Is there something Louise Adler can’t do? She has been an editor for ages, host, magazine editor and worked with government agencies. She was even artistic editor of Age. Now she’s adding another feather to her cap by being named the next director of the Writers ‘Festival that she first attended as a schoolgirl in 1972, Adelaide Writers’ Week.
But she believes it is not such a departure.
âIt’s new and also the same because it’s really about matching writers, ideas and readers. And this is the edition. It’s about saying what’s new, what’s interesting, what’s important and who the audience is for it, and creating an audience or bringing it to an audience. It’s the continuation of my life in the book industry. â
Adler will take the reins early next year – “my Rolodex online is open” – and begin programming for the 2023 edition of Australia’s oldest writers’ festival. But that means the end of his career as a commercial editor.
“I will leave Hachette,” said the general editor of the multinational. âI think it’s not possible. It’s conflict – or confluence as someone put it. I don’t think I should keep posting. I had a great time and learned a lot at Hachette. For all publishers, these two years have been difficult.
However, she will continue to lead the publication of the In the national interest series of essays for Monash University Press. She is a full professor of a vice-chancellor at Monash.
During the various deadlocks over the past 18 months, Adler says, readers have returned “with vengeance” to fiction. âPeople really wanted stories and I think it’s so interesting. In the post-COVID world, when the world opens up, when I get the chance to schedule for 2023, I think it’s a return to the stories, âshe said. While some festivals lean towards non-fiction, “people don’t feel that ideas are just non-fiction, you find them everywhere.”
“After containment, after the pandemic, after this fortress Australia, hermit kingdom, the idea of ââbringing the private pleasure of reading into the public sphere of the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden in Adelaide and this feeling of a community of readers, it’s a huge privilege for me to be a contributor to this.
She wants her festival to continue the traditional and outward-looking focus of Writers’ Week as well as her engagement with local Adelaide writers and Australian writers nationwide. âI would like my festival to be a festival of literary greats, the next generation and rustic perennials. I really want people to have the pleasure of discovering new voices.