2011 was a big year for Ballarat Writers Incorporated and I learned a lot being part of such a fantastic committee.
One of the most exciting achievements for the year was the re-introduction of the workshops. Presenters included Sheila Hollingworth, editors Allison Arnold and Alice Barker, authors Cath Crowley and Jill Blee and poet Nathan Curnow. The success of the workshops means that these will run again for 2012. I will post the details when they are out.
The standard event through the year has been the reading and open mic nights. We have hosted poet Marian Spires, author Lisa Lang, YA authors Tim Pegler, Leanne Hall and Nicholas Brasch and Illustrator and author Sally Rippin.
The two major yearly events hosted by Ballarat Writers Inc are Pure Poetry and the Ballarat Writer’s and Illustrator’s festival. Set in the beauty of the Ballarat Art Gallery Pure Poetry mixes classical music with poetry with both the words and music written or composed within the last 12 months and all Australian. Commissioning new Australian works is an absolute honour for the committee. The event is the brainchild of Chair, Bronwyn Blaiklock, who is not only a brilliant pianist, but also a poet.
This year’s Ballarat Writers and Illustrators festival continued the YA and Children’s theme, fast becoming the niche event for writers and illustrators within the industry. Commencing with a dinner YA author Maureen McCarthy was the keynote speaker who also kicked off the next days sessions. In total 26 authors, illustrators and publishers spoke to an audience from across Victoria.
To wrap up the year the Southern Cross Literary Competition was won by Kate O’Donnell. Personally I enjoyed assisting with this comp, and getting the chance to see the inside workings of a large scale literary competition.
Ballarat Writers is always open to new members. Please visit our website for further information www.ballaratwriters.com.