Join the dots to make a map to show us how to live

We call it “joining the dots”, our Bendigo Writers Festival commitment to the Central Victorian region as a place where good conversation happens in very nice venues.

On Sunday arvo, April 2, we went to Maryborough Railway Station, one of the loveliest buildings you could imagine, way too grand for the little city it’s attached to, but full of history and memories.

To talk about Place and Memory, we invited two exceptional writers – Robyn Davidson and Raimond Gaita. Kate Bond, who runs the cafe, did us proud, providing taster wines from the region, and good food – not to mention excellent coffee. Continue reading

Making festival 2017

As the Castlemaine State Festival unfolds, with all the joy – and a bit of backchat – that is generated around it, Bendigo Writers Festival, just half an hour down the road and five months down the calendar, is taking shape for August 11-13, and it already is giving me sleepless nights!!

With one of our out-of-season outreach events due to take place on Sunday April 2 at Maryborough Railway Station, and then on May 21 another one in Dunolly, the obvious stuff is front of mind – booking the writers, thinking about the venue and details for the events, trying to let people know it’s on. But those of us who are responsible for events such as these never lose sight of the bigger picture: why are cultural events important and how should they be created, in what spirit, for what purpose, for whom, where, when… and on it goes.

Continue reading

Youth anthology branches out again

Bendigo Writers Festival and the Rotary Club of Bendigo are delighted to announce that submissions for the 2017 Vox Bendigo Book Young Writers Anthology are now open.

Students in years 3-7 and 8-11 are invited to enter one piece of poetry or prose relating to 2017’s theme of ‘THE TREE’.

Continue reading

Vox Bendigo Fyffe Writing Award 2017

Now in its third year, the Vox Bendigo Fyffe Writing Award opens for entries on Wednesday February 1, and closes on Wednesday April 26.

La Trobe Uni lecturer, poet and writer Scott Alterator was integral to the VB process last year, hosting the celebration at Bendigo Writers Festival where we launched the tiny zine, designed by Jacqui Lynch, featuring the winning poems by Tru Dowling and Melinda Kallasmae.

Rod Fyffe has come up trumps (!) once more, with funding assistance, so this year, to keep it fresh and evolving, we’ve divided the Award into two categories: Poetry and Essay. Continue reading

Make like Banjo and name drop the Borough

The Mulga Bill Writing Award is once again searching the country for Eaglehawk’s next big literary mentions.

In a respectful nod to Banjo Paterson’s poem about Mulga Bill of Eaglehawk, the competition asks writers to make like Banjo and name-drop the borough to be in the running for cash prizes. Continue reading

Bookmark these events: Watson and Gessen

Do things seem a little off-kilter to you at the moment?
Wondering what’s going on and whether it’s going wrong?
Finding it not so easy to feel optimistic?
Voltaire got it way back in 1759, when he wrote his very funny (but rather pessimistic) Candide: Stay at home and cultivate your garden, said his very weary hero after calamities of astonishing proportions had assailed him, because everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds… well!!
Don’t stay at home and miss out on what’s on offer very soon, in our Bookmark series of events.

Continue reading

Assange on journalism

It was “quite an experience”, as La Trobe University emeritus professor Robert Manne commented to the big audience in Bendigo’s Ulumbarra Theatre, following his interview with Julian Assange.

Saturday night at Bendigo Writers Festival was always going to be memorable, once we announced the Wikileaks founder would be speaking to us live from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been in asylum from extradition to the United States for the past six years.

It wasn’t an easy interview: not only was it technically fraught, as we were never sure if the link would be interrupted, but it was also difficult to know how Assange would react to questioning.  Continue reading