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Inaugural Australian Fairy Tale Conference


I am sitting in my office (nice and warm) trying to remember where I am up to in my thesis. Winter is such a nice time to be in a study! I'm sure if I sit here long enough it will all become clear! The truth is I am up to 'painful' editing and critiquing.
It was a delight to escape from the joys of persuasive writing about rules and laws to the enchantment of fairy tales. Refining my presentation of Olga's work in a monologue that touches on her life and her contribution to Australian children's literature was an opportunity to present to a different audience, one that could be labelled 'my community' and work with professional storyteller Teena. Teena told for the first time the story of the 'Fire Elves' and though we had emailed and talked on the phone we didn't rehearse together.  When I met Teena for the first time two hours before our presentation I instinctively knew she would be fantastic. Teena drew us into the story softly then with a vengeance the wicked, wicked fire elves leapt from the pages of Ernst's story bent on doing mischief. I could see the cleverness of Ernst's writing as Teena finally quenched them without mercy with the splat of a rain drop. It was a powerful telling.
The most useful aspect of the Conference was the conversations in the breaks. While the food was plentiful and the range of chocolate biscuit choices encouraged lingering, the opportunity for 'brain food' and challenging conversations was fabulous.  I have focussed on  the manner in which Ernst adapted the fairy tale genre to the Australian landscape  so that meeting T.D Luong, who wrote a dark, satiric comedic short story, Refugee Wolf based on the 'Three Little Pigs' offered me another perspective on how fairy tale tellers adapt fairy tales to their own purposes. Refugee Wolf tackles the serious issue of refugees seeking entry into Australia. It is now available on eBook. 

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