Category Archives: Melbourne Writers’ Festival

MWF 2009

What are you doing between Friday 21st August and Sunday 30th August this year?

This August, the annual Melbourne Writers’ Festival will be happening again in my city.

Authors, if you’re interested in taking part, please contact your assigned publicist at your Australian publisher. For some financial assistance in getting you here, contact your country’s consulate in Oz. No guarantees on either account, but at least you’ll have tried 😉

I’ll likely attend, because the prices are usually fabulously low. You only pay for the sessions you attend – smart value!

Received a survey in the mail regarding the Schools Program at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival this year. Unfortunately, the survey seemed to treat me as if I were a teacher: what my students thought, how the sessions tied in with school coursework, lalala…So I skipped a lot of questions. I was neither a teacher nor a student – just your average member of the public interested in attending a session with great authors at an excellent price. Minority, though, aren’t I.

Tez and the City, Part II

To the left we have Victoria’s own Simmone Howell, author of Notes from the Teenage Underground and the upcoming Everything Beautiful. To the right we have America’s Rachel Cohn, author of…more books than I can count on one hand. (I’ve read all except Cupcake and the co-written with David Levithan Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List.) Both authors are doing several sessions at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, and because they’re part of the Schools programme, the tickets are cheap ($6). And even those of us older than schoolies can attend. They’re witty and urban women who unintentionally made me realise I don’t know my own city very well. But who cares? I managed to find Gloria Jean’s on Flinders near Elizabeth, which means victory is mine!

And hooray for public transport, which helped me get reading done. I finished Patricia Briggs’s Moon Called yesterday, and read half of Judy Blume’s Wifey in bed. And I finished that off today on the train and in the aforementioned Gloria Jean’s. And read the first two chapters of Yasmine Galenorn’s Darkling on the train home. This is as productive as my reading as been lately, so lap it up.

And dear A. J. Menden’s Phenomenal Girl 5 cover flat arrived today, and thus I photographed. The cat had just woken up from a nap and wasn’t ecstatic. I tried to take a second photo, but by then he was licking himself. So while I don’t have photographic evidence, I can assure you that Manny did sniff the cover flat. He did ignore the MendenPen on his side, but what can you do?

Tez and the City

Warning: I currently have 176 pics on Flickr. Once you get to 200, they make you upgrade. So I’ll be doing a photo cull soon, or starting up a new account. Just letting you know.

You know I love freebies, so a freebie session (as part of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival) with one of my favourite authors? I’m so there. Well, I was so there this afternoon. Robert Muchamore is a fab YA writer, and though the target audience are 12-year-old boys…well, this 22-year-old lass likes the books. Though I haven’t read any past The Fall because I haven’t been to the library for months.

My word, I felt old. I think I was the oldest person in the audience, except for the parents. But it’s just so nice to see good books being appreciated. Kids were lining up to buy more books, and talking about T-shirts and beanies they’ll order off the Internet… And the lines, my word. Long line to get in (I was near the front because I was about 40 minutes early), and an even longer line for the signing. I didn’t bring anything to be signed, on account of I don’t actually own any of the books (I’ve borrowed them from the library). But I did get this photo taken. You probably can’t see my new hair length too well because of my dark locks and black top. But I seem to still have a head tilt, and my teeth still look yellow. Though my cheeks look a bit chubbier in this photo, so it’s possible I’ve put on face weight since May. If you zoom in on the photo, you might be able to see my undiagnosed-condition-ravaged fingers – though they’re not looking too bad today. Sure are wrinkly, though.

Instead of the Malthouse, this year the Festival venue is Federation Square. It’s opposite Flinders Street Station, has weird architecture, and looks kinda fugly. I wasn’t sure exactly where BMW Edge was, so I had to ask. I photographed the stage, and it’s on my Flickr (don’t want to overload you with pics right now; I’m feeling considerate).

Anyway, afterwards I thought I’d take a few photos of Melbourne for you. Didn’t go far, though. But along Swanston Street between Flinders Street and…whatever road the Town Hall is on, there was not one, not two, but three tacky Australian souvenir shops. Great range of postcards, though.

Still, I photographed part of Flinders Street Station, an iconic building that’s no doubt on a postcard somewhere – just not my shoddy photo. Actually, I don’t think I did too bad with this one. Yay me.

That ad I saw on the side of a building. Wicked has come to Melbourne, and as we all know, “Oz” is really Australia. Just don’t follow the Yellow Brick Road, ’cause you’ll take a wrong turn at Albuquerque…

And these horses. (Sorry about the guy’s arse; he was cleaning hooves.) I saw a few horse-and-carriages on the move, but this one was stationary, so I stopped and snapped. They didn’t even freak out at the flash. Good horsies! 🙂

Don’t ask me about the feathered headpieces. They probably have delusions of Kylie Minogue.

Anyway, I’m back in the city tomorrow for the session with Rachel Cohn and Simmone Howell. Now what else should I photograph for you?


12:30-1:45PM: Invisible Cities (ACMI Cinema 1)

Have booked my ticket for this session featuring Rachel Cohn and Simmone Howell.

Melbourne Writers’ Festival, Webcams & Reading Wishlist

Melbourne Writers’ Festival
The schedule for the MWF was released today. Though there are really only two authors I’m interested in seeing, I will say straight out that the Romance Writers of Australia’s conference could learn a lot from the MWF. I only wanted to attend one session/workshop (about 1 hour) of RWA, on a Sunday, and they expect you to pay for all of Saturday and Sunday. Yeah, not going to happen. I’ll try to catch Keri Arthur some other time, because there’s no way I’ll pay for two days’ worth of stuff when I only want to attend a one-hour thing. But if that’s the go in America, I don’t see how y’all can afford to attend so many cons.

SUNDAY 24 AUG: 1-2PM: Undercover with Robert Muchamore (BMW Edge: Free Event)
WEDNESDAY 27 AUG: 11:15AM-12PM: Rachel Cohn in Conversation (ACMI Cinema 1)

Rachel Cohn’s one is actually part of the schools programme, so I’ll have to investigate to see if non-student me is allowed to attend, and what the price is. Students get to pay $6. I have a concession card; would that get me a discount? 😉

A free event with Robert Muchamore? Count me in! Along with Alex Sanchez and Jacqueline Wilson, he’s one of my favourite writers of YA. The plots are great fun, but most of all the characters are so utterly believable. Which makes them less like characters and more like real people, which makes the writing all the more endearing. None of that Mary Sue/Gary Stu faff. Sure the characters are living the fantasy of being spies, but… If you haven’t read the CHERUB series, get to it.

Since the lovely Gwen/Faith Hunter requested, here’s the important stuff to know about webcams:

Is it compatible with your system? I have Windows 2000. Some webcams specify Windows XP or Vista. But the most common reason I saw for people selling their webcams on eBay is that they weren’t compatible with their Macs.

Does it come with a microphone, built-in or otherwise? If not, you’ll have to supply your own.

Does it come with an installation CD? No point buying the cam if it doesn’t have the necessary bits.

Does it come with an instruction manual? Hopefully with English instructions, and not just pictures. (I don’t know if IKEA and I will get along.) Because I’m afraid of screwing things up, I need to know what’s the right way, other than “not what you’re doing” 😉

Did a quick check on JB Hi-Fi, and they sell webcams for $40-60, or something like that. I’m not willing to spend that much, so I hit eBay. I made sure to tick the box so I only saw listings where the seller’s in Australia. (Just makes me feel safer.) My search function always lists from cheapest to most expensive, so I worked through the entries, making sure they listed what I needed to know, and asking if they didn’t. Added some to my Watch List, bid on one, and I won it on Friday: $16 including postage. The seller’s confirmed my payment and left feedback, so now I await the delivery, which’ll probably be on Monday. “Webcam 8 LED 1.3 Mega Pixels USB 2.0” – don’t ask me what the brand is; I don’t know.

Reading Wishlist
I’m slowly working through the list with and UK, and then I’ll hit the Australian publishers’ sites. Where I’ve listed two dates for one title is where Amazon and UK had different dates. Mind you, that doesn’t mean it’s published in both the US and UK – probably just pubbed in the US, and the UK lists when they’ll get it imported. I’m up to the F authors.

Dog Felt Me Up, Midnight Brunch & RWA

A Dog Felt Me Up Today
I was delivering pamphlets (actually, just half a sheet of paper for each mailbox), when an unleashed dog with no person in sight started following me. Bumping against my legs. Trying to knock me over? That’s not very nice. Paws on my arse? Excuse me, that’s not appropriate… Sniffing my arse? You’ve got some problem, dawg!

Oh well, at least it didn’t bark at me. Dogs tend to bark when I walk past their homes. They’re behind fences so they can’t molest me.

Amendment to Yesterday’s Review
Remember when we realised the same stock photo was used on Keri Arthur’s Embraced by Darkness and Marta Acosta’s Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula? It may not be used after all. Simon & Schuster (well, the US division, anyhoo) has postponed the book’s (originally titled Midnight Brunch) re-release, thus it’s no longer on the S&S site or Amazon. However, S&S Australia have still got the re-release scheduled for July 1st, according to their website. So my review has been edited to show both covers – but the release date listed is only for Australia. The book was originally published in 2007.

Romance Writers of Australia Conference (August 2008)
I was planning to attend (it’s in Melbourne this year) so I could meet Keri Arthur, but I didn’t know the pricing system. Because you can’t pay for just one workshop – you have to pay for the whole day. This sucks. I much prefer the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, where you only pay for what you attend. (Speaking of MWF, it’s also in August, and Rachel Cohn’s coming – yay 🙂 )

Since Miz Keri was the only author I wanted to meet there, there’s no point going if I have to pay for extra stuff – I don’t have that kind of money to spare. But hopefully if the conference holds a signing session (here’s hoping it’s free), I might get to meet her. I’ll investigate more closer to August.

However, I still plan to attend the Australian Romance Readers’ Convention in February 2009 (also in Melbourne). Then again, prices may put me off.

Look Who’s Coming to Melbourne :-)

From (updated 12th May 2008): Upcoming Appearances: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: August 25-28, 2008: Melbourne Writers’ Festival

Yayayayayay! 🙂

Heads Up, Authors

Book Launches at the Melbourne Writers Festival 2008
The Melbourne Writers’ Festival book launch program is now open for submissions. Come help us celebrate ideas, storytelling and the written word in all its forms in 2008 at our new venue at Federation Square in the heart of the city.

The 2008 festival will run from 22-31 August with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image functioning as official venue and caterer for the book launch program. All launches will benefit from inclusion in the 335,000 copies of the official festival program, distributed in Saturday’s The Age, and in libraries, bookstores, book groups, and at arts venues.

In 2007 attendance for the festival broached 40,000. Our new location in the core of Melbourne will make the festival more accessible than ever before.

Submit early to reserve your preferred place in the festival program. Final submission will be accepted no later than 25 April.

Further information can be found on the Festival website – click here for details.
Please contact the MWF office with any enquiries. Email Louise or call (03) 9645 9244.

Further Info on the Melbourne Writers’ Festival

From MWF:
How to get on the festival program
The writers who appear at the festival are selected by the festival director in consultation with a programming sub committee, a keynote speaker sub committee and with a wide variety of stakeholders including publishers and agents. Writers of all genres and output are considered. Last year, for example, one of the internet’s most popular bloggers, Cory Doctorow, was a major success at the festival. Included in the annual program are: crime writers, poets, performers, playwrights, writers for film and tv, children’s book writers and illustrators. We have writers of horror, science fiction, non fiction, literature, graphic novels, comic books and history. We invite book review and editors, biographers and philosophers.

Whilst not all writers appearing at the festival have books due to be published prior to the festival, this does help. Additionally, having a body of work that is current in terms of other forms of writing can be of assistance. We do require that writers have some experience in public presentation.

Whilst the vast majority of our writers are selected by reputation and on the recommendation of the industry professionals listed above, occasionally writers ask us how to be considered. It is possible to submit a resume of publications and experience to the festival office along with any publications available. However, it should be stressed that we cannot guarantee selection for the program, nor can we return any publications (though you can certainly arrange pick up from the office). This information should not be regarded as a call for submissions for the program.

There’s contact information on the “About Us” page at MWF.

So basically, it sounds like your publisher should send something to the Elite Powers That Be Committee. No guarantee that anything will come of it, though. But be sure to have your publisher mentions what times of year, and what years you are available.

I got this info off their website, and have also emailed the Admin. But right now, I’ve done all little me can do – I just don’t have enough clout. Please send this info on to anyone who might be interested.

Tagged by Nicole:
Go to the current book you are reading, on page 161, and copy down the 5th sentence:
“I saved her ass.” –Tanya Huff, Smoke and Ashes

Thanks to everyone who visited my WordPress on Tuesday, January 29th 2008 to give me my highest amount of visits in a single day: 28. Aye luffs yoo 🙂