Archive for speculative fiction festival

Sydney Speculative Fiction Festival: a fine day out

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , on March 18, 2013 by jason nahrung

writers gather at nsw writers centre's speculative fiction festival 2013

Coffee break under the jacarandas

Now that was fun! The NSW Writers Centre held its sold-out Speculative Fiction Festival on Saturday, and it was one of the most relaxing, enjoyable, informative literary events I’ve been to.

Kate Forsyth curated the event, gathering writers and publishers from as far away as Perth: Garth Nix, Juliet Marillier (launching a collection, Prickle Moon, which sounds fab and has — awesomely — a hedgehog on the cover), Ian Irvine, Richard Harland, Alison Croggon, Adelaideans Lisa Hannett and Ben Chandler, Angela Slatter, Rob Hood and Cat Sparks and Deb Biancotti and more and more.

Sadly, Kim Wilkins and Marianne de Pierres were unable to attend.

nsw speculative fiction festival

First panel of the day: international fantasy

The centre itself is housed in a gorgeous old building, two stories, a former asylum and, I’m told, the building in which shock therapy once occurred.

No such shocks at the fest, but plenty of stimulation: publishing insights from the likes of Joel Naoum (Momentum) and Zoe Walton (Random House) as well as conversation about writing fantasy and YA and using fairy tales and, of course, getting published.

Sydney turned on a warm day with a cool breeze, and lunch and coffee on the lawn under the shade of the jacarandas was a delight. Gotta love those crows, chiming in with their own comments from time to time.

prickle moon launch at NSW Writers Centre

Russell Farr with Sophie Masson and Juliet Marillier and Liz Grzyb launching Prickle Moon

Chrissi and Amber from Galaxy Bookshop kept an eye on the stock, and the centre’s Rose Powell was a butterfly of biz keeping everything in order — she certainly deserved a drink as the book launch got underway on the veranda at the end of the day.

Kirstyn and I sat on a panel with Rob Hood and Deb Biancotti about horror and the weird and had a jolly old time talking Gothic and psychology and chills to a room surprisingly full for a dark side discussion; the interest was heart warming and the audience engaged.

As always, half the fun is the chinwagging, and with the likes of Alan Baxter and Mark Webb and Zena Shapter and Rivqa Rafael and Angie Rega (who has a new website! and new stories coming out!) and oodles more, there was plenty of chinwagging to be had, both there and at the pub afterwards.

Addendum: Pix by Cat Sparks!

Throw in a Manly ferry trip the night before to attend the launch of Kate’s The Wild Girl (review here by Sean, my go-to blogger for all things spec fic)and dinner after, and fair to say the weekend away was a delight.

Next up: Newcastle Writers Festival and the ever-enjoyable Conflux.

See the calendar for more Aussie literary events

Speculative fiction fest in Sydney

Posted in fantasy, horror, news regurgitation, science fiction with tags , , , , on February 6, 2013 by jason nahrung

The New South Wales Writers Centre has released the program for its one-day festival of speculative fiction, curated by Kate Forsyth, and it’s a doozy.

The guest list includes Garth Nix, Marianne de Pierres, John Flanagan, Ian Irvine, Sophie Masson, Kim Wilkins … and more! Russell B Farr is launching a new collection by Juliet Marillier. There are publishers (Random House, Momentum, Ticonderoga and Chimaera, to name a few) talking about getting published, and publishing yourself. That’s a hell of a lot of industry muscle for $80 (non-members).

And yes, a few of us are talking about weird and dark fiction, too.

The festival is on March 16, starting at 10am, with drinks on the verandah at 5pm to wind down. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it!

Oz Horror Con, Sydney Spec Fic Festival: here we come!

Posted in books, writing with tags , , , , on January 9, 2013 by jason nahrung

So, another idea to make it an easy, homebody year, and look what’s happened: outings! adventures!

Hehe.

First up, I’ll be hanging out with the horror buffs at Oz Horror Con in Melbourne, which is on the full weekend but I’ll only be there on the 20th as part of a contingent from the Australian Horror Writers Association. The venue sounds very, um, underground, though sadly lacks full accessibility WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN cf this missive from Hogetown about a similar event TWO YEARS AGO, and the con itself is likely to cover a wide spectrum of the pop horror scene. I could be the gothic tragic hugging the shadows saying ‘who’s that’ at every second cosplayer, but it should be educational and quite fun. I should try to watch Patrick again, just to be schooled up.

And now the wheels have turned far enough to say I should be catching up with a whole bunch of writers and readers at the NSW Writers’ Centre’s Speculative Fiction Festival on March 16. Kate Forsyth is directing again — last year’s was a hoot, I’m told.

And down the track, over Anzac weekend in Canberra, there’s the national SF convention, Conflux, followed by Melbourne’s Continuum.

Throw in the Aurealis Awards and a few other stray bits ‘n’ bobs — and the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, UK — and 2013 is looking like a preeetty busy year…

There are plenty more events on, of course; the wallet is already smouldering. Check out the calendar of Aussie literary events for an idea what’s available.

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