My creativity is always piqued when I meet writers and they talk about their craft. So just after I returned home from my 2018 trip to Italy (involving a week or two either side of my week-long writing retreat in Tuscany… and doesn’t that roll off the tongue far too easily?!) I was on the lookout for ways to prevent my writing mojo from withering and dying. Again.
And I came across the Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival in Queensland.
As someone who lives in regional Queensland I was surprised by the array of talent the event attracted. I mean, we (here in the sticks) do get the occasional author leaving the confines of the south east corner of Queensland, but not several all at once. I mean, we’re talking the likes of Michael Robotham, Natasha Lester, Caroline Overington, Holly Wainwright, Chris Masters, Tess Woods, Al Tait and more.
Of course I’d just finished a work contract prior to my Italian jaunt and was… (ahem) poor so decided against going.
Instead I made sure I followed the (Burdekin Readers and Writers Association) Facebook page and kept up-to-date with the biennial event.
A few months ago announcements about this year’s attendees started appearing. Already they’ve lined up: Chris Hammer, Trent Dalton, Sophie Green, Karly Lane, John Marsden and now Frances Whiting.
I have to admit after the first two were announced (as I love Hammer and Dalton’s work) I sent a query to the organisers cos… if I’m really honest, I didn’t exactly know where the event was held. And by that I mean, not just the venue, but the town.*
It’s in Ayr for those who are wondering.
I was provided with some detail about the festival venue and handy motels so made a few queries and —on discovering one of the motels had ONE single room left—booked it!
I’d asked a blogging / writer friend if she’d wanted to go but she wasn’t able to commit at the time. I had planned on booking a double room thinking I’d drag my mother along if the friend couldn’t go. Though I’m still hoping she (or someone I know) might come along for the ride. I’m sure other motels must have rooms. 🙄 (Although the place I’ve booked said there’s also a wedding in town that weekend so they’re busier than usual.)
Don’t cha just love regional Queensland?
Of course in my twisted little mind I did kinda think Ayr was about 6-8 hrs drive away. I did the trip a few times when I lived in Far North Queensland in the early 1990s but my memory’s more damaged than I thought. When I checked I discovered it is in fact at least an 11hr drive. So… I may need a stopover enroute.
For those not in the know, flying isn’t really an option as I live on the Fraser Coast and there are no flights north out of our Hervey Bay airport, so I’d fly south to Brisbane and then up to Townsville and then drive south to Ayr. And I’d have to mortgage my house to do it.
So I’mma gonna be roadtrippin’. Apparently.
Are you a fan of festivals? Or road trips?
* I know I know… you might wonder if I’m a born and bred regional Queenslander (and I am!) but Burdekin to me kinda meant Mackay-ish. Rather than Townsville-ish. I have – as it happens – stayed in Ayr twice before (circa 1980 and 1991).