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I’ve never been to this festival (talk about being a bad Melburnian writer) but it’s on next weekend and I am doing two things and really excited about being there.

First is The Age of Experience on Saturday 17 June, 3.30-4.30pm where Christy Collins, Paul Dalgarno and I talk to Jane Rawson about being debut authors who aint young. Here’s the proper description from the program:

It’s never too late to debut. While many people think ‘young writer’ when they hear ’emerging writer’, Jenny Ackland, Christy Collins and Paul Dalgarno each had their first book published after 35.

Jenny’s first novel, an intriguing mash-up of the great Australian legends of Ned Kelly and Gallipoli called The Secret Son, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2015, when she was 51 years old. Christy Collins won the Viva la Novella prize at 38 years old in 2015 with The End of Seeing, and Paul Dalgarno’s ground-breaking hybrid novel-memoir, And You May Find Yourself, was published by Sleepers when he was 39 years old.

Is the publishing industry too biased toward youth? What are the benefits of publishing once you’ve had some experience under your belt? How do you maintain enthusiasm for writing when life keeps getting in the way? And should you Photoshop the wrinkles out of your author photo?

In this event, Jenny, Christy and Paul talk to Jane Rawson (43 years old when her first novel A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists was finally published) about how to hang in there and not lose heart.

There are still tickets available, here.

Then, on Sunday, I’m facilitating a two-hour workshop on editing, and will bring my mad skills and learning from my time in the Professional Writing & Editing Course at RMIT (I bombed out twice but it wasn’t due to incompetence, I promise!); my work as a sub-editor for a bunch of magazines, my self study and, most importantly, my hands-on learning as a novelist working with a literary agent and the marvellous-wonderful-excellent-kind editors at Allen & Unwin. Can’t wait. It’s sold out though. So maybe next time?

Festival program – have a browse, there are lots of fabulous things on.

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