Brisbane Writers’ Festival – a brief recap…

Joe Gatling – the State Library of Queensland


So, for those of you in the know, this weekend saw the end of this year’s Brisbane Writers’ Festival. For those of you not in the know, this weekend saw the end of this year’s Brisbane Writers’ Festival.

Someone stole this image, I don't know how to find out who it belongs to.

A cat-moot.

OK. The Writers’ Festival. Which seemed beforehand to be a strange beast (or group of beasts), akin to the proverbial herd of cats. I mean, we writers are solitary creatures, often nocturnal or skulking around as dawn breaks, coffee in hand and scowl in place. Other than through Twitter I don’t think I know any writers other than Oscar Jamieson. But even cats hold cat-moots (not sure what the collective noun for cats is, sorry.) And writers, apparently, hold festivals. I had only been to one writers’ festival/group psychology session before – and that seemed a bit dodgy, as though the organisers had simply got a white-board and scrawled up session times on the day (exactly what they did, by the way.) I had a few good conversations that day, and even an argument or two. It was alright, but perhaps I wouldn’t recommend it.

And BWF is state-sponsored, with an awesome website.

In short, I didn’t think it was for me.

And I thought it’d be expensive.

UPDATE: A group of cats is called a clowder. We have the best language.

Me, with my pillow.

Me, with my pillow.

It wasn’t that expensive. And, not being a “planner”, I picked four events ($12(ish) each), based on the titles of the talks. Sure, it was a bit hit and miss, a bit of a scattergun approach, but I did end up attending two awesome talks. And I had a ulterior motive – Sue (the brains behind Tiny Owl Workshop) would be there, and so would a pillow with one of my short stories on it (His Illiterate Etchings), as part of the cuddly and clever Pillow Fight! Aaaaand I got a chance to meet up with two of my Twitter friends (we met on the internet) and fellow writers Ben Leigh Hobson and with Ira McGuire as well as with a half hour chat with Sue in the early morning.

Oh, and I think I saw Jo Eberhardt in a couple of the talks, but, as I said, I’m a bit too socially awkward to just walk up and say hello.

Hi, Jo!

I had a good time, which is saying something for an anti-social creature like me.

Anyway, four events.

I saw some famous writers, accidentally. I learned about Sicilian blood magic, about writing YA paranormal romance (accidentally), and about a local Brisbane comic publisher (awesome.)

And man, the Fables & Folk Tales session with Kate Forsyth was brilliant. All three writers had rewritten Rapunzel (and Kate is doing her doctorate on it!) Excellent.

The Brisbane Writers’ Festival. It was pretty cool. I’ll go again next year. So should you, if you can.

Maybe I should write more about it…are you interested? Let me know below…

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2 thoughts on “Brisbane Writers’ Festival – a brief recap…

  1. steviepreater says:

    Sounds like a great event. I’d go, if I wasn’t on the other side of the planet… 🙂

  2. Mal Keeble says:

    It was my second BWF and is now one of my favourite events of the year. We probably passed each other.

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