Melbourne Writers Festival Reports #4


I've fallen behind in these Melbourne Writers Festival reports - put it down to business, work, attending the Ned Kelly Awards, weekend stuff and, well, life.  But the festival is now over and if I don't get to these reports soon they'll be so far out-of-date as to be nearly less than useful.

On Thursday last week Sheryl Clark was looking forward to attending sessions on the Friday and the weekend.  That's what I call dedication.

Hackpacker went to the digital publishing sessions on Thursday.  The "State of Digital Publishing" panel suggested we may be changing "what" we read, along with the "how". And there were also a marketing session, and Nick Earls, which seems to have finished things off quite well for him.  

Angela Meyer, of the "LiteraryMinded" weblog was hosting parties in the evening as well as attending sessions during the day.  I've done that before and five days is my absolute limit.  I met her on Friday night and she was looking a little tired, though by no means as much as I thought she would.

Thuy Linh Nguyen ran hard all day Thursday, going to one session after another, and Jabberwocky found some short story writing inspiration..

Friday and Angela Meyer was still running, Sheryl Clark got to attend those sessions she was looking forward to, the "Speakeasy" weblog ruminated about digital publishing, and Jackerwocky was impressed with Wells Tower - that's the author not some cocktail or apartment block - as was Hackpacker.

And through it all the Melbourne Writers Festival blog kept me greatly entertained, finishing up with some photos at the end.

Which actually alleviates one of the only things I think this whole blogging exercise, by so many people, could have done to improve a little - photos.  Maybe next year, along with the written accounts, the MWF people could engage a photographer or two.  Just a suggestion you understand, the rest of it was pretty damn good.


Hi Perry, there's a good reason for the lack of photos. It's too hard for an amateur to get a decent photo of speakers up on the stage, and people fuss so much about privacy these days that it's risky to do any crowd shots to convey the atmosphere.

Publishing identifable photographs of audience members is an issue. The photos on the latest MWF blog posting have done a good job of including the audience without identifying them. Panellists and speakers have probably had to sign release forms so they are okay.

A posting on the MWF blog refers to "Jim our photographer" so I'm guessing they had an appointed photographer but didn't utilise his work that much.

What I'm attempting to say, in my clumsy fashion, is that I'd like the MWF organisers to keep improving the blog for the festival, and one way to do that is to add more photos. If they need to appoint a professional photographer then so be it.

Yes, I think a professional photographer would be a good idea. We have become used to the cheerful inclusion of images on blogs, and -especially if they're long posts - slabs of text only now seems a bit offputting.
I also think that since the variety of speakers and sessions needs multiple bloggers official and amateur, they need to give some thought to registered bloggers being able to plug in and recharge. I took my little netbook which is supposed to last for four hours but really only copes for three and a bit, and of course it shut itself down when I still had two or three sessions to go to. On intercity trains in the UK it's possible to plug in so it must be possible to have some seating with power points available.

Hi Perry

This is a great summary so thanks for putting it up. I'll be doing something similar, which will hopefully go out in the MWF e-bulletin and appear on the MWF blog next week.

On the issue of photos, we did employ a professional photographer who took heaps of photos during the festival and those photos will go up on the main MWF website over the next couple of weeks.

However, it is an excellent idea to put them up as we go during the actual festival so we'll look into doing that next year. I only started the MWF blog in April so it will be continuously improved to be even better for the 2010 festival.


Thomas Caldwell
MWF Marketing Co-ordinator

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 2, 2009 9:29 PM.

2009 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Winners was the previous entry in this blog.

Online Fiction: "The Ruined Queen of Harvest World" by Damien Broderick is the next entry in this blog.

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