Author Favel Parrett inspires students at LitFest2444

It is really possible to become a published writer, Favel Parrett told high school students.

The author of Past the Shallows said being a writer was about believing in yourself.

“It’s about being brave and putting your work out there, and I want you to know that it’s really possible to become a published writer, because I was a student just like you, and I really wanted to be a writer but I wasn’t brave enough to tell anyone or do anything about it until I was 30.

“So don’t wait that long.”

Favel was one of the presenters at LitFest 2444.

The April 9-10 storytelling festival featured presenters covering creative crafts from poetry to podcasting, video game writing, comics drawing, creative writing, literature and paper sculpture.

Past the Shallows, set on the wild south coast of Tasmania, is about love, loss and the bond between brothers.

It’s also a story about how secrets can destroy a person and ultimately a family.

Favel wrote the end of the book first, followed by a scene now in the middle of the book.

“To me, it feels like problem solving and slowly the picture appears,” she said.

Some 1200 students from as far away as Maitland and Coffs Harbour took part in LitFest2444.

Members of the public attended a community soiree at Port Macquarie Library on April 9.

Patrick Byrnes led panel discussions with the presenters.

Subjects discussed included young-adult books.

Author James Phelan said there were many publishers for young-adult books.

“There is so much more flexibility now in the publishing landscape,” he said.

Author Will Kostakis said teenagers wanted to see their world reflected to them honestly.

Oliver Phommavanh writes for a younger audience.

“It’s a lot of fun because I think kids have a really warped sense of humour and I think I tap into it,” he said.

“I just like them to explore the lighter side of life, the wacky side of life and more creative side of life.”

Author MJ Hearle said hopefully students would be inspired to create and explore their own magical worlds.

Writer, games designer, and translator James Coquillat said when it came to games, in a way all of the industry was for young people, and all the industry was for older people at the same time.

“I’m really interested in talking to young people about how they will be creating games in the future,” James said.

LitFest2444 operated across four Port Macquarie venues. The festival is in its second year.