Leaving the Station.

“The train’s leaving the station, and we’ve just cut the brakes.”

That was Joel Martin on the phone to me after he’d just signed the contract for our venue a few months ago. The team behind Speculate has been hard at work ever since to get things underway for April 28th at the Gasworks Theatre. This week, we’ve secured the last of our speakers, worked hard to finalise ticket pricing, and started work on building out more of the SpecFic.com.au website.

And all of that amounts to a lot of work! Which we knew starting out, but now we know. Thankfully, we’ve had massive support from the writing community here in Victoria – from Aurealis to Writers Victoria, and from individuals who’ve been kind enough to lend us their time and wisdom. We’ve learnt a lot in the past months, and we’re still learning. If you haven’t heard from us, it’s not because we forgot about you, it’s simply because we’ve worked with people we know in order to get things done quickly.

Our philosophy for Speculate is simple: we’re not just aiming to run a good event – we’re aiming to build the speculative fiction writing community in Victoria.

That’s important, because our philosophy drives everything we do. Speculate isn’t just about the sessions, topics, or speakers – it’s about the time between sessions when people can connect. It’s about the ideas that get sparked, the conversations people have, and the bonds that writers will form. If people who attend can walk out of the Gasworks Theatre at 5pm on the 28th of April with one new connection, idea, or a better network, then we’ve achieved that goal.

This philosophy also plays into ticketing. We want the festival to be accessible, and that’s why we're working to keep costs down. Full ticketing details will be out soon, including earlybird options – as part of this, we’re looking at ways we can structure the day so people have the opportunity to connect with others between sessions without a lot of moving in and out of the venue. Of course, you don’t have to chat with anyone if you don’t want to, but we're leaving that door open a crack for anyone who wants to step through it.

The vision for Speculate is to start something that takes on a life of its own, and who knows where it will go from there. For now, it’s all on to get things ready for April 28th – we’d love for you to join us as we start this event and build this community.

The train’s left the station, and we hope you’re on board.