Friday, August 24, 2007

Byron Bay Writers Festival - Diane's report

Members of the Nambucca Valley Writers Group made their annual pilgrimage to the Byron Bay Writers Festival on July 26 to rub shoulders with the literati, absorb their wisdom and inspiration, and replenish our writing mojo. Interest in this year’s excursion necessitated two cabins instead of one. Still! Eleven women sharing two bathrooms? Somehow we made it work.

Along with the usual suspects, we had several Festival virgins amongst us, and through the filter of their inexperience, the old-handers could experience the Festival with a new wonder.
Although we had no thrilling moments to outdo last year’s discovery that Pan Macmillan were seriously interested in Roby’s fantasy novel(s), there were still potential moments when Caz spoke to a publisher about her work in progress, I thanked Eva Sallis who taught me novel writing in Adelaide 9 years ago for setting me on the path, and we all discovered new talent, new writers and yet more books to add to our growing ‘To Be Read’ piles.

We were also joined by two writers from South West Rocks, and a writer from Grafton, all of whom are threatening to join the group on a permanent basis. With a recent member joining from Taree, the NVWG is extending it reach far beyond the Nambucca Valley to encompass all of the Mid North Coast.

This year’s Festival was a great weekend. Not only were the sessions informative and entertaining, but the company, as always, was superb. Usually I end up creeping back to the cabin some time during the day to make use of the private amenities and to have lunch. This year the Festival was so jam-packed full of stuff I wanted to see, I had to make friends with the portaloos (at least this year they were the Kenny-installed-foot-pedal-flushing-style) and buy lunch at the site. And the weather was mild and sunny – so I had even less reason to want to go and hide back in the cabin.

Next year’s Festival should be even better as we hope that our very own Roby will be a featured author – with the first of her fantasy trilogy due to be released around the time of the Festival.

If our little group and the pilgrimage to Byron continue to grow at this rate, we will need to hire a bus next year. And yes, we may be looking for a couple more Festival virgins to sacrifice.

Following are reports from others in the group:

No comments: