The Melbourne Writers Festival program is now available – hoots balloon, get booking, peoples! I’ll be going down to do a brief presentation about the Australian Writer’s marketplace as part of The Whole Shebang, a professional development seminar for developing authors. I’ll be getting to as many other session as I can, including a fascinating one on digital publishing.

Speaking of publishing, Speakeasy is still at maximum outrage over the Productivity Commission’s recommendations to lift Parallel Importation Restrictions. Did you know that one in four folks in the town of Maryborough, Victoria, work in the printing industry? The recommendations, if implemented, will bring that town to its knees. Australia-wide, the printing industry stands to lose hundreds of jobs, and a good chunk of their $80 million industry. Have a read of the full report of the Commission, especially the attempts to quantify the ‘cultural externality’ of literature – the exemplars given of books with intrinsic cultural value are The Old Testament and Mein Kampf! Here’s the link to the Australian Parliament House of Reps contact list – I wrote to the prime Minister, Minister for the Arts (Garrett MP), and my local representative, as well as my State representative. I encourage you to do the same. You can also join the Facebook group Australians for Australian Books.

On a lighter note, remember all the hoohah about the Hoffmonster? Check out the comments under that Speakeasy post for an astounding follow-up by a Speakeasy reader – it packs a pistol full of irony!

pic of book cart in fancy dress

And just for something fun, how would you pimp the carts at your local library? See here for some prizewinning pimping. I’d do monster trucks, for sure.


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