My First Sydney Writers Festival

The Emerging Writer, writing, Sydney Writers Festival 2013

I realise now that this festival is not for writers… It is about writers but it is not actually for them. 

The Emerging Writer, Writing, Sydney Writers Festival 2013

Day starts here

25 May 2013 – It is a beautiful day as I wander from Circular Quay around to the Festival Pick up Point.  I am on my own, against my better judgement.  Both of my writing friends can’t make it, as one lives in Wollongong and the other is away with her husband.  I have my program in my bag, note books, lunch and money for coffee.  Here goes…

So I am standing in an enormous line of people twisting and snaking its way through the crowd.  A lot of this just feels like chaos.  I am not sure what I am going into, or if this is the right line.  I’d love to get some coffee before it starts, but so many people have lined up behind me I fear I wont get in.  Twitter is alive with #SWF13 activity… and it appears that everyone is having a better time than me.

So many people sitting around drinking coffee and reading their free newspaper.  I wish I knew what they knew.   I can’t seem to find the front door at this writers festival.  I cant seem to figure out the truth of it all.  Everyone seems to know each other and know where they are going and what they need to do.  As I stand in line, I see friends running into each other, students catching up and volunteers calling out to people walking past.  I thought that I would feel a part of something, but I only feel more separate.

The Emerging Writer, writing, Sydney Writers Festival 2013

Hiding on the concrete

I realise now that this festival is not for writers… It is about writers but it is not actually for them.  I could have brought SF down to hang out for the day and we would have had a great time together.  Had I come here with her, I would not now be sitting on the ground, beside an emergency exit being ask me to move out of the way.  (Which happened twice).

On the bus traveling home I was filled with an urgency to write all night.  I really needed that after the last few weeks.  Perhaps it was simply being in such a close proximity to people who have achieved what I am now craving.  I did learn a lot in the talks that I got into.  There was a fantastic dialogue about genre fiction writing – and a discussion about altering a book for an overseas market.  There was a talk on how it feels to have your work translated, and to give yourself up to a text you cant read yourself.  Throughout the day there were golden sentences that I wrote down and took home with me, excited about getting back to work.



by Meg

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