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Emerging Writers’ Festival 2014 #EWF14

by Twitchy on May 31, 2014

I’m in full throttle of the festival and it’s been very educational. The schedule has been fairly relentless, which apart from being quite a lot to take in and note, means blogging it so far has been quite the challenge. (This very post comes to you via smartphone, hope it looks alright as I’m already employing the ‘ideas down first, pretty-up later’ approach).

It’s even hard to choose the sessions that are timetabled concurrently.


The breakdown? I’ve been to two night events so far: Wednesday, Gary Shteyngart’s humorous Little Failure book tour and Thursday night To Market, To Market with (crime fiction author) Alex Hammond on the world  of manuscripts and the quest for publication.

Friday was the Screenwriting for Film, TV and the Web masterclass day. This was five consecutive Q&A sessions with industry insiders, 10 mins note breaks between and only thirty minutes for lunch!

Saturday’s all-day activity was part one of two, of the National Writer’s Conference. We’re out of the smaller venues now and into the Melbourne Town Hall for a number of various panel discussions.

Sunday will be another full day with the hopeful literary crowd at the Town Hall for more EWF knowledge.

I aim to cover the sessions I’ve attended in more detail soon, to spread some of the writerly wisdoms and joys.

In contrast to those benefits, a recurring theme across most of the sessions so far, has been the writer’s struggles. The word “depressing” seems to keep cropping up!

As with most creative professions, repeated rejection is part and parcel of the job. Not everyone sees the fun and adventure of having their metaphorical babies ignored, neglected, criticised, changed, unpublished. The best advice here is to expect it and just keep going. Talent alone won’t get you there, but a combination of that, persistence, diligence and an open mind may.

Still, I’m loving all this.

Depending on who you are and to what degree, the solitary nature of writing can be a good thing or really, really not. We all need motivation, inspiration and self belief to counter the doubt and keep going. Yet mixing. And sharing with your tribe wherever possible, celebrating their work, achievements and successes can really boost your drive and creativity.

There’s something in that for all of us, don’t you think?

The Emerging Writers’ Festival runs out of various CBD locations, from May 27 – June 6, 2014.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonia` June 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I would LOVE to go to a writing festival so I am ever so green with envy at you right now 😉 xx


Kelly Exeter June 1, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Ah – so jealous! I love writing festivals!

And I have to say, being part of a writer’s group on FB and having people to share all the ups and downs with, it makes such a big difference. I feel for writers before social media came along. It’s such an isolating profession if you don’t have access to other writers (because only other writers ‘get it’)


Meg May 31, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Hey Sharon, Oh my I found it so hard to figure out what to go to too. During every session I was wondering what I was missing in the control room. Hope to see you around tomorrow.


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