Friday night, tucked into the Tiki Bar at the Great Northern Hotel, creative minds gathered to officially launch This Is Not Art 2012. This intrepid reporter made her way out into the cold Newcastle night and selflessly ate some fabulous stuffed mushroom things, all in the name of getting you the low down on this year’s festival. Spoilers: it’s exciting. Really exciting. Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to:
- Christian Lander, author of ‘Stuff White People Like’ is flying to Australia just for NYWF. Lander’s blog has generated millions of hits and the book inspired by it was on the New York Times best seller list. No big deal.
- After sell-out events right across the country, Women of Letters returns to TiNA. Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire present another tribute to the art of letter writing. These usually make people cry. And laugh. Plus it’s an excellent opportunity to send a postcard to that new best friend you just made at Staple Manor.
- The NYWF ball is always a highlight of the program. Last year several people mistook me for a man, but that could be because I had a moustache drawn on my face. This year’s theme is HIP HOP SAFARI (caps author’s own). This means someone might mistake me for a giraffe. I am more than a little okay with this.
- Australian hip-hop label Elefant Traks will be putting the hip hop into hip hop safari. They’ll be running workshops about writing and music. The workshops aim to help writers try out new mediums (like poets moving into rap), culminating in a showcase performance at the ball.
- At a sit-down black-tie dinner on Friday night, Australia’s best and brightest will talk about the future of the country. “Australia 2050” is bound to be fascinating and in 2050 you’ll probably be able to trace some exciting ideas back to TiNA 2012. Plus, black-tie. Everyone loves black-tie.
- Returning for their fourth and second years respectively, TiNA staples the Spelling Bee and Would You Rather are set to once again pack-out the Festival Club. If you’ve never experienced the very particular kind of joy that comes from this competitive spelling competition, this is a must see. Last year at Would You Rather there were emus and Mario Kart and urine. You have been warned.
- Geoff Lemon (and friends) will be live-writing the grand final. What grand final you ask? The football one. I’m not sure. Point is, there’ll be amusing people writing about a national sporting event LIVE. And in a pub.
- The Lit Journal Launch Orgy is possibly the first time an orgy has been a part of the TiNA program. At least officially. If past years are anything to go by, anytime you put a lot of literary journal folks in one room sparks will fly. Don’t miss the mass magazine launching extravaganza.
- In addition to the annual zine fair, NYWF is launching a brand new way to blow all your cash. Hosted by the fresh-faced Bkclb, the eFair will feature a showcase of eBooks by NYWF artists and punters. Stock up your iDevice with some excellent reading for the trip up and back.
- Over the course of the weekend, NYWF will be hosting a series of intensive workshops. Covering everything from eBook publishing to TV pitching, with pretty much every genre in between, these workshops are a great chance to get some serious knowledge under your belt. You should probably apply now before there aren’t any places and then you are sad.
The full program is now online for your perusal.
All that is less than 3 weeks away. That’s just enough time to pack your bags, plan your days and acquire an animal print onesie for the Ball. While you’re waiting, here’s some things you need to do right now:
- The Younger Young Writers Program is running again this year. So if you’re between 14 and 17 (or know a fabulous person who is) apply now. You’ll get mentored, conversed with and taken to hip cafes until you’re inspired so much you could faint.
- This year TiNA has launched ‘Show Your Support’. Basically you pay them $20 and TiNA never stops running ever. Or at least our donations will help it continue to be as awesome as it is now. PLUS they’re promising mystery stuff in your mail box. That’s a pretty good deal. You should probably give them $20.
So get pumped people. TiNA 2012 is going to be a total blast. HIP HOP SAFARI!
I’m an officialy blogger again this year so you’ll be getting more than your fair share of blogs over the next week. Plus I just bought a smart phone. So I can tweet on BUSES. Follow me.