Speculate II: The Speculatening

Just like that, we’re back.

It’s hard to believe it’s pressing on to a year since #Speculate18 was trending across Australia, but here we are. Any author knows that writing a debut novel is a tough gig - and writing a bestselling sequel is a nigh-impossible ambition.

And so, with all the energy of a young festival, we decided to launch into a second year. I thought it’d be great to fill you in on what’s happened since our inaugural festival rolled out in April last year.

First off, we had to decide if we’d do it again – that was the easy part. With so many wonderful connections happening at Speculate, it only made sense to get this train rolling on. In 2019, we wanted to make a few adjustments based on the feedback we received, so these are some things we’re doing this year

  • We’ve doubled the days. In order to give us the time to deep-dive on both publishing and craft, we’ve booked out the Gasworks Arts Park for a full two days. We also managed to tweak the schedule on Saturday to include six sessions instead of five.

  • We’ve focused in on empowering writers. We brought this thinking to the fore in order to hone in on the best way to build the Victorian Spec Fic writing community. The upshot of this is our workshops, the topics we’re talking about in our main theatre sessions, and offering manuscript assessments

  • We’ve managed to keep prices as low as possible. We want Speculate to be as affordable if that can be, and we’re trusting we’ll see enough tickets to keep things sustainable from here. We’re still paying all our speakers, because we believe that’s the right thing to do. And we’re still entirely volunteer-run, and not tied with any institution, though we’re grateful for the ongoing support of Swinburne University. You can attend Speculate’s Saturday sessions for under $110 (getting an extra session this year as well), and if you grab an Earlybird Festival Pass, you can get two full days of quality input and networking for under $180. We do recommend booking early if you’re keen to keep costs low – there are limited Earlybird Passes for sale, and we want everyone to make it!

Speculate is all about community, and without each and every person who’s involved, the festival wouldn’t be what it is. We’re excited to see how this year plays out. There have been plenty of hiccups – but now it’s go time, so let’s get to it.

We can’t wait to see you there.

- Ian

Ian LakingComment