11 June 2011

The Emerging Writers' Festival 2011

Following last year's experience at The Emerging Writers' Festival, I was chomping at the bit to sit behind a table again at this year's and sell my books to people. And this past weekend (05-June-2011) it came around again. The Auditorium was just as packed with thoroughfair as always...

I had the pleasure of sitting next to the talented Brendan Halyday.

Both Brendan and I killed two birds with one stone. While no one was at our table, Brendan caught up on some commission sketches, while I finished inking a page from DIGESTED#5.

The big gun, James Andre, spoke in front of the festival crowd that day about writing. Both Brendan and I wanted to hear him talk (we could see the stage from out table)... so when he took to the microphone, I told Brendan to go and have a listen for a while (while I manned our table), and then come back so I could have a listen too. Well, seven minutes later James finished. I figured he would've be up there for at least 20 minutes (as most of the previous speakers had been)... so I was a little peeved at that.

Adoring fans.

The 'elder' section of the Festival... and Bruce Mutard.

Bruce had bought a tart earlier (the non-street walker variety), and in the afternoon eagerly got it out from behind his booth where it had been sitting amoungst the shrubbery. Well, it was swarming with ants, and while most have the 10 second rule when food falls to the floor - Bruce's is 10 hours. (I agree, if it doesn't have fungus growing on it - it's all good.)

No one wanted any ant-free tarts.... thats ok... more for Bruce!

My Melbourne comics compadres.

Matt, hard at work... working things out on paper. This is the most enjoyable part for me.

  • Selling to a (generally) non-juvenile crowd on a Sunday afternoon... for a change.
  • A guy (who also had a table at the festival) coming up to Brendan and I saying, "I'm not really into comics, I write stories and actual books... I'm surprised that the festival let you guys in." (as he continued to flick through our books with interest, Brendan and I just glanced at each other with one eyebrow raised.)
  • Catching up with my comics buddies.
  • Having interesting talks with buyers about the craft and life of writing/drawing.
In conclusion, although I didn't make that many sales this year (half of last years actually), I still maintain that it is one of the better gigs on the calendar. It's cheap to attend, only goes for five hours, and for the 'emerging' author, it's an inexpensive way to get books into the hands of a different crowd. That is - a crowd more inclined to literature and artistic tastes, as opposed to the predominately young 'caped' variety I keep seeing at bigger conventions.

Two thumbs up from me.



Frank Candiloro said...

Hah! I think that same bloke who wasn't interested in comics came up to my table and said the same thing. Ah, the joys of making "funny books".


Paul Bedford said...

That fucker should have come and tried that line on me. I would have ripped into him. Ignorant cunt.