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Fairfield, Queensland, Australia
Fairfield Writers Group is a mix of beginner and experienced writers who meet the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Brisbane City Council Library in Fairfield Gardens Shopping Centre, Fairfield road, Fairfield, Queensland. Our passion is writing and we work hard at our craft. Our aim is to encourage, support and help each other to reach new heights in our writing. New members are always made welcome and usually whisked off to the local coffee shop at the end of meetings for sustenance and socialisation with the rest of the crew.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shanghai Literary Festival - Report 19th March 2010

Fifty one authors from twenty countries presented at the eighth annual Shanghai Literary Festival that closed today (March 19).

The Festival, held over three weeks from March 5 attracted novelists, would be novelists, poets, journalists, intellectuals, historians and travel writers from many parts of the world and from throughout China.

There were four or more sessions held each day over the three week period and these included literary lunches, panel discussions, workshops, sessions for children - and more.

Some of the authors featured included Robert Dessaix (Australian writer, broadcaster, essayist and translator), Junot Diaz ( Pulitzer Prize winner ), Tash Aw (Whitbread Young Novelist), Les Murray (Australian poet) and Linda Jaivin.

Findlay McKechnie, one of our Fairfield Writers Group members, attended several of the fifty-seven Festival events.

Findlay, who is still in Asia reported today that he was amazed at the emphasis in some of the sessions on the need for today's authors to self-promote as publishing houses reserved almost all of their marketing and publicity funds for perhaps two or three of the big name authors like Dan Brown or J K Rowling.

One author Kristin Bair O"Keefe, an American living in Shanghai, was particularly forceful on the question of marketing and promotion, Kristin (author of "Thirsty" about a Croatian woman in an abusive marriage) gave an excellent presentation entitled "The Art of Shameless Self Promotion". She told how she used her own money for a seven week book tour of the US East Coast, hired a publicist at her own expense, and went to extraordinary lengths to sell her book and get herself know to the publishing world.

She reckons she spends up to two hours a day now chatting on Twitter, Facebook and other websites in her bid to get herself known to the reading public, She also places great store on networking with other authors and those involved in the literary world.

Findlay will provide further details at one of the FWG's meetings in May when he returns to Australia.

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