Tamar Valley Writers Festival

Tamar Valley Writers Festival

Tasmania is the full stop at the bottom of the world, and we live on an island of stories.

For years now, the Tamar Valley Writers festival has celebrated our great thinkers, writers, and readers, and now we are excited to share these insights globally, right here, on the Tamar Valley Writers Festival podcast.

All Episodes

In this "bookend" episode of the Tamar Valley Writers Festival podcast, the tables are turned, as Tasmanian playwright and poet Cameron Hindrum angles the spotlight back on our two hosts for the series: Annie Warburton and Lyndon Riggall. Lyndon and Annie discuss the insights they have garnered from talking to our most celebrated wordsmiths, this remarkable year in Tasmanian life and writing, and the highs and lows of a time in which—while so much has been uncertain—we have had one reliable anchor: the power of the written word.   

Oct 7

33 min 24 sec

Caitlin is an emerging writer from lutruwita/Tasmania whose theatre work has been produced locally in her home state, in Sydney, and adapted for ABC Radio National. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with first class Honours in Creative Writing from the University of Tasmania and in 2016 her series of plays was nominated for a Tasmanian Theatre Award for Best Writing. She also works as a high school English teacher, and The Tailings is her first television drama credit.  The Tailings is an SBS short-form series structured as six ten minute episodes—part mystery, part exploration of being an outsider in a small town, growing up and overcoming grief. Set on the West Coast of Tasmania, it tells the interwoven story of a number of characters, yet primarily centres around Ruby (played by Mabel Li), a new teacher struggling to find her feet in her challenging first placement, and Jas (Tegan Stimson), a young girl left adrift and made furious by the tragedy of her father’s death. Richardson’s great skill as screenwriter of the production is that she weaves all of these elements together into a satisfyingly complex tapestry in only six short episodes, gradually unfurling the secrets and paranoias of small town Tasmania while showcasing the stunning, shrouded magnificence of our landscape and the complexity of the people that live at the edges of it.  In this episode, Caitlin and podcast host Lyndon Riggall talk all things The Tailings, including the journey that has led her here, where it might take her next, and what it means to be a writer working towards mastery of their craft in this strange, wild landscape.  

Sep 16

33 min 49 sec

Dr Stella Kent's musical Marjorie Unravelled (chronicling the life of Tasmanian housewife superstar Majorie Bligh) will premiere on September 9, kick-starting our pop-up festival Word of Mouth. In this podcast we gain a tantalising glimpse of what goes into the making of such a play, one of fifteen she has written. The award-winning Tasmanian writer has taught at the University of Tasmania’s school of performing arts and has been a Playwright in Residence at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston, where she produced Tamar Tidings, a community play produced on a specially built barge with a cast of 130.  In this talk, originally delivered to the Friends of Theatre North, Dr Kent reveals the secrets employed to seduce an audience into disbelief, including an analysis of how such narratives as Oedipus Rex, Hamlet and Star Wars all fit the archetypal patterns of the human brain. Drawing on her PhD research and the writing of her own plays,  she reveals how dramatists create an alternative reality, and how our awareness of the devices used to make theatre so enduringly bewitching still fail to stop us from being caught up in the magic of a darkened auditorium, swept away as the curtain lifts.

Aug 5

29 min 40 sec

Nick Brodie describes himself as a professional history nerd. He started out as a boy from country NSW who spent a lot of time outdoors dreaming of dinosaurs, but ended up a writer of a growing catalogue of popular histories about Australia. The Vandemonian War, Kosciuszko and Under Fire are to name just a few. Before he settled down to Australian history, Nick received his doctorate in late mediaeval vagrancy, of all things, before changing direction and taking up the study of archaeology. He’s also worked in software – he used to write computer games as a kid – and he researches and teaches widely as well as writing his histories and working as an archivist for the Catholic archdiocese in Hobart. Nick says he’s always been a storyteller. He says he wants his writing to be both accessible and erudite, and to bring fresh angles to old tales.  Let’s find out how he does that.

Jul 8

44 min 51 sec

Adam Thompson is a pakana writer from Launceston. Awarded a First Nations Fellowship at Varuna Writers House and one of ten recipients of the inaugural Next Chapter initiative from the Wheeler Centre, his work spans prose, performance and television and saw him named as Aboriginal Artist of the Year in 2019 at the Tasmanian NAIDOC awards. Adam was runner up in Overland’s 2020 Neilma Sidney Short Story Competition and has worked for nearly two decades at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, where he is passionate about advancing the interests of the Aboriginal Community. Born Into This is his first short story collection.   In this episode of The Tamar Valley Writers Festival Podcast, Adam shares about short stories, life as an advocate for Aboriginal land and heritage, and the power of fiction to challenge and inspire.

Jun 3

27 min 41 sec

Dr Danielle Wood is a senior lecturer for the University of Tasmania and a writer of astonishing diversity. Her transformation across various genres of fiction and non-fiction, short stories and novels, or writing for adults and children, is perhaps matched only by her reinvention of self as she hops seemingly effortlessly from one identity to another, including as one half (with Heather Rose) of Angelica Banks, the author of the Tuesday McGillycuddy Adventures, and as Minnie Dark, the woman behind Star-Crossed and her latest release, The Lost Love Song.    Today, we talk to Danielle about the art of the love story, her many secret lives and how the island she calls home feeds her work.

May 6

37 min

In today’s episode we tackle the final taboo: our own mortality. Joining the podcast are two of our most engaging experts, Dr Terry J. Hannan and Ian Norton. Who engage in a dynamic discussion about the stories of our own lives; including what we should do when the final sentence is being written, and what happens after the last page is turned.

Apr 8

36 min 21 sec

Erin Hortle grew up at Clifton Beach in southern Tasmania, which may explain her affinity for the ocean. Erin’s debut novel, The Octopus and I, is utterly steeped in the feel, the sights and the sounds of the sea, and it is peopled by the creatures, human or animal, that live in or by the sea. In this case they live in the small coastal community of Eaglehawk Neck, the narrow strip of land that divides the Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas.      In this episode, podcast host Annie Warburton talks to Erin about her novel’s central themes of femininity, motherhood, maternal sacrifice, sex, love and death — the whole shebang.

Mar 4

42 min 5 sec

In our latest podcast, stand-up comedian, writer and actor Dylan Hesp gives a hilarious peek into the process behind his material. Dylan’s best-known work include starring in ABC TV’s Sando and his smash hit YouTube series Australia’s Best Street Racer, created with assistance from Screen Tasmania and Screen Australia. Podcast host Lyndon Riggall chats with Dylan about his love of laughter, street-racing culture, Tassie’s unique sense of humour and the secrets to crafting great comedy.

Feb 4

39 min 11 sec

Robbie Arnott is a Hobart-based writer whose debut family saga with a magical realist twist, Flames, set the world on fire in 2018. Winner of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Novelist Award and the Margaret Scott Prize in the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes, Arnott was recently named the inaugural Hedberg Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania, where he will spend twelve weeks engaging with the university’s culture and working on his third novel, a follow-up to this year’s The Rain Heron. In this episode, podcast host Lyndon Riggall talks to Robbie about nature, narrative, and his meteoric rise from debut novelist to becoming one of Tasmania’s most celebrated authors.

Jan 9

31 min 24 sec

Our second podcast is now live, an enchanting conversation with Vogel Award-winning author Kate Kruimink. Podcast host Annie Warburton chats with Kate about her first novel A Treacherous Country and how a young Tassie mum struggling with work-life balance managed to produce such a groundbreaking read. The podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Dec 2020

37 min 49 sec

Kyle Perry is a writer who divides his time between his hometown in North West Tasmania and Hobart. Growing up in the foothills of the Great Western Tiers, he has occasionally found himself lost in the Tasmanian wilderness and is inspired by experiences of the natural world that defy explanation. As a youth worker who has worked extensively in high schools, shelters and drug rehabilitation, his fiction interrogates these issues in a way that is deeply appreciative of the human soul at the centre of them, as is evident in his debut novel, The Bluffs. The Bluffs is a story of two disappearances beneath Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers: a group of teenage girls in 1985 and a second group in the present day. As fingers are pointed in various directions the secrets of the past begin to unwind, while some locals fear that a mythical figure blamed for the abduction thirty years ago might have returned, known as “the Hungry Man,”. Lyndon Riggall chats with Kyle about The Bluffs, creativity, and the influence of Tasmania on his work.

Oct 2020

37 min 16 sec