Friday, April 20, 2012

Opportunities take flight

I'm excited to announce that I'm going to be presenting at The Whitsunday Voices Youth Festival this year - "Words Take Flight". It's a rather exciting prospect for me to see myself on the program along side some of Australia's best YA and Children's writers. Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon), Steph Bowe (Girl Saves Boy), Andy Griffith (too many awesome books to pick just one to highlight!) and Kate Forsyth, with many others.

It's a bit out-of-the-box thinking to have an emerging author on the program. I've got an anthology under my belt and short story competition success, but that's not why I'm presenting. I'll be talking about effective use of social media for aspiring authors and passionate readers.

This will be the first year that there will be a session like this included in the festival. Of course I'm not at ALL nervous about being a presenter at a festival which has about 5,000 students attending it! But I am excited at the recognition that the virtual world is getting for it's role in publishing.

I'll be talking about have to engage authors, agents and editors in the various social media platforms (which will include when not to engage them as well), the opportunities available to aspiring writers on social media, navigating online writing communities and blogging. I'm sure I can squish all that into 45 minutes.

The most important thing I've gotten out of this is to take opportunities when they present themselves. Self promotion is an important part of being a writer in the current climate. Being part of a Youth Festival will show potential agents and editors that I'm not afraid to put myself out there for public speaking events (note I didn't say I wasn't afraid of public speaking itself) and that I look for unique opportunities.

So if you could present at a literary/writers festival what would you talk about? And if you've been to any festivals or conferences, what's been your favourite topic/speaker from that event?


  1. Good for you, Sharon. :) Such exciting stuff!

  2. So exciting, Sharon!! And kudos to you. I'm utterly terrified of speaking in front of groups. I get shaky, my voice wobbles, my eyes tear up. It's rather ridiculous. So you're amazing being about to do this.

  3. That's awesome! Sounds like a great talk that I wish I could attend!