This year, I’m involved in several sessions. On the Saturday the 2nd of April, I start the day at 10am in Hunter Room, City Hall, with Playground Politics, a free session with Brigid Delaney, James Fry and Rebecca Starford in which we’ll be discussing bullying, particularly as it plays out in institutions like schools. Brigid Delaney’s novel Wild Things is set in an elite university college where hazing and bullying are endemic. James Fry’s memoir The Fry Boy looks at the long term ramifications of school bullying on him in chillingly honest detail, and Rebecca Starford’s memoir Bad Behaviour looks at the bullying at a school camp, taking a very close look at the complex and often subtle factors that underlie bullying. Each of the settings of these books is very different, as is the impact, but they are all equally powerful and I expect the session, which remains absolutely topical, to be fascinating.
Since Rebecca Starford is in two of my sessions, we did a pre-session podcast to talk about her memoir Bad Behaviour: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/compulsivereader/2016/03/15/rebecca-starford-on-bad-behaviour
Sproutlings Book Launch. Sproutlings is a wickedly funny anthology, and Morgan has very successfully crowdfunded the publication, so we’ll be focusing our conversation on self-publishing, crowdfunding, on creating an anthology, selecting pieces, illustration, and lots of other topics.
Finally, I’ve got a session on Sunday at 1:30pm in the Mulumbinba Room City Hall titled Home Grown. This is another free session hosted by Jenny Blackford in which I have the great pleasure of reading poetry along with the wonderful poets Ivy Ireland and Keri Glastonbury. I’m not sure I qualify as home grown, but after 26 years in the Hunter, I certainly feel like a local. Blackford is, of course, a fine poet herself, so again, I think this will be a superb session with perhaps a few little surprises.
All of these sessions will be interactive and the audience will be encouraged to join in with questions, so if you’re able, please come, say hello, and join the fun!
Grab a full program here: http://www.newcastlewritersfestival.org.au/program-2016/ (or request a printed one).