Recap: Brisbane Writers Festival

Once again it is the time of year where the amazing Brisbane Writers Festival happens. Us poor Brisbanities suffered through the many tweets and photos of other Australians who had been having their state’s writers festivals. And finally it was our time! And what a great festival it was too.

Here are my amazing experiences at BWF!

It was three long, intense but of course amazing days of going to book talks, meeting inspiring authors, and meeting up with fellow book friends.


The 2016 BWF experience began with a talk from YA author, David Levithan. He started with reading a small snippet of the first chapter from his novel, You Know Me Well. I think I’m definitely going to have to go and buy that book now. It sounds so funny! David talked about his inspirations behind why he wrote You Know Me Well. He also went on to talk about his experiences with co-writing, cause if you know anything about David Levithan, you know he’s done a *lot* of collabs with other fabulous authors.


Melina Marchetta and Meg Rosoff, moderated by David Burton, were up next. In their Fan Girl for Life panel talk, Marchetta and Rosoff discussed books which had inspired their writing careers. We learnt that Melina Marchetta had been scarred as a child because of Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. 


Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman as a book is amazing, and a must read for anyone who hasn’t yet read it. But Illuminae as a surround sound space opera is another thing. Overlooking the Brisbane River in the State Library’s Red Box, stringed instruments set up and played music inspired by the novel as the sun set. It was truly mesmerising.



Saturday of course was meant to be the best day of the entire festival for me. Saturday meant #LoveYA, hosted by Brisbane Libraries.


Jay Kristoff opened the LoveYA event by discussing his latest novel, Nevernight. Kristoff was completely honest, and revealed many interesting points of advice for upcoming authors. Cool, calm, and collected, Kristoff appeared, and all I could think was, “damn he’s tall.” He was by far one of the best parts of BWF for me. 

Debuting Australian YA authors, Christopher Currie, Mark Smith, and Elizabeth Kasmer were up next. They discussed what it was like to be Australian, writing in an Australian setting, and also explained the writing techniques which went into developing their manuscripts. Author, Mark Smith advised writing what is familiar to you is a great way to go.

Amie Kaufman, Lee Battersby, and Jaclyn Moriarty hilariously discussed who would survive an apocalypse if one were to happen. Amie Kaufman immediately jumped in and said she wouldn’t survive the first wave. *insert laughter*. Somewhere among that discussion, we got onto Matt Damon, and his agriculture skills… Let’s just say it was a weird but hilarious panel talk.


Finishing off the 2nd day of BWF was once again the fabulous David Levithan, and Meg Rosoff. In this session, we learnt about the horrors which occurred when Rosoff’s novel, How I Live Now was being made into a film. You need to write a book about that, Meg!


Sadly every good thing must come to an end eventually.

But first…

We spent the day with Jay Kristoff, and Amie Kaufman. We started with a reading of the first chapter of Illuminae. We were once again in the Red Box, and while I thought I would watch the boats fly past more than pay attention, I found myself completely captured by the voices of the authors, and fellow author, Justine Larbalestier. After that, we headed downstairs to listen to Kristoff and Kaufman talk about their writing process, and inspirations.



It was after an exhausting but fun three day weekend, that BWF came to a close for me. I met so many amazing people, got so many books signed, and got to be inspired every second of each day. Please don’t make me go back to work tomorrow. Please just let me stay at home, and write!




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