Monday, June 13, 2011

Under the Influence

I don't think the world prepares you for the reality of the writing industry. It's never easy. It couldn't possibly be with the scores of young writers all fighting for the chance to emerge. But if there is anything that can remotely prepare you for that industry, it's the Emerging Writers Festival.

The festival operates in the hub of the city (Melbourne) and runs with the hope of fuelling the creative young minds of budding journalists and novelists throughout the city. It hasn't yet reached it's commercially fueled peak, but it's bound to, and the day that happens it will no longer harbour the raw and inspirational creativity that it does now. Originally the festival only involved few writers and only went for a day, but now the festivals events span throughout the course of the week and have a handful of equally talented writers and people within the industry offering their words of advise.

On the 28th of May I was lucky to absorb some of the wonderful advice offered on behalf of the festivals ambassadors. The Ambassadors were introduced and shared with us their 'Seven Enviable Lines,' the general concensus was unsurprisingly the phrase hammered into us throughout our school year, that being 'practice makes perfect.' As each ambassador was completely different from the other they each offered some wonderful and thought provoking pieces of advise, Carmel Bird put in that "creativity fuels writing" and that all good writers are curious people. The writers also agreed that to become well known and excellent in the industry you have to be able to break new ground, know what has come before you and stretch expectations. After an hour of listening and writing down notes, the audience left feeling wiser, with a fuller notebook and hopefully a renewed passion for writing.

Throughout the weekend and over the course of the festival there were several panels put together each tailored to the different genres and techniques of writing. One such panel was the 'Creative for a Cause' panel. Seated in the Yarra Room of the Melbourne Town Hall the audience looked apon the inspirational writers who have slowly tried to change not just the world, but peoples perspective of the world. For me, this was one of the most influential and powerful things I have ever witnessed, seeing the 4 writers each take a turn at the podium, spouting out their words of wisdom whilst the portraits of several powerful council men loomed behind them was something out of a fictional story. The most inspirational for me was Kei Miller and Anna Krien. Kei, seems like the most calm of the four until he opens his mouth, everything he says simply starts a conversation within yourself, but his fearless use of profanity makes you admire him. Anna on the other had is quite serious about what she does, but also slightly dubious of its effect. Both writers have put themselves into places where they have been uncomfortable and have even risked their lives for the sake of writing.

From just one day I have been overwhelmed with inspiration, stories and appreciation of the strenght of people, if I had of attended every event for the whole of the festival I think I could write a novel fuelled by my emotions. This event is exactly what Melbourne needs, a great positive way to nourish writers abilities through a variety of entertaining events. I simply can't describe it any other way than thoroughly amazing.

Make sure you attend next years, or even volunteer. For more details visit:

1 comment:

  1. wish you told me this was happening, i totally would have gone with you!!!


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