Writers festival ‘best yet’
SOCIAL media, poetry and even music, were all features of this year’s Whitsunday Writers Festival, which organisers are hailing the best yet.
Taking place at the Cannonvale Marine Club over the weekend, the festival attracted over 100 people from across the region and as far afield as Townsville, and included greater audience participation than ever before.
How to be a travel writer, the art of writing short stories and tips for creating a brand, formed the basis for a series of workshops that kicked the festival off on Friday.
Throughout the course of the day, participants were able to learn from some of the best in the business, with the likes of ABC Open producers Dan Battley and Michael Bromage and Australian Society of Travel Writers president Kerry Heaney, sharing the secrets of their craft.
Ms Heaney, whose blog ‘eat, drink and be Kerry’ is in the top 10 for food and travel in Australia, said in her opinion the festival was a great opportunity for people who were interested in writing to explore different genres.
Her advice for budding authors was to “follow your passion” and for those particularly interested in travel writing, to remember “it’s a lifestyle choice”.
This year’s undisputed star was Peter FitzSimons, who regaled the audience with his comical and insightful talks.
The former Wallabies player, turned non-fiction author and journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald, captivated those who attended his presentation on Saturday and charmed the guests at the evening’s gourmet dinner. The festival wrapped up on Sunday with a poets and pirates long-table lunch, which committee member Rachael Smith described as “a fun afternoon”
“There were lots of people dressed up, a few kids came along, and the poetry was fantastic,” she said.
“There were some seasoned poets, plus a few first-timers, who were really brave and it was great to see them get up.”
Festival founder Gloria Burley thanked the committee for their efforts in making this year’s event such an interactive success.
She also extended a special thanks to the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) for their ongoing funding support.
GROUP EFFORT: Whitsunday Writers Festival committee members and guest speakers alike had a ball at the gourmet dinner, hosted by Peter FitzSimons on Saturday night. Pictured are: Cap'n Dan Van Blarcom, Vanessa Hartle, Alice Greenup, Jan Smith, Gloria Burley, Jenni Ogden, Peter FitzSimons, Rachael Smith, Liz Down and Deborah Friend.