The Local Word Writers Festival returns to Geelong for two jam-packed days

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The Local Word Writers Festival returns to Geelong for two jam-packed days

Kgshak Akec by Mia Mala
Words by Staff Writer

Up-and-coming writers, rejoice.

Celebrating books, writers and readers, Geelong Regional Libraries launches the second iteration of Local Word Writers Festival for 2023.

This exciting two-day event will take place on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 August within the Geelong Library &  Heritage Centre and several libraries around Geelong Regional Libraries’ network, showcasing the extraordinary talent of this region’s writers and creatives! 

With many sessions designed for local writers (established, emerging and aspiring), the diverse program will appeal to writers, book lovers and creatives alike. All featured authors and presenters are local to the G21  region. 

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here.

The first day, Friday 25 August, will see seven writers’ workshops or presentations at libraries throughout the region and online, including: Transform Your Writing with Louis Glazzard (online), Writing Monologue for Performance with Jacqui Connor (Boronggook Drysdale Library), Writing Fiction – The Tricks of the Trade with  Liz Monument (Queenscliff Library) and How to Create a Found Poem with Jo Langdon at Belmont Library. 

At Lara Library, you can attend Magical Worlds: Writing Fantasy for Children, a presentation including a Q&A with Shivaun Plozza and Samantha-Ellen Bound; and workshops on Travel Writing & Memoir Writing with  Laura Waters at Torquay Library and Reading and Writing Poetry in a time of Climate Change with John Bartlett at Colac Library.

The second day, Saturday 26 August, is truly jam-packed with various panel discussions taking place at the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre. 

Songtimes on Wadawurrung Country will feature panellists Corrina Eccles, (Traditional Owner, Wadawurrung), Kelly Caldwell (teacher, artist, songwriter) and Ben Shaw (permaculturist, songwriter, musician), with panel chair Sue Lawson, to discuss this ground-breaking project addressing the lost language of Wadawurrung Country; while Author in conversation session The Bell of the World will feature author Gregory Day talking with literary and arts professional, Harriet Gaffney about his latest book The Bell of the World, described by The  Guardian as ‘an electric crescendo of Australian nature writing.’  

There’s also a free Publish Your Book in 2023 session, exploring publishing options through the  experiences of some of our region’s recently published authors – from ‘indie’ model users to those  finding success with the hybrid publishing model, to authors with many traditionally published  titles under their belt – you’ll discover what it takes to get your book out into the world. Featuring  panellists and emerging published authors Mark Towse, Rich Larsen and S.D. Hinton with panel chair Alli Sinclair. 

There’s also Living Place, Writing Place: a panel discussion involving writers who have set their works on and  been influenced by our magnificent environment of Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast  and, more broadly, Wadawurrung Country. Join Gunditjmara actor, writer and theatre-maker Tom  Molyneux, creator of the stage play, The Mission; Dorothy Johnston, author of One for the Master  and Ruth, both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award; Kgshak Akec, author of Hopeless Kingdom,  shortlisted for the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award, with panel chair Rhett Davis. 

Rounding out the huge program, there’s Creating Fantastic Picture Books for Kids: a panel of local published children’s authors and illustrators (Sue Lawson, Sally Learey, Kat Fox and Heather Gallagher) who will take participants on a journey from the initial idea, writing, editing, and finding an  illustrator, all the way to the finished book; and finally, there’s Dinner and Show, a dynamic, one-hour live performance, followed by an in conversation with Jayne Tuttle, author of Paris or Die, with host Maria Takolander including audience Q&A and book signings. Canapés, light supper and drinks are included in the ticket price. 

“Libraries have  a role – a role we take to heart – in supporting local creatives and bringing communities together,” says Geelong Regional Library Corporation Board chair, Cr Liz Pattison (Mayor, Surf Coast Shire). 

“Building on the success of last year’s event this year’s Local Word Writers Festival is an opportunity for local writers and readers to connect, learn, socialise, explore their craft or passion, and collaborate.” 

Tickets are on sale now. Head here for more information.