KEYNOTE SPEAKER : ‘A Writing Journey’ - Belinda Murrell
Best-selling author Belinda Murrell provides an insight into her writing process, creating books for children and teenagers, growing up in a literary family and lessons learned during more than two decades of her writing career. Belinda will discuss the ‘art of writing’ – from inspiration to finished product and the rollercoaster ride in between.
At about the age of eight, Belinda Murrell began writing stirring tales of adventure, mystery and magic in hand-illustrated exercise books. As an adult, she combined two of her great loves – writing and travelling the world – and worked as a travel journalist, technical writer and editor. Now, inspired by her own three children, Belinda is a bestselling, internationally published children’s author with a history of writing in her family that spans over 200 years.
GUEST SPEAKER SPOT - Too close to home...or not close enough? - Helen Thurloe
Helen Thurloe began research for her novel, Promising Azra, after reading a newspaper article about forced child marriages in contemporary Sydney. Over the next two years she interviewed students, teachers, counselors and lawyers to understand the complex interplay of cultural expectations that are involved. In the process, she had many of the assumptions about arranged marriages challenged, and she also found that what is typically portrayed in the media about forced marriage is only part of the story. Helen Thurloe is an award-winning writer and poet. Her debut novel, Promising Azra, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2016. The book is currently shortlisted for the Multicultural NSW Award in the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Helen’s poetry has won national awards, and her poems can be found in anthologies, journals and online. She’s now working on her second novel, about the consequences of malaria in 18th century England.
WORKSHOP PRESENTER: 'Poeting while Female' Melinda Smith
Melinda Smith won the Prime Minister's Literary award for Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call (Pitt St Poetry, 2013). Her poems have been anthologized in Australia and overseas, and translated into multiple languages. A former poetry editor of the Canberra Times, she has just launched her fifth poetry collection, ‘Goodbye, Cruel’. Join Melinda for a frank and in-depth look at the vicissitudes of ‘Poeting while Female’. Melinda will take us through how women poets have approached their vocation, both in a literary and a practical sense. This will include lots of content from contemporary Australian poets as well as international and historical examples. It may or may not include horror stories, literary gossip and ‘how-not to’ advice. Bring along your burning questions and ‘women’s poems’ you thought were too hard to get published. A pen and paper might also help.
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