Brisbane Writer’s Festival 2015

This weekend, I attended Brisbane Writer’s Festival, a yearly event in my city of Brisbane, where authors and writers from both the domestic and international markets come together to talk about everything from getting published, to Q&A’s on their novels, and of course, plenty of book signings!

Cassandra Clare

One of the biggest headlines for BWF2015 was world-renowned author of the Mortal Instruments series, Cassandra Clare, who hosted dozens of events throughout the week. I was lucky enough to see her three times on the weekend, including her talks with writing partner Holly Black on their new series together, Magisterium.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js  Cassandra talked about her own series, Mortal Instruments, and both the movie and television adaptations of it – including an interesting statistic about optioned books:  

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I was also lucky enough to have her sign my edition of City of Bones:

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Holly Black

Fantastic urban fantasy and vampire-crazed author Holly Black started my weekend with a fascinating panel on vampires, how they’ve changed from originally a ‘fear of the foreigner’ (referencing Dracula’s Eastern Europe beginnings), into something that now resembles a sex symbol – a romantic lead more than a horrifying creature.

So excited to be here, listening to Holly Black and the panel on Vampires! #brisbane #bwf2015 #vampires A photo posted by Brett Michael Orr (@brettmichaelorr) on Sep 4, 2015 at 6:36pm PDT

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She also had this to say about the nature of vampire books returning every few years:

 

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js  And best of all, she took time to talk with my friends about writing, and recounted her favorite childhood folktale, The White Cat, and generously took photographs too!

 

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Other Events

I attended other events too – including several sessions from Australian published authors including the likes of John Marsden (the Tomorrow series), and heard from various industry sources about publishing and getting your work from unpublished to published status. The most inspiring statement of the whole weekend was simply about the hard work required to make it as an author:

 

Writerly Friends

But one of the best things about BWF2015 was the opportunity to connect with fellow bloggers and writers in real life – I had a blast meeting Jeann of Happy Indulgence, and Sarah of Trees of Reverie, along with Maddie, Maureen, and Katie Rowney!

Hanging out with @happyindulgence, @pasomaddie and @momopixies at #bwf2015! #aussiebibliophile #bibliophile #brisbane #bwf

A photo posted by Brett Michael Orr (@brettmichaelorr) on Sep 4, 2015 at 8:55pm PDT

 

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This was my first time attending a writer’s festival, but I can tell you it won’t be my last! What a fantastic weekend, and an opportunity to meet so many amazing people from around the world, both professional authors, and book bloggers alike!

Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, to the loyal army of volunteers (including star Katie Rowney, featured in the above Instagram), and to the Brisbane City Council for organizing the event!

15 Comments Add yours

  1. The Writing Badger says:

    Sounds like you had a blast! 🙂 I hope you get to go next year as well and it will be just as great or even better 😀 Also I’m so jealous that you got to meet Cassandra Clare and Holly Black haha (but also happy for you of course ^-^)

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    1. Brett Michael Orr says:

      Thanks Michelle! It was a great event and I’ll definitely be going to more – including one interstate, hopefully! Meeting authors was the best and Holly Black was so generous with her time and wisdom!
      Thanks for reading!

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  2. Had such a fun time at the event, a great recap on the highlights Brett! Definitely meeting other bloggers, Cass Clare signing and the chat we had with Holly was the best.

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    1. Brett Michael Orr says:

      Thanks Jeann! I had so much fun and it was inspiring to meet and talk with all those established authors – a really helpful and affirming weekend for a writer! And meeting IRL book bloggers was the best! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Heather says:

    It looks like you guys had such a good time! I’m so glad that you got to go, and grateful that you shared it with us. I’ve never been to any kind of writers’ conference, and though I don’t think I’m the kind of person who would go, I do like seeing everyone’s updates. Also, it’s awesome that you got to meet Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. I particularly enjoyed the vampire tweets you shared, because that is so true of lit in general…

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    1. Brett Michael Orr says:

      It was definitely the best fun I’ve had in a long time! And sharing tweets made it feel like everyone was there too, getting just a little taste of the event!

      The vampire session was definitely one of my highlights – I enjoyed a very levelheaded discussion about Twilight in fact.

      Thanks so much for stopping by Heather!

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  4. Cassie says:

    You got to meet Cassandra Clare! I am *slightly* jealous…(I didn’t get to see her when she was in Sydney).
    And more signed books for you! Yay!
    You have, what, two now? 🙂

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    1. Brett Michael Orr says:

      It was amazing seeing her for three events, and meeting with her (plus getting that three-second video for Renee!) She is an amazing and inspiring author. I now have *four* signed books, and proud of them all!
      Thanks for reading!

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  5. Sunny Smith says:

    I am honestly so jealous right now. I’d love to meet Holly Black! Ever since I read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I’ve been a fan. She just seems like she’d be a cool person to meet.

    I need to make more of an effort to go to conferences next year:) Thanks for sharing your experience!

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    1. Brett Michael Orr says:

      Holly Black was *amazing* – so friendly and generous with her time too. It was an honor to meet her, and especially to hear her talk about vampires and her work with Clare on Magisterium!
      Definitely do attend conferences – they are amazing and such good opportunities to meet writers and bloggers too! Thanks for reading!

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  6. Sounds like such a fun event, I envy most your beautiful warm weather in these photos. I adore Holly Black and dearly hope to meet her one day!

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    1. Brett Michael Orr says:

      It was a lovely Spring day, definitely perfect weather for an event like this! And meeting Holly was amazing, she was so generous and friendly, and gave me the extra push to keep pursuing my dream – a real-life inspiration and just being around her was incredible!
      Thanks for reading!

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  7. aHHHH THIS IS SO COOL. I AM JEALOUS. XD HAHA. I fully live like 5 hours away from Brisbane, so maybe one day I’ll actually get up there?!? (Crowds tho, omg, crowds are terrifying.) But Cassandra Clare and Holly Black are some of my FAVOURITE authors of ever and I’ve loved seeing all the pictures and reading the recaps. Also that quote from Graeme Simison. EGHHH. YES. Why aren’t there more jobs for writers. >_>

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    1. Brett Michael Orr says:

      Hi Cait! It was an AMAZING weekend. I’d *love* to meet you up in Brisbane one day – our crowds are pretty small, don’t worry; we could go on a book crawl! Black and Clare were *amazing*, and I had such fun live-tweeting BWF2015.
      Thanks so much for reading!

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