I'm an occasional freelance writer, who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula.
When it comes to writing festivals and literary events, the focus is often on a specific genre or writer's works. In the past, the city of Geelong has been lucky enough to host a wide range of these events, including a romance-writer's festival in Queenscliff, and quite a few launches, talks and signings from some well-known authors. Most of these events are orchestrated through bookstores and regional library services, offering audiences a chance to meet and greet their literary heroes.
Towards the middle of August, fans of the non-fiction genre have the chance to celebrate and learn from some of the most influential and renowned authors in the business, when Deakin University and the Geelong Regional Library Corporation hold their first Word For Word National Non-Fiction Festival. The event, which will run from 15-17 August, offers people the chance to access ideas, values and information regarding non-fiction literature and writing, as well as the chance to discuss and evaluate from the material covered.
This three-day event is set to cover a wide range of topics, with participation from over 60 writers and presenters, many of whom have written books or articles on the subjects that will be discussed. Themes that will be covered include (but are not limited to) an interpretation of history, true crime, dealing with grief, the portrayal of women in the media, men in the kitchen and world-wide adventuring. Although the above talks are more generalised, there will also be talks by specific authors who have recently had their works published and want to discuss the themes involved within them. Some of the better known authors include crime writer and former model Tara Moss, historical writer and researcher Molly Oldfield, popular true crime writer Adam Shand, and a whole host of writers whose biographies and non-fiction works have recently been released and discussed in the media.
These are just some of the books released that have been written by the authors and presenters at the event
For people interested in a more hands-on approach to the festival (rather than attending debates or lectures), there will also be several workshops available. Here, people will have the opportunity to learn about publishing, narrative writing, different techniques for non-fiction writing and creating publicity. Workshops are limited to 25 participants, so those interested are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.
Of course, no festival is complete without the obligatory Festival Dinner, which will be held on the Saturday night at Deakin's Waterfront Kitchen. Guests have the opportunity to hear from international guest speaker Molly Oldfield, while enjoying a three-course meal and complementary wine served by caterers from Truffleduck. Tickets to this event are strictly limited, and are sure to sell fast.
The event will be held at Deakin University's Waterfront Campus in Geelong
While few free events will be held at the Word For Word National Non-Fiction Festival, the booking prices are not overly exorbitant and you're likely to get your money's worth when you attend the presentation of your choice. This event promises to appeal to people with varying interests, and is certain to become a regular event on Geelong's cultural and literary calendar in years to come.