So glad I made it to the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival.
Lucinda Sharp (Director of Forty Degrees South), yours truly, Fiona Stocker (‘Apple Island Wife’) at Hadley’s Orient Hotel.
It was a busy time for me but I crammed in what I could. Here are some highlights:
I attended the shortlist announcement of the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes where I met and chatted to a number of authors, journalists, readers and supporters. It was held on stage at the beautiful Theatre Royal. Congratulations James Boyce, Gregory Day, Pete Hay and Rebe Taylor as well as all the shortlisted authors in other categories.
The following night it was off to the introduction and welcome drinks at major sponsor Hadley’s Orient Hotel where I was very happy to see my Flame Tip on sale (thank you Fullers Bookshop). Did I move some books around on their lovely display to get me in the same shot as Ryan O’Neill? Hell yes!
Powerful poetry by Jim Everett (puralia meenamatta).Brazenly introduced myself to the charismatic writer Arnold Zable. Then it was off to hear Ryan O’Neill chatting about ‘Their Brilliant Careers’ which I am now laughing my way through. I also met one of the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize judges Fiona Stocker and we talked about her current journey to the publication of ‘Apple Island Wife’ .
My other super highlight was the launch of the Forty South Anthology and meeting fellow finalists in the 2017 Tasmanian Writers’ Prize. I got to read from my story ‘Alice . . . Incomplete’.
Having now read all the short stories, I can say I am thrilled to be in the company of so many wonderful writers. The effervescent Lucinda Sharp of Forty Degrees South introduced James Dryburgh who launched the book and ran a fabulous panel discussion with writers and judges on ‘writing to theme’. I really enjoyed the interaction and was fascinated by our vastly different approaches to writing short stories. I had the opportunity of chatting to James after the event about his book ‘The Blafour Correspondent’ which was launched in Tasmania by Bob Brown last month.
Tasmanian Writers Centre director Chris Gallagher and all the staff are to be commended for putting together such a diverse and entertaining festival. Once again, Tasmania, I salute you!