Newcastle Writers Festival


The second Newcastle Writers Festival has just wrapped up and it has been amazing! The organizers did a fabulous job and provided so much variety in content. As someone who used to travel to the Sydney Writers Festival in May each year, and I’ve even done the Brisbane and Melbourne ones a few times, it was so nice to have one in my home town. I have never been a speaker at any of these events as I am happy to sit back and be entertained by the brilliance of others. Wendy Harmer as always, was hilarious. She teamed up with Kaz Delaney and Jesse Blackadder to discuss children’s and YA fiction – my passion of course. Kate Forsythe was a delight as she spoke about fairytales and fables. And those Wordy Women who read from their PHDs in Creative Writing (Gerry Bobsien and Company) are sure to be published. Gerry was my personal favourite. I took a group of students to her writing workshop on Thursday and they loved it. Although I only caught the last half hour of the session, I have picked up a few writing tips of my own to use in my classroom. I hope you don’t mind, Gerry!

Tristan Bancks was also inspiring. So many of the boys at my school are now carrying around “Two Wolves” and reading it in the playground. Tristan really knows how to appeal to the boys and he is on a winner with Two Wolves. I loved it too!

Well done Newcastle Writers Festival!


10 responses »

  1. Hey Mrs Beck it is me Ahmad. You know that Book that we had to write ( A journey over the oceans) I am going to enter it into a Competition. And the prize is 500 dollars. Hope everything is ok in Newcastle. I will talk to you again.
    Kind Regards
    Ahmad Talal

    • Hi Ahmad
      It’s so nice to hear from you and I am so pleased that you are entering your story in a competition. Have a read through it first and now that you are six months older you may want to make some changes to improve it. Ruby Hackett just sent me through her improved Storybirds picture book, and it makes me happy to think that I have inspired my students to write and keep improving their work. Good luck with the competition, Ahmad. I loved your story and so did many of the teachers I showed it to.
      warm regards

  2. Ahoy Liz! No worries and I’m glad the kids liked the session… I put the bearded stories up on a little webblog thingy ( ) – let me know if yours want to be included! PS I’m looking at Losing It for my exegesis. Really need to crank into it!
    all the best

    • Hi Gerry
      I heard you read from your PHD thesis thingy on the Saturday. You really present well on panels. I am a mass of nerves and inappropriate giggles. Did you mean my kids “Bearded Stories”? Didn’t they send them to you? And Losing It for you exegesis??? I am flattered and can give you any help or insight you want.
      keep the writing coming

  3. Hi Mrs Beck,

    I am writing to you because I need some good book recommendations. The books I’m reading now aren’t bad but I’m hoping if you can recommend some science fiction books for me. Thanks.

    • Hello Anonymous???
      And how do you know my other name is Mrs Beck?? Hmmm, science fiction??? Have you read “Dark Life” and “Rip Tide” by Kat Falls? They look at a dystopian future where the world’s oceans have risen and many now live under the sea. And at the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival I discovered great Aussie novelists and scriptwriters Scott Baker (The Rule of Knowledge) and Steve Worland (Combustion), and writers Chris Allen (Hunter) and Greg Barron (Savage Tide), all of whom have created world-famous blockbusters. Check them out. At the moment I am reading a John Heffernan novel, “Where There’s Smoke”. I love it but it is not science fiction. Let me know how you get on.
      Kind regards and good reading

      • Thanks for the book recommendations, and yes, I’m Anonymous. But you might find out who I am soon.

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