2013 WriteFest Review by Kez (Kerrie) Salaün

This was my first attendance at WriteFest in Bundaberg. I was excited before I arrived, and doubly so after the evening with author Sulari Gentill on the Thursday night at the (recently refurbished) Bundaberg Library.

Sulari’s talk was both intimate and instructive and we laughed along with her reflections on a writer’s life. To capture an audience personally and professionally is not a skill all speakers achieve easily. I noted the well-coordinated nods of most attendees’ heads agreeing with Sulari. All of us appeared to have experienced similar frustration and joy as writers, or even as family of a writer.

Sulari convinced us that if we dare, if we have the desire, we will certainly achieve. Writing is not just a passion; it is life for most of us. So it is fantastic to find people who live to help writers.

… I was fortunate to be part of Deonie Fiford’s Masterclass on the Saturday.  Having only ever sat anonymously amongst two hundred or more people at one other festival, this expected interaction excited and frightened me. How wrong I was to be afraid.

People in my class had published their writing, some more than once. Others had entered and won contests or, like myself, had little experience as writers. Every single person offered their wisdom with valid personal points of view, sharing the bond of writing.

Deonie Fiford is a woman of many talents. As an editor and publisher she presented her workshops professionally and with humour by affirming and constituting what we all hope to achieve.  In easy terms and with great examples, Deonie showed us how to make our work more dynamic. She used informative written and group exercises that were fun to do. Class sizes were such that everyone’s questions were answered because she spent enough time with each person.

… For me these were four days of communication, connection and learning. The passion for writing IS a drug. My passion for WriteFest is now an addiction.

… Thank you to all the people involved in producing such a brilliant one-day writers extravaganza, that became so much more. I will be there next year, with more ‘bells on’ and less shoes and clothes – so there is more room in my bag for books!

– Kez Salaün

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