I’ve lived in Sydney for nearly four years now, and somehow the Sydney Writers’ Festival escaped my notice until a month ago. This event is a must for anyone who loves writing or reading. The week long schedule is packed with thought provoking discussion from authors writing in all different genres.
Not knowing what to expect, I only bought tickets to one event. This was a mistake. The hour long discussion I attended, A Life of True Crime, left me eager to read the books discussed by the three authors profiled (The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama by Julie Szego, Have You Seen Simone? by Virginia Peters, and One of Us by Åsne Seierstad). I can only imagine how much longer my to-read list would be if I’d attended more sessions. I also regret not immediately booking a ticket to see author and mortician Caitlin Doughty discuss her memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematorium. I went back and forth about whether I wanted to go into the city two days in a row, and when I finally decided to just do it, the event was sold out. (Yes, I’m well aware my tastes are on the morbid side.)
Next year I plan to make a day of it. Or maybe two. I might even take a day off work. (There were several events I wanted to attend, but didn’t because they fell on a weekday.) Though my interests this year were purely in non-fiction discussions, I’m interested in hearing more from fiction writers as I work on my own story. I also never know where I’ll get my next creative idea, and the diversity of topics presented lends itself to learning something new or unexpected.
I’m glad I finally found the Sydney Writers’ Festival, even if I only dipped my toes in the water at this year’s event. Now that it’s on my radar, I’ll commit to a fuller schedule next time.