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What are Writers Festivals and Why go to them?

Updated on December 9, 2013

You never know who you may meet at a Festival

Taken from advertising brochure for recent festival
Taken from advertising brochure for recent festival | Source

It is possible to meet a Favorite Author

If you are like me and find it inspiring and special to meet an author that you have read, admired and even aspired to write like then a writers festival is the place to go.

Think: Inspiration Information And Opportunity at a Writer's Festival

What I love about Writers Festival

Having just attended the Sutherland Shire writers festival and feasting on some of the finest local and Sydney based Young Adult writers around such as Susan Gervay, Gabriel Lord and James Roy
I have to say that if you don’t attend your local or state festival you truly are missing out.
Filled with inspiration, advice, fresh and creative ideas what’s not to love..
If you have a book or two within you and are thinking of writing, are an up and coming writer, a published author or a hope to be, soon to be Author then a writer’s festival is definitely for you.

And here’s the thing even if you are not a writer and are just a bookaholic then a festival is a place where you can uncover new writers and new books to feed your addiction.

What is a Writer’s Festival

Courtesy of Wikipedia a ‘writers festival also known as a literary or book festival is a regular gathering of writers and readers, typically on an annual basis in a particular city’ (or regional center, my words added). A literary festival usually features a variety of presentations and readings by authors, as well as other events, delivered over a period of several days,with the primary objectives of promoting the authors books and fostering a love of literature and writing’

So what is it exactly that happens at a Writer’s festival?

A festival usually takes place over 1 to 3 days and is broken up into sessions which provide an opportunity for writers to gain information and to learn all they need to know to help their writing journey along. It is an opportunity for authors, agents, publishers and anyone in the business to liase, chat and learn from others.

Most writer’s festivals offer a variety of sessions and hope to cater for writers at every stage of their journey. Speakers come from every writing genre be it fiction or non and talk on a variety of subjects including their own personal experience of the writing process; how to go about seeking publication; how to write a pitch and who to pitch to; deciding if there is a need for an agent; going through the process of getting published; understanding a contract; how to becoming an international best selling author; traditional publishing verses e publishing and of course selling your book in the digital age. A wealth of information is to be had and there truly is something for everyone..
And of course it is at a festival where writers have the opportunity to speak to a publisher and pitch an idea for their book.

Who should go to a Writer’s Festival

Writer’s, published author’s, agent’s looking for new talent, editor's and of course newbies wanting to get an idea of what it might be like to become a writer.

Some of the sessions covered recently were;

-Writing stories that matter
-Agents and do we need one
-Create a compelling book trailer
-What women want - contemporary womens fiction
-Tapping into the YA brain
-Editor’s panel - what we are looking for
-Cutting edge story telling
-Writing rural fiction
-Self publishing finding your way through the maze
-Promoting is everything building your profile through blogging and social media

Where do you find out about Writers Festivals

A Google search will uncover many writers festivals and will include links for a search and provide most of what you are looking for.

If you are a member of a local, regional or state writing center they have it covered and will let you know all the information that you need such as dates; time; sessions and who is running them; which guest speakers they have coming; which publishing companies are represented;the details of any book launching; etc etc

If you are not a member usually most festivals are well advertised through,

Local councils - ring your local council as they will have their finger on the pulse of any event occurring in the area.

In local newspapers,

Shop fronts such as library and bookstore windows - check these out as they receive notification of
anything relevant for writers.

Book clubs - somebody in the group may be a member of a local writers center or have heard of the festival.

Or anywhere that writing classes are held such as local community colleges, art schools etc usually know what's going on in the creative world around them and will have information available or be able to find it for you.

Meeting Mathew Reilly - a Highlight

The fascinating author of many best sellers!!
The fascinating author of many best sellers!! | Source

Why go to a Writers Festival

A variety of reasons but these are some;

Inspiration is free and without doubt gives a writer an atmosphere where their creative juices are inspired listening to sessions that excite and enthrall ones imagination.

Publishing consultations are an opportunity not to be missed and many writers have got their books off the ground by booking a time with a publisher at a festival.

Information gained at a festival about writing, about publishing, about marketing your book etc etc is invaluable to anyone writing either a book, short stories or freelance writing.

Book launches, sales and signings give writers an opportunity to see new works uncovered and ideas of what to expect and how to go about a launch if and when they are published.

Opportunity Networking with and getting to know other writers, agents, publishers and others in the industry are all part of what takes place at a festival.

Meeting Favorite Authors is a highlight for a writer and sometimes a dream come true for the beginner writer.

Session at NSWWC

Don't put it off you may kick start your best seller by going to a Festival

In conclusion I need to add that if you haven't been to a writers festival I would encourage you to search and find and attend one as they will make a difference to your writing journey in some way whether from contacts you make in the industry or friends and colleagues to encourage you along the way.

Sydney Writer's Festival

And Don't Forget That -

Publishers,editors and agents are always on the look out for new writers and it is possible to make contact and liase with many in the industry at a festival..

Let's talk about your experiences.

If you have been to a Writers Festival, has it met your expectations?

See results


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    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You inspire me to google search for one of these! I'm in the south (or almost south), and it seems these things are usually on the coasts or somewhere else far off. But I'm motivated to start looking to see what all is out there. Thanks for this hub!

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      You will be inspired rebecca there is so much good stuff for a writer, thanks for reading..cheers

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Oh thank you Nell, yep really am lucky & he's a great guy, thanks..

      Do find one and go if you much to gain from them..cheers

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      You have me swooning to go to a writer's festival. Thanks for the inspirations!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi, I have never thought of this before, but now I am going to look around to see if there are any writers festivals around near me, you lucky thing meeting matthew reilly! I have read a number of his books! great read, and thanks! voted up and shared, nell

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thank you Eddy appreciate your visit..


    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and voted up for sure.


    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks Till

      I so hope you find one to go to they are really great for any writer & more beneficial than we think..thanks heaps for votes appreciate it..cheers

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I will have to see if there are any in my area this coming year. I would enjoy getting to know other writers and the networking of ideas. Thanks for the information.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      What a great treat for any writer! Definitely something to be on the look out for. How wonderful you've met two of your favorite authors and shared this information.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks tirelesstraveler appreciate your comment..find one & go if you can really feeds your addiction so well:)

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Have always wanted to attend this kind of thing. I will keep my eyes open for an opportunity. Looks like just the thing for a writer junky. Good information.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Thanks for dropping by Bill..I am a bit like you and so enjoy informing other writers of opportunities to be had and wanted to highlight some of the benefits of going for them..I've attended 3 now and have made some great friends, met some valuable contacts, and met 2 of my favorite authors.. Cheers

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information, Mary. I would love to go to one of these. Time is always an issue with me, but this would definitely be beneficial. Thanks for the information.