Joelyn's Book Bites

Book Bites: Digital Writers Festival 2015

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Running from 11th to the 21st of February and part of the Emerging Writers Festival, the Digital Writers Festival features a large stream of videos and Google Hangouts for writers in Australia and around the world, discussing various new formats of publishing, storytelling, and a series which I am starting to fall in love with – 20-minute Cities.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the Digital Writers Festival was how accessible it was. Over the hustle and bustle of Chinese New Year, I managed to catch a few videos, all uploaded on days before I was able to catch the livestreams. Despite the fact that I probably had no chance of participation, the uploaded videos were still a good way to enjoy the topics discussed for those without the time or presence to enjoy the festival fully.

I managed to catch “Graphic Contents”, featuring graphic novelists showing their work-in-progress and upcoming works in various forms. With backgrounds in animation, independent publishing, and illustration with the need for technical knowledge, the content presented here was interesting, to say the least. I especially liked the concept behind Cameron Baker’s MOTE and his quirky stories, click here to watch and find out!

I also managed to catch “Audiofiction Experiments”, featuring Justin Wolfers and James Brown reading a jumbled up manuscript of sentences surrounding the same theme. While perspectives changed and the subject matter shifted quite a bit, the elements of this experiment still managed to rope me in for 30 minutes of pure entertainment. You can find out what they have in store here.

The speakers were quirky and brilliant, communicating their ideas quite well in that span of time. My only issue was how sometimes the video would lag or people will get disconnected, disrupting train of thought while watching them sometimes. However, technical issues like will come up on a fully-online experience.

Lastly, 20-Minute Cities takes one on a 20-minute literary tour of UNESCO Cities of Literature like Melbourne, Krakow, and Edinburgh. Watching the Melbourne video made me want to return again (as if I needed another excuse), and I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the videos.

So, perhaps this can be another option of engaging readers and writers all over the world. I’ve only watched a few videos so far and they have been enjoyable. Perhaps this could be another avenue to reach out to?

P/S – The videos are still up! Enjoy the Digital Writers Festival here.

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