Writers and readers gather in Port Fairy

THE written word will help waken Port Fairy from its winter slumber this weekend.

The Port Fairy Ex Libris Festival of Words event begins tonight and runs until Sunday.

Some of Australia’s leading authors will give book lovers the chance for an intimate audience with their favourite writers.

Former Women’s Weekly editor Susan Duncan, Western Australian author Larry Votava and former ABC Radio broadcaster Derek Guille will be among the visiting presenters.

Moyne Shire tourism officer Andrea Lowenthal said the Ex Libris event marked the beginning of the new tourism season for Port Fairy.

“We get a lot of day-trippers from across the region for this weekend,” Ms Lowenthal said.

“There are a lot of people who follow these book events around so we are expecting a good crowd.”

Along with well-known visiting authors, the event will also provide a forum for several locals, including Port Fairy residents Jock Serong, Roger Haldane, Matt Porter and Oriel Glennen.

Haldane will talk of his experience as an illustrator, which includes his award-winning work on Colin Thiele’s book Magpie Island.

His presentation will be held on Sunday morning from 10.30am at the Victoria Hotel lounge. Haldane will also be part of the Men Talking Books forum at the same venue at 3.30pm.

Porter will also be part of the forum, as well as holding a children’s event at the Port Fairy library tomorrow from 10am.

Glennen will talk about her project, Offerings to the Keeper’s Wife, at Blarney Books on Sunday from 2pm.

For Serong, it will be a chance to speak about his debut work Quota, a crime novel based in a small coastal community. He will be part of a panel discussion alongside Susan Duncan and Mick Sowry tomorrow from 10.30am at the Victoria Hotel lounge and will be back at the same venue at 3.30pm for his own author talk.

Serong said he was excited about the weekend.

“I’ve got no doubt there would be plenty of authors all around the country who would happily make their way to Port Fairy for a weekend so it is very generous of the organisers to include local authors on the program,” he said.

There will also be a giant secondhand book sale over the weekend at the Drill Hall in the Victoria Hotel on Bank Street. 

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