From the Director
In this age of digital disruption, it’s now easier than ever to get yourself published, without being at the whim of mainstream publishers.
There are so many stories that need to be told, and so much history that needs to be recorded before it’s forgotten.
These are the fundamental principles that drove me to approach Hunter Writers Centre with a concept for an independent writers’ festival; one that focuses on helping people find the ways and means to tell their story. Whether it be through words on a page, lyrics to a song, or even a blog, today publishing is more accessible to anyone than ever. Maitland seemed to be the ideal location for such a festival. Its broad diversity encompasses the full gamut of socio-economic and cultural demographics. This provides a richness of vibrant and colourful stories with the potential to enrich our appreciation of each other when written down and shared.
When approaching Hunter Writers Centre for support the Centre’s Director, Karen Crofts, embraced the idea with great enthusiasm. Without HWC’s incredible support, this festival would be little more than a thought bubble in my imagination.
The Maitland Mayor, Cr Loretta Baker, was equally supportive when I approached her with the idea.
That enthusiasm was something I encountered again and again as I canvassed support; for the idea of a writers’ festival that is unambiguously for the general population, including those who may have never before considered writing or telling their stories.
In this festival we have maintained the traditional format of engaging speakers who have achieved great success: poets, fiction writers, memoir writers, and short story writers. But there will also be song writers and bloggers, because today, writing isn’t just about books. One thing all our speakers have in common that makes our festival unique is that they have all started their writing journey by being either independently or self-published. And they are all passionate about encouraging others to follow their example.
The committee has worked hard to ensure that the inaugural IF Maitland Indie Writers Festival has something for you, whatever your interests. So, we hope you’ll choose a few speakers or panels you’d like to see. Maybe you’ll book into a workshop, or enjoy the competitions and entertainment we’ve put together for you.
But most importantly, when the weekend is over and you’re filled with inspiration, we hope you’ll get out there and tell your story.