SUNSHINE COAST INAUGURAL READERS WRITERS FESTIVAL REVIEW
Finally a chance to stop, relax and draw a deep breath. On Sunday night, September 11, 2016, the lights came down on one of the most successful productions Coolum has hosted. The Sunshine Coast Inaugural Readers and Writers Festival. Success can be measured in many ways. Bums on seats, positive energy, and public engagement are a few.
The energy created by this festival and its impact are sensational. Being part of the festival since May it has been an experience I will never forget. The vision of the organisers shone through as the driving force. The commitment of those volunteers who worked tirelessly for the three days was amazing and the support from the invited guests was fantastic. The talent of the authors, illustrators, slam poets, musicians was mind blowing as was their generosity. The ability to meet one on one, to chat and listen to their experiences was a gift.
I had the honour of meeting and listening to Uncle Herb Wharton, an Australian living legend. Uncle Herb holds the Australia Council for the Arts Lifetime Award for Achievement in Literature. I swapped jokes with Robert Macklin, author of Hamilton Hume, discovered common interests with P J (Paula) Parker, The Long Goodbye, and have a tea and cake date with the sensational Lynne Kelly, The Memory Code. Some serious networking going on.
The bursary group, which included me, gave their first public reading of their interpretation of the Ubud Festival theme Tat Tvam Asi, to a small but enthusiastic audience. http://www.ubudwritersfestival.com/
Exhaustion, fatigued, exhilarated, excited, anxious, frustrated, these are just some of the emotions I experienced this past weekend. It wasn’t all plain sailing nothing good ever is. It was a steep learning curve and next year will be bigger and better.
Thank you also to Peta and Sue, from Sandy Pages Bookshop in Coolum, for allowing us my friend Jade and me to help manage their book sales for the festival.
Now the festival is done and dusted for this year. Thank you to the Organising committee for the opportunity to participate in the very first festival. It was wonderful to see Wendy O’Hanlon’s vision come to fruition. Thanks to Eileen Walder, Jay and Rob for the incredible work they put in. To everyone, ALL the volunteers, visitors, and guests, it was great to see so many smiles. Onward and upward onto bigger and better things in the future.
The best statement of the festival was a young woman who asked me, “Where do I get my tickets for next year?”…. that says it all.