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Top Tips for Surviving Adelaide Writers’ Week


Adelaide native and Text marketer extraordinaire, Kate Lloyd, offers her essential tips for surviving Adelaide Writers’ Week...

It’s common knowledge that the best time to visit Adelaide is in Mad March – named as such because every arts festival under the sun is on and vying for your attention.

We’ve got the Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide and Adelaide Festival, but, most importantly for us bookish folk, it’s Adelaide Writers’ Week. So, if you’re anything like this Adelaide-born bibliophile, you’ll be busy browsing the program and booking tickets to see your favourite writers up close and personal.

Mad March can be a tad overwhelming, and with so many fantastic authors attending this year’s writers’ week, I thought it might be helpful to offer you my handy tips, top coffee spots and recommendations on how to plan your day so you can not only survive but thrive at Adelaide’s biggest annual book bash:

1. It’s all in the planning

This year’s program is jam-packed with incredible authors, but remember: it’s a fairly short festival (March 2–7), so get your ducks in a row and prioritise. Time management is key here. Study the program and make sure you’ve got a bulletproof itinerary for each day you’re attending – taking in time for lunch breaks, author signings and to wander around the bookshop, of course.

2. Make a day of it
Reading is most often a solitary act, but that doesn’t mean a book festival has to be! Invite your friends, family or fellow book clubbers along with you. You never know, you might be responsible for introducing them to their new favourite author…is there anything more satisfying?

 3. Keep your mind open
Some of the best Writers’ Week sessions I’ve been to have included authors whose work I hadn’t yet read. Take a leap of faith and attend a session with unfamiliar names! It’s a bit like browsing in a bookshop and coming across something you never would have discovered if you were shopping online with a specific book in mind. If you want to go one step further, expand on the types of events you usually attend, too. The Slam and Poetry performances look pretty fab – just sayin’.

 4. Support your favourite authors
Loved hearing from a particular author? Make sure you pop into the bookshop and buy their book! You might even be able to get it signed. The best way to support your favourite authors is to invest your time and money in their work. If you’re anything like me, remember to bring a big tote bag along on the day so you aren’t juggling seven new hardbacks in your arms on the tram ride home.

5. Stay caffeinated
A day full of panel discussions, book shopping and author chats can leave you feeling a little low on energy. Put a pep back in your step by visiting the lovely local cafes Adelaide has to offer. I highly recommend Peter Rabbit, Monday’s Coffee Store and Please Say Please, all of which are just a short walk from the Writers’ Week hub.

Text is well-represented at this year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week, so keep an eye out for events with Bernadette Brennan, Peter Cochrane, Carolin Emcke, Gail Jones, Toni Jordan, Sisonke Msimang, Mads Peder Nordbo, Bram Presser, Carrie Tiffany and Clare Wright. Enjoy the festival!


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