This June long weekend I’m heading back to my home town of Grenfell – the birthplace of writer Henry Lawson – as official guest of this year’s Henry Lawson Festival. I grew up on a property near Grenfell and attended the Henry Lawson High School, so it is quite an honour to follow in the footsteps of Patrick White, Tara Moss, Eric Rolls, Dick Smith, James Dibble, Judy Nunn and Colin Roderick. As a kid, I looked up at the writers and celebrities launching the festival from the back of a truck in the main street. This year it will be me.
The festival has a strong arts and literature focus, and has long featured the Henry Lawson short story competition. I’ll be busy visiting art and photography exhibitions, an awards night and a local concert. But there will be a chance to say hello and have a book signed near the official festival stall on Saturday afternoon. I’m looking forward to catching up with old and new friends – and being back in the landscape that shaped me (and my writing voice).