Like organisations around the world, Geelong Regional Libraries has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, both operationally and financially. The pandemic has also provided us with a unique opportunity to reflect on our activities; to improve what we do to ensure we are best meeting the needs of our communities and stakeholders.

In 2020, the Word for Word National Non-Fiction Festival was taken online in response to the pandemic. We were proud to be able to forge ahead and deliver the festival in this way. While the digital format has a number of benefits, we acknowledge that many festival-goers and presenters missed gathering in person for the event.

The ongoing nature of the pandemic means there are still many questions about the viability of running a large scale literary event at this time, and whether an online, in-person or hybrid model is best.

To this end, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Word for Word National Non-Fiction Festival in 2021, to allow us time to undertake a thorough review of the festival format. We hope that the festival will be back in 2022, and will continue to share updates on our website and social media channels. 

We understand that news of the festival’s cancellation in 2021 may be disappointing, and we thank you for your understanding as we work to navigate these difficult times.

As a public library, we take seriously our role in promoting literacy and supporting authors in our community.  We continue to run a wonderful program of author talks at our libraries and online. To explore these events please visit

Thank you for your support.