AGM on Saturday, July 6, 2pm at the Bellingen Youth Hub - new members with time, passion and skills are needed.