The Perth Writers Festival is over for another year and for me it abounded with inspiration, warmth, fun and fantastic weather. It is one of the highlights of my year, I anticipate the next one for months before it occurs and live off the memories for months after. Yes I am a ‘tragic’.
Australian writers and illustrators from all genres mixed, mingled and debated with equally illustrious writers from overseas to bring their expertise to packed audiences. Tropical garden to airconditioned tents to theatres, the venues were as diverse as the guests. Kudos to the hosts, the University of Western Australia, whose grounds and beautiful buildings, as ever, proved the perfect venue for such an event. To the left is one of the resident peacocks who kept me company for much of my downtime between sessions.
So many writers, so hard to choose a favourite. Elizabeth Gilbert oozed warmth and insight while Graham Simsion greeted his audiences on entry with chocolates; his wit, charm and intellect held us spellbound during sessions which passed too quickly. Liane Moriarty, Peter Docker, Inga Simpson to literally name just a few among such an exciting group of Australian writers.
I sometimes wonder what draws others to Writers Festivals. The demographic is predominantly female seniors, strongly Caucasian. But the multicultural mix is improving which is great to see. And family day is a joy to observe. There is a minority, however, who test my patience. The self promoters in the audiences who, at question time, purport to know more about the writer and why they wrote the book than the writer themselves. To the frustration of the rest of the audience and perhaps even the author. I swear there is at least one of these in every session. (end of rant).
I know why I am there. To learn, to be inspired, to be awed; to soak up the ambiance and float home afterwards, my mind full.
(originally written earlier in the year for my own personal use)