From Newcastle to Ballarat, a Week of First Things!

Jason and I went north this past weekend for the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival. It was a fantastic event, brimming with many interesting, intelligent, enthusiastic writers and readers. The panels we saw were at times thought-provoking, at times humourous, and the “Nightmare Australia” session — which featured the indomitable Jenny Blackford throwing tricky questions at Jason and myself — was enormous fun. We’re hoping to go back next year just to hang around and catch as many sessions as we can. Jason, of course, has written up the festivalmuch more extensively over on his blog, so do go and have a read. And if you would like to hear the wonderful, snarky, hilarious opening night speech given by Miriam Margolyes, the Newcastle Herald has posted the audio online.

Back in Ballarat, we’ve had our first bit of publicity as Ballaratian authors, rather than Melbournians. The Courier ran a nice little piece about our award nominations with quite a respectable photo of the both of us. Even surrounded by the Fortress of Unpacked Book Boxes — that’s my To Be Read shelf behind us; the only books as yet liberated — it’s starting to feel like we’ve made a proper home here. I can’t wait until we’re finally settled in and actually have time to explore the area. There’s a second hand and collectible bookshop by the name of The Known World — complete with in-house espresso coffee bar! — that I’m just itching to check out. Will report back in due course …

And somehow, sometime soon, I’m going to have to get back to the wordsmithing. My brain, she is bursting.
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Jason Nahrung and Kirstyn McDermott

Photo Credit: Justin Whitelock (The Courier)

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7 Comments

  1. That’s a gorgeous Courier story, Kirstyn, and loved the spooky photo. Looking forward to a full review of The Known World🙂

    • You should have seen some of the shots the photographer set up. There were knives involved! And a coffin! This one is relatively tame by comparison.😉

  2. The Known World is a real little gem Kirstyn (and not just because I finally managed to track down a copy of Lucy Sussex’s book about Mary Fortune there after hunting everywhere….)

    There’s also some fabulous second hand bookshops (without coffee) in Bendigo – if you’re looking for a wander through Central Vic

  3. I clicked the link and very much enjoyed the knife pic🙂 The one up above here *points up* is cool too. Congratulations on all the nomming going on in that thar household. Most excellent to see.

    Understand the boxes…we still have boxes in storage (to prevent damage) that neither of us are prepared to get rid of…yet.

    • Yes, at some point during the day they switched photos on the story. Slightly less respectable now …


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