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Salisbury Writers' Festival Wrap-Up

Released on 24 September 2018
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Sell out numbers attended the Salisbury Writers’ Festival on the weekend of 24-26 August. Hosted by the City of Salisbury in partnership with Writers SA, the Salisbury Writers’ Festival continued to support local writers and, for the first time, enthusiasts could follow their passions and choose from creative or business writing streams.  

The festival kicked off with Friday’s opening night of Awards, attracting over 150 attendees.  Internationally acclaimed special guest and children’s author Phil Cummings presented awards to winners of the Salisbury Writers’ Festival short story competition for children.  With 70 entries from local schools, Phil Cummings, Ambassador for the Premier’s Reading Challenge in South Australia presented awards to winners from various categories:

  • Lower Primary Class Book (Reception to Year 2/3): "There's a Monster in the Library" by Room 3 - Burton Primary School
  • Lower Primary Individual (Reception to Year 2/3): "The Designer Unicorn" by Lily Cunningham
  • Upper Primary Individual (Year 3/4 to Year 7): Joint Winners:
  • "Cleanliness" by Hayley Wilkinson
  • "Where am I?" By Sophia Hussain
  • "Scars" by Simeen Khan
  • Lower Secondary Individual (Years 8-10): "My Mama's Box" by Nhi Tran

Opening night also delighted attendees with performance and a rear sneak peek into Phil Cummings new book ‘Touch the Moon’ due for release in 2019.

The weekend-long festival of panel and workshop sessions welcomed professional and amateur writers alike, who developed their writing skills and learnt from some of the best writers in the business, locally, nationally and internationally. The smorgasbord of talent included Rebekah Clarkson, Kristin Weidenbach, Jason Fischer, Kate Larsen, Manal Younus, Amanda Mcinerny, Adam Cece, Victoria Purman, Amy T Matthews, Clare Connelly, Lynette Washington, Michelle Prak, and Jessica Alice.

Presenters also had the chance to try new things.  Adam Cece hosted his first story time, showcasing some of his stories and youngsters gleefully took part in reading excerpts from his stories. Emily Doan also delighted participants with some of her personalised illustrations.

Local community groups had the opportunity to learn from business workshops. City of Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge, OAM said “This festival was also aimed at enabling community groups learn how writing can assist their business or organisation”

“I was delighted and proud to see members of our community unveil their talents and embrace the workshop wholeheartedly.”

“Festivals like this provide a great opportunity to showcase the creativity and diversity of talent we have in the City of Salisbury.”

Poets made their mark in the Poetry Slam which was held by spoken Word SA. Entrants’ ditties included screaming, howling, whispering, singing and plain old speaking! The winner, Manuela Akot, and runner up, Kelly Leigh Cusack, secured their place in the forthcoming State Final on 20 September.

Along with many other experienced writers, keynote speaker Vikki Wakefield, whose books have won the Adelaide Festival Literary Award, graciously passed on their literary knowledge to aspiring writers and bloggers as well as established local writers.

“The business writing stream was a tremendous success,” said Mayor Aldridge. “Further boosting local business expertise and continuing to cement Salisbury’s reputation as a pro-business city.”

If you have a passion for arts, getting support in publishing or honing your writing, this is the best festival of the year for writers. Look out for us next year!

View the winners of the Salisbury Writers’ Festival short story competition here.