Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival

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!



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10 responses to “Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival

  1. I am definitely going to get there next year. As soon as the date is available, it’s going into my diary as a prior commitment, and that’s that!

  2. A fabulous experience! ‘Flame Tip” deserved to be shortlisted as well…

  3. It was great to meet you Karen, and the other writers of the short stories in the anthology. I think we’re incredibly lucky in Tasmania to have not one but TWO fab writing festivals now – the other one being the Tamar Valley Writers Festival.And being a resident of the Tamar Valley, i can fully recommend that festival also – very different from the Hobart one, outdoors, big marquee events, totally different feel, and an opportunity to explore the Tamar! My home ground, so I’m biased.
    Interesting to read in the latest Tasmanian Writers Centre newsletter that the centre’s funding is under threat, with the possibility of Tasmania becoming the only state without a writers’ centre. What a disastrous turn of events this would be, with the centre doing so much to enrich and support the lives and work of creative people throughout the state – AND bringing in interstate visitors for the festival. But enough already! I should be addressing this to our premier, and will be shortly!
    Thanks for visiting the smaller island and hope to see you over that bottle soon! 🙂

    • Yes, Fiona, I read about TWC as well and it would be an absolute disaster. They do a magnificent job on behalf of their members.
      I sincerely hope I can get to the Tamar Valley Festival next year and, if so, perhaps we’ll have a nice old catch-up then.

  4. The TWC festival is every two years. I have not yet been to the Tamar festival. I might crash your party. 🐧🐧🐧

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