The Magic of Writer’s Festivals

Straight up – the weather does help. Yes, when I am writing, happy for it to be bleak outside while I snuggle up with my computer next to the fire. But tramping around in the cold and rain is no fun. Melbourne has had a cold winter…so escaping to mid twenties for the Brisbane Writer’s festival, well, it helps put the mind in the right place!

All the festivals have their own ambience and Brisbane’s is a congenial pull together and give. My Masterclass all turned up bright and twenty minutes early (poor person who arrived on time looked to her watch with concern!); eager to learn and soak up any titbit. Two years earlier I had been in the same position and was determined to take something from both classes; I passed on the re-consider dialogue tags (why not action tags instead?) from Stuart MacBride but no one asked for a chat up line that Adrian McGinty had obliged with…But now, two years (and three hours) later, with lots of notes, questions, the occasional video clip and exercise, some at least were looking satiated and satisfied!

I followed this up with two panels, a Logan North Library event and a solo session. Busy – but so was everyone, and just when you thought you might be talking to the volunteer and no one else, an audience would emerge and engage.

Highlights (other than my own sessions that is!)?

Jon Ronson on psychopaths (I managed to read his Psychopath Test during the time there as well) – an entertaining and thoughtful romp through Scientology’s antipsychiatry, Broadmoor prison hospital and Al Dunlap’s home…

Nine authors reading letters to future self – humour, self deprecation and some wonderful literature from Krissy Kneen, Sjon, Debra Oswald, Graeme Simsion, James Bradley, Oliver Mol, Miles Allinson, Lauren Sams and Samhita Arni.

Marc Lewis on the Biology of Desire/Addiction.

Two men (Graeme Simsion and Malcolm Knox) trying to cover for Cassandra Clare not turning up – wouldn’t have been a problem but the topic was love and the female moderator was not sure what to do with them.

And of course – all those wonderful social chats over a drink and in the Green Room. Thanks BWF15!

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About annebuist

Anne Buist is the Chair of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and has 30 clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry. She works with Protective Services and the legal system in cases of abuse, kidnapping, infanticide and murder. Medea’s Curse is her first mainstream psychological thriller. Professor Buist is married to novelist Graeme Simsion and has two children.
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2 Responses to The Magic of Writer’s Festivals

  1. Chris BUckley says:

    Dear Anne
    I heard you at Brisbane WF and purchased Medea’s Curse
    I loved it thank you, especially because no one but an expert psychiatrist could have written it, and expect it will rapidly go to more printings
    If you send me your email address or that of your publisher, I would like to point out 6 typos to check before the next print run
    Chris Buckley FRACS


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