13 September, 2011

Brisbane Writers Festival 2011

I did two days on the schools program at the BWF this year, and had a terrific time. I was on 2 panels, one with Peter Stanley, author of Simpson and his Donkey, and Maggie Steifvater, author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy—the third book of which is my commuting book for this week. We talked about writing from animals' points of view, which was a great topic and one I hardly ever get asked to address, which surprises me, in retrospect. Jessica Miller wrangled us beautifully.

The other panel was withmymate Marianne de Pierres, author of a trilogy too—I must dream up a trilogy to write! Joy Lawn got us talking about building fantasy worlds—where to start, what to include, how not to get lost in your own new world.

I also did three solo talks about writing short stories, which went well. Although I basically made the same points in each talk, I used three different stories to demonstrate what I meant, to keep things interesting for myself.

In all sessions, the audiences were very attentive and had great questions to ask, more than we/I could get through in the time available. Very smart and curious school students, they have, in Queensland.

One charming thing: In the show bag given to every guest of the festival were two bottles of bath products, with a letter from the Brisbane Store Manager of Aesop, beginning: "Dear Talented Individual, You will find enclosed a selection of products from Aesop's body care range. We anticipate that you will enjoy using Aesop products as much as we delight in your artistic gifts."

One eye-opening thing: the panel titled "Women, Drugs and Madness" run by QNADA, particularly Debbie Kilroy's blistering commentary on how Indigenous women are treated by the health and justice systems.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Lanagan

I am a student at Fredericksburg Academy in Virginia, and we recently read your story, Singing My Sister Down. I liked how you used foreshadowing to slowly reveal why Ik was being punished. It made it very fun to read, since I learned more about the story as I progressed in it.

13 September, 2011 11:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from fredericksburg academy as well, i loved singing my sister down and am looking forward to reading more of your books. You should try to visit the school sometime if your ever on tour, i would love to see you, and i know you have many other fans here as well

13 September, 2011 23:05  
Blogger Among Amid While said...

Greetings, Fredericksburg students! I will definitely try to get to Fredericksburg when I'm next in the area. It's a heck of a walk, though! :D Best wishes, Margo.

14 September, 2011 06:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Fredericksburg Academy and I think that "Singing My Sister Down" was a good story. I think that you coming over for a visit would be great for our school, thanks for the good reading

14 September, 2011 10:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Lanagan,

I'm a ninth grade student at Fredericksburg Academy. While I was reading your post, I was wondering if you had ever written a story from an animal's point of view? I haven't read any stories from this point of view and think it would be fun to write! Please come visit my blog:

14 September, 2011 10:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Margo Lanagan i am a student at Fredericksburg Academy and I really enjoyed reading your short story "Singing my Sister Down" I loved the way you were able to give just enough background information to have the reader understand. But still leave a lot of the background open for their imagination. I have been trying to write a book my self but just couldn't get past the first step of PLot Structure. Do you have any tips for me that will help me get past that first step. If you have the time Email me. My Emial is mvance@fredericksburgacademy.org and visit my blog on fablogs.
Thank You

14 September, 2011 11:33  

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