Emerging Writers’ Festival—Town Hall Conference Sunday

A little bit late, but I thought I should complete my posts on the Emerging Writers’ Festival. On Sunday I went along to just two sessions at the Town Hall Writers’ Conference—I’m not surely brain could’ve coped with anymore. Some very vague and incomplete notes are below.

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In a session on Digital Writing, John Weldon came out with this gem: “Having an online presence is a bit like having a gym membership. Most people get one, but then never go. To get something out of it, you have to actually go.”

In the afternoon, I went along to a session on Life Writing, in part because I write personal essays and creative non-fiction, and in part because I’m currently writing an essay about the complexities of narrating the self. Comedian and writer, Luke Ryan, and author and program director of Creative Writing at RMIT, Francesca Rendle-Short, discussed the difficulties of writing about yourself. A couple of interesting notes:

“In any family, you always have as many mothers as the are children.” (Rendle-Short)

Luke, whose writing frequently relates to his two run-ins with cancer, says writing the narrative of his illness allows him to control how people speak to him about it. Because his writing is funny, he hopes that people will stop being terrified of talking about he disease.

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I came away from the afternoon, and indeed the weekend, with far too much to think about. It’s been awfully difficult to concentrate this week — but it’s kind of nice to know that there are new ideas and connections forming in my mind. Hopefully my vagueness hasn’t worried my yoga students too much.

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