Finishing touches on 2021 High Country Writers Retreat

11th February 2021

Undeterred by 2020’s annus horribilis, the High Country Writers Retreat and Festival at Waterloo Station went ahead!  We welcomed more guest authors, writer-retreaters, and readers than in our inaugural year in 2019, despite COVID-19.  

The world grappled with the misery confusion and chaos, with some nations and industry segments suffering more than others, and we watched and lamented as one major event after another was forced to cancel events.  Putting aside some serious duck-paddling on the part of fellow Directors, we were amongst the lucky ones who were small and agile enough and in the right location for the show to go on.

The atmosphere was dramatised in a revolving door of sunshine, downpours and rampant winds, all of which rather suited the occasion.  Little else could have been in the starkest possible contrast to the severe dirt-dry drought conditions we experienced in 2019.

2020 Retreat guests farewelled us on the last morning with, ‘Book me in now, same room in 2021’, so we had more than enough incentive to commit to 2021.  Just a few weeks later, a Festival fan ran into me in the supermarket, full of enthusiasm for her hope that she might have a suggestion for one of 2021’s guest authors.  Better still, she could facilitate an introduction!  Such positivity and commitment to contribute are not just infectious in the moment but deliver lovely long-tails.  Thank you, Chris P. 

In what seemed like a lightning flash, Chris had spoken with High Country Writers Festival Director, Michael Burge, who had contacted the author, who had confirmed she is ‘in’!  It was one of those ‘well, blow me down’ moments, to coin an all-but extant Aussie expression.  Some things just fall into place like hot jelly in an intricate mould. (I’m at a loss as to why I thought of a jelly analogy, it must rate as one of least inspiring food choices, if indeed it can qualify as such). 

Please, please don’t connect my dismissal of jelly with the suggested guest author, or any others who have come forward for the 2021 event.  We cannot wait to release the author’s names or the events, but I’m afraid you will have to wait a little longer.

All this motivation means that my fellow Retreat and Festival Directors and I have been attending to the business-end of creating and hosting the sister-events in October.  That means endless questions, reviews of what works and does not, what and who we need to add or subtract and why and so on.  Changing flight plans to suit the conditions never stops.

The first obvious question had been answered for us, so, what next?

‘What month and dates?’  Thursday 14th – Monday 18th October.

Next? ‘How many days do Writer-Retreaters need to write and collaborate, as well as meet and mix with the guest authors, and have time ‘off’ to soak-up and enjoy the Festival?’  Minimum 2 full days writing activities and 1 day ‘off’ to mix with and be inspired by guest authors and readers at the Festival.

For answers to the rest of the questions that you might want to ask, to attend one or both events and/or recommend to others, check into the links on this page and follow the various social media links for news releases and updates.  If you are a Subscriber to my site, you will receive priority updates directly to your Inbox.

One last answer to a question you might want to know now, ‘When will bookings open for the events?’  Again, follow our sites and social media links for real-time updates.  Heads up, bookings for the strictly limited Retreat will be opening through Waterloo Station , just around the corner.

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