Sunday, September 13, 2009

Brisbane Writers Festival

Ah, Brisbane. Las Vegas of the North. Home of the Broncos, Lions and Raw (?). Life-support system to the stupidest roundabout in the developed world.* Ah Brisbane, gateway to Burpengary.

To be serious for a moment, I actually do like Brisbane a great deal. In the twelve years or so that I've been going up there for work I've watched it transform from the big country town it was once known to be into a sprawling, pulsing city. With traffic. A lot of traffic. But a great many lovely people as well.

Brisbane is also home to one of the best-run writers festivals around. I spent three days up there last week, and was thoroughly impressed by the new venues (at the State Library) and the people who manage said venues. So many volunteers!

So here are some of my highlights:
  • The venues.
  • The attendees. Nice kids.
  • Catching up with some of the other writers, such as Scott Monk, James Moloney, Tristan Bancks, Sherryl Clark and Belinda Jeffreys, and the people from UQP and Random House.
  • Breakfast at the Gun Shot Cafe. Mmm, Canadian brekky.
  • Noel Pearson's slightly confusing address at the opening of the festival. There were protesters!
  • You know who you are...
  • Getting gridlocked in a stinky cab on the stupidest roundabout in the developed world.**
So a big thank you to Molly and her festival people for a great time – see you again some time, I hope.

*It has traffic lights on the roundabout itself.

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