@SydWritersFest: Private and Public

The theme of this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival is the line between the public and the private.
The Festival has 300 events in a week’s program that is designed to stimulate, move, inspire and provoke.
In his welcome to the Festival, Chip Rolley observes:

Now, via Facebook and Twitter, we voluntarily tell the world things we previously might not have told even our loved ones. Investigative journalists thrive on leaks and finding out what others don’t want us to know.

He adds that:

The private and the personal are subjects that have always preoccupied writers and have been the focus of much fiction as well as memoir, biography, history and reportage.

He notes that “biographers, journalists and historians have long considered the rules of engagement when tackling their subjects” and asks:

 How deeply do you go into the private life of your subject? Where should a journalist draw the line in pursuit of a story?

It has been interesting to see the development of the Festival’s web presence.
This year there is an App to help track the diversity of the program and like many events there is a Twitter address and a tag (#SWF2012).
I have been following the Festival this week at the same time I have been looking at communication resources such as:
All of which provide great opportunities to reflect upon private troubles and public issues.


  1. Hi Keith,
    Just wanted to say thanks for your link to the C. Wright Mills profile. Lots of ideas to plumb there and follow up on in terms of privacy, power, craft and scholarship.
    Hope all is well with you!


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