Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bendigo Writers Festival - events to attend

Okay, first of all, I need to say, this program looks amazing! There are so many events I want to attend, not least of all the opening session with Malcolm Fraser and the session with Denise Scott, hosted by Michael Williams from the Wheeler Centre.

There are two sessions running first thing on Saturday (at 9:30am) that I want to attend. Argh! I hate when that happens! How to Make Believe is a fantasy panel session and What Children Want, What Children Need is about quality in children's literature. I love fantasy and I love children's literature - which session to go to?! Oh well, I suppose it will depend on which session is closest to the cafe - I'll need a hot chocolate, that early on a wintry Bendigo morning!

I have always admired societies who venerated intellectuals, and listened to smart men and women. I think that this session, When Australians Think Out Loud, Does Anybody Listen? looks pretty interesting. It's on Saturday at 11:15am.

What Matters More, the Speech Writing or the Delivery? is a session running on Saturday at 12:30pm. I love hearing people talk with passion, and will listen to pretty much anyone talk about pretty much anything if they can capture my attention! For me, it's a combination of the speech itself, and the delivery, but I'm certainly interested to see this session and hear what others think.

In another potential double-booking, at the same time as the session above, there is a session on the future library, called Not Just Books. The Head of the State Library of Victoria, Sue Roberts, is on this panel, and I'm excited to hear what she has to say. Oh, if only I could get my hands on a TARDIS!

Writing can be very personal, but where do you draw the line in writing about family members? See what the experts have to say in Family Matters, on Saturday at 3:45pm.

I am of the opinion that education is the best way to solve some of the biggest problems in our society, and I wonder about how the Internet could help better with that. At the moment, it seems like it simply gives some people a place to share their nastiness, so I am very interested in a panel called Has Our Cultural Golden Age Ended? This panel is on first thing Sunday morning at 9:30am.

One of the big reasons I went to the Bendigo Writers Festival last year was to see the magnificent Megan Burke. I had been reading her blog, Literary Life, for years, and she and I actually became friends in real life, which is so wonderful! Megan's passion for books is so admirable, and although she is taking a break from her blog for now, it still contains so many wonderful posts and is definitely worth taking a visit. It looks like Megan is doing another session this year, appropriately called New Ways To Be Outrageous, about social media. This is a must see for me, both on a personal level, as I love Megan, and because I have my own blog now! It's on Sunday at 1:15pm, I'll definitely be at this session!

Right after that session is another one I'd like to see, Unbecoming. I, like a lot of others, have been watching over the past few months as women in the public eye seem to take far more than their share of abuse, which often rises to a horrifically vitriolic level, and becomes intensely personal (such as threats to rape and kill the woman herself, and her family members). I just can't understand this kind of behaviour - it's just not in me to behave that way to a perfect stranger. I'm so glad lots of other people feel the same way I do! The session description says "In the wake of powerful debates about sexism and equal rights, Dennis Altman, Andrea Goldsmith and Monica Dux talk with Shannon Kerrigan about what's changed for men and women and why."

Poetry Slam is on Sunday 5:00pm, and as I said in my first post, one of my aims this year is to read more poetry. Well, going to a Poetry Slam counts! This looks like lots of fun, and it's on late on Sunday, so I can justify staying Sunday night and coming home on Monday! Yay!

I will say that I found the program quite tricky to read online. The daily version just lists the events by title, and you have to click each title and open it to see when it runs and where it is being held. Aha, I've just found an easy to read PDF version here. When I went to the Festival last year, they had paper copies of the program that were easy to pick up pretty much anywhere in town. I really am a fan of a paper version for a program like this - I love to circle the events I want to attend and plan out breaks to visit the bookshop, the coffee shop and the toilets! All the essentials, in other words.

I'd also like to see more information about each speaker listed. Most authors have simple biographies they could post on the page, so that you are sure exactly who the author is. It would have been good to have them included.

Alrighty, I am off to check out the official Bendigo Tourism website, and the unofficial guide to Bendigo, sweetly called I heart Bendigo. I hope to see you at the Bendigo Writers Festival!


  1. That looks awesome. I think the Unbecoming session looks really good - i think you'll get a lot out of it. I look forward to your recap and highlights! Take lots of pic's. Instagram that shit. -Ange-

    1. Thanks! Now to get the leave approved from work...