News

Students report from Sydney Writers' Festival frontline



26 May 2014

Six talented students have reviewed sessions and interviewed authors at Sydney Writers' Festival (SWF), putting to use the breadth of skills they have learned from their Arts degrees at the University of Sydney.

The students filed reviews, edited SWF podcasts, got hands on experience with social media platforms and interviewed best-selling authors as part of a four-day internship at the University of Sydney's Media Hub, located at Pier One Sydney Harbour, right at the heart of the Festival.

The Media Hub interns have interviewed the likes of Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson, whose visit to SWF was supported by the University, travel author Tim Cope, children's author and illustrator Andrew Joyner, and cultural historian Lucy Hughes-Hallett.

The students also reviewed sessions featuring University academics and attended a book launch by model and author Tara Moss, a current Doctor or Arts candidate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, which was co-sponsored by the Faculty.

A selection of the students' work can be found on the University's SWF microsite while podcasts edited by the students can be listened to on the SWF blog. Below the students share their experiences.

Tom Langshaw, fourth year Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)
Reviewed Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth and interviewed Benjamin Law.

"My time at the Writers' Festival has opened my eyes to the different processes involved in co-ordinating these large-scale events: the creativity, the publicity, and the degree of technical support required. It's been fascinating to see how the organisers strike a balance between detailed logistics and preserving the role of writers and their ideas that is at the heart of the Festival."

Christine Kim, fifth year Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts (English Literature)
Interviewed Andrew Joyner, children's book author and illustrator, and reviewed Amy Tan: The Valley of Amazement.

"This internship has been a very exciting experience for me. I feel as if I've been able to play a small part in facilitating the discussion of great ideas at this event through social media. It has also given me the great opportunity to develop important skills such as interviewing and publishing."

Scott Wallace, final semester, Master of Film Studies
Interviewed ABC TV’s Steven O'Donnell and reviewed the launch of Tara Moss' new book, The Fictional Woman, and On Love with Professor David Braddon-Mitchell.

"The experience has been excellent. I've been given opportunities to be independent and follow my own creative muse, as well as being given solid experience that I will be able to apply to other areas of my life. This is a very rewarding role."

Lucy Stranger, third year, Bachelor of Arts (English and Art History)
Interviewed Adam Johnson and reviewed the Out of the Ashes and Arab Autumn panels.

"Working at the Media Hub has provided invaluable industry experience, helping me develop my writing and interviewing skills. It's given me an insight into the inner workings of the literature world and the opportunity to meet the incredibly talented people who work within it."

Greta Mayr, fourth year Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)
Interviewed travel author Tim Cope and reviewed Adam Johnson: The Orphan Master’s Son.

"The entire festival has been very relevant to my media degree as it has given me practical experience in interviewing, writing, photography, social media and audio editing."

Catherine McMaster, fourth year Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)
Interviewed cultural historian and journalist Lucy Hughes-Hallett and reviewed Turning The Tide with Ali Cobby Eckermann.

"Everyone here at the Sydney Writers' Festival is so passionate, and that passion is contagious. I have been lucky enough to review a number of sessions ranging from the social history of the Great Barrier Reef, the debate over freedom of speech with Peter FitzSimons and Tim Wilson, and another session that discussed the concept of Aboriginal identity and land rights with Henry Reynolds and Ali Cobby Eckermann."


Media enquiries: Luke O'Neill: (02) 9114 1961, 0481 012 600, luke.oneill@sydney.edu.au