Over the last week I have travelled three times to Adelaide to attend the 2010 Adelaide Writers’ Week. This is an integral part of the biennial Adelaide Festival of Arts. Writers and readers come here from all over Australia for this important festival, one of the best of its kind in the world. A fine array of talented international writers are also on the speakers’ list or on panel discussions on books and writing.
The sessions run from 9:30am to 6pm every day for six days and admission is free to all sessions (except the evening sessions in the Town Hall). Sitting there all day is a marathon effort for both organisers and audience members. The audience would have to number well over 500 at any one time, often swelled for popular or well-known writers, or during the lunch break of workers in the nearby CBD, a five minute walk away.
Three large marquees are set up for the week in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens located beautifully between the CBD and the River Torrens. The East Tent and the West Tent host the writers’ talks and panel discussions, while the central tent is the Book Shop. The shop stocks many of the books of the visiting authors as well as stocks of new books launched during the week. Every guest speaker is encouraged to sit at tables in front of this tent for book signings, and to meet their readers.
Last week I travelled to Adelaide several times to attend this year’s Writers’ Week, an important feature of every Festival of Arts in the city. This special part of the festival runs for six days at the beginning of the festival. It attracts writers and readers from all over Australia for the day long sessions. The programme always features leading Australian writers as well as a significant array of international writers and publishers.
This year’s writers’ week was opened by leading Australian writer Tom Keneally (pictured above). Tom is probably best know for his book Schindler’s Ark which was made into a very successful movie. Tom is an entertaining speaker as well as very thought provoking for readers and writers alike.
During the first afternoon the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann (photo below), announced the Premier’s awards for writing in ten different categories.