“Every city in Australia should be a ‘City of Literature’, in the same way almost every city in Australia has a strong and distinctive music scene.”
For the first time ever, Emerging Writers’ Festival EWF) will be heading to Adelaide for a weekend of writerly workshops and parties. The festival has traditionally stayed close to its Melbourne home, only venturing out virtually for the Digital Writers’ Festival. The roadshow will run next week from Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 7. The program (below) is full of day- and night-time delights including magazine launches, a writing master class and the Saturday night shebang: Mixtape Memoirs. “There’s an endless debate about whether writers should move to cities like Sydney or Melbourne to be closer to the publishing industry,” Connor O’Brien tells The Adelaide Review. An Adelaide author,Tomely founder and former On Dit editor, O’Brien is the Digital Programs Manager for the Digital Writers’ Festival, and is stepping out in support of EWF’s Adelaide venture. “I think there’s a huge amount to be said, though, for fostering strong networks of writers outside of those cities. Every city in Australia should be a ‘City of Literature’, in the same way almost every city in Australia has a strong and distinctive music scene.” We asked O’Brien why 2014 is the year for an Adelaide portion of the festival pie. “Adelaide is full of profoundly talented writers who don’t necessarily know of one another’s existence,” he says. “That platitude that ‘everyone in Adelaide knows everyone else’ is so wrong – there are over a million people in Adelaide, and there are so many different beautiful bubbles of culture. “With EWF Adelaide, the aim is to create opportunities for writers in all those different bubbles to both skill-share with other writers based interstate, and to connect with other writers based in Adelaide. I think it’s definitely possible for writers in Adelaide to more tightly connect and support one another, whether that means writers buying and contributing to local zines and new journals or attending plays written by local playwrights, and part of that is making the work of all of these writers as visible as possible.” The program features authors and editors including Clementine Ford, Benjamin Law, Sam Cooney and Jennifer Mills. Representing the hometown squad are Lou Heinrich, Simon Collinson, Georgina Chadderton and more.
EMERGING WRITERS’ FESTIVAL 2014 ADELAIDE PROGRAM
NIGHT OF THE LIVING JOURNALS
Friday, September 5, 7pm – 9pm SA Writers’ Centre (Second Floor, 187 Rundle St Adelaide) FREE, no bookings required Magazine launches galore! Student mags and literary journals unite in the launch party of all launch parties. According to O’Brien: “We’ve given each magazine their own timeslot and told them to go nuts, which is fairly dangerous when you’re dealing with journals like The Lifted Brow, Voiceworks, and Kill Your Darlings.”
THE WRITERS’ MASTERCLASS
Saturday, September 6, 10.30am Fifth Quarter (27 Fifth St Bowden) Tickets For new novel writers, critics, editors and more wanting to branch out and get bigger within the broader national scene. According to O’Brien: “The Writers’ Masterclass is our cornerstone event, and it’s targeted at emerging writers who are already working at a high level and want to take the next step in their careers.”
Saturday, September 6 Ancient World (116A Hindley St Adelaide) Tickets Writers of all kinds – graphic novelists, memoirists, comedians and musicians – share their favourite songs and song-related stories. According to O’Brien: “Mixtape Memoirs will totally suckerpunch you – if you don’t laugh and then find yourself bawling your eyes out moments later, the only explanation is that you’re probably not a person.”
SUNDAY SESH: THE DIY DAY
Sunday, September 7, 12.30pm SA Writers’ Centre (Second Floor, 187 Rundle St Adelaide) FREE, but bookings essential A mixed bag of workshops relating to Young Adult fiction, graphic novels and collaboration. According to O’Brien: “For writers that might feel as though they’re just starting out, the Sunday DIY Day is more laid-back and designed to foster collaboration between peers.” For full program details, head to the Emerging Writers’ Festival website.