Last weekend I enjoyed my third trip to Newcastle Writers Festival. It's such a fabulous festival. So well organised. A vast range of great sessions. And so many free sessions. This year half the 170 sessions were free! Four of the eleven sessions I went to over two days were free.
The program was so good this year that I had real difficulty with picking the sessions I wanted to attend, because it meant I was missing out on so may other great sessions. It took me weeks to sort out my sessions as I tried to maximise the number and range of authors that I would hear.
|Clementine Ford, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Jane Caro, Ruby Hamad|
I got to see so much Australian talent-
Randa Abdel- Fattah
So much of it overwhelmingly female. But in doing so I missed sessions with
Richard Roxburgh (I think he had the biggest signing line of the weekend, definite rock star status and his was the only book to sell out in the bookshop)
and so many others, and other great sessions that included some of the writers that I did see.
All the sessions I saw were fabulous. Inspiring. Thought provoking. Covering such a vast range of topics-everything imaginable really. Feminism. Racism. Sexual assault. Death and dying. Family violence. Australian history. Balinese ritual vaginal cleansing. Yes, it's a thing.
NWF is five years old this year. There have been developments and improvements each of the three years I've attended and there were some changes again this year. While the sessions I attended were all in the Town Hall and Civic Theatre there was a new marquee in Wheeler place was a fabulous space and well used.
And they paid attention to the details too. There were things to read everywhere.
I do love writers festivals. Where else do you get to see grown men in Moomin t-shirts? And young women with cool Eric Carle ribbons?
Naturally I came away with a (relatively) small of a stack of books. It's important to support the authors, the festival and the festival bookseller.
|My sister leant me Something for Nothing,|
and I've already leant her An Isolated Incident
And obviously I want to read work from everyone I saw. And a few I didn't get the chance to see...
I know that I'll be back next year. Somehow I need to work on getting to a new festival soon(ish) to work on my quest to attend all the writers festivals in Australia. So far I've been to Melbourne, Mudgee, Newcastle and Sydney and keep going back to those because they are the easiest to attend geographically. Plus I like them, especially Melbourne and Newcastle.
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