Your remote writers festival

I’ve been really excited by the amount of writing chats and book launches that are moving online recently. It’s one of the few benefits of the COVID-19 era, where publishers and writers are using alternative ways to reach us. In many cases, it’s made it easier than ever to connect with the writing world.

Essentially, you could enjoy your own virtual writers festival at home.

A lot of recent writerly events have been Facebook livestreams, but for this blog post I’ll focus on YouTube.

Grab your favourite viewing device, find a cosy corner, and explore some of these YouTube channels which feature authors and the world of writing:

Dymocks ‘Chapter One’ series, with authors talking about their writing, sometimes in conversation, sometimes responding to reader questions. Most recent interviews include Maggie O’Farrell, Michael Robotham and Dervla McTiernan.

Dymocks also reviews a book of the month. See the review for House of Earth and Blood below:

Penguin Random House has authors talking about their books including Celeste Headlee (Do Nothing), and Holly Jackson (A Good Girls Guide to Murder).

You could spend days on Simon and Schuster’s channel. There’s so much to watch, including book club discussion, ‘bookshelf tours’ with authors, author interviews about their craft – and if you’re a Stephen King fan, you’re gonna love their King playlist.

Check out the Penguin Long Weekend Literary Festival, with a series of author talks beginning with this from Tom Keneally.

Hachette Australia has some great playlists including Masters of Crime, which dates back a few years, but is still interesting to watch if you can find your favourite author there (like Peter Robinson).

Allen & Unwin occasionally has authors reading aloud from their work, such as Jenny Lecoat recently reading from The Viennese Girl. And I’m a big fan of The Garret Podcast, hosted by Astrid Edwards – on the State Library of Victoria channel, she recently interviewed Jess Hill.

Now, I’ve focused on publishing houses above – I haven’t even begun to look at booktubers like Shades of Orange, Hailey in Bookland or Jasmine’s Reads (see a sample clip below). When you watch these channels, they’re both a great source of book reviews + give the feeling of being in a book club.

For now, I’ll save booktubers for the subject of a future blog…

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