Non-fiction enthusiasts brace for a long weekend in Geelong with many good books and authors
11 August 2014
Author and former model, Tara Moss, Australian Paralympian Sam Bramham, extreme adventurers Andrew Lock and Jono Lineen and QI writer researcher Molly Oldfield will be among the writers and speakers descending on Deakin University's Waterfront Campus in Geelong this week for Word for Word, Australia's largest festival for non-fiction enthusiasts.
The event which will run from Friday to Sunday, August 15 to 17, is the brainchild of Deakin University's School for Communication and Creative Arts and will feature three days of panel discussions and in-conversations session aimed at exploring the true story world of non-fiction.
Deakin University Vice Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, said the event was a coup for Geelong.
"For Geelong to be hosting Australia's largest festival for non-fictional literature, writing and ideas is quite a coup," she said.
Event organiser, Maryanne Hyde, said the program would showcase the breadth and depth of non-fiction writing and aim to spark conversation, discussion and debate across a range of topics as diverse as "dude food", politics, war stories, AC/DC's Young brothers, philosophy and true crime.
"Non-fiction writing encompasses not only books and academic writing, but also includes blogging, social commentary, biography, journalism, food, sport and travel and across a range of media," she said.
"Audiences sometimes find that 'true stories' resonate w0ith them in a way that perhaps does not happen with fiction."
Ms Hyde said Friday's workshops would tackle the art of pitching a manuscript to publishers, how to find the balance as an author/narrator when writing non-fiction, reviewing books, the hazards and challenges of writing non-fiction and writing content for websites and social media.
"On Saturday morning Deakin University's Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies and Professional and Creative Writing Dr Cassandra Atherton will lead Tara Moss, Sara James and Dee Madigan's discussion looking at how women are portrayed across the media while Matthew Ricketson will take Jesse Fink, Matthew Condon and David Hunt through a discussion about the thorny paths of non-fiction writing.
"Grief and the process of grieving will be discussed by authors Gabrielle Carey, Jono Lineen and Michaela McGuire in a late morning session with Caroline Moore while in an alternate session, Reservoir Dad Clint Greagen will discuss how his stay-at-home-Dad project became an award-winning blog.
"For true crime lovers Matthew Condon (Jacks and Jokers), Adam Shand (Carl Williams) and Lindsay Simpson (Honeymoon Dive) will separate fact from fiction with Andrew Nette."
Ms Hyde said Sunday's line up was just as busy.
"Tara Moss will speak to Dr Atherton about her first work of non-fiction while Deakin University's Criminology lecturer Dr Kate FitzGibbon will join authors Lindsay Simpson and Michaela McGuire as they discuss the pursuit of justice with Angela Savage.
"Extreme Adventurists Andrew Lock and Jono Lineen will talk with Graeme Joy, the first Australian to go unguided and alone to the Magnetic North Pole about their experiences."
Ms Hyde said discussions later in the afternoon would feature Sam Bramham talking about his experiences as a para athlete with Tony Wilson and Molly Oldfield talking about her work on QI and her first book The Secret Museum with Professorial Fellow, Andrew Reeves.