THE Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival will officially launch tonight with a brief cameo from Virginia Woolf.
The festival returns in 2015 for its fourth year in the Highlands, and its second year as a satellite event of prominent literary gathering Sydney Writers’ Festival.
This year’s literary events will celebrate female writers and their many contributions throughout history.
Woman of many talents and Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival director Michaela Bolzan will take to the stage at this evening’s launch as Virginia Woolf, to perform an excerpt of Woolf’s famous lecture A Room of One’s Own.
“This is a poignant lecture that Virginia Woolf gave at Newnham College, a women’s college in Cambridge,” Michaela said.
“She talks about struggles still relevant to men and women today following creative careers, whether as a writer, actor, painter, journalist or anything else.”
Michaela will bring to her performance her great passion for acting and an abundance of experience.
“I have performed this lecture before, at Newnham College where Virginia first shared her lecture which was just incredible.”
Michaela said she felt the lecture didn’t necessarily refer to a physical space, but could also suggest the “head space” necessary to be creative.
“I think it’s also about making room in the brain to be able to have time in a busy life to create, whatever the artistic pursuit is.”
“If you have a passion for the arts you need to find a way to express it, whether it be £500 in a room of your own or something else, it’s about finding a creative outlet.”
Michaela and fellow festival director Kylie Matthews both juggle full-time careers while planning the annual event.
“We continue to work full-time through the festival, because we have to really.”
The ladies have invested a lot of time, effort and funding into the event over the past few years in order to bring a fantastic event to the Highlands.
“We aim to create a platform, an environment that people can benefit from,” Michaela said.
“It’s something we do out of passion – and that makes me a happy Highlander.”
Tickets for the festival, which will include a number of events throughout April, May and July this year, will go on sale at tonight’s launch.
The event, which will also act as a fundraiser with all money raised used toward this year’s festival events, will take place tonight at the Bradman Museum from 7-9pm.
Tickets are still available for the launch through The Bookshop Bowral on Bong Bong Street, or online at the festival website.