Geraldton library’s Big Sky festival nurtures city’s ‘bubbling creative vibe’

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
City of Greater Geraldton Regional Library manager Trudi Cornish.
Camera IconCity of Greater Geraldton Regional Library manager Trudi Cornish. Credit: Michael Roberts/Geraldton Guardian

Geraldton Regional Library is hosting a jam-packed program of creative talent this weekend for the 2021 Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival.

This year 14 festival guests — headlined by Fremantle author and screenwriter Craig Silvey – will inspire, educate and mentor ticket holders through workshops, intimate Q&A sessions and casual chats.

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Given the threat of COVID-19, the event has a strong West Australian feel, with New South Wales author Robert Drewe the only festival guest based outside WA.

The Walkley Award-winning journalist turned fiction writer will deliver his keynote address remotely via video.

Organiser Trudi Cornish said the event was about nurturing local talent and encouraging young creatives to give writing a red hot go.

“Geraldton has a real creative vibe happening just recently,” she said.

“I’ve been in Geraldton 10 years, but just recently it seems to be bubbling.”

Ms Cornish pointed to Mid West authors Kitty Boyes and Matilda Scotney as local success stories.

Many of the weekend’s events are already sold out, but there are still tickets available to select sessions, most of which are free.

“People have been asking for months when the program is coming out,” Ms Cornish said.

“There’s a real following for this festival.”

Picture: Award-winning children’s author Brigid Lowry
Camera IconPicture: Award-winning children’s author Brigid Lowry Credit: Supplied

Award-winning children’s author Brigid Lowry is hosting one of the sold-out writing workshops on Friday, but she was able to share some words of wisdom for those who can’t attend.

Ms Lowry, who teaches creative writing classes,said succeeding as an author was as much about hard work as talent.

“The ones who are getting published are the ones with above-average talent who’ve got ‘bum glue’,” she said.

“They are prepared to sit at their computer for two years and write and write; these days there’s no such thing as an advance.

“In the old days you could pitch an idea and get paid to sit there for two years and write a book, but now because of the industry you have to write the book in your own time.”

Ms Lowry encouraged young writers to “have adventures”, “do interesting things” and “get a life” before writing professionally full-time.

“Do things that will encourage you creatively and then start,” she said.

For a full festival program and tickets head to https://library.cgg.wa.gov.au/big-sky-2021-programme

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