Sydney Writers’ Festival 2015 – An Inside Scoop

There is something truly enchanting when it comes to submerging your mind into a book. Even though they are just words on pages, a story prevails as something quite alive. My passion for books and writing led me to join the Sydney Writers’ Festival volunteer team, where I had the opportunity to share this experience with other budding book lovers and aspiring journalists out there.


It was “thinking season” at the Sydney Writers’ Festival when it was set in motion on 18th May, till the 24th.

The theme of the Festival this year was “How to Live? we’re in culturally – exploring themes of identity, geography, our relationship with technology alongside our urge to go back to our roots, find solace in nature. It will look at concepts of work, religion, happiness, grief, our perennial search for meaning.”

Unless I could have cloned myself, the plethora of (over 300) events it comprised of — from walsh bay to the suburbs — was beyond a single person to cover. There was an event for everyone; whether it was stimulating lectures on education, or light-hearted discussions about Elvis’s hips.

As a volunteer of SWF, I had to be quick on my feet — directing famous authors, journalists and actors backstage, managing the long cue in the pouring rain, and doing the ticketing. The Green Room was a delight — we share our funny shift stories, bonding over sandwiches and coffee, around literature.


The highlight of my time was Sunday’s Family day with children lined enthusiastically in cues to enter the Big Backyard; where there were face painting, gaming sections, arts and crafts, and a storytelling hut for all the highly energetic and curious kids scattered around the area. To my amusement, team members got to dress up as popular children characters like Grugg and Oliver the Pig. I could tell that the kids were amused when they saw them; and to my surprise, some were even scared!


There is a lot to say about this event and the opportunity it gave me, but I would like to thank Misty McPhail, the co-ordinator, and all the friends I made there. I will definitely stick around for the next event, which I am excited about already.

– Jenny

Jenny Hu is a media student from Sydney. When she is not writing for the Plus Ones, she is listening to audiobooks and plotting her next big move in becoming a social media star. Read all about her misadventures and other articles on The Media Hu.

Disclosure: Jenny Hu, from The Plus Ones, volunteered at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Photos courtesy of Sydney Writers’ Festival 2015.