I’m really excited for this year’s Emerging Writers’ Festival after being impressed last year. The EWF really does set itself apart from other festivals because it’s for writers and feels far more participatory than something like the Melbourne Writers Festival which is much more for readers.
I feel like I’m much more part of the festival and was eager to see the program last Friday, dashing up to The Wheeler Centre during my lunch break to pick up a copy and sneaking looks during the afternoon at work to see what I want to go to.
Taking place in Melbourne in various venues from the 21st to the 30th of May, these are my picks for this year’s festival:
The First Word – The opening night event was excellent last year and full of thoughts and opinions that kept my brain ticking and ready for the festival. As well as sure to have entertaining performances, this year’s panel includes Myke Bartlett, Josh Earl, Amy Espeseth, Toni Jordan, Alison Mann, Michaela McGuire, Kate Mclennan, Craig Schuftan and Michael Williams.
How To Edit Your Work for Publication with Davina Bell & Julia Carlomagno – This workshop is part of the selection of workshops run by Youth literature organisation, Express Media. The workshops are one of the things that really make it a writer’s festival. Editing for publication is one of my weak areas and one I’ve been needing to work on so was really looking forward to a session like this even before the program was announced.
TwitterFEST – A lot of my contact with Melbourne’s emerging lit scene is through Twitter and given the success of this and people linking Twitter with other festivals, assigning a hashtag (#EWFchat) for discussion throughout EWF is a great idea. I’m yet to work out exactly how the discussion is going to flow, like if there will be a big screen displaying peoples tweets, but I will definitely be keeping my BlackBerry charged and posting 140-character thoughts throughout the festival.
Taking it online (Town Hall program) – One of the sessions during the Town Hall program, a weekend of sessions with one ticket, it’s going to discuss writing online, publishing, blogging etc. which has been the topic of some debate recently. And one of the panelists is Max Barry, author of Company, an excellent novel I read last year.
Never Surrender (Town Hall program) – This panel discusses rejection and less than successful parts of writing. Given I’ve submitted more work this year than previously, and therefore been rejected more, this will hopefully give me some perspective.
A short note on process (Town Hall program) – I’m always fascinated by how other writers work, whether they work and how they work around it or how they survive unemployed.
Going to a dark place (Town Hall program) – Whilst not explicitly dealing with horror, I’m excited about this session as a horror writer as it deals with how writers confront darkness in their writing, which is sure to be a heavy session. Jeff Sparrow who’s on the panel is also always interesting to listen to.
These are just the sessions that leap out at me and tend to relate to what I’m working on. Be sure to check out the program for yourself as I’m sure there’s other stuff for other people.