Do you dream of being a successful writer? Yeah, me too; only I’m doing something about it.
As a second-year arts student at Deakin University, majoring in Journalism and Creative & Professional Writing, I am determined to immerse myself in as many invaluable opportunities I can find. I have never been the patient type, and as a result, have put myself forward for a number of volunteer writing and editing positions.
As an intern at Bendigo Writers Festival, I am working alongside the festival’s Artistic Director, Rosemary Sorensen, and together we are focusing on promoting the event.
I just can’t wait to see what’s in store for me once the festival is underway. I’m especially excited to meet Jeff Sparrow, the editor of Overland journal, of which I am an avid reader. Jeff is outspoken, and passionate about community justice. He wrote a book about pornography and how it is controlled, and one of his panels is about women and power. That’s brave because he’s joined on that panel by heavyweight women, such as social philosopher Leslie Cannold. It will be interesting to see how he handles it.
Alaina Gougoulis is also going to be interesting to see. She’s the editorial coordinator at Text Publishing, so she knows how book publishing works and how the industry is adapting to the rapidly changing environment.
Bill Garner’s on my list of must-sees, too. A playwright, historian and television writer, Bill’s new book is Born in a Tent, and is about the history of camping in Australia. He reckons the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who love tents and those who hate them. He, of course, is a lover.
I think it’s so important, especially for young writers, to know that the arts community is a close-knit group made up of especially supportive members. Most are exceptionally eager to help you – all you have to do is ask for it.
The Bendigo Writers Festival takes place on August 8 to 10 in the heart of Bendigo’s View Street Arts Precinct. The program is made up of more than 50 sessions, to be conducted by especially accomplished writers, including Jackie French, Australian Children’s Laureate; Blanche d’Alpuget, Bob Hawke’s biographer (and wife); Les Murray, Australia’s pre-eminent poet; Kirstie Clements, a former Vogue editor, and many more, who are all ready and willing to share their expertise.
Full program and booking information is now available online at the Bendigo Writers Festival website and from The Capital, 50 View Street, Bendigo, 3550. (03) 5434 6100.
Written by Ashley Tarleton