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Clunes book fair

Clunes Book Fair: Reflections on Literary Delight


The sun was shining, the scent of freshly printed pages lingered in the air, and the quaint streets of Clunes, Victoria, buzzed with electric energy that could only mean one thing – it was Clunes Book Fair Day! Authors and book enthusiasts alike descended upon this charming town to celebrate literature in all its forms.

Among the attendees was Robert Barclay, a distinguished author under the Shawline Publishing banner. As he navigated through the bustling crowds and colourful stalls adorned with books of every genre, he immersed himself in an atmosphere that seemed to breathe life into the essence of storytelling.

Melva Ouliaris

One of the highlights of Barclay’s day was the opportunity to connect with fellow authors from Shawline Publishing. In an industry often characterised by solitary pursuits, the chance to share experiences, insights, and camaraderie with peers was a refreshing and invigorating experience. 

Among those he had the pleasure of meeting was Melva Ouliars, whose Instagram handle, @melva_author, is a testament to her passion for storytelling. Ouliars is the author of “Hart Restoring The Cinnebar,” a captivating tale that has captured readers’ hearts far and wide.

As Barclay and Ouliars exchanged anecdotes about their respective journeys as writers, they discovered a shared appreciation for the power of words to transport readers to far-off lands, evoke emotions, and spark conversations that transcend the boundaries of time and space. In an era dominated by digital distractions, their encounter served as a reminder of the enduring magic of literature to forge genuine connections among kindred spirits.

Beyond the serendipitous encounters with fellow authors, the Clunes Book Fair offered attendees of all ages a kaleidoscope of literary delights. From captivating author readings that transported listeners to distant worlds to thought-provoking panel discussions exploring the intricacies of storytelling, there was something to ignite the imagination of every book lover who wandered the festival grounds. Workshops provided aspiring writers with invaluable insights and practical advice, while live entertainment added a vibrant atmosphere, with bands serenading visitors as they perused the stalls and exhibits.

A huge thank you is owed to the multitude of individuals and groups who contributed to the success of the 2024 Booktown Festival. Authors whose words breathe life into the pages of our favourite stories, artists who adorn book covers with mesmerising illustrations and bands whose music provides the soundtrack to our literary journey – each played a vital role in creating an unforgettable experience for attendees. The dedication of booksellers, food vendors, Clunes residents, local traders, and community groups, and the tireless efforts of staff and volunteers ensured that the festival ran smoothly, leaving visitors with cherished memories and a renewed appreciation for the written word.

In closing, it’s essential to acknowledge the festival’s deep respect for the Dja Dja Wurrung People, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the event occurred. By paying homage to their Elders—both past and present—the organisers demonstrated a commitment to reconciliation and an understanding that Indigenous sovereignty has never been ceded. This acknowledgement serves as a poignant reminder of the festival’s rich cultural heritage and the importance of honouring and preserving Indigenous wisdom and traditions.

You can learn more about Robert Barclay’s Award Winning Butterfly Dynasty Series here.