→ Rachelle Dekker
Speculate brings together fantasy and science fiction in an action-packed festival around the craft of writing. It’s hard to pinpoint when this literary festival began to take tentative shape – up until now the conversation was a farrago of questions:
‘Wouldn’t it be great to have more workshops on speculative fiction?’ ; ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a festival just for speculative fiction?’ ; ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we just … made it happen?’
The amazing team from The Morning Bell Podcast have been the pioneers of Speculate, and I’ve been lucky enough to join them on this voyage. With the festival coming up this Saturday, and my time volunteering about to come to an end, this is the perfect time to look back at everything that has shaped my experience.
Building and maintaining work relationships with a range of individuals has been my main role. I need to anticipate communication issues before they happen and make sure we’re all on the same page. If not, I need to turn back a couple pages and see what happened. As I am the main contact for the guests and their publishers, I’m mostly sending emails for clarification and information about specific tasks and the event.
Being an industry contact
We had sent out a call for volunteers and worked in collaboration with Swinburn University. Specifically, I attended their lecture as an industry contact and was answering questions about Speculate.
The Morning Bell Podcast
This year was my first appearance on the Morning Bell Podcast. I joined as a member of the Speculate team where we discussed the festival and speculative fiction that has left a lasting impression!
Everyone’s festival preparation
Our goal is to celebrate the genre with our guests, staff and lovers of speculative fiction. There’s a lot of work by a lot of different people, and many hands make light work! I’ve been a part of organising book launches in the past but preparing for the festival was on another level for the sheer amount of people we needed to be in contact with.
It’s always a useful skill to pick up something that might cause grief later and come up with a solution! This is the first time we’re all running a festival together and keeping up communication was my task. There have been mass emails and individual ones, ones that have been drafted and looked over by multiple people before it goes out.
If you’re going to talk to all these guests, you need to read everything you can! I’ve had a long list of books to read before the festival and had already read some of our authors works. If you’re in need of recommendations, have a look at their current works!
Tomorrow the months of preparation will finally be over and the festival itself will begin. We’re excited to share everything we’ve been working so hard to get together. We hope you can join us on this spectacular day!
What: The Victorian Speculative Writers Festival. The first!
When: Saturday 28 April
Where: Gasworks Theatre – 21 Graham Street, Albert Park VIC 3206