I am very honoured to be asked to be the patron of the Kernewek Lowender (Cornish Festival) writing activities for children. It has made me think more about patrons and the arts and writing. Max Fatchen is a wealth of knowledge and although he says he's in the 'naughty nineties' his humour, wit and intelligence are undimmed. He has kindly honoured the writing competition for various age groups at the Kernewek Lowender with his name and considering how much he loves words, I thought I'd say a few about them as well.
I believe words and stories are so important for exploring your imagination. In this way you can change your own thinking, your life, and make a difference in the world around you. Learn to use words well, as Max would say. It's no different from learning to play footy or the drums – you need to practice to get good at it. Another way to get good at writing is to read. Read as much as you can: it will always make you a better writer. Here's a tip when you are writing a story: read it aloud. You'll soon see which parts sound better and which parts you need to change.
I'm looking forward to presenting the children's awards at the Max Fatchen Writers Competition on Thursday 12 May in Wallaroo. Janeen Brian will be speaking as will Posie Graeme-Evans, also Andrew Male (ABC radio and friend of Max Fatchen) will MC the evening.
And why are the awards called the Max Fatchen awards and why am I patron of the children's activities? It might have something to do with Max and I being Cornish descendants. Max's book The Spirit Wind shines with the Cornish love of the sea. I have written books with Cornish themes as well : The Keeper and Sailmaker set by the sea on the Yorke Peninsula; Wolfchild set in
Years ago patrons supported, protected, or were champions of someone like an artist or musician, or of a cause or an institution. Often they were sponsors or benefactors. In one way my husband is a patron of the arts for he feeds me when my royalty cheques are low. I am happy to be a patron too; maybe I won't feed the young writers in the Max Fatchen awards but I will try to participate, attend, and be supportive in any way I can.