The full Perth Writers Festival programme is now available online. You can search events by date, genre, or author, or just download the whole programme brochure as a pdf. There’s writing workshops, talks, readings, and debates by fiction and non-fiction writers, and a bunch of free sessions. I personally think this festival is misnamed – it should be the Perth Readers Festival. It’s a great weekend for anyone who loves reading and talking about books, writing, and ideas. It’s held at UWA from Sat 28 Feb – Mon 1 March.
Congratulations to Neil Gaiman, who has won the John Newbery Medal for “the year’s most outstanding contribution to children’s literature” for his The Graveyard Book. Congratulations too to Terry Pratchett – or Sir Terry, as I should say. He’s been made a Knight of the Realm. He’s “chuffed”.
Courtesy of Malaysia Airlines Magazine January 2009 issue: “According to a survey, you are at your most creative at 10.04pm, the most likely time for a brainwave. The least creative time…is 4.33pm…” Writers, you must instantly rearrange your working schedule on the basis of this impeachable scientific evidence. But wait, there’s more! “The research also shows that 58 percent of people forget their best ideas by failing to record it down immediately.” All right, this bit is valuable – keep that little notebook handy for those evening-unwind ideas.
What else does this insightful inflight magazine have to say? “In a test by the University of Colorado, volunteers were asked to hold a cup of coffee while reading about a fictional character and then give their impression of them. Psychologists found that volunteers thought more warmly of their characters after holding a hot drink [compared to holding a cold drink].” New marketing idea: give away coffee vouchers with your book, or put sample chapters in cafes – but only for people ordering hot drinks…
And finally, the World Book Capital City for 2009 is Beirut, Lebanon (taking over from last year’s Amsterdam). UNESCO gives out this title to symbolically honour the city’s dedication to the promotion of books and reading. Ljubljana has already been named for 2010 and applications are open now for 2011. More about the history and aims of the programme can be found here.