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2011 Perth Writers Festival programme has me salivating

Oh, sweet darling that is the Perth Writers Festival. Honestly, I’m going to go out on a limb here and admit that pretty much nothing else gets me as excited and inspired as getting a massive overdose of writing, writers, reading, and books, and that’s what the Perth Writers Festival provides every year.

I’ve just come home from the launch of the 2011 Perth Writers Festival programme (and yes down here we do say programme, so that red squiggly line that wants me to type program can just disappear, please!), and have devoured the Festival brochure, drawn rings around the people I just must see, and even been online to reserve a few relevant novels from my local library (with major apologies to the writers, but my budget just doesn’t stretch to buying every book I want, plus my husband would kill me as books take up space, which he claims we don’t have).

You might be able to guess from my blathering and generally wobbly speech that I’m rather excited by what I’ve found and I can’t wait until the first weekend in March when this all takes place. Some time ago I already snapped up tickets for the Armistead Maupin evening (this was one of the early announcements) but now I discover I may have to sandwich Annie Proulx in before him and after a day full of some of my favourite local writers and writing personalities (oh, I even told my husband who really didn’t get it all, that dear Ramona Koval from ABC Radio’s The Book Show will be here, I adore listening to her and her podcasts have got me through many a boring dinner preparation!). And I can’t believe I really only found out tonight that Joanne Harris (yes, author of Chocolat, among others) will be here too.

For me, seeing and hearing so many writers within a few days gives me a major inspiration boost, and even just thinking about it six weeks ahead of time gets my fingers pretty itchy, too. One thing I really love about the writing world is that 99% of writers are absolutely ordinary people, and the nature of books and writing means that even most successful writers are not particularly affected by their fame (probably because not too many of them become rich because of it!), and mingling with them at a festival makes me truly believe that I can be “one of them” too. I think it must be much more daunting to want to be a famous actor or rock star, because there’s so much more hype surrounding those personalities. Thank goodness my big dream is just to become a fiction writer!

What does seeing writers “live” do for you? Let me know what you think in the comments (and tell me if I’m insane. I can take it).

Amanda Kendle

2 Comments

  1. I definitely love seeing authors live. Particularly if I’ve read their work and admire it, but really, “any old writer” will do. (No offense intended to anyone!! That will be me someday! Lol.)

    I agree that authors tend to be at a more grounded level of celebrity, and I like that. (It’s also about all I would want for myself.) Even so, they feel “elevated” above us lowly aspiring writers, and that inspires me. Seeing where they are now, and hearing in their own words where they came from and how they got here. It gets me all fired up for my own journey, you know?

    Sometimes I wish I could bottle that feeling up and sip from it whenever I felt tired or “blocked”…

  2. Definitely on the same page there, Kristan! It really is inspiring, isn’t it, but holding on to that inspiration 24/7 when you’re not at a writing event but in the middle of normal life can be a bit trickier. I’m keen to follow how you go writing full-time, whether that makes it harder or easier.

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