As you all no doubt know, the Melbourne Writers Festival is currently taking place in Melbourne — that would be Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; not Melbourne, Nova Scotia, Canada; or Melbourne, Derbyshire, UK; or even Melbourne, Izard County, Arkansas, USA. The festival is on, people other than me are attending interesting and informative sessions about writing, while I’m lamenting my non-attendance.
I missed out on last year’s festival because of its proximity to Aussiecon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention (see my post, Aussiecon 4 Memories). I simply could not afford the time to attend both. But that wasn’t so bad, as my attendance at Aussiecon consoled me.
This year, I’m missing the festival as well… but with no consolation. This time around it’s a case of bad timing. Coming off a busy Children’s Book Week, I find myself struggling to get back on top of the writing that I wasn’t doing last week, especially all the promotional stuff I’m supposed to be getting ready for the imminent release of Gamers’ Challenge on 1 September. Then there is also the fact that I’m a stay-at-home dad as well as an author, and I passed off my youngest for much of last week, and I have to make arrangements to also get rid of her next week while I’m off doing a day-long school visit — so, I don’t feel like I can dump her this week as well.
Yes, I could probably find a little time off somewhere to go to one or two sessions. And I had been hoping to arrange that. But the sessions that interest me most are the ones that have the most inconvenient timing. Dammit! It’s not fair.
Even though I’m not there, I thought I’d mention a few of the sessions that I really wish I could be attending…
- Keynote Event: Shaun Tan’s The Arrival — with Shaun Tan
- Seminar: The Art of YA Fiction — with Cath Crowley and Michael Hyde
- Emerging Writers — with Lisa Dempster, Johannes Jakob and Steph Bowe
- Walk: Melbourne’s Hidden Dragons — with Carole Wilkinson
- Galactic Adventures — with Tristan Bancks
- In the Family — with Carole Wilkinson and Lili Wilkinson
- Writers and their Craft — with Steven Amsterdam and Maile Meloy
And that’s just a small selection.
I’m going to have to plan things a little bit better for next year. Maybe what I should be doing is pestering the organisers and trying to get myself onto the programme. If I’m on the programme, then I know I’ll arrange the time to actually be there. 🙂
Oh well… at least I shall not be completely festival-less this year. The Thousand Word Festival is coming up on 23-24 September and (halleluiah) I can actually make it to part of that. And I will be appearing in the writers’ area at the Armageddon Expo on 22-23 October.
If anyone who is attending the MWF would like to leave a comment and rub some salt into the wound by giving me some first-hand insight into what I’m missing, feel free to do so.
Catch ya later, George