As a writer I thrive on the opportunity to spend extended periods of time with others who love words as much as I do. It’s a real treat to occasionally be able to immerse myself in all things writing and be surrounded by others who feel the same.
My recent trip to Melbourne for the National Writers’ Conference was a chance to do just that – and spend some time with two fellow members of my writers’ group, Penny and Leonie. This was a typical girls’ weekend where we talked about the raft of topics women share when together (partners, families, friends, travel, food, pets etc), but we also dissected the sessions we’d attended and shared how they had inspired us to write more, or differently, or explore new genres.
Between us, Penny, Leonie and I have attended many writers’ festivals and enjoyed them, but felt they were lacking in the stuff we really needed to know – insights to the craft of writing itself. Instead of being for avid readers (which we are too), this wasn’t about authors discussing what inspired them to write their latest work and then share their favourite passage. The National Writer’s Conference didn’t skirt around the how-tos and whys of writing, the program asked authors to jump straight in to the nitty gritty and lay their writing process bare.