Writers’ Festivals and Dialogue

Online communities based around creativity and passion can be interesting beasts. Particularly if they exist also as an offline community because it’s intriguing to see how they play out online.

The St Kilda Writer’s Festival was on this past weekend. It’s so disappointing when they go to all the trouble to put up lots ofinformation – volunteers page, fotos from the event and so on – but don’t allow dialogue. Really, guys, forum software is free (or 40bucks for the professional edition) and not that hard to manage. And writers love to write…. even on forums!

One writer who does have a forum is the tres lovely ex-model, Australian crime writer, Tara Moss (the comments from Ms Moss come through a forum Admin). If you just can’t live without knowing how tall she is, park yourself here, and join the discussion. Ms Moss was at the festival, as was one of my fave bloggers, Mystic Medusa. It’s not so much the astrology that is fascinating, but her writing style. Anyone who’s had a giggle at The Australian/Yahoo!7 horoscopes knows of her work! Unfortunately, MM’s blog is locked to comments so not really a community.

I had a quick peek at the Australian National Playwrights’ Centre, but no dialogue there either. Given the number of writers’ courses in Australia, what would be the best mechanism for an online writers’ support and discussion group? We’d need to be able to post up stories and have a collaborative column for edits/tips/notes I guess. I’d probably combine it with a reading group forum. What do you think? S’not too late for the Sydney Writers’ Festival, now is it? There is a no-comments-allowed blog here tho.

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Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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