17 Sep

I’ve lived in Brisbane for just over four years now and something that has become a permanent part of my local events is the Brisbane Writers Festival. I remember the first year I wandered down on the Sunday to check it out. I didn’t get along to any of the sessions, but just walked through the State Library and the temporary bookshop.

Since then I have made sure I have picked up the schedule for the festival about a month beforehand and sat down expectantly with a highlighter marking the ones that caught my interest. This year was no different. I think I get more and more excited about the program. I got along for two half days and all day Sunday.

I completed a survey whilst there that asked me what I liked about it. For me it’s all about the atmosphere. Being amongst so many other passionate book-lovers. I love striking up conversations with people in the queues. Being mistaken for a person of note. Perhaps a writer? No, just really loving hearing other peoples stories. Highlights: Friday and Saturday I went to sessions that were all about the process of turning a book into a movie or a TV series. There was many passionate publishers pitching their clients works to the producers. It gave me much great insight into the world of books and publishers and if you are dreaming of your book becoming a movie – give it ten years, the average amount of time it takes to transform.

Sunday I spent most of the day at the Festival, much of it with my friend S. Before she arrived, I got there early and headed over to the Breezeway. It had been referred to as the Freezeway the day before because of the icy winds that had shook the red tent. I started the day listening to local Brisbane writer, Nick Earls in conversation with Krissy Kneen about his new book The Fix. He’s fabulous. So witty, and such a great story teller. I liked what I heard so much that I just had to buy the book and later get it signed by the man himself. Face to face, and one-on-one Nick was just as hilarious. I think I have a little literary crush.

Next up a sold out session of readings by three authors: Jonathan Franzen, Ann Patchett, Gail Jones. I love listening to authors reading their books. I love hearing their stories exactly the way they are supposed to be told. Ann started it off with a very tense tail of a Anaconda in the Amazon. The man who really attracted me to the session was Jonathan Franzen.  He read from his novel, Freedom, which I purchased on the weekend as I’ve been hearing much about it and it has been on my “to-read” list for quite some time. He read very quickly, in a really comical manner.

My final session was  Writing for Film & TV. The main draw-card? The wonderful Marieke Hardy who appeared in black dress, red tights, brown boots, feather in her hair, sunglasses, red poncho and of course bright red lips.

S and I ended up at Quan Than on Hardgrave Rd, our usual hang out to digest all that we had experienced. A fantastic weekend of books. I wish it was on more often. I can’t believe I have to wait another 12 months for the next one.

What are you reading at the moment?


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