Opening night party was seriously relaxing with the ever fabulous Di Morrissey speaking of the all-in-the-gulag-together spirit that sets Byron apart from big city festivals. Certainly none can compare with the folklore of sand and golf divots on the back as writers and readers commune. Observing particular Byron etiquette is important, says Rob Drewe. Long scarves are compulsory, and leather for the under-80s too. And audience members should put writers on the spot with questions such as “what does your ex-wife think of the characters in the book?” And although panel chair people are asked by organisers to maintain brevity, “do indulge in long oral memoirs,” says Drewe. And be prepared to sit at empty book signing tables while the children’s author next to you has queues around the block. And when someone eventually sidles up to the signing table don’t fume when they ask, “Have I heard of you? Should I have heard of you?”
Have to love the eclectic mix of Byron Bay Writers Festival and can’t wait for it all to unfold. Where else can you find Bret Easton Ellis and Victor Marsh, author of Mr Isherwood changes trains and Krissy Kneen all in the same room?