September 2, 2010

Where she went: Melbourne Writers Festival 2010

I could only make it to a few events in the excellent Melbourne Writers Festival schools program* this year as I had to fit it in around (paid) work. I went to:
  • Jaclyn Moriarty and Lili Wilkinson talk about Dreaming of Amelia and Pink - two of my fave reads this year. I've been a huge fan of Jaclyn's since Feeling Sorry for Celia, so it gave me a fangirl thrill to see that she's just as lovely in person as her books led me to believe**.
  • Fading Twilight, which was promoted as a discussion of the pros and cons of the Twilight series' success but turned out to be a school-style debate that (worser and worser) pitted women fans of the books against men non-fans. The best argument of the day was that Edward wasn't a real vampire because real vampires are a) ugly, b) soulless and c) remorseless. The worst was that Bella is a compelling heroine. 'Nuff said.
  • Cath Crowley and Karen Tayleur talked about the difficulties of plotting books set in a 24-hour period, their writing processes and research. I don't know whether it was good planning or happy coincidence, but the session was really well-structured, including slideshows from each.
  • Alice Pung and Sally Rippin spoke about growing up Asian in Australia (Alice) and growing up white in Asia (Sally), but both seemed bemused by the title of their session.*** Kirsty Murray did a bang-up job of moderating and educating the audience about the White Australia Policy, as context for the discussion.

* which, IMO, is way more interesting than the 'adult' program - if I had the time I could easily have spent the better part of this week flitting between Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 at ACMI, but I didn't find a single grow-up session that I was interested enough in to spend $21 on. (I could have a little rant here about the cost of tickets putting the mainstream festival out of reach of many people...but I won't.)
** She is also, I suspect, a little bit magical, but I'm yet to prove this.
*** Chicks with Sticks - presumably as in 'chopsticks' but it seemed like the joke fell flat with the authors


  1. she absolutely is magical! jaclyn i mean. i didn't get to see her, but from what i have heard mixed with what i imagine, she is definitely magical. a sprite i think, or possibly an elf.

  2. Ooh, I think you may be spot on with the sprite theory!