© 2019 by Keighley Bradford

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Sydney Writers' Festival + More

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

Last week I joined UoN Writers' Club and Hunter Writers' Centre members for a live reading event held by the Hunter Writers' Centre at their new monthly venue, The Press Book House. (This coffee shop/book store is a must for anyone visiting Newcastle - they're takeaway cups alone are adorable and inspirational). Though I didn't partake at the reading this time around, I had a wonderful time socialising with my fellow writers, sipping prosecco, and listening to a resounding theme of war, lustful intensions, and brave new worlds.


Live Reading. Image credit: Gemma Ferguson

On the weekend I headed to Sydney to experience my first Sydney Writers' Festival. I attend the All Day YA panel "Burn the Burn Book: Real Girls in YA" at Riverside Theatres. The event was an in-conversation with Melbourne Youth Curator and former Inky Award Judge, Kellie Phan. This was Kellie's second ever panel (as she confessed to us) and she did a splendid job. (I wouldn't have known - you were awesome out there, Kellie!) The YA authors who participated in the panel included Jenna Guillaume, Alicia Tuckerman, Tara Eglington, and Rebecca Lim. As expected, the event was phenomenal and truely empowering. I could resonate with the lively discussion of the panelists due to my recent aspiration to create more authentic worlds and characters in my own storytelling adventures.

What I love about attending in-conversation sessions at writers' festivals is that I rarely feel as if I've been let down by the discussion usually because of the engaging content. This session hadn't been an exception. In fact, I now have a little more knowledge about the participants and their novels, and I'm very excited to add their titles to my TBR. I've already started with a signed copy of 'My Best Friend is a Goddess!' whereby I subsequently had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Tara Eglington.


Session snapshot L-R: Jenna, Alicia, Kellie, Tara, Rebecca.

Unfortunately, the other panel I was attending had been cancelled, so instead of dwelling on the missed opportunity, I hit the streets of Newtown on a bookshop hunting expedition with a friend. Upon our little adventure I found Better Read Than Dead, a Newtown bookshop I follow on social media but had yet to visit in person. I highly recommend popping in - there is a surprising large variety of books, with quite a few titles I'd been looking for in stock that I hadn't yet found available in other stores.


To wrap up my writerly weekend away I went on an evening trip to Max Brenner for some hot chocolate and a mini writing session. Over the whole weekend I smashed out over four thousand words! It's safe to say that though it had been one hectic week, it was still a nice, fun break from reality.



2018 Goal Counter:

WIP Word Count: 8,435

Books read: 10

Short stories written: 6

Other (reviews, etc): 3

#WritersFestival #LiveReading #UoNWritersClub #HunterWritersCentre #Events #Bookshop