Amy Doak, centre, with councillors and other contributors to the book.

The start of the Bendigo Writers Festival was celebrated by the launch of an anthology of short stories  written by central Victorian writers.

The anthology, which features the work of 11 local  writers, was presented to Mayor Margaret O’Rourke, councillors and festival organisers to mark the start of the festival week.

Titled Goldfields: A collection of treasures, the anthology is the brainchild of Amy Doak, Bendigo Magazine creator, who also publishes Little One magazine and a series of books. The criteria was that the stories have some sort of reference to the goldfields and works by authors such as Sally Abbott, Carmel Bird and John Charalambous, have been published.

Manager of Capital Venues and Events David Lloyd said the Goldfields book celebrated a wealth of home grown talent in the region.

“Amy’s curiosity, her passion for writing, her profound interest in places and people, is inspiring,” he said.

“She is building from the ground up in central Victoria a unique writing and publishing culture that is celebrated in this new collection.”

Contributors to the book will read excerpts from their stories at Bendigo’s Best Bits to be held at the Bendigo Bowls Club.

It will be hosted by Em Burgess-Gilchrist from 9.30pm to 10.30pm on Saturday, August 10 and is a free event.