I am a big fan of blogging as a platform for creativity and communication – in fact, across three years as MWF Director I have brought some of the world’s best international bloggers to Melbourne to take part in the fun of the festival, including Bike Snob NYC, Tavi Gevinson, Brain Pickings and, this year, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. I love the immediacy of blogging, and the variety of what’s out there – there really is no limit to what can be explored by someone with a good idea and an internet connection. (In fact, we’ll be exploring that very theme at MWF in-depth this year, with a two-day conference dedicated to all things Digital DIY!)

So I’m excited that Victoria University and MWF will once again join forces to present Reviewer for a Day, a project that gives emerging writers the opportunity to see something at the Festival and then contribute their thoughts to the online conversation about it afterwards.

Last year VU’s Reviewer for a Day project was one of my Festival highlights. Watching how the reviewers responded to the people and themes in Melbourne Writers Festival’s vast program was fascinating and exciting, especially as it was all being published on the blog at such a rapid speed.  Seeing an idea seeded at the Festival make its way out into the world – be it via blog, social media or good old fashioned conversation – is one of the things I love best about my job as Festival Director, and I know our writers love it also.

I’d love to see all kinds of writers taking part to ensure the conversation is creative, dynamic and thought-provoking! With over 530 events in the MWF program this year, there is something in our program for everyone who reads. So, journalists, poets, bloggers, vloggers, academics, memoirists, screenwriters and more – I really do encourage you to apply for this special opportunity.

Participating authors will receive a complimentary ticket to their chosen Festival session. They will then be given a deadline to submit their review of the event which will be published on the Reviewer for a Day blog.

So, if you’re keen to participate, please apply via the VU site here. Registrations are open until Friday 7 August.

I look forward to meeting all the participating writers at a pre-Festival briefing, and of course to reading / seeing / hearing and sharing your reviews!

Lisa Dempster, Festival Director