That’s not the official branding- the official branding is “NonFictioNow”. See what they did with the ‘N’ there? Tricky.

I’ve just registered for the 2012 NonFictioNow conference, which is coming up on November 21-24. The four-day conference is being hosted at my home away from home, RMIT. The original plan was to coast in on a ‘volunteer’ pass, but I realised that this would reduce the amount of time I could spend David Shields spotting (and leaping-upon), so I decided to register and ATTEND EVERYTHING.

Having just printed the program, I’m already having a small crisis. I’m hoping that a more in-depth program is released that explains beyond the names of the panels and its guests (“Picturing the Essay” versus “Swap Shop: Panel”?).

The main thing I have discovered about my writing self throughout my studies is that I love creative nonfiction, and that it’s what I ultimately want to be writing. The guests at 2012 NonFictioNow include some literary heavy weights such as David Shields (swoooooon), Robin Hemley and Helen Garner, but also some of my favourite locals – David Carlin (who also posted on NFN today on Overland), Francesca Rendle-Short and Jessica Wilkinson among them. Actually, that “favourite locals” list could be way longer, but I won’t bore you, you can look at the program yourself. Other than this, I know next to nothing about how the conference will operate. I attend RMIT and I don’t even know where one of the listed venues is. Will there be a book store involved? Will I end up spending as much as I did at MWF? Will I have an opportunity to blurt my admiration at Robin Hemley or David Shields, like I did at poor old Lee Gutkind?

I did just discover this brilliant collection of audio recordings from 2010, which will give an idea of the kinds of things that might be discussed at this year’s conference.

There’s nothing like a festival to get my creative juices flowing, and they’re a brilliant opportunity for so many things – to find something new to read, to get inspiration toward your own writing, and to meet like-minded writers. I hope I’ll see some of you there to share in the excitement with me. If you can’t find me, I’ll most likely be located hanging off David Shields’ pant-leg as he drags me behind like a small child, from panel to panel.