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Ubud Writer's Festival prepares

media release

With just over six months to go, the 2010 Festival is starting to taking shape.
Ubud Writer's Festival prepares
MEDIA RELEASE COURTESY OF: UBUD WRITER'S FESTIVAL With just over six months to go, the 2010 Festival is starting to taking shape. In the meantime, Bali is gearing up for Hari Raya Nyepi, Balinese New Year, a day of silence when the island shuts down. No planes, no cars, no electricity, no kidding! You are not permitted to leave your family compound or hotel for twenty-four hours. So what do you do on a day of rest? You read of course. And with our festival library bursting at the seams with piles of books sent from our 2010 authors, it will, no doubt, be a busy day. Many surprises are planned this year with yet another line up of established and emerging writers from all corners of the globe. The festival will delve deeply into our theme, Bhinneka Tungal Ika: Harmony in Diversity, which is a quotation from an Old Javanese poem, Sutasoma, that was written to promote tolerance between Hindus and Buddhists in Indonesia and eventually became the founding principle of Indonesia focusing on the essential unity of the people, despite ethnic, regional, social or religious differences. Once again, we plan to hold an exciting program at Borobudur, Central Java, that will include a guided tour of the ancient Buddhist monument and early morning meditation, with some wonderful Indonesian meals thrown in, as you can imagine! So watch this space for more details of what is guaranteed to be another magical festival! Saturday 27 February was a special day for Festival staff. Not only was it Hari Saraswati, the day in the Balinese Hindu calendar dedicated to the goddess of knowledge music and the arts, but it was also the day we moved into our new office – a very auspicious day for a writers festival to move! The new office is fabulous, but still a bit of a work in progress. We are now housed in the Left Bank building – 3 floors of office space, library, performance space, and the beginnings we hope of a new centre for writing and writers in Bali. It hasn’t been inhabited for a number of years, so staff have been busy painting, fixing, cleaning and trying to source what we need on a shoestring budget. While we miss the Indus view, we are very excited to have a new home! Amid the hectic schedule of sampling the local culinary heritage - the spicy Nasi Padang and the heavenly Sate Padang - the UWRF team had managed to pay a visit to influential poet Iyut Fitra at his majestic Rumah Gadang traditional house in Payakumbuh, a four-hour drive from Padang. There we found two banners of UWRF hung on the wall of a room in his house, a testament to Iyut’s continuing support to the Festival. Do you have a project that you think would fit the 2010 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival? The Festival is currently accepting submissions from individuals or groups who like to be involved in this year’s event. In 2009, the Festival program included performances, playreadings, music, dance, visual art exhibitions along with our literary and spoken word events. If you have a project, please contact Sarah Tooth, or for the Indonesian program Kadek Purnami The Festival has had an extremely positive start to the year, with support from both ongoing and new sponsors. Without them, there would be no Festival, and we are deeply grateful for their support. We thank those sponsors who have already committed their support for this year: · HiVOS will once again be funding our Indonesian program · Planet Wheeler have come onboard as a new Silver Sponsor with a 3 year cash commitment · water & stone will provide design, online and social marketing services to the Festival · Ford Motor Indonesia donated a Ford Everest to the Festival · Malaysian Airlines have agreed to sponsor a number of airfares for international writers, and will assist in developing travel packages for our audience. The Festival is now finalising sponsorship with our amazing local hotel sponsors, to be announced in the next newsletter. If you would like to support the 2010 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival please contact: Roberto Aria Putra Indonesian Emerging Writers’ Program The Indonesian Emerging Writers’ Program has had a record number of submissions – 105 were received, almost three times higher than the 2009’s submissions--making the curators’ job a difficult but extremely rewarding one. This increase in submissions has much to do with the rapidly increasing profile of the Festival throughout Indonesia, with over 15 events held outside of Bali, all across the archipelago. Kadek Purnami and Wayan Juniartha, who run the program, have achieved amazing results, and 2010 will see the Festival building on this success. Anthology Book Launch The Festival’s 2009 annual anthology “Suka-Duka”, a bilingual collection of writings by 20 Indonesian writers, was introduced to young writers and students in Padang, West Sumatra, in mid-February. Poetry readings, a theatrical performance and lively discussion presenting Doni Eros, lecturer at the Andalas University, and Mulyadi Esem, a researcher with the local Language Council, warmed the event co-organised by the UWRF and the local literary community. Book Donation The Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati, the not-for-profit foundation that runs the Festival, would like to thank Penguin Australia and Random House Australia for their generous donation of children's books. These will be used for Yayasan literacy-building projects in Ubud, inluding a playgroup and year-round workshop program. If you are interested in finding out more about the Yayasan and its projects, or in assisting us, please contact Kadek Purnami Become a Private Donor This year the Festival is offering a number of Private Donor opportunities, with a range of benefits, including Festival tickets, invitations to exclusive events, VIP seating at selected special events, and acknowledgement in Festival promotions. our Private Donor scheme is a way to support the vision and mission of the Festival, and to contribute to its work of encouraging ongoing cross-cultural dialogue and exchange. Connect with us Yes that’s right, our new website is launched! Stay tuned over the next few months for regular updates and information about the program. You can now also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

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Source: media release submitted to Arts Hub