Scone – here I come with bells and smiles.

Scone lit fest logoOh Scone  how I do love thee!  And if you’re free this long weekend – come and join me!

For those who are not aware, Scone is the Horse Capital of Australia. It’s in the Upper Hunter Valley, about 3 hours drive from Newcastle which probably makes it about 6-6.5 hours from Sydney.  Correct me if I’m wrong – it’s highly likely!

It’s home to 65 horse studs, an award winning racecourse, wineries and vineyards, the headquarters Image result for google images Scone NSWof the Australian Stock Horse Society, an amazing Horse Festival and the Scone Literary Festival.

Even more important that that? It’s the setting for my next novel, The Reluctant Jillaroo. I had several trips north to do my research and I found the people to be as warm and welcoming as the horses who brayed their greetings as we drove past. And I fell in love.

Image result for google images Scone NSW

I was also honoured to be asked to give the International Women’s Day address for the Upper Hunter  back in March – which was also held in Scone. So you can see that this place is becoming more and more special to me.

Amazingly, when the Upper Hunter Council organisers asked me to speak for IWD, they had no idea that my next novel was in fact set in their own backyard! (And they were thrilled! So thrilled that they offered to help launch this book, ‘The Reluctant Jillaroo’ next February (2016) right there In Scone. I can’t wait! Watch this space for details).Image result for google images Scone NSW

Nor that my daughter once taught in Scone on her first appointment out of uni or that in the past couple of years, we’d attended two of our nephew’s weddings there as well.

Six degrees of separation I hear you say? Believe it!

So, this weekend, I trek back up there again to be a part of their Literary Festival. It’s over three days and begins on Saturday. I’m on a panel on Saturday which examines the portrayal of gender in literature. And on Sunday I’m giving an afternoon workshop on structure entitled: Ditch the support undies. How to structure your novel so that it doesn’t fall down.  (Or something like that – 😉

It’s going to be great! There are some great literary names there. Fellow A&U stablemate, Samantha Turnbull, as well as The Rosie Project’s Graeme Simsion and his wife Dr Anne Buist, who is also on my panel, Nic Brash and Phillip Adams to name a few.

Oh heck – why name a few!

Full list: Dr Judy White AM, Phillip Adams, Graeme Simsion, Nic Brasch, Anne Buist, Emma Allen, Samantha Turnbull, Kaz Delaney, Michael Stanford, Ged Gillmore, Jacqueline Bell, Di Gillett

More info: 

Hopefully some gossip and photos when I get back!