The Festival of Golden Words - Beaconsfield - Saturday 15 March 2014

For those of you who couldn't make it to the Festival of Golden Words over the weekend - what a literary feast you missed!
I was thrilled to read that over 400 people attended the sessions on Saturday alone. This may ensure the event will be repeated next year - and I for one certainly hope so. I have attended writers' festivals on the mainland over the years, and given up on them - much of the content isn't even relevant to writers! But this one had something for everyone; writers, readers and the simply curious.
I spent the whole of Saturday at Beaconsfield where I ran into Johanna and Graham from the Lonnie Writers who were attending sessions, and our colleague Fiona who of course was working on the day selling the Stockers' gourmet pork sausages (and I hope she was able to hear at least some of the sessions).
The speakers ranged from authors to publishers, agents to biographers and media personalities. I started the day listening to author Hanna Kent talk about her wonderful book Burial Rites. Then it just got better and better.
My next session was a panel comprising Nick Earls, Poppy Gee, Livia Day and Paul Boer talking about where their ideas come from and the next was The Book that Changed my Life with the ever popular Richard Fidler, the ever controversial Philip Nitschke and the wonderful children's author Tristan Bancks. It was a fascinating discussion and, incidentally, Richard Fidler's 'book that changed his life' was Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.

After lunch, which was a delicious sausage on bread with mustard and sauce, provided by the West Tamar Rotary Club, and a glass of pinot noir from one of the West Tamar wineries, I attended a panel discussion on the Author-Editor Relationship with authors and their editors, including one who was freelance.

Following this I accidentally (wrong marquee) heard a panel discussion on Tasmania - The Tipping Point, about the series of articles about Tasmania in the Griffith Review last year. This was a truly fascinating session with Tasmanian academics and writers and I was so glad I happened upon it.

Living in a World of Fantasy included Tasmanian authors Lian Tanner and Tansy Rayner Roberts, chaired by Zoe Walton from Random House. And I finished the day with Is Self-Publishing the Future of Publishing? This of course was enlightening, and I learned a lot from the panel which included Stephen Dando-Collins, Irina Dunn and Rachael Treasure.

All in all, a fabulous day! And if you didn't get there - make sure you do next year!


  1. Penny, it was such a treat to have the calibre of Tasmanian and Australian literary giants in our midst for the weekend. I had such a great time and left inspired and full of ideas, so I hope they're planning next year's event already!

  2. I couldn't agree more! Not only a boost to Tassie authors but to a town that has suffered so much hardship over recent years. I too hope they're all gearing up for next year as well!


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