Art & Design


Milk Bar’s Guide to the Emerging Writers’ Festival

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The Emerging Writers’ Festival 2012 (running from May 24 to June 3) acts as both a platform and a resource for up-and-coming writers, to make their voices heard as well as to teach them how to work more effectively within the industry.

Events abound this year, with writers, editors, publishers and a heap of other industry professionals coming together to ‘inspire, create and entertain’. Here are a few of the events to look out for:

The gala opening of the EWF, Stories that Matter will be a celebration of the written word. This night of story-telling and performance will also include the presentation of the Monash University Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing, and feature speakers Nazeem Hussain, Fiona McGregor and international journalist Anita Sethi.
7.30pm, Thurs 24 May
Treasury Theatre, 1 Macarthur Street Melbourne

A two-day long event, the Town Hall Writers’ Conference is the cornerstone of the festival. It will feature experienced writers from different genres and disciplines who will not only be discussing their work, but will also be hanging around in the coffee room for a more personal chat, which sounds awfully nice. Plus Carla Sammut, from the most excellent Easy As (Vegan) Pie (and Milk Bar!) will be appearing on the Digital Writing Panel on Sunday. Other writers—who have been dubbed ‘The Ambassadors of the Festival’—include Ali Alizadeh (poet), Christy Dena (digital storyteller), Lawrence Leung (comedian), Emily Maguire (novelist) and Anita Sethi (journalist).
9am, Sat 26 May & Sun 27 May
Melbourne Town Hall, 90 – 100 Swanston St, Melbourne

Though one of many Masterclasses running this year, I believe The Business of Being a Writer is perhaps the most important. People tend to forget that writing is a business, and that it is as worthy of payment as any regular job. But the problem is that many writers don’t know the first thing about the business side of things. Here is where the Masterclass comes in. Covering things like legals, getting an ABN, sorting out tax and insurance, setting rates, invoicing, business and industry development and marketing, the Masterclass will teach you all you need to know about how to turn what you love doing into a well-oiled money-making operation.
12 noon, Fri 25 May
The Wheeler Centre, 176 Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne

Described as ‘How to pitch and who to pitch it to’, The Pitch will feature an expert panel of editors and publishers for literary journals and magazines giving advice on how to pitch and present your work to prospective buyers, namely, the exact people who will be giving you the advice, so they probably know what they are talking about.
2pm, Sat 2 June
The Wheeler Centre, 176 Lt Lonsdale St Melbourne

Fancy a fun night out listening to scary and suspenseful tales? Turn off your TVs and come along to Fright Night at the State Library where a bunch of writers will be reading their most haunting stories. Taking place in The Queen’s Hall, let’s hope that the house lights are dimmed and that some well-placed candles are present. You know, just to vibe it up a little.
8.45pm, Thurs 31 May
State Library of Victoria, Queen’s Hall

A great way to bring a festival dedicated to love of the written word to a close, this Spelling Bee event is going to be awesome! Seriously. If you think you can spell without the help of Microsoft Word, then the lit-nerd trophy is within your grasp. Though something does tell me that a Spelling Bee at a writers festival isn’t going to be a walk in the park.
6.30pm, Sun 3 June
Gertrude’s Brown Couch, 30 Gertrude St Fitzroy


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