Tag Archives: nsw state library

Sydney Writers Festival Looks to the Buffyverse #SydneyWritersFestival

Standard

Sydney Writers Festival have announced their theme, Lie to Me. And yes, Buffy fans, Michaela Maguire, the festival’s artistic director, has confirmed that this theme has been inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not all lies are malicious and Maguire speaks of how Buffy’s request to Giles, ‘lie to me,’ when she has to stake a former friend,

speaks to the very human feeling of helplessness and the desire to feel as if everything is going to be alright even if you know it will never be the same. Maguire states that this plea to be lied to is “a request for a bedtime story in a world full of monsters.

From Monday the 29th of April through to Sunday 5th of May, Sydney Writers Festival will be exploring all things Lie. Polite lies, filthy lies, lies for self preservation, lies for power and lies to torture. Lies that we tell others and lies that we tell ourselves. Not to mention, lies that those in power tell us to subdue the masses.

Speakers include:

  • Former editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson
  • Daisy Johnson, who was the youngest ever author to be shortlisted for a Man Booker Prize
  • The executive director of the National Book Foundation, Lisa Lucas
  • Dunya Mikhail, who has been awarded the UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing
  • Internationally fauned over, Man Booker winner George Saunders
  • Sir Simon Schama, who is a best selling author and documentary presenter
  • And many, MANY, MANY more

Tickets are now on sale and the 2019 program has been released. Go check out the official website to see all the wonderful events. Toni Jordan’s Editing Your Fiction Manuscript workshop looks particularly good, as does Elaine Castillo’s workshop (Re)writing the Canon – Fan Fiction and Other Radical Acts. I believe that Bryan Washington’s On Murakami will definitely be one to blow your library-card socks off, and the best thing is, it’s freeeeeee. Although, my personal favourite event of the festival, is always the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards held at the NSW State Library. Canapes, I love ’em.

For more information, follow:

And yes, I am a volunteer, how can I help?

Happy Birthday Mr Dickens and Congratulations NSW State Library and the NSW Dickens Society

Standard

Today is Charles Dickens’ birthday and the State Library of NSW have celebrated by making a big announcement in conjunction with the NSW Dickens Society. Sydney has won the bid to host the Dickens Fellowship Conference, it’s now in its 112th year. Last year was held in Cararra, Italy and the year prior Aberdeen, Scotland. The 2018 conference will be held during Australia’s glorious springtime from October the 25th through to the 30th in Sydney.

The announcement was made in Centennial Park beneath the life-sized statue of Dickens as part of the birthday celebrations that the NSW Dickens Society have arranged. As it turns out, NSW doesn’t just love Dickens, he loves us too. He reportedly encouraged people to move to NSW and sent his two sons to live here. Consequently Charles Dickens holds a special place in our hearts.

When I spoke to Walter Mason, vice-president of the NSW Dickens Society, he commented,

It makes my heart sing that there are still enough people out there sufficiently excited about 19th century literature to make an even like this happen. As part of the organising committee I can tell you that hosting this conference in Australia is a very big deal indeed – we are a small society and a long way from the rest of the world, so the whole thing has been the enormous undertaking. But worth every minute – and our President Louise Owens has already put in hundreds of hours of work over the past few years to make it work, We have a stellar lineup of speakers covering fascinating topics. And what I love about this conference is that it’s NOT for academics and specialists – it is for everyone who loves books, writing and literature. We are all enthusiastic amateurs, and it is in that spirit we have created this event.

Dickens enthusiast and Booker Prize winner Thomas Keneally is heading up the impressive line-up of speakers. He will be discussing his fascination with Dickens oldest son and exploring his life in Australia. Other conference highlights include exploring the Dickens Museum, a trivia night (wine? Yes please), displays in the NSW State Library, and a banquet at Vaucluse House which sounds incredible.

What fabulously exciting news to celebrate Charles Dickens birthday! I have... great expectations for this event. I’ll leave you with some Charles Dickens quotes to warm the rest of your day.