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!
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:
I was also lucky enough to have her sign my edition of City of Bones:
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
She also had this to say about the nature of vampire books returning every few years:
— Brett Michael Orr (@BrettMichaelOrr) September 5, 2015
//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!
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John Marsden (the Tomorrow series), and heard from various industry sources about publishing and getting your work from unpublished to published status.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:
You need to put in the time and hours. You’re competing against other professional, published authors. #bwf15
— Brett Michael Orr (@BrettMichaelOrr) September 6, 2015 “Imagine you want to be a surgeon…the practice, training, hours…and there are less jobs for writers than surgeons.” @GraemeSimsion — Brett Michael Orr (@BrettMichaelOrr) September 6, 2015
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!
A photo posted by Brett Michael Orr (@brettmichaelorr) on Sep 4, 2015 at 8:55pm PDT
A photo posted by Brett Michael Orr (@brettmichaelorr) on Sep 6, 2015 at 2:35am PDT
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!