Gosh, I love alliteration! Can you tell? Recently Adelaide played host to Adelaide Writers Week, part of the annual Adelaide Festival, so I packed up my bags, took some annual leave and went on down to the beautiful Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden. Let me set the scene for you: despite the calendar switching over to autumn the most perfect summer weather lingered with warm sunshine and light breezes inviting the crouds with barely a cloud in sight. Spread out underneath the green canopies of the well-established trees the sea of intent listeners gather in front of the two stages home to some incredible talent, both national and international. Names such as Kate Grenville, Ian McGuire, Nick Earls, Hannah Kent, Madeleine Thien, Peter Ho Davies and Jessie Burton just to name a few were in attendance with a stellar line-up for a jam-packed six days.
I saw many sessions, some planned and some not. I learnt many things about my home country and countries all around the world. I put some faces to names of bookish friends and conversed with many fascinating strangers. I had my books signed and met some amazing writers that blew my mind and have shaped my thoughts, even as far back as a twelve-year-old delving into my first young adult novels. Below is a collection of just some of the words of wisdom (para-phased, my memory is not perfect) that I picked up in those magical six days.
John Marsden: First hand experience is paramount. When we lose our stories, we lose yourself.
Mike Ladd: The prose happens on the page, the poetry happens in your head.
Quincunx is the arrangement of five objects in the pattern of four one the outside and one in the middle, like on dice. The squares of Adelaide are arranged this way.
Nathan Hill: Don’t kill a character unless is makes you cry.
A. S. Patric: Australia is a bunch of broken histories coming together on a new land.
Jessie Burton: Writing is what I do to understand being alive.
Ian McGuire: Writing is a way of making sense of life and the things around you.