It feels like only yesterday that I was heading to National Young Writers' Festival for the first time. I was so proud of driving to Newcastle and back. My first long-distance solo road-trip.
My first writers' festival. I had no idea what to expect, nor did I know a single person going.
It didn't matter.
I fell in with a lovely group on my first afternoon. I scribbled notes at the first panel but by the last day, I learnt to let the festival wash over me. Strangers became familiar faces, then friends.
I did eventually bump into a few people I knew from Canberra, a lovely surprise. This year, there are fair few of us, a contingent-of-sorts, heading up. I have road-trip buddies both ways.
I am nervous about my panels and first workshop but really, it isn't the end of the world. The wonderful thing is, the audience want you to succeed. They want to hear what you have to say.
With that in mind, I have packed several dresses (weather won't be as summer-y sadly), Polaroid camera, books and magazines (which I won't have time to read), a handful of pens, stack of CDs, business cards and... a heart full of curious gratitude to write, write, write.
An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterwards.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald -