As part of the You Are Here Festival, among o-so-many other things, Scissors Paper Pen will be facilitating a panel discussion entitled We’re All In It Together (In The Same Plague Pit). We hope to see and hear some of you there! Beforehand, here’s how the program describes it:

Profound work or a splash of words in a journal — Canberra is arguably a small pool when it comes to its artists. Does that oblige writers, musicians, painters and dancers to come together to create artistic strength and community, or are we better off believing it’s every artist for themselves, and the rest comes down to tidy PR and a keen audience? Is there a better, wiser, or other, option?

And here are our panelists:

TARA CARTLAND – Overland Short Story Prizewinner, Canberra ex-pat and freelance writer.

SHANE BREYNARD – Director of Canberra Museum and Gallery.

ANDREW CROOME – author of ‘Midnight Empire’ and The Australian/Vogel Award-winning ‘Document Z’.

RYAN LINDSAY – writer of comics and writer about comics, all sorts of stuff from essays about Daredevil, to a My Little Pony Stories one-shot.


We also hope to have a soundcast of the discussion post-event. For now, here’ a few Q’s Duncan Felton threw at two of those who are with us in the Plague Pit, and their illuminating A’s.

Ryan Lindsay


Not Ryan Lindsay (or is it?!), no, it’s the cover of Fatherhood, which he helped to create

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a 30-year-old Australian teacher with a wife and two kids. I spend my spare time writing. I write comics, about comics, prose, and a few other things. I’ve been lucky enough, and happy enough, to find moderate success in all of these areas. I can’t imagine ever not writing.

What do you feel are the best and worst things about being part of the Canberra arts community?

The best part is the face to face support. That’s something you really need from time to time. The worst part…um, I can’t actually pin point anything, to be honest. Maybe the fact that if you upset someone they are going to be around a lot because Canberra is a very small town in many ways.

Any thoughts about the You Are Here Festival in general? Are you keen for any other events in particular?

Oh, man, screening the audio commentary from Conan the Barbarian is just about the greatest idea ever. I’m also a fan of poker and pancakes and so putting them together is a genius play. Sadly, a one-month-old daughter will probably keep me out of play from most of these things.

Andrew Croome

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a writer who, even though I was born in Canberra, really only moved here two years ago. I’m the author of the novels Document Z, which is about the Petrov affair, and Midnight Empire, a literary thriller which examines the world of unmanned aerial drones. I keep a website at andrewcroome.com.
What do you feel are the best and worst things about being part of the Canberra arts community?
The Canberra arts community has been hugely welcoming – it’s full of generous and hard-working people. Perhaps it’s the relatively ‘small’ nature of the scene (it’s really not small at all), but the people in the community here are almost always keen to connect and engage. It creates a good vibe. I can’t think of a ‘worst’ thing. Maybe that it’s a step more difficult to forge connections with the literary worlds in Melbourne and Sydney.
Any thoughts about the You Are Here Festival in general? Are you keen for any other events in particular?
Only that the number and variety of events is superb. As someone interested in Canberra and place, I’ll be checking out ‘Eulogy for a City’ (http://youareherecanberra.com.au/events/fletcher-jones/eulogy-for-a-city/) with Fred Smith, Chrissie Shaw, Nigel Featherstone, Julia Johnson & Somaya Langley. The Canberra Roast (http://youareherecanberra.com.au/events/debate/canberra-roast/) also sounds fun.
— SPP out!

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