This year my “Why not, it sounds cool” event at the Melbourne Writers Festival was the five minute story slam. Just in case you were in any doubt that I’m a Melburnian with hipster inclinations (I’m way too into pop music and don’t put enough effort into clothes to be a real hipster. I also eat meat), I went to a story slam. I bought my five event pass, and since four of the events I was going to were about television (my last two sessions are tomorrow), I should go to something slightly different. I thought about doing some professional development and going to a climate change related event, but they’re usually quite depressing. I could have gone to see Jon Ronson, but instead decided on the story slam, because it’s something I’d never heard of and thought it could be fun.
The Melbourne Writers Festival is one of my favourite annual Melbourne traditions. I haven’t been to a bad event, and I only really discovered that ‘writers’ includes television writers last year, when I saw Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker tweet about speaking in Melbourne. I was so annoyed that I managed to miss the fact that one of my favourite television critics was speaking in my city. Luckily there was another event the next day, so I wasn’t too put out. I took ten pages of notes in a tiny notebook, and I still haven’t typed them up. Around mid-July this year, I deciphered from Rob Thomas’ tweets that he would be in Melbourne during late August, that he was going to be at the Festival. So when the programme was announced two days later, I bought a five event pass and booked his two events. I have no regrets
The Melbourne Writers Festival is one of my favourite Melbourne things. I bought a 5 event pass for this year’s festival, which I’m using to see events with television writers, but there are also some great free events for people who don’t have money. This year, the Melbourne Writers Festival partnered with Signal, a City of Melbourne Youth Centre with a focus on the creative arts. All day they had a number of free events, including one on fanfiction which I didn’t get to, as well as a Young Adult Book Swap, which was supported by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. The idea is pretty simple: bring along a book or seven, and swap them for something you haven’t read. I took A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, because I didn’t like it very much, even though the Throne of Glass series is quite good. I ended up getting four books to take home!
Because there were so many books available, they let us take home as many as we wanted, and I ended up with four. Jessica Shirvington’s Disruption was a book that was donated by either the author or publisher because there were several copies. I’ve never even heard of The Seventh Miss Hatfield, but it looks interesting. I met the girl who donated How to be Bad, and I’ve been meaning to read some E. Lockhart for a while. I like the Pittacus Lore books while recognising that they’re not very good (the history of their publication is quite interesting and kind of horrible), and I had considered buying The Revenge of Seven earlier today at the bookshop. It was a good thing I waited. Anyway, I have four new(ish) books, and I paid with one book, so that’s pretty great.