We’re so lucky to have a plethora of bookish events in Melbourne, with everything from group movie viewings, to launches, to full-blown book festivals. It really is the place to be for Aussie booknerds. Even though we’re only halfway through 2018, there have been some absolutely incredible, unforgettable events that I’m so grateful to have been able to attend.
So today I’m going to share my top five bookish events of 2018 so far with you, and then tell you my five most anticipated events for the rest of 2018! It’s going to be hard to narrow it down to just five, because I think I’ve been to about ten book launches in the past six months alone, but I’ll give it my best shot. Let’s do this!
Top five bookish events of 2018 so far…
If you didn’t already know, my friend Alexandra and I co-created a Melbourne book club called The YA Room. We meet up once a month at Dymocks to discuss our Book of the Month, but occasionally we also do some special events—like YA Day! YA Day was a day of YA goodness in January, where we were joined by 13 guest panelists to discuss everything from the importance of teen voices in the community, to how to make a successful booktube channel, and even some tips about how to break into the publishing industry! We were joined by over 80 attendees for four panels, and we honestly couldn’t have wished for a more exciting day. We can’t wait to host another YA Day in early 2019!
Clunes Booktown Festival
Another unforgettable event of 2018 so far was Clunes Booktown Festival, which is a weekend-long festival in a small town called Clunes near Ballarat in country Victoria! Alex and I were invited to partner with the Clunes Booktown Festival to document the festival on social media and chat to some authors. We stayed in a haunted AirBnB, bought far too many books, and attended six panels over the weekend. It was such an incredible experience and we can’t wait to attend again next year! Check out my vlog!
When Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff asked if Alex and I would like to host their Obsidio book launch, we thought for a moment that we’d been sucked into an alternate universe. To say we were thrilled to be asked would be an understatement—these are two of our favourite authors of all time, not to mention bestsellers! But Jay and Amie are also two of the kindest, most supportive authors we’ve ever encountered, and it was such a privilege to be on stage with them in front of over a hundred attendees to talk all about the phenomenal finale in their sci-fi trilogy. Check out my video from the launch!
The Penguin Showcase was one of the first events of 2018, and it was absolutely incredible. I always have a great time at the Penguin showcases, where we hear about all the upcoming YA releases and are joined by a couple of Aussie authors, but this year it was especially exciting. And that’s because we were in a packed cinema to see a super early preview screening of Love, Simon! It was so much fun to watch this film for the first time among so many passionate, emotional YA fans. We ate laughed, cried, and ate far too many Oreos. It was just such a great atmosphere.
Interning for Melbourne Writers Festival / Writers Victoria
This year, I’m lucky to be undertaking not one, but two amazing internships! I do slightly different things for both of them, but my favourite aspects so far have been running an Instagram campaign for Writers Victoria and writing up blog posts for the Melbourne Writers Festival. This experience is so invaluable and I’ve already learnt so much from these two companies. Plus, we tend to get cupcakes at Writers Victoria, so that’s definitely a highlight of my Monday morning.
Some upcoming events I’m looking forward to…
Melbourne Writers Festival
The Melbourne Writers Festival has been a part of my life ever since I was in primary school, and I’ve loved going to all the author panels over the year. Because I’m interning for MWF this year, I’ll have the opportunity to work throughout the festival and attend a ton of panels, all with the understanding of how this event came together. There are some really exciting authors attending this year, both from Australia and international writers, and the program is really shaping up to be incredible. If you live in Melbourne, this is not an event to be missed.
Australian Reading Hour
The Australian Reading Hour is a annual event where people are encouraged to pick up a book and read for an hour! While that might just sound like your average Thursday night to a lot of us, I’m planning something very exciting for it. While the plans are still in the works, I know it’s going to be a really great night. Keep your eyes out on social media!
2019 YA Showcase
One of the best annual YA events in Melbourne is undoubtably the YA Showcase, run by the Centre for Youth Literature in December each year. In this event, attendees hear all about the YA titles coming in 2019, score a goody bag with a book inside upon arrival, and get the chance to do a bit of networking with all the publicists and other key industry personnel who are there! It’s always a lot of fun highlighting all the books I want to read the next year, and I love starting off the new year with an already-uncontrollable TBR. I’m sure this year’s showcase will be no different!
What have been your highlights of 2018 so far? Do you get the opportunity to go to many bookish events? If you could travel anywhere in the world to go to any bookish event, where would you like to go? I’d love to know!