Writers. Brisbane Writers Festival. 2009.

 Australian Author Thomas Keneally
Australian Author Thomas Keneally

The Brisbane Writers Festival was again in 2009 a remarkable event, Surpassing even last years excellent programme. There were many fascinating sessions from various authors on a broad range of topics as well as a question and answer sessions after each of the presentation. The Festival is held annually over a week in September at the State Library of Queensland. In 2012 The Festival will celebrate it's 50th Anniversary.

In 2009 Not only did we get to meet many revered writers in person: we got to hear how they developed their topics. For instance female writer, M.J. Hyland, discussed at a compelling how her books have been written. Hylands bookThis Is How’ is based on actual research of British serial killers. Developed from real life stories, Hyland’s writing style is capable of giving a plausible insight into the thinking and emotions of a serial killer. The main character from ‘This is How’ portrays him from the aspect of the first person. Another famous writer on the same topic at the Festival was Jeff Lindsay. Lindsays book was the basis of a mini TV series “Dexter”. Lindsay's writing method is to create a like-able serial killer who only kills very bad people. This reason Lindsay claims is likely the reason both the books and television mini series have been so popular.

Chris Nyst, a local well known Queensland Lawyer, Crime writer and Film producer, talked about one of his books ‘Getting Square’. The book, based in part, on real life characters that Nyst has come across in his law practice. Nyst has a rare ability to imitate many of the accents in the book, including a Jordy and a London accent, as well as a broad Australian one as he recited chapter and verse from his book.



Another one of the Forum's at the 2009 Writers festival was by Social Researchers Hugh Mackay and Rebecca Huntley. In this forum Mackay and Huntley discussed the modern day phenomenon that we all all bombarded by surveys every day in the media. Both television, on line, and in magazine and other publications. Yet the surveys and results undertaken often mean nothing according to Mackay. Either the premise of the questions asked are ‘wrongly worded’ or the sample size is way too small for a meaningful result. Yet column writers in magazines are all too eager to draw inferences in their public writings on the topic: No doubt deceiving some, fooling others some if not all of the time. Mackay explain’s that a precise personalised ‘fireside type’ discussion is needed, in order to glean the truth for accurate data for social research. Years of careful development of polling techniques have enabled Mackay, and his colleague's to gain a high reputation of accurate social forecasting.

Another excellent forum I attended was a group of writers talking about the economic collapse in Japan as well as the general economic collapse last year internationally.
This Forum,sponsored by the Griffith Review an Australian publication, compilation of writings and ideas.

The forum panel consisted Mark Choi who discussed a peak hour suicide at one of Japan's busiest railway stations. The Research done so far suggests that many of Japan’s suicides may be caused by the pressure and the massive turn around in economic fortunes. That has beset Japan over the last 10- 15 years. Before the downturn Japan was considered the economic success model for the world to aspire to, as such many proud Japanse consider the change a ‘ loss of face’ and as such cannot cope with the humiliation of the event

As well, on this Forum was Erica Sontheimer who's discussed her role at Lehman Brothers in essay about called ‘Windows on Lehmann Bros the firm where she was working for during the 9/11 attack in New York.

Another panel forum I went to included three eminent Australia Women. Gay Bilson a food Writer, and long time award winning restaurant owner. Anne Summers, a famous Australian Writer and Women's Rights Advocate. Leigh Sales, Current Affairs Anchor/Presenter for ABC TV programme Lateline. As well Sales is former North American Correspondent for the ABC Australian Television and writer of the book-Detainee 002.David Hicks, was detained at Guantanamo Bay for six years the book explains the process that Hicks and the Military Commissions went through following the events of 9/11.

In this forum the three women discuss the role of food in their lives, as represented in three short story books that each have written. Each Author reflects in their own way on the food they have in their lives, and the current state of a particular class/culture. An entertaining but quite revealing look on how our table manners. As well the choices reflect the culture we now live in. The cultural and economic imperative phenomena in Australia where an increasing percentage of women working outside the traditional house-keeper role has changed the regular sit down meals in most households. As well the increase in the single household affects the patterns of eating inside and outside the home.

The Brisbane Writers' Festival as I believe are other writer's festivals great for meeting people interested in books and writing; As well as for getting ideas on writing stories or topics for blogs or other articles. I recommend Writers Festival's generally but Brisbane in particular.

A markerState Library Brisbane Australia -
State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia
[get directions]

location of the 2010 Brisbane Writers Festival in September

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