As winter gets set to roll its chilly self into Melbourne, so the too does the fabulous Emerging Writers’ Festival. The EWF is fast becoming my favourite literary event and I’m a little bummed that I’ll actually be interstate for the opening weekend this year. Still, there’s much to look forward to in the days that follow. Like the Revenge of the Nerds Slide Night which, if last year’s Not Your Nanna’s Slide Night is anything to go by, will be hilarious fun. And the Late Night Book Club over at Rue Bebelons. Not to mention all those tempting panels and workshops. Some of the sessions you do need to buy tickets for but there is also a lot of free stuff to attend and participate in, so check out the full online program and start planning your festival now!
In the Work Not Play department — oh, what am I saying; this kind of work is play! — I’ll taking part in the Fright Night session on Thursday 31st May at the State Library. In the majestic Queens Hall, no less, said to be the not-so-happy haunting grounds of no less than three ghosts, including a children’s librarian. Join a bunch of diverse writers as we attempt to scare the pants off you* with our spookiest stories …
One of the things I love about the EWF is their Golden Ticket. At $160 it’s not exactly chicken feed but for those who Must See Everything it does prove an economical option. I’ve long bemoaned the fact that the Melbourne Writers Festival doesn’t have something similar on offer. Coming from a background of genre conventions, where you pay an upfront membership fee — usually in the $125-$200 range, sometimes more — which then entitles you to wander around the venue and see as many panels and presentations as you like, I find myself a little daunted by festivals where you pay by the session. I really do like to get to places and roam about, duck my head into whatever seems interesting, and make decisions on the spur of the moment. I know this kind of habit can prove a logistical nightmare for organisers of large festivals, but still … I want my Golden Ticket, dammit!
* Please keep your pants on. Please.