This year is the last year the amazing Festival Director Lisa Dempster will be taking part in the Emerging Writers Festival. As saddening as that is to hear, it also promises a chance for her to go out with a bang, and let me tell you, the line-up is already huge.
As some of you may already know, in 2008 Melbourne was named UNESCO's city of literature. Although this is wonderful for upcoming writers and readers alike, it's not so great for navigating through the already crowded events that Melbourne holds. So here are a few tips I've put together just for you.
1. Workshops or seminars: Would you like to walk away from this festival having learnt something from the experts themselves?
2. Leaving your own mark: Do you want to head down to a poetry slam and unleash your latest masterpiece? Or maybe just a little festival spelling bee, and walk away with the trophy? My point being, do you want to get involved and leave your mark?
3. Meet people and just float around: Feel like shopping at one of the stalls? Want to just head down to the festival hub and chat to some other people in the industry and make some connections?
Now, I know everything I've just said to you may have made a light go off in your head saying "ALL OF THEM," but slow down for a moment. This year the EWF has over 50 events. If you want to take a few weeks off work and do them all, be my guest. But most of us know, that's not usually possible.
Maybe, the idea you need is to pick one golden event from each of my three categories to go with. But then that begs the question: How much money do you want to spend?
Usually when I see this question, I scoff and say, "None, thanks." But once again, the EWF sucked me in with their amazing line up.
Most events are free, but you know the old saying; you get what you pay for. So if you saw my Workshop and Seminar category and said to yourself, "Yes please," unfortunately that category is the priciest of the three. The meet people and float around category being the cheapest.
Like I said, this event will need some pre-planning. Remember to book, because this year will be huge. If you're a writer, this event is definitely for you. But those of you who aren't writers and just lovers of books; don't be discouraged. The promise of Melbourne's best is at hand.
So if you want to meet some amazing writers whose books are already on the shelves or some writers whose talent promises a bright future, then come meet some fantastical people. Spend a day in the life of a writer, and see where they draw their inspiration from and don't forget to let me know which event you're most excited about.