Stephen Orr at Adelaide Writers’ Week

Stephen Orr, Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Stephen Orr, Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

One of the interesting book launches during this year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week was Stephen Orr‘s novel Time’s Long Ruin. Stephen is a high school teacher in Adelaide. He has had short fiction published in a range of magazines and journals and has had two previous novels published. They are Attempts to draw Jesus and Hill of Grace.

Time’s Long Ruin is set in Adelaide and deals with some of the darker elements of our society, including touching on the disappearance of the Beaumont children from Glenelg beach in 1966 and all done in a fictionalised form. I can’t give a review here yet as I haven’t read a page. I’m keeping it for a time when I can basically read right through. I will be interested in how he treats the topic as it could give me ideas on how to tackle the writing of a novel I have in mind.

Peter Goers launching Stephen Orr's book

Peter Goers launching Stephen Orr's book

The book was launched by the affable and outspoken Peter Goers, Sunday Mail columnist and ABC Radio 891 evening presenter. Peter did such a good sales job on the book that I raced to the Book Tent to buy it afterwards, and then joined the long queue to have my copy signed by the author.

I look forward to reading it.

Stephen Orr, Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Stephen Orr, Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Stephen Orr, Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Stephen Orr, Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Adelaide Writers’ Week March 2010

Tom Keneally opening Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Tom Keneally opening Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Last week I attended three days of the six day Adelaide Writers’ Week. This is an important and integral part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts held every two years. This festival attracts readers and writers from all over Australia, as well as a glittering gathering of international writers who come as guest speakers. Each day starts at 9:30am and runs until 6pm so it is quite a marathon effort for organisers and attendees as well. The sessions are all free (except for several evening sessions in the Town Hall). The sessions vary from panel discussions on writing, reading and literature through to book launches and meet-the-author opportunities.

Three large marquees are set up in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Gardens a five minute walk from the CBD. The East Tent and the West Tent host sessions concurrently while the Book Tent is housed in another tent in between. This shop features books written only by authors present on the programme. All authors are available for book signings too.

2010 Writers' Week, Pioneer Women's Memorial Gardens, Adelaide

2010 Writers' Week, Pioneer Women's Memorial Gardens, Adelaide

On the first day of the festival there was a special session to announce the winners of the Festival Awards for Literature. This was done by the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann. In all there are ten awards ranging from plays, children’s books, non-fiction to unpublished manuscripts. The cash awards are very generous and I applaud the state government for supporting our writers in this way. May it continue.

Premier Mike Rann at Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Premier Mike Rann at Adelaide Writers' Week 2010

Further reading:

How does this happen? Confessions of a book lover.

The biennial Adelaide Festival of Arts starts today. This feast of cultural events is now a well established event in South Australia, celebrating 50 years of festivals¬† this year.¬† It has maintained a world class standard for festivals since its inception. This week there have been political promises to make it an annual event – we have a state election here in 3 weeks’ time.

Writers’ Week

A very prominent and popular part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts is Writers’ Week, starting tomorrow. Several dozen leading Australian and International writers descend on Adelaide for this festival. Several large marquees are set up in the beautiful parklands and the writers are given centre stage for a whole week. Most sessions are free events for the reading and writing public, a rare thing these days. Book launches are also a prominent feature of the week, along with the announcement of a raft of awards.

Programme Guide

I plan to attend a number of sessions next week so during the week I wandered into a leading bookshop in Adelaide to buy the programme guide. The price was $7 and I thought that wouldn’t break the bank or drain the wallet too much.

How come then I come out of the bookshop with six books in a bag?

Those wonderful novels – some in hardback – were sitting there on the bargain tables quietly whispering my name and begging to be taken to a good home. I couldn’t resist.

As part of this confession, and to atone for my misdeeds, I’ll read those books over coming weeks and then review them here on this blog. It’s the least I can do.

Good reading.

Good writing.

To read more about my impressions of the Adelaide Writers’ Week click here.