Winter in Bendigo is now synonymous with good books and good conversation, thanks to the Bendigo Writers Festival.
Each year our academics, professional staff and students get involved, as speakers, hosts and through the popular Writers in Action subject.
This year, as the world adapts to learning and connecting online like no other time, the festival is proving there’s more than one way to listen and share in the conversations sparked by books and writing.
Bendigo Writers Festival, which has been supported by a partnership between the City of Greater Bendigo and La Trobe University since 2012, has created an online interview series in response to the cancellation of live events and it’s going strong.
Backstory premieres every Wednesday evening at 6pm, and is then available on the Bendigo Writers Festival website. The lineup is as rich and varied as the festival itself.
From fantasy superstar Garth Nix, to international bestseller Colum McCann, fairytale expert Kate Forsyth, art expert Doug Hall and Hong Kong commentator Antony Dapiran, the full-length interviews are windows on to words and worlds, with informed and passionate writers.
Coming up on Backstory: premiering on Wednesday June 10 at 6pm, Thomas Mayor talks about his book, Finding the Heart of the Nation, a ground-breaking journey across the country with the Uluru Statement. He has just released a picture book, Finding Our Heart, and he talks too about how children react to this powerful call for a First Nations Voice in the Constitution.
On Wednesday June 17, Backstory features Clive Hamilton, on the release of what is sure to be another controversial book about China, Hidden Hand.
“We miss our audiences,” festival director Rosemary Sorensen says, “so our Backstory series has been important to keep in touch.
“It’s also given us an unexpected advantage since we now have much better access to the technology that allows us to share events more widely.
“Nothing can replace the actual festival, because so much happens in that real, live space that is surprising and encouraging, but the bonus of recording and sharing is very satisfying.”