Benefits of a Writers Festival; Why you should go

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It’s almost Writers Festival season.  The Sydney Writers Festival Program just came out in the newspaper and it’s time to start planning interstate trips to see your much-loved authors of romantic comedy.  But

But you made such an effort last year… It seems like you only just paid off the debt of buying all those brand new books!

Writers festivals can sometimes be intense, expensive, overcrowded exclusive events.  Locations are hard to get to no matter how many shuttle buses are organised.  The crowds are exhausting to manage and standing in line can leave you bored.  The coffee is expensive and you always end up with nowhere to sit, wishing you were at home reading the Saturday Paper.

So why should you go?  Why should Emerging Writers keep going to Writers Festivals, year after year?  What is the point and what are the benefits?

Here are our top reasons to keep heading to Writers Festivals, even if you don’t feel 100% up for it this year.

Writers Festivals Push You – When I go to a writers festival, they I’m never the smartest or the most successful person in the room.  This helps to push me further and see what is possible.  At writers festivals, I am able to hang out with successful established writers; people I can look up to.

When emerging writers are able to hang out with successful established writers they find themselves among people who they can look up to.

Writers Festivals Make You Travel – When I go to a writers festival I am usually outside of my comfort zone.  Writers Festivals take me out of my routine, my daily schedule and outside my area.

When I was in Melbourne for the Writers Festival, I felt lost, despite the ever present blip of a blue dot on my google maps.  New places, people and experiences will always lead me to have new and wonderful ideas.

Writers Festivals Offer Inspiration – What inspired me two years ago was far little than what I need now to get my fix now.  At writers festivals, I can see what is possible, imagine yourself up there.

Writers Festivals help you meet other Emerging Writers – Just being near people who are writers brings the possibility of writing into your life.  Like minded people, even editors, and publishers and agents are there.  You may actually make friends.  It is possible and has been the beginning of some of my most valuable writing friendships.

(To make friends at a writers festival it is sometimes advised to go alone.  If you attend with a friend, you often just talk to that person all day – going on your own means you can easily talk to the person next to you, ask nice looking people for help and flirt more easily with whichever sex takes your fancy)

Writers Festivals Allow You to Focus on Writing – … for just a little while.  Writers festivals offer complete immersion in writing and brings up some wonderful ideas.  I can’t stop writing down ideas as people are speaking and thinking and talking – it all bubbles away.

Writers Festivals are about what’s current in the Writing World – Writers festivals are a great way to make sure you don’t get outdated and old.  They make sure I am not stuck in my old ways or miss out on opportunities that would have been perfect for me.

You are in touch with the source.  So Ask questions – At writers festivals I make sure I really ask the questions you want/need answers too.

I make sure I get what I paid for (when I pay for my ticket) That’s what I lined up for and waited for the chance to do.  I ask questions.

You don’t just have to sit there passively getting only the information offered.  Ask questions.

The Newspapers are Free. I have never been to a writers festival that did not hand out a free newspaper – Lucritive!

by James Ainley

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