Festival finale

Deliriously happy to be back with my fingers tapping my own clean keyboard and not sticking to the keys in every seedy Internet cafe on Queen Street, I’m ready to share my last random thoughts on the festival.

Best chair

  • Kate De Goldi.

Best session

  • Songwriting with Don McGlashan and Jason Kerrison.

Best dressed audience

  • the ladies who lunched with Judith Thurman.

Best answer to a question

  • When asked “what do you like best about writing”, Martin Edmond replied “sentences”.

Most mentions of libraries in a session

  • Martin Edmond and Peter Wells in an hour with Martin Edmond.

Really random observations

  • Non-fiction sells – these were the sessions with the big audiences
  • Men come out to Writers and Readers in Auckland
  • Good writers don’t just sit down an produce deathless prose. They actually apply themselves consistently, they overcome procrastination, they ditch things that aren’t working and some of them spend a lot of time lying to their publishers.

Admirable trend

  • Wearing apron-like garments. Apparently it’s been around for at least three years according to an Auckland friend. Not in the South Island I don’t think but then I don’t get out much.

Deplorable trend

  • The tendency for the few who can’t hear to shout this fact at panellists the rest of can hear perfectly adequately. Lloyd Jones handled it deftly last year in Christchurch when he invited a belligerent woman who felt compelled to share that she had paid to hear him but couldn’t to share the sofa on stage. Max Cryer told me once that if there are grey heads in the audience the amplification can’t be too amplified but do the rest of us have to suffer interuptions and just plain rudeness? Get a hearing aid and concentrate I say.

Festival resolutions

  • Be more tolerant
  • Read a little poetry every morning, like Stu Bagby
  • Always take the opportunity to tell a writer you admire their work
  • Stick to fiction (mostly)
  • Read more

Final festival wrap-up

After an intense, enjoyable, fast-paced last day of the festival fever, we present our last audio wrap up. We have been proud to represent the library and hope you have enjoyed the coverage, which we have tried to make entertaining and informative.

The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize added so much to the festival. It brought variations of eloquence to our ears and eyes from around the world, and impressing all the audiences, I am certain, with the breadth and depth of the all to uncommon wealth of writers which we were lucky enough to see.

Our final report is a touch under 14 minutes long.

Keep an eye on the blog for more interviews with Commonwealth Writers’ prize best book winner Christos Tsiolkas, Rod Oram, Don McGlashan, and for a slightly different take, Patricia Kay, one of the volunteers who has been with the festival since day one. We also hope to have follow-up interviews with authors in the near future, and more photos will be added to the library flickr soon. If you have questions or comments about any aspect of the festival or the coverage, leave a comment – we would love to hear from you.

Now get thee to a library 🙂