Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sydney Writers’ Festival

Dangerous Reading

Sydney is playing host to three festivals of the mind this week as Australia’s biggest city showcases its brainy side. Along with Sydney Writers’ festival which began on Monday, TEDxSydney will be held on Thursday, the opening day the Vivid festival of light, music and ideas.

“People aren’t reading less, they are reading differently. A festival provides the stimulation to discover new writers and the buzz of a large crowd is infectious."

The importance of getting paid. "One should never forget the role money plays in shaping the writer's life, and the life inevitably informs the work"... Repository of  Surviving ...»

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‘Everything has been figured out, except how to live.’— Jean-Paul Sartre
This year the theme of Sydney Writers’ Festival is 'How to Live?'. Where do we find a sense of purpose and how should we best live our lives? It’s a subject I’ve seen in all levels of cultural life and running through the books readers are particularly connecting with at the moment.
In this year’s program over 400 writers will help us make sense of the world, exploring ideas of happiness, grief, spirituality, ageing, and mortality.
Writers’ festivals have become big business and increasingly have become the main vehicle for selling books. Book reviews may be seen as a form of advertising that is generously donated as editorial space in magazines and newspapers. Publishers and booksellers, already faced with declining sales in the age of Amazon and digital downloads, say word-of-mouth recommendations from book clubs are often more effective.
Now, although book publishing has largely avoided the problem of piracy, it has taken one lesson from the music industry. It is aiming to make more from money from turning authors into pop star performers.
On Exile and Home
Friday, May 22 2015, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Philharmonia Studio, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

The Rules of Seduction in Screenwriting
Friday, May 22 2015, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Pier 2/3 The Loft, Pier 2/3, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

“An eight-year-old Canadian girl has been asked to stop reading books on the school bus, after the driver told her that it could be harmful to other kids…. The bus driver claims that other students might want to see what she is reading and stand up or that she might get hurt herself if the corner of the book pokes her in the eye.”

Have Big Book Festivals Become Too Big To Actually Appreciate Books?

This year’s Hay festival, which kicked off on Thursday night, calls itself “a party that is first and foremost a party”. Twenty-seven years old now and with stars including Jude Law appearing alongside many excellent writers, Hay sits at the showbiz end of the spectrum.