Well readers, as of today I am beginning my official duties as the Albury Write Around the Murray Festival blogger. I’m here in Albury now, sitting in the hotel room, just itching to get out there tonight and start the coverage of events. But first, here’s a list of the events you can expect to find me writing about:

Sustaining News Stories: What keeps stories in the news? Award-winning journalists Chris Masters and Nick McKenzie, subeditor of The Australian and author Scott Monk, and The Border Mail deputy editor Di Thomas will talk about what makes news and what keeps it on the front page, in the headlines and getting website hits.

Writers on Stage: (I’m performing in this one, and blogging about it. Should be an interesting thing…) Award-winning Melbourne poet Nathan Curnow joins Derek Motion, David Gilbey, Harata Syme and Jo Wilson-Ridley for the second Writers on Stage performance for the year. Presented in partnership with Booranga Writers Centre, this event will feature performances of an eclectic mix of works in various poetry styles.

Inside The Piper’s Son with Melina Marchetta: The much-loved author of Looking for Alibrandi talks about her new novel, The Piper’s Son, which takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling novel Saving Francesca. It’s five years later, Thomas Mackee is 21 and he’s the one who needs saving. Find out about the research that went into the novel and why it is Thomas Mackee’s story that Melina has chosen to tell.

Panel Session – the New World of Publishing: Whether you want to go down the traditional route of finding a publisher or you want to explore new and exciting options such as blogging and zines, this is the session for you. Hear from experienced bloggers, zine makers, traditional publishers and those who’ve self published or published in a number of genres. Panel includes award-winning short story writer and novelist Cate Kennedy, also blogger Angela Meyer, and zine expert Anna Poletti.

Lifting the Lid with Co-author of the Underbelly Series, Andrew Rule: Andrew Rule has written true crime books – including the best-seller Cuckoo, a true account of murder and its detection, and the popular Underbelly series that captured the nation’s attention through the television series – for nearly 25 years. Join Andrew as he delves into the world of true crime and lifts the lid on some of Australia’s most notorious crimes and criminals.

Festival Dinner featuring a Spatial Stories performance, as well as keynote address by Chris Masters.

Festival Finale – Book Club with Jason Steger and Cate Kennedy: Join Cate Kennedy, author of The World Beneath, as Jason Steger of the ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club leads a discussion exploring the themes of the novel and how the story came together. This is an interactive discussion involving audience and author. Come and share your thoughts.Copies of The World Beneath are available for loan from the Library Museum and Lavington Library or you can purchase the book from Dymocks Booksellers Albury (receive a 10% discount if you mention the festival).

Exhaustive list, no? I shall be serving up all of the action for those of you who can’t be in the Albury area!

Will one of these fabulous writers say something profound that needs to be recorded for all time? Or will someone say something paradoxically silly and profound at the same time? Will someone stick their chewing gum on a podium – a coldly calculated move designed to get people ‘talking about you’ – or something just as equally bizarre?

We need to know these things. And this blog is your source. Stay tuned – the posts will be online as soon as possible after each event happens. I will also be tweeting (using the inimitable style of Samuel Cooney a s a model) in realtime: #murrayfest


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