Because this is all about a new writers’ festival it seemed appropriate to use this site as a tale of how three busy women decided, in a single mad moment in time, to stage a writers’ festival in the beautiful Clare Valley of South Australia.
Best known for its wine and fine food, the Clare Valley is also home to a host of artists and galleries, as well as two book shops! Nigelle-ann is the proprietor of Miss Gracie Taylor’s Pre Loved Books and is a qualified librarian, so she knows her books (and her authors and publishers too). Meredith is a writer, while Nan is a journalist – we are all avid readers. Between us we have a great match of skills and apparently not a huge amount of common sense, because we enthusiastically jumped into this project with the confidence only available to those who have never attempted such a venture before and are therefore unaware of any pitfalls.
We began meeting in June 2012 and quickly plotted out a program for the festival. The initially envisaged weekend affair has blossomed and ballooned into a week-long festival of gatherings, workshops and activities.
Everyone we have spoken to about the festival has been enthusiastic and supportive – we have been surprised and pleased to see so many people excited about the prospect of a writers’ festival in Clare – although it’s possibly more about the wine and the chance to do a little exploring!
We hope to use this blog to chronicle our journey into the festival world, promote what we are doing and to encourage others to join in our conversation and comment about the writing universe – doesn’t have to all be about us, as we’re keen to connect with other festivals, writers, readers and enthusiasts of the written word no matter which end of the pen you are holding.