Adelaide Writers’ Week 2014

This is a great time of year to be in Adelaide, with festivals galore: the Fringe, Arts festivals, and music festivals. And if you’re not into any of those, we even have the V8s at this time of year shredding up the streets of Adelaide. Personally, my favourite part of this time of year is Adelaide Writers’ Week. My usual routine is to head there on the weekend, park my butt at one of the tents in the morning, and then stay there all day so that I hear not only the writers I like, but also writers I haven’t yet discovered. Last year I got sick the weekend that falls on Writers’ Week so didn’t get to go. I tried to make up for it a little this year but am supposed to be there right now with some work friends on our lunch break, but am sick again. Thankfully, I have been able to get to a few things this year…

On Sunday, Diane and thecookingchook joined me for a beautiful day in the sunshine. Neither of these ladies had been to Writers’ Week before so I started with showing them the important things (i.e. the book tent). Thecookingchook and I sat down to hear Jung Chang speak about her new biography about Empress Dowager Cixi which sounded absolutely fascinating. One to add to the ‘to-read’ list!


Michael Cathcart interviewing Jung Chang (with an Auslan interpreter on the right)

Following a quick trip to the Mall for lunch and then Blackebys for dessert, we headed back to the eastern stage to see Richard Flanagan discuss and read from The Narrow Road to the Deep North which, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I absolutely loved. Following hearing this very inspirational man speak, I waited in a long line to get my book signed by him, and it was very much worth it, with him asking me what I did and then personalising my book signing accordingly.


Me gushing over Richard Flanagan (poor guy)


Am honoured he would consider me anything more than a fellow human being!

Following the book signing, we caught the tail end of Rayya Elias being interviewed by Elizabeth Gilbert about her book Harley Loco, which sounded like something else to read one day, and then saw a panel which included Eleanor Catton (although unfortunately the panel discussion was not very enthralling – my bad, ladies).

After getting home on Sunday and being all excited about seeing authors, I decided to book in to one of the Writers’ Week events which was on last night, Professor Diarmaid MacCullough, whose TV series about the history of Christianity I absolutely loved. Seeing him speak was fantastic – it was a really good interview and, not only is he obviously knowledgeable on the subject but he’s funny, too. He speaks from a purely historical viewpoint on the topic of Christianity, which is extremely refreshing. By the end of the night I had bought all three of his books and had all three signed by him. Oops! I also ran into someone I used to work with until he retired late last year so it was a great night overall, despite me being the Typhoid Mary of the crowd [it cracked me up when you called me that, Diane!].


Professor MacCullough at Elder Hall

So, I managed to see a few authors this year and get my geek on. Needless to say, my ‘books to read’ bookshelf tally has grown exponentially. I keep wanting to take leave over Writers’ Week (and ideally, not being sick!) but it never seems to work out. Perhaps next year…

7 thoughts on “Adelaide Writers’ Week 2014

  1. Thank you for helping me pop my Writer’s Week cherry, Melsy. I’ve been meaning to go for years, but never got around to it. I’ve been three times this week, though, so I think I’ve more than made up for it! It’s been such a fascinating and inspiring thing to do.

  2. Pingback: 2014 Man Booker Prize Shortlist | Bookabye Baby

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