Byron Writers Festival, of which I am the deputy-chair, opened last Friday. Last Wednesday night the
equivalent of a cyclone hit Byron. We arrived early on the site on Thursday morning to find one marquee collapsed, another marquee ripped, lots of the signage blown away and a large proportion of the site flooded. Many people thought we would open the next day, but we were determined.
Our team worked around the clock (with pumps, gravel, hay and crusher dust) and we opened the gates as scheduled at 8am the next morning. We told everyone to bring their gumboots. And what a Festival. I’m honestly too exhausted to give you all the highlights (have been running on very little sleep for the past five days!) but the whole event was magic.
I drove Annabel Crabb to the Literary Dinner and she is a delight. I sat next to Leigh Sales at dinner. She is easiest person to talk to in the world. Just like talking to a friend. I thought I’d be intimidated and searching for intelligent things to say to such an extraordinary media icon, but she is so down to earth and friendly. Meeting P.J. O’Rourke was also a bit of a highlight. And, there were so many more.
I chaired two sessions. Contemporary rural romance author Charlotte Nash was a delight to interview. I so loved her book, The Horseman. And, Lucy Clark had almost the whole marquee in tears as we discussed the content of her book, Beautiful Failures. I was a little intimidated when Kerry O’Brien sat down to listen!
All in all, we pulled off a miracle and today I plan to lie on the couch and watch rom coms all day (well after I do the washing, drop the kids to school, answer over 1000 emails and catch up on all the other stuff I neglected for the past few weeks). And sincere apologies for all the typos that are bound to be in this post. At the moment I can barely remember my own name.
Have you been to any writers festivals? Love to hear about your experience.