Memorable 3rd annual Writers’ Festival at Glenhaven

Lorna Clayton reports

This year the sun shone on the third Living Choice Writers’ Festival at Glenhaven which has now evolved into an annual event.

If only history teachers had had the magic touch of our dynamic guest speaker David Hunt (author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia and its sequel True Girt), we may all have got an A in History at school. David regaled us with true and sometimes hair-raising stories, turning textbook figureheads into real people.

We were also treated to a presentation by guest speaker, author, historian and archaeologist, Jan Barkley-Jack, about the early settlement of the Hawkesbury region. Amongst other things we learnt from Jan not to believe everything written in the diaries of men of history who may well have been bent on whitewashing some reputations while blackening others.

Each year, the Writers’ Festival makes it tantalisingly clear what a wealth of interesting and talented people live in this village. Carmel Heinrich spoke of interviewing residents for Livewires, our village magazine and one of our librarians, Marjorie Kensell, warmed to her topic, “Reading Matters” (double meaning intended).

Dick and Heather Gillard and Maurice York combined to share their experience of DNA testing and how it is helping them to tell their family stories. Later, came the lucky door prizes and the one everybody wanted to win was a DNA Kit donated by Ancestry.com – congratulations Kerry Rogers!

Two more topics, ‘I txt there 4 I am’ (Maurice York) and ‘Creating Your Own Website’ (mother and son, Lorna and Wayne Clayton), provided some challenging up-to-the-moment ideas. And there was a presentation, ‘Biscuits or Cookies’ by Lorna about our changing language, with a lot of spirited audience participation. At one point, seven brave souls ventured onto the stage to take part in a word game, providing us with ten minutes of hilarity.

The audience responded warmly to readings by the members of our Writing Group and, as always, their readings gave us one of the highlights of the festival.

The tasty morning tea and lunch was sponsored by Living Choice and served by the tireless members of our Social Sub-Committee.

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