Crime novelist Robert Schofield and veteran diving historian Hugh Edwards head the line-up at the third Corrugated Lines writers' festival in Broome next month. Now in its third year, the festival focuses on writers with a strong interest in the culture, history and landscape of the northern part of the State.
Among its first-time guests is Stephen Briggs, who will discuss his autobiographical memoir The Boy Who Could Tickle Clouds, an often hilarious and self-deprecating account of growing up in Paraburdoo and later as a boarder at a private school in Perth.
British-born Schofield, who enjoyed success with his debut crime thriller Heist, set in the Goldfields, will discuss his second thriller Marble Bar, a sequel that takes place in the hottest town in Australia.
After working as a design engineer for large public buildings such as airports in Europe, Schofield migrated to Australia where he now works in the mining industry and devotes his spare time to writing.
Edwards, an award-winning author with about 20 books to his name, won international recognition in 1966 with Island of Angry Ghosts, the first major account of the wreck on the Abrolhos Islands of the Dutch East Indies ship Batavia in 1629. Another writer with a strong focus on the history and culture of Broome is Peter Docker, now a regular at the festival, who will perform the poems from his collection Our Town. Docker's work explores the "myths, mysteries, miseries and misunderstandings" of what it is like to live in Broome.
The indigenous history, culture and language of Broome will be explored in a session featuring historian Joss Harman and members of Nyamba Buru Yawuru, the traditional owners of the land around the town.
Samantha Tidy, author of The Happiness Jar, will discuss the inspiration for her novel, including her experiences as a teacher in the remote areas of the Kimberley. Tidy will work with children at Broome schools, with a public session at the festival where audiences will be invited to decide what would be in their own "happiness jar".
Local writers or would-be writers — from schoolchildren to adults — will get the chance to hone their creative skills with a series of writers' workshops, poetry sessions and even a blogging workshop.
The Broome phenomenon Staircase to the Moon — the optical illusion when a full moon hits the waters that surround the town — will be the subject of a creative exercise for children. Local author Bronwyn Houston will read her book about the phenomenon, tour guide Greg Quicke will explain what makes the "staircase" so special and children will be invited to write their own stories about it.
Potential writers of all ages will be able to take part in a "poetic sensory walk" through Broome's Minyirr Park and follow up with their creative responses to the plants, birds and animals in the park.
Creative writing of a totally different kind will be in evidence in a reading of David Williamson's play Managing Carmen. Recently performed in full productions around Australia, the play deals with the problems of a star AFL footballer with a fondness for cross-dressing.
After the success of the first two festivals, Corrugated Lines looks set to become a regular event in the crowded Broome calendar in August.
Local writers . . . will get the chance to hone their creative skills with a series of workshops.
Corrugated Lines runs from August 8-10 at various locations in Broome. A full program is available at [facebook.com/CorrugatedLines|facebook.com/CorrugatedLines|popup=true]facebook.com/CorrugatedLines.