I went to the Emerging Writers’ Festival a few years ago – I caught a tram into the Melbourne Town Hall, I sat next to people I didn’t know and I could see the speakers – in real life! This year, the same festival is online – and most of it is free.
The best thing about festivals like this is that it introduces you to different writers and also different forms of art.
Have a look and listen to this poetry, made so wondrously into tiny films. Listen to these poets introduce themselves and their poem, read it aloud, and then you can read the downloaded version for yourself.
So far, I have immersed myself in poetry, as well as a story about a ‘vindictive mermaid’. Tomorrow, I’ve signed up (and paid) for the National Writers’ Conference.
The Yarra Valley Writers Festival also went online a month ago – it was online for a whole day (which could also be viewed later). I drank many cups of tea – then not quite as much red wine – as I listened to a talented group of writers discuss their books and writing.
These two festivals alone have given me a big enough reading list for a year!
And don’t forget that the Melbourne Writers Festival will also be online this year.
Even if we can’t sit next to a friend or a stranger, and even if the panellists are extra polite so they don’t talk over one another through zoom, we can still support new and experienced writers from home.