Jess Tait is a committed volunteer for the Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) and founder of Volunteers of MWF. She shares what she loves about the festival and why you should volunteer next year.
Each year more than 200 volunteers offer their services to the Melbourne Writers Festival in order to be a part of this annual celebration of language. Whether selling tickets, ushering festival patrons or answering questions, we each have our own unique story as to why we give up our time to be here.
As a student of writing, I have volunteered for the past three years and each festival kick-starts my inspiration and broadens my knowledge. As a mum of a ten-year-old boy, volunteering also allows me to escape for a while and re-enter the adult world.
This year, I started Volunteers of MWF: a blog that shares the stories of volunteers. The shared experience is what motivates me most at the festival, and it was that feeling of community and generosity of spirit that led me to create the blog.
Chat with any of the folk in yellow t-shirts and you too will find a variety of reasons why volunteers are here. Some come to network with like-minded souls, possess an abiding love of books, or just want to learn more about the writer’s process.
If you’re keen on culture or love to learn, if you’re a people watcher or stuck for ideas on a story, I encourage you to volunteer for Melbourne Writers Festival next year.
Melbourne Writers Festival runs until 31 August.