Friday, August 31, 2007

Melbourne Writers' Festival supports independents?

"MELBOURNE is, without a doubt, Australia's literary capital," says former state premier Steve Bracks in the program for the 2007 Age Melbourne Writers' Festival.


Melbourne is "the home of independent small publishers in Australia", Cameron says, and to that end she has broadened the festival's focus on publishing. The attendance of American husband-and-wife writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida is a coup, not just for their writing but their publishing company, McSweeney, which produces quarterly and monthly journals. "If you're a young writer, you want to get published by McSweeney's," she says.


But not to be published by one of Melbourne's independent publishers? Who, presumably, don't need the support of the local writing community?

Interestingly none of our authors were on the program (not the schools not the kids part). And I wasn't seeing much of Scribe or Hardie Grant or Hardie Grant Egmont or Black Inc on the program. I thought it was these sort of publishers who might be making Melbourne a literary capital. The industry thought so in its awards.

A new sort of cultural cringe?

No comments: