The Scone Literary Festival committee President Jan Sinclair recently launched their 5th annual Scone Literary Festival program. The only writer’s festival in the Upper Hunter has grown from strength to strength from what initially was the idea of a few like-minded bookworms, writers and bush poets who felt there was a need to host an annual literary event in Scone.
They have been gathering speed and reputation since 2014 and this year the stellar line up really takes the festival to the very next level. This year’s overarching theme is ‘The magic and power of literature’ and the line-up is indeed magical.
“We are once again blessed with the involvement of the wonderful Phillip Adams. Phillip has been involved in this festival now since its beginnings and this year will be in conversation with Guardian Australian journalist and author David Marr, fellow broadcaster Barry Jones and Sydney Morning Herald investigative journalist and Gold Walkley winner Kate McClymont. Adding even more girl power to the stellar line up is Tracey Spicer who will be talking about her involvement in leading the Now Australia movement and her new ‘laugh-out-loud ‘femoir’ “The Good Girl Stripped Bare” said Ms Sinclair.
The program also features a special commemoration to the Centenary of First World War Armistice on Sunday 11th November with historian and biographer Ross McMullin.
Other highlights of this year’s festival feature panels on crime and children and young adult fiction writing, storytelling through food, how to tackle writing a sex scene, diversity in Australian writing, historical fact or fiction, desert island books and workshops on the magic of children’s writing and creative writing for beginners. There is also a great schools day being held at Scone Library and Scone Grammar School on Friday 9th November.
Another new initiative of the 2018 program is the ‘Check it out’ writing competition. This fun competition is open to any staff working at any supermarket or retail chain in the Upper Hunter and invites budding storytellers to recount some of their funniest anecdotes of their experiences of working at the check-out with a great weekend away at Russley Rural Retreat to be won for the lucky winner. In addition to ‘Check it out’ the Upper Hunter High School writing competition makes its return with great prize money to be won. The high school writing competition is sponsored by McDonalds Scone and is open to all pupils studying at Scone High, Scone Grammar, St Josephs, Merriwa Central School and Muswellbrook High and opens in August.
The Festival Committee would like to thank all their sponsors: Paradice Investments, Upper Hunter Shire Council, McDonalds Scone, Regional Bank of Australia, Total e Solutions, Kate Mailer, The Event Storeroom, Morgan & English, Scone Arts & Crafts, Hunter Writers Centre and Arts Upper Hunter, Strathearn Park Lodge, Portman House, Russley Rural Retreat, Scone Motor Inn and Little Kickerbell.