Buvette Masthead

Noted Gets Noticed

Molly McLaughlin

Canberra is not particularly famous for its literary scene but Noted, Canberra’s first experimental festival of words, is aiming to change that.

After its inaugural year in 2015, Noted is returning from 16-20 March 2016 with an even bigger line-up of events for adults and kids. According to one of the festival’s co founders, Lucy Nelson, Noted aims to give Canberra’s word-lovers an opportunity to participate in the arts community without needing to travel to writer’s festivals in other states.

“The arts community in Canberra is really accessible and incredibly supportive of its artists,” Lucy says. “It sometimes gets mislabelled as a small arts community but for the population we’re punching above our weight in terms of artistic diversity. And Canberra is full of really informed thinkers and inquiring minds which is a huge boon to any arts project because it means that the audiences that engage with our work are going to provide amazing feedback.”

Noted organiser Lucy Nelson

Noted organiser Lucy Nelson

Noted is an offshoot of the annual You Are Here arts and culture festival and will feature a program of free events around Canberra encompassing a literary bar hop, multi-art collaborations, online interactions, live events and formative workshops.

Another highlight of the festival is the 2016 Independent Publishing Fair made up of writers, readers, self-publishers, illustrators, zinesters, artists, comics-makers and music labels which will be happening on 20 March. The Publishing fair coincides with World Story Telling Day and will centre on the theme of ‘Strong Women’.

“For the first time this year we’re hosting a series of children’s events,” says Lucy. “Most of them are happening during the publishing fair so it’s a nice way for adults and kids to spend the day doing activities like zine workshops or visiting the story corner.”

Noted has developed and expanded this year, with a focus on encouraging diversity in both the contributors and audiences of the festival. As part of this, Noted is partnering with The Stella Prize to host the ACT Secondary Schools Writing Prize for female identifying students. Submissions close Friday 19 February and more details can be found on the here.

“We tried to think big and think outside the square,” says Lucy. “We’re really conscious of reaching out to indigenous writers, writers who identify as having a disability and writers that identify as queer, transgender or intersex. Our applications were amazing. We’re pinching ourselves about some of the artists, we can’t believe the kind of artists we’ve got this year. We’re really excited.”

Details of the full program can be found here.

Image of ‘girl writes in laptop…’ via Shutterstock


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author