Sam Twyford-Moore can breathe easy now, if only for a minute. As the latest director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, he has been busy organising and developing the 2013 program – arguably one of their biggest yet – which was finally launched to the public last week.
Back for its 10th year, the EWF is still drawing the crowds and has become one of the biggest events on Melbourne’s literary calendar. It’s not hard to see why. With a vast line-up of speakers from all sides of the written word, the festival is bursting with an extensive program of masterclasses, industry talks and creative discussions covering all aspects of writing, from comedy to poetry to the spoken word.
The cornerstone event of the festival, the two-day Writers’ Conference, is back on May 25 and 26, featuring the EWF ambassadors for 2013: Khariani ‘Okka’ Barrokka, Melinda Harvey, Walter Mason, Jennifer Mills and John Safran.
Some of Tywford-Moore’s highlights are the profound Sweatshop Stories, the Emerging Q&A hosted by Benjamin Law and the opening night keynote address from Astrid Lorange.
But the festival isn’t just panels and workshops; it’s a two-week social and creative gathering for writers of all kinds. With writing spaces aplenty throughout the festival and 1000 £ Bend as the official festival hub, the creative juices flow and the literary conversation will continue between events and long into the night.
"I think it's important for us to build support for writers,” says Tywford-Moore. “We do a lot of professional development, so we are also looking at supporting them in life because being a writer can be really demanding – sometimes it’s not the easiest profession.”