Hey cHEwY gum gums

If you’ve followed me on Instagram you would have seen my Top/Best/Most Popular Nine posts of 2019. It was a mix of travels, author pals and school visits. But as I looked through my calendar, the one thing kept popping in my head. Wow, I’ve been to a ton of festivals.

Yeah, 2019 was the bestival!

I usually get invited to a handful of festivals, but 2019 really felt like I was in a constant festival season. Each festival is always a career highlight, regardless of its size. I love them because there are travel perks, like exploring new places, fanboying over famous authors and attending really cool social events.

I was humbled to have been featured at the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane Writers Festivals, some of the biggest in Australia. Seriously, when I was dreaming about being an author, this was in my dream-reel. Not only did I get to reach so many kids in a short space of time, but it was wonderful to be a part of an event where books and readers are in the spotlight, out in the public sphere.

Then there are the regional festivals, where the small town or region come alive to celebrate authors and illustrators. I got to embrace these small towns such as Newcastle, Albury (Write Around the Murray), Bellingen (Bellingen’s Writers and Readers Festival) and Katoomba (Blue Mountains Writers Festival).

Of course, being a kids author gives you access to another type of festival, the schools-based festivals. Some of them are just as massive and prestigious as a city festival. Take Storyfest, formerly known as Somerset festival. It has outgrown its Somerset school setting, and now wants to be the beacon for writers and illustrators in the Gold Coast region. Publishers actually send publicists to these festivals, because it’s a huge deal. I was lucky to be there in March, for my third time there. I also returned to Voices on the Coast in the Sunshine Coast. It’s these grass-roots festivals that breed lifelong writers and readers, because kids come from all over to see you. I know kids who traveled four or five hours to be there. You can’t helped but be awed.

It was my first time at the Trinity Bay Festival, an unique opportunity for teen writers around Cairns to join 4 authors for some intense workshops over 2 days. Then there’s the Disha Literature Festival in Kanpur, India, where I was mobbed for 3 days haha. Any excuse to go to India again haha. All these festivals will always hold a place in my heart, and in my scrapbook.

So yeah, this is it, my final blog of 2019. My blogging streak has continued since mid 2018, so I’d like to thank everyone who’s read, tweeted, responded and liked my thoughts that come out every Chewsday. I’ve still got a ton of ideas and topics that I like to cover about my writing journey. Who knows what 2020 has in store…I’m sure things will be clearer next year haha. Get it, 2020 vision? Okay, I’ll go now.


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

1 Comment

  1. Debra Tidball says:

    17/12/19 @ 4:35 pm 

    You’ve been so busy, Oliver, and such an inspiration to so many. Wishing you a happy Christmas and a bright New Year, and thanks for your support, and your contribution to our CBCA sub-branch – I don’t know how you find the time!

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