Interview with Logan Griffiths, Festival Manager for the Australian Short Story Festival
Logan Griffiths is a professional writer with a background in communications, broadcasting and publishing. At the Centre she is responsible for story-collecting, program management and communications. She is the Festival Manager for the Australian Short Story Festival in 2018.
Can you tell us a bit about the festival?
This year, the Australian Short Story Festival will feature a plethora of amazingly talented local and interstate artists, writers, poets, activists and storytellers. David Malouf, Roanna Gonsalves, Laura Elvery, Jennifer Down, Maria Takolander, Amanda Curtin, Michael Abercromby, Holden Sheppard, Rafeif Ismail, Yondee Shane Hansen, Elizabeth Tan, and Hossein Bouazar are just a few names from the huge line-up. The Festival includes workshops, panels, live performances and music. You can view the program from our website and secure your tickets from Oztix.
What makes this festival unique?
The Australian Short Story Festival is the only Australia-wide festival celebrating short stories in written and oral form. The Festival is also unique in the sense that it travels around to different parts of Australia. Last year’s Festival was in Adelaide, and this year we’re back in Perth. Where will it be next year? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate the short form of storytelling?
My experience working at the Centre for Stories has taught me that stories in the shorter form are sometimes the most important. Although a person’s personal story may not have a global impact or ignite a big movement, these stories stick with the listeners and tend to allow them to better understand their own world—which is invaluable. I think short stories and stories told in the shorter form therefore work in a similar way.
We know you’re not meant to have favourites, but if you had to choose one event that you’re most excited for, what would it be?
This is such a hard question! There are so many events I am excited to attend. One that jumps straight to mind is Why do you write? featuring Emily Paull, Hannah van Didden, Brooke Dunnell and Amy Lin. I really admire all of these writers, who are all local talents, and I’m really intrigued to know the inner workings of their mind. I’ve read a number of stories by these writers and so it would be great to get a bit of a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective.
Another that I’m really excited about is Are you sitting comfortably? at Alex Hotel. This event features three seasoned storytellers from the Centre for Stories and musician/actor, Greg McNeill. Each storyteller has an incredibly unique story that—although aren’t directly related—share the common thread of human experience and adversity. The stories are thoughtful and poignant and mixed with a ballad or two, I imagine it will be something quite special.
Okay, we’re making you choose a favourite again- what’s your favourite short story and why?
Julie Koh has a short story collection called Portable Curiosities that I picked up at the inaugural Australian Short Story Festival in 2016. There’s a story in there called ‘The Fantastic Breasts’, which is, quite frankly, fantastic. As a feminist and a woman, I found myself laughing out loud one minute and then angrily seething in the next. It’s uncanny how accurate such an absurd tale can be.