WRITERS FESTIVAL INSPIRES CROWDS
INSPIRATION, talent, passion, self-belief, determination and discipline – this is what it takes to be a writer, according to the guest speakers at last weekend’s Whitsunday Writers Festival.
And inspiration abounded at the three-day event, as published authors shared their stories with aspiring writers and people who just love reading books and the written word.
Some of the authors had only written one book – feeling a need to capture their life’s work or adventures in words – while others were career authors, publishing many books in their lives.
All agreed that passion was a vital ingredient in the writing recipe – along with a healthy dose of self-belief.
Local resident Jess Rossi, from Airlie Beach, said she had been inspired by the authors’ talks and workshops, and she hoped to one day write her story.
“It’s been really great, excellent,” the 34-year-old English teacher said, adding she particularly enjoyed Professor Iain McCalman’s talk about the Great Barrier Reef and his book ‘The Reef, a Passionate History, from Captain Cook to Climate Change’.
“Everyone should own Prof McCalman’s book about the reef – people who live up here need to read it – the history in it is amazing,” she said. “It has been fun chatting with everybody and everyone is very positive, encouraging and supportive. I also really enjoyed Annie Seaton’s workshop about what to do with your manuscript once it’s written, which was very useful – I didn’t realise how much was involved with marketing and publishing your book.”
Committee member Deborah Friend said the writers festival – held at Lure, Abell Point Marina – was a runaway success.
“We always pitch the festival as an intimate event where attendees can mingle and talk with the authors but it’s only when you look around the room and actually see this happening that it really hits home,” Ms Friend said.
“It’s not just about the authors’ workshops and talks - although these were fascinating and insightful – it’s also about the conversations in between and the lifelong friendships that are made over the delicious food, courtesy of Fish D’Vine Catering, while enjoying gorgeous views. We couldn’t have asked for more with our new venue (Lure) and we are already discussing next year’s event.”
Local festival goer Sandra Clark has a love of words and said the workshops offered her teaching on more than just writing.
“When you first go to something new you learn a lot about something you didn’t expect,” she said.
“I had to let go of my expectations, go with the flow and absorb the information.”
I had to let go of my expectations, go with the flow and absorb the information. — Sandra Clark
WRITE RIGHT: The Whitsunday Writers Festival commitee are: Maria Cavanagh, Liz Robinson, Deborah Friend, Gloria Burley, (back) Vanessa Hartle, Jan Smith and Rachael Thackray.