The NT Writers’ Centre will run the annual Alice Springs Writers Festival, named ‘Eye of the Storm‘ in Alice Springs from May 1 to 4 this year. Most of the festival events will be held at the wonderful Olive Pink Botanic Garden, not far from the centre of Alice Springs.

This year’s Eye of the Storm festival includes a great line-up of Australian authors and a packed program that includes Linda Jaivin, Jennifer Byrne, Kate Grenville Shane Maloney, Shellie Morris, Ali Cobby Eckermann & Jennifer Mills among many others – including me (!) and my good mate Andrew McMillan, whose bio at the NT Writers’ Centre website says that he:

…retired to the Northern Territory at the age of 30, where he has since won NT Literary Awards for history and poetry, won the NT Short Story award, and published five books: Strict Rules, Death in Dili, An Intruder’s Guide to Arnhem Land, Catalina Dreaming and Tiwi Footy. His work appeared in numerous publications including The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Rolling Stone magazine. Andrew is currently working on his first novel and a book about the Roper River region in the Northern Territory.

Andrew is the winner of Territory Read-NT Book of the Year 2009 for An Intruder’s Guide to East Arnhem Land.

I’ll be presenting a session called ‘Roadkill’. The program notes that:

The roadtrip is iconic in Territorian culture. Join Jennifer Mills, Richard J Frankland, Shane Maloney & Mary Anne Butler for some fine, highway cuisine and roadhouse yarns. Facilitator: Bob Gosford. Roo stew; free coffee to every driver. The venue is in the Courtyard of the Olive Pink Botanic Garderns from 12:30-2:00pm

Unfortunately Richard has had to withdraw but we’ll have a good session in any event.

I’m really looking forward to this gig – it will be my first writers festival as a participant and hopefully not my last.

One of the side activities I’ll be participating in will be the inaugural Central Australian Highway Cricket competition – with Andrew McMillan and whoever also turns up to play we’ll be driving up and down the Stuart Highway to Ti-Tree and back…a roadtrain is six runs, a single vehicle one run, a car and trailer two runs and you are out when a red car passes…