It’s been another busy year at the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre – full of festivals, workshops, competitions, gatherings, masterclasses and mentorships.
Throughout the year we’ve been bringing writers in from overseas and interstate to connect with and inspire the literary community in Hobart: Anita Heiss came down to teach a course on memoir writing, Omar Musa on spoken word, Mark Dapin on feature articles, and the tag-team champions Davina Bell and Jane Godwin on writing and publishing children’s books. One of the highlights was certainly Brent MacLaine of Prince Edward Island, who came to Tasmania on a three-week residency to write and hold poetry workshops in Launceston and Hobart as part of an ongoing literary link between our two islands.
The Centre also worked alongside Caroline Dean to establish the hugely popular Geoff Dean Short Story Competition, which saw submissions come in from all across the county, we worked closely with Hachette and Black Dog Books to mentor emerging writers here in Tasmania and supported a city-wide project featuring five talented young writers writing in quirky and iconic buildings across Hobart.
Over the course of nine months, from March to November, we took participants on a Novel Journey: a series of workshops focussing on the steps of writing long-form fiction, from the inception of a story idea through to the final edit and and finding a publisher. This was program so successful that we’re planning a similar program next year, so keep your eyes open for that.
Surely the highlight of the year was our biennial Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival. The Centre teamed up with Hadley’s Orient Hotel to create the most successful and well-attended writers festival Hobart has seen in a long time. Julian Burnside, Don Watson, Jane Caro, Omar Musa, Stephanie Bishop, Bob Brown, Antonia Hayes and many other great Australian authors flocked to Hobart and lived alongside our city’s readers and writers for three jam-packed days of discussions, classes, story-telling and late night poetry slams in the hotel bar.
We were involved with many other projects behind the scenes this year, including a children’s literary festival out at Bruny Island, and a two week graphic arts residency on Maria Island.
Stay tuned for all the great things coming in 2016!