Art & Design


Literature Events: November Edition

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November is an exciting month for lit-masochists.

Month 11 marks a new turn in the cycle of keyboard abuse that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo): a global pandemic of weak plots and unrealised characters unleased as writers pad out a 50,000 novel in a single month.

Any day now a steady stream of official ‘NaNoWriMo puffery’ will be headed to NaNoWriMo inboxes in the form of author peptalks – a kind of cultish propaganda engine designed to inspire, motivate and resolve that haunting silence between keystrokes.

This article, however, will be less supportive.

For the weak-willed of us, NaNoWriMo is a once-a-year chance to celebrate the inversion of Darwinian order; a festival rewarding the lazy and undisciplined with an uninterrupted line-up of engaging events, and barely an entrance line to be seen.

Firstly, NaNoWriMo’s will be sore to miss Steven Amsterdam launch his newest What the Family Needed on November 3 at Bella Union Bar. Including travel time to and from Meanjin’s timely discussion on Literature, Genre and the Digital Age (November 14) will mean NaNoWriMo inmates stand to miss more than 2 hours of ‘productive’ writing time. Who else will step in to help feather sketch a new character into that gaping plot hole opening up before you?

The Wheeler Centre’s Two Sides of The Story: Fantasy, with Alison Croggon and Alison Goodman, on November 22 is likely only marginally related to your sour stew of words, but for those planning to fail, attendance may pass as an ‘accessory before the fact’.

Food is sure to be top of mind in a few weeks; no time for shopping if you want to keep the creative wheel turning. Luckily, talented chefs Luke Nguyen and Adriano Zumbo are offering bite sized samples from their latest works at Readings Hawthorn on November 11.

Word counts will hardly even nudge at Colleen Doran’s 2-day Graphic Novels Masterclass on 19-20 November. But then again workshops with world renowned comic artists happen every day right?

It’s barely worth mentioning Tim Flannery (16)—world renown environmentalist—Thomas Keneally (28)—world renowned novelist and historian—or exiled Chinese poet and novelist Liao Yiwu (24).  That’s time better spent working on the death antidote you’ll need to undo your main character’s uncharacteristic early death.

Don’t worry, I’m sure all three will come back soon…

Give up already! You’re making me look bad. Or head on over to the bleeding heart Melbourne NaNoWriMo support group, holding write-ins all November.


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