Annually since the horrific bushfires in 2009, with a group of writers and illustrators I have been part of a Literary Festival in the region covered by the Merrijig MARC Van (formerly centred in Yea). It was the brainchild of MARC librarian, Libby Ahern and author/illustrator Mark Wilson and included Corinne Fenton, Diana Lawrenson (until last year), Marjory Gardner and me. The region is divided into sub-regions so we’d see different students each year on a three year rotation. This year, Eildon was both new entry to this cluster and host to the Lit Fest.

In previous years, the Lit Fest has generally been held in August and is often very very very cold. Yes, sometimes snowing. Often raining. Occasionly sunny, but always cold. Yesterday, the ninth festival, we were treated to sunshine and roses (actually, native flowers, but you get the idea).

Libby and her offsider, Lyn make sure this day runs like clockwork. No mean feat when there are multiple schools travelling in from distant areas. This year, we also met Nicole, maternity leave MARC librarian. With the host school parents group and teachers from all schools, we were right royally hosted. We conducted workshops with wonderful students who worked well together despite having travelled long distances and having just met each other.

At the end, there’s an assembly where we share the day and are presented with produce from each school/region.

It can feel like an early start (okay, it was an early start – 5.30 am for me) but it’s always a wonderful day. Thank you again to all the schools attending, to Eildon PS for hosting and to Libby, Lyn and Nicole for weaving your special magic.