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Official Blogger: NonfictioNow 2012

November 7, 2012

By Alice Robinson

I am thrilled to announce that I will be covering the NonfictioNow conference this November as one of the event’s official bloggers!
The conference blogging team will consist of two Australian bloggers (myself and Pepi Ronalds from The Future of Longform) along with Gemma de Choisy and Deborah Jackson Taffa, two bloggers from the US. As a team we are representative of the collaboration that is occurring between our two nations in bringing the conference to Melbourne from Iowa (the world’s “other” city of literature) this year, the first time that the event has run outside of America since its inception in 2005. RMIT’s David Carlin, who is co-chairing the conference alongside the wonderful Robin Hemley from The University of Iowa, provides a great historical overview of the conference here in Overland.Keynote speakers will include our very own Helen Garner (you can purchase stand alone tickets for Garner’s event through the Wheeler Centre), although the program is jam packed with an array of other inspiring writers as well. These include:
Robyn Archer, Mira Bartok, Tony Birch, Peter Bishop, Mary Clearman Blew, Kyla Brettle, David Carlin, Alison Croggan, Paul Daley, Jose Dalisay, Adrian Danks, Sherre DeLys, Peter Doyle, Patricia Foster, Andrew Fowler, Helen Garner, Ross Gibson, Marion Halligan, Chris Hammer, Robin Hemley, Pam Houston, Margo Jefferson, Evelyn Juers, Leah Kaminsky, Lee Kofman, Benjamin Law, James Ley, Paul Lisicky, Bret Lott, Kim Mahood, Shane Maloney, Anne Manne, Adrian Miles, Kathryn Millard, Meg Mundell, Gina Perry, Leila Philip, Sian Prior, Alice Pung, Francesca Rendle-Short, Matthew Ricketson, Julianne Schultz, David Shields, Jeff Sparrow, Cheryl Strayed, Maria Tumarkin, Jen Webb, Geordie Williamson, Tony Wright, Xu Xi, Arnold Zable and many more…

What is particularly exciting about NonfictioNow is the scope of the conversation that it will promote (you can peruse the preliminary program here). And, for someone like myself, deathly sick of attending purely academic conferences wherein tired academics lean on podiums to read verbatim scholarly, esoteric papers to increasingly disengaged audiences  – audiences who are, usually, the ultimate definition of “preaching to the converted” – NonfictioNow promises to provide a lively, engaged, dynamic forum for discussion, one that can be enjoyed by writers, teachers, academics, publishers, editors…and, most importantly, readers.

With only four weeks to go before the conference kicks off on November 21st, I will be bringing you weekly reflections on the writing and ideas of Australian and international panelists you may already be intimately familiar with…and some you may not yet have had the pleasure of encountering.

If you are planning to attend all three days of the conference, just one of the days or perhaps even an event or two, look out for me. I will the (hugely pregnant) woman barely able to contain my excitement in the face of so much wonderful literary discussion. If you can’t make it in person this year, stop by here. I’ll be endeavouring to respond to the panels I attend as the conference gets underway.

You can also follow me on twitter @critrature

Stay tuned!

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