I was supposed to go to yoga and pilates tonight but ended up at the Emerging Writers’ Festival’s ’15 Minutes of Fame’ instead. Hosted by Angela Meyer from Literary Minded, ’15 Minutes of Fame’ has been running for the last few nights, introducing various local emerging writers and publications. Tonight’s lineup included Tiggy Johnson (editor of Page Seventeen), Hoa Pham (editor of Peril), children’s writer Helen Ross, and Jenny Blackford (one of the judges for the World Fantasy Awards).
After grabbing a glass of wine ($5/glass? why not?), I sat down and listened to these writers talk about their inspirations and motivations. Helen Ross was also feeling flushed from her wine, but it was interesting to hear her speak about her decision to self-publish children’s poems. Jenny Blackford was much more authoritative, talking about her love of Ancient Greek history and her work as a judge for Aurealis and the World Fantasy Awards. Tiggy Johnson seemed a bit nervous, and so was Hoa Pham, her gaze downcast for most of her interview.
However, the best part of the night for me was talking to other emerging writers. As well as catching up with the very busy Angela Meyer, I finally got to meet Hoa Pham. Issue Seven of her journal, Peril, has just gone up on the web and I’ve managed to read most of it. There’s a higher quality of articles this issue round, probably due in part to recent art funding—the magazine is able to pay for contributions now—and I was particularly drawn to Komi Sellathurai’s ‘Skin’, which discusses the skin-bleeching ‘Fair & Lovely’. (After reading ‘Skin’, I noticed my Chinese flatmate has a tube of ‘Olay Milky Fair’; I suspect it’s used for the same reasons.
15 Minutes of Fame has finished for 2009, but the Emerging Writers’ Festival is still on until 31 May 2009. I might see you peeps there.