If you weren’t in Newcastle this weekend, wow, you missed out. This was only the second year that I’ve attended the National Young Writers’ Festival and I already dread the day when I will be too old to attend a festival for young writers.
One of the many highlights of the festival, which is under the This is Not Art (TiNA) umbrella, is the Sunday zine fair. Lots of artists/writers/creatives/people wearing square glasses take over a car park and fill it with beautiful things they have made – books, journals, magazines, zines, and inspired lunch options (chicken salad wrap with honey, anyone?). I may have spent $62 on magazines and my suitcase was a kilo heavier when I got on the plane. I guess that means magazines cost $62 a kilo, which makes them more like fancy chocolates than mandarins, if nothing else.
There were lots of other highlights. Check them out via my new best friends Alex and Sian, or via Thuy Linh, who I didn’t meet properly, but who seems swell and apparently came to one of the workshops I helped run.
It’s ironic that after leaving the festival feeling inspired, I’ve been working on an essay this week and struggling to write fluently. Some of the Voiceworks peeps on the Vices panel were talking about the importance, and indeed the privilege, of writing every day; at other times, they have compared regular writing to exercising creative muscles. After a couple of weeks of holidays, stretching out those muscles is kinda hard, but it feels good.