Sunday, March 22, 2009


Big fun on the Gold Coast, at the always excellent Somerset College Celebration of Literature, a.k.a. the Somerset Festival, or to most people in my particular line of work, simply 'Somerset'. This was the sixteenth year of the festival, which is the one by which all others in Australia are judged. In fact, many of the others have been modeled closely on Somerset.

Highlights included, but were not limited to:
  • Great sessions with kids from over 70 schools from as far away as North Brisbane and the Northern Rivers district of NSW;
  • Hanging out with lots of other authors and illustrators (peer time is one of the great benefits of festivals);
  • The white chocolate and raspberry muffins;
  • Alice Pung's very entertaining and moving address at last night's Festival Dinner;
  • Playing tennis with former pro-tennis player and now author Pat Flynn. Yes, I lost. But yes, I did manage to get one or two serves back. I was proud of that;
  • Yet-to-be finalised invitations to several exciting festivals and events after a number of program directors caught my sessions.
Lowlights were very few:
  • The ambient temperature and humidity in the marquees on the oval. I swear I saw an anaconda disappear under the stage at one point. Plus there was that macaw up in the rigging. Some private schools are known for hot-housing their students, but this was just silliness.
  • I think that's it.
There you go. Not much to complain about, then.


Ryan McCue said...

A few of the fans short-circuited the electricity in the marquees when turned up to full, so we had to leave them on low, unfortunately. It was either that, or no sound. :-P

Ben said...

lol at you ryan, its just coz you guys were piggybacking all the fans and speakers, for TWO marques off the one powerpoint... btw, james, good job with your sessions, i found the one i sat in on, very interesting :)

james roy said...

Hey Ryan, it's fine, seriously. It does get hot up there on stage, but I could always stand still, or even sit down, couldn't I? And all you sound guys did a great job, so thanks for doing your part in making the festival go off like the proverbial frog in the proverbial sock.

And thanks, Ben.

Patrick Flynn said...

The Roy showed some tennis talent. I was lucky to squeeze out a hard fought victory.
Congrats on the US book deal!