New literary festival opens doors for USC writers

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New literary festival opens doors for USC writers


10 August 2016

Four University of the Sunshine Coast Creative Writing students will be honing their craft and building contacts at a renowned cultural event in Bali after receiving $1,000 bursaries from a new locally-based literary festival.

The inaugural Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival (SCIRWF), to be held in Coolum from 9-11 September, awarded the grants to give USC students experience at both the new local event and its inspiration, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

“We wanted to promote and support the creative arts right here on the Coast, including collaborations with the University,” said SCIRWF founder and director Wendy O’Hanlon.

“Our festival will provide a platform for USC students to present their work and network with professionals from across the region and the world. Then they’ll do the same at Ubud in Bali in October.”

Bursary recipients Kate Eagles of Kureelpa, Linda Morse of Beerwah, Kiarna Triggs of Currimundi and Jade Dor of Mountain Creek will present at the USC Marquee in Jack Morgan Park from 1.30pm to 2.30pm on Sunday 11 September.

They will discuss the Ubud festival theme, ‘I am you, you are me’, giving their own interpretations of the ancient Hindu tenet and showing its relevance in today’s world, in a panel moderated by Noosa Arts Theatre life member Eileen Walder.

Ms Walder also will receive a $1,000 bursary to mentor the students at both festivals.

USC Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing Dr Paul Williams, who is on the founding committee, said the bursaries would provide fantastic real-world experience for the students.

Dr Williams said the University strived to give students hands-on industry experience such as placements in publishing houses, advertising companies and writing and film festivals.

“These bursary recipients will get an amazing insight into how their degrees in the creative arts can get them places,” he said.

More than 100 regional, Australian and international writers, photographers, musicians and performers will appear at seven venues during three days of the local festival.

More than 20 USC students are also volunteering with SCIRWF.

The Ubud festival, to be held from 26-30 October, has become Southeast Asia’s largest celebration of words and ideas and an unofficial mentor to the Sunshine Coast event.

Janet DeNeefe, who founded the Ubud festival as a healing project in response to the first Bali bombing, will officially open the Sunshine Coast festival on 9 September.

— Julie Schomberg

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