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Upper Hunter Country
Sunday, 31 August 2014 00:00

The road to the Scone Literary Long Weekend

The road to the Scone Literary Long Weekend The road to the Scone Literary Long Weekend Photo: Lina Hayes

The germination of an idea for a writers' festival began when I was unexpectantly invited to listen to some readings from the Warrah Writers' Group late last year. I had never attended one of these functions before and was relieved upon arrival to discover that I knew some of the others in the audience. As the afternoon progressed I was filled with wonder and admiration as people who I had known for years spoke so eloquently about the joys and hardships endured by all of us who live on the land.

The Scone Literary long Weekend is planned for 3 – 6 October this year. It will be the inaugural writers’ festival for Scone, the Horse Capital of Australia. Our mission statement is to promote books and nurture a love of literature, learning and writing. Our motto is 'Maintain the Page', a brilliant quote from Phillip Adams.

In this age of technology where the speed of communication is only restrained by the speed of light and visual images abound, the printed word has maintained significance. Printed words can define our sense of purpose, evoke forgotten memories or carry us away on fantastic journeys of escapism.

A group of like-minded individuals decided earlier this year to invite some authors to discuss their books over a series of literary lunches. Members from local writers’ groups in the Upper Hunter were invited to the discussions and the idea for a literary long weekend was put into action.

There will be a memoir writing course with Ben Taaffe on Friday afternoon at Scone Library followed by a panel debating ‘The Future of the Printed Word’ on Saturday morning.

ABC broadcaster Scott Bevan will officially open the festival on Friday night. He will also be speaking at a literary lunch at the Moonan Pub on Saturday.

Jane Rutter who enthralled the people of Scone a couple of years ago has been invited back to perform ‘An Irish Fantasy’ with flute and harp at the Gundy Hall on Saturday evening. Tickets for Jane Rutter's Concert will be on sale at the mentioned venues from this week.

Literary talks are planned at various food establishments and pubs in Scone on Sunday. Invited authors include Lisa Herbert, author of ‘The Bottom Drawer’ and Zane Hacker, author of ‘Antarctic Sundays’.

An historical walk, tracing the footsteps of Mark Twain, author of ‘Huckleberry Finn’ is planned for Sunday afternoon. Mark Twain caught the train to Scone in 1893, stayed at the Willow Tree Hotel and spoke at The School of Arts Hall. Local writers’ groups will have a reading of selected works in 'A Conversation' on Monday morning.

For more information visit: http://www.sconewritersfestival.com.au/

Anne Davies is a member of the organising committee for the inaugural Scone Literary Long Weekend.

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