Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

August 22, 2012

Australia India Literatures International Forum September 2012

ALIF Program 2012

Australia-India Literatures International Forum

4th-6th September 2012

State Library of New South Wales

Metcalfe Auditorium.

(entrance via Macquarie Street)

Sydney

© Image shown above Copyright owned by Wikicommons

 

Don’t miss this very special event! This exciting forum will generate lively discussions from passionate speakers. An event of such potential and ambition has not been undertaken in this region before.

The Australia-India Literatures International Forum brings together writers from the

regional literatures of India with indigenous and multicultural writers of Australia.

The Forum will take the form of seven panel sessions and three special

presentations, which are all open to the public to attend.

 

Each panel comprises Australian and Indian delegates, who will make a short presentation each, followed by audience discussion moderated by the Chair.

 

The three special sessions explore the connection of writing

with performance, art and indenture.

Tuesday 4th September

4 pm: Special Presentation:

Dastangoi.

Mahmood Farooqui

The word Dastangoi refers to the art of storytelling; it is a compound of two Persian words Dastan and goi that means to tell a story.

 

Wednesday 5th September

12 noon: Special Presentation:

Travelling languages/evolving cultures across the Pacific Ocean.

Sudesh Mishra and Vijay Mishra

In the late nineteenth-century, Indians were brought to Fiji as indentured labour to work on sugar cane plantations. This

free-flowing conversation explores the subject of indenture/girmitiya and creativity.

4:30 pm: Special Presentation:

Art and the Writer.

Prabodh Parikh:

Rabindranath Tagore’s 2000 paintings

The first non-European Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, was also a self-taught artist who started painting at age 67.

Within 15 years, Tagore had completed over 3000 paintings, which have since become part of India’s national treasure.

Forum Panellists include: Alexis Wright, Sharan Kumar Limbale, Gogu Shyamala, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Inez Baranay, Mamang Dai, Bem le Hunte, C S Lakshmi (Ambai), Subhash Jaireth, Nicholas Jose, Girish Karnad, Malcolm Knox, Suneeta Peres da Costa, Michelle de Kretser, N S Madhavan, Uday Prakash, Manisha Jolie Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, Aashish Kaul, Chris Raja and Kunal Sharma, Kabita Dhara, Ivor Indyk, Mita Kapur, R Sivapriya and Sharon Rundle.

 Panel Chairs: Peter Minter, Christopher Cyrill, Vijay Mishra, Paul Sharrad,  Mita Kapur, Pam Newton, Ivor Indyk, Michael Wilding and R Sivapriya.

 Speakers:  Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Anthony Uhlmann Director Writing & Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney

 

For full program and information on the participating writers,

see our website: http://www.uws.edu.au/india

To purchase tickets to attend any of the Australia-India Literatures

International Forum public events, please go to:

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/events_talks/index.html

or contact the State Library of NSW Bookings line: (02) 9273 1770

or Email: bookings@sl.nsw.gov.au

I look forward to seeing you there,

Sharon

August 14, 2012

UWS Literary Lunch with Kiran Nagarkar

What an absolute delight to meet Kiran Nagarkar at the at UWS Literary Lunch on Tuesday 7th August, organised by Mridula Chakraborty.

Kiran Nagarkar must be one of the most under-rated Indian novelists despite his fine narratives, one of whichCuckold’ won the Sahitya Akademi Award. Kiran thinks deeply about any number of topics. He is a novelist with questions, rather than answers.

His writing is probably not as rewarded as it might be because Kiran is not an author who feels moved to fit the mould expected by many publishers. Another of the challenges that Kiran faces as an author from Mumbai is the current call for Indian authors to write in their local language, such as Marathi rather than in English. “Marathi papers and magazines and critics completely reject me because I switched to English; and in a very offensive kind of way.”

Nevertheless, I’m glad that Kiran writes in English as I admire his novels immensely. His books make the reader think and interact with narrative and author, they also have humour and a sense of the absurd.

My co-editor Meenakshi Bharat and I were fortunate enough to persuade Kiran Nagarkar to let us publish an extract from his novel ‘God’s Little Soldier’ in our collection of stories from Australia and the subcontinent ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito’. The extract, titled ‘In Search of Essar’, revolves around a plot to carry out the fatwah on Rushdie. Unfortunately Zia, the protagonist, though he has unwavering belief in his calling is not so confident in the practical aspects. His frustration and bewilderment at his ineptitude allows for some very comical moments.

Kiran is a marvellous speaker. He was an international guest at this year’s Byron Bay Writers Festival. It was such a pleasure to hear him speak about his narratives, his perspective on the world and India, in particular, and about the ‘god of life’. He held the audience in his hands the whole time.

The relatively small number invited and the setting made this a rather special literary lunch with a chance to chat to Kiran in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Roanna Gonsalves, Devaki Monani, Ivor Indyk, Nicholas Jose,  Aashish Kaul, Shanti Napier, Ian Bedford and Susanne Gervay  were among those at the UWS literary lunch organised by Mridula Chakraborty.

Kiran’s books are difficult to get in Australia but I recommend that you try. His latest book is ‘Extras’ a sequel to ‘Ravan and Eddie’, and is set in Bollywood.

Kiran Nagarkar’s Books: Extras, Ravan and Eddie, Cuckold, God’s Little Soldier.

Story ‘In Search of Essar’ in ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito’ published PanMacmillan Picador India 2009 & Picador Australia 2010.

For interviews with Kiran Nagarkar in print, podcast and video:

 Political intolerance limits authors: Kiran Nagarkar (youtube)

Kiran Nagarkar, best known for his seminal English novel, ‘Ravan and Eddie’, is out with a sequel called ‘The Extras’, once again starring Ravan Pawar and Eddie Coutinho. http://ibnlive.com/livetv

Books and Arts Daily ABC RN Podcast

Conversation with Kiran Nagarkar

Rediff Interview with Kiran Nagarkar

Good Reads Kiran Nagarkar

Many thanks Mridula and UWS for a memorable meeting with Kiran Nagarkar. Thanks also to Devaki Monani for taking the photos (which means she isn’t in the group photo). It was very kind of you, Devaki.

July 10, 2012

Andrew Y M Kwong awarded Litlink Varuna Fellowship 2012

Exciting news from Andrew Kwong.  

He is one of the four recipients of the NSW Litlink  Varuna Fellowships 2012.

Congratulations, Andrew!

I first met Andrew when he enrolled in writing courses I was teaching. He then asked me to become his writing mentor. Andrew has continued to develop his manuscript Snake Business’, the true story of his young life in Mao’s China, into a compelling narrative. One can hardly believe the depths and heights that human beings are capable of reaching, from the most cruel and violent to the most selfless and loving acts imaginable. The determination, effort and time that Andrew has devoted to developing the craft of writing and reaching deep into his memory and emotions is a credit to him. It stems from his firm belief, and the belief of those who have read his manuscript, that his story should be told as widely as possible. It truly beggars belief and yet it is all true.

Andrew has now also secured one of the best literary editors in the business. The Litlink Varuna residency includes accommodation and all meals at Varuna, the Writers’ House in Katoomba, and will allow Andrew the luxury of time to complete his final draft.

It will only be a matter of time before ‘Snake Business’ is published. If there is one book that you should fit onto your must-read list when it’s available, ‘Snake Business’ is that book.

Andrew has also published several short stories while developing the craft of writing.

Fantastic news, Andrew. It has been wonderful to work with you and a genuine thrill to see you take flight on your way to new heights.

January 4, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!

Some friends have had an exciting start to 2012!

Meenakshi, Co-editor of  Alien Shores and Fear Factor Terror Incognito, spotted two young tigers on 23 December during a family holiday at Bandhavgarh in the National Park, Madhya Pradesh, INDIA.

Meenakshi’s photo of one of two young tigers that she spotted.

Alan Scarratt in the UK tells me that his son, Ryan, is in the Norwegian Arctic with Mark Wood who is preparing for his North Pole/South Pole solo attempt and sent a couple of youtube videos. the videos are by Ryan Scarratt and Mark Wood. Mark is the one currently on his way solo to the South and North Poles.

Mark’s company is called “Snowball Expeditions” .  Alan says: “Their website is great and has videos of Ryan playing volleyball with a bunch of kids and their teachers in Tibet. There is also a picture of him walking towards Everest on the homepage. The two of them together with a couple of others periodically guide would-be adventurers to Everest base camp.”

I’ve seen the slide-show on the  Snowball Expeditions home page and the photos are spectacular!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TXYrAFZD_A&feature=email

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoJK1TNFL-w&feature=email

Michelle Cahill has enjoyed a Writers’ Retreat in Scotland as a Hawthornden Castle Fellow.

While our fabulous Ambassador for Australian literature, Anita Heiss celebrated New Year in New York.

I’m enjoying a much quieter time – for a few days at least – but a few exciting events are coming up, including tickets to Love Never Dies at the Sydney Capitol Theatre with my lovely daughter, an Australia Day lunch at Darling Harbour with good friend Susanne Gervay and a visit by my niece from New Zealand. A trip to the Central Coast to catch up with friends and to spend some time by the sea will cap off a great start to the New Year.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and prolific New Year!

Much Peace & Love,

Sharon

November 9, 2011

Manuscript Polishing Kit at the NSW Writers’ Centre

Preparing a manuscript for publication can be daunting but it needn’t be. Gaining some knowledge about what publishers are looking for and how to add that extra edge and polish can make a difference.

A short weekend course at the NSW Writers’ Centre offers an opportunity to review your manuscript in preparation for submitting to publishers.

This course is not for beginners but for those who have already completed several drafts of a manuscript and are seriously ready to critique and edit their work before sending it off to publishers.

Participants should be prepared to give and receive constructive comments and feedback.

Brush up on how to review a work objectively; how to avoid common pitfalls; how to enhance the best features of a fiction narrative; how to edit and polish a work of fiction and how to format and submit a manuscript to publishers.

 

Manuscript Polishing Kit

Fear Factor Terror Incognito

 

Who: Sharon Rundle

 When: Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 November,

10am – 4pm

…….. Where:: NSW Writers’ Centre,

………………………………….Garry Owen House, Callan Park, Balmain Rd, Rozelle.

Enter the former park grounds from the Balmain Road gate opposite Cecily Street and follow the green signs to the NSW Writers’ Centre.

Cost: Full price: $290; Member: $205; Conc Member: $175
Code: 11RUND11
Bookings essential.

Ph: (02) 9555 9757

Fax: (02) 9818 1327

General information: info(a)nswwc.org.au
Course enquiries: workshops(a)nswwc.org.au
Newsbite: newsletter(a)nswwc.org.au

Sharon Rundle co-edited Alien Shores, Indo-Australian Short fiction, (forthcoming) Brass Monkey Books (2012); Fear Factor: Terror Incognito, Indo-Australian short stories, Picador India (2009) Picador Australia (2010); Peacock Memosaic, a new media collection of stories (2010).  She has published and broadcast stories, essays and articles in Australia and internationally including in: Alien Shores: short fiction from Australia and the Indian subcontinent; Encounters: Modern Australian Short Stories and Desert in Bloom – Indian Women’s Fiction in English. She is co-author of Round Table Writing and author of Changes & Chances. She is an academic at the University of Technology Sydney and Chair of the UTS Writers’ Alumni. Awards include the 2010 UTS Alumni Award for Excellence; the UTS SMSA Medallion for academic excellence; and a Commonwealth Short Story prize. roundtablewriting.com

More at http://www.nswwc.org.au/?page_id=3&category=33&product_id=133

If you have got to that stage where you need to take a good objective review of your manuscript, this short course Manuscript Polishing Kit is for you.

July 3, 2011

ChilOut – Children in detention

News from ChilOut is that the government has just announced the release of 62% of the children into community-based detention. The government is to be congratulated on their more humane stance but that still leaves more than 300 children in locked detention. While I am glad to hear that many children are now in community-based detention, the children not yet released are important too.

I truly feel both the government and the opposition have been losing their way completely with all the hysteria about refugees and asylum seekers. Having been overseas recently (Africa, India and Europe) and having family living overseas, I’ve seen how they cope with far greater numbers there, I am so ashamed at the way we treat refugees here. Surely the hysteria here is partly fuelled by the fact that refugees are locked away so people don’t get to see or meet them and so it is so much easier to portray them as some kind of aliens. Good on Dr Michael Dudley, Rosie Scott, Ngareta Rossell, ChilOut and others for putting so much time and effort into doing something against the odds.

If you feel you can support them please check this out

“Here is not for children” Rosie Scott_10x10_010711

Rosie Scott is one of our award winning and treasured Australian authors and gives her own time and money to supporting refugees and trying to raise the level of consciousness and debate through advocacy, direct action and her writing. She is one of the Australian authors who contributed to ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito”, a collection of stories from India and Australia published by Picador Australia and Picador India, which I co-edited with Meenakshi Bharat.

June 7, 2011

Season of Inspiration Online Writing Course

What could be more comfy and fun than staying inside on a cold winter day or night and logging on to a stimulating and interactive writing course?

A nine week fully online course that is not a lonely self-study course but a lively forum for debate and developing your current project or starting a new one.

 The course provides writing tuition, journal prompts, stimulating activities, live chats and regular feedback from tutors and peers. An active busy forum ensures plenty of interaction between our writers. Each writer is given a private space for their writing journal. Writers join us from around the globe.

 When the course is completed, our writers are invited to join the Season of Inspiration alumni, at no further cost, to keep in touch and let us all know their achievements as well as when they need some extra encouragement and support.

Sharon Rundle and Helen Whitehead are pleased to confirm that the next Season of Inspiration Online Writing course will start in June 2011 with our trademark supportive, friendly, online writing community and all-new inspiration!

http://seasonofinspiration.eventbrite.com/

This entirely online writing course, takes up about 4-5 hours per week for 9 weeks.  Join in with our supportive learning community at any time to suit yourself.  Start any time in the week 20-26th June 2011.

Yet again we will be dipping into a variety of sources of inspiration, from nature to music to landscape. From poetry to fantasy to autobiography to food, there’ll be formats, genres and topics to experiment with. We aim to provide inspiration for writing that’ll keep you going for months if not years. We offer support, exercises and creative bolstering. Come whether you’re bursting with ideas to try out or whether you want to rediscover your creativity. Designed so that you can work at your own level (whether you’re starting out as a writer or seeking inspiration for your next publication) with the support and encouragement of a writing community and two tutors. This is the online equivalent of a writers’ workshop, not a lonely self-study course. Students are welcome from anywhere in the world (the course is run in English).

The Peacock Mosaic

Peacock Mosaic

 

 

Once upon a time there was a Season of Inspiration online writing course. Then there was another one, and another, all led by co-tutors Sharon Rundle and Helen Whitehead. Inspired by the excellent quality of writing time after time by the participants in the Season of Inspiration online writing courses, we have put together a collection of pieces written by members from all Season of Inspiration courses. Our writers are a variety of ages, nationalities and occupations, and have lived in many different and inspiring places around the world.

Our theme is Memories from around the world. Many of these pieces are autobiography, some are fictionalised, fiction based on real experience, or poetry.

Please dive in and enjoy the varied writing. There is no cost for this.

http://memosaic.net/

Season of Inspiration Alumni

Sujata Sankranti

We are thrilled to announce that Sujata Sankranti, who joined us for a Season of Inspiration, has just released her novel ‘In the Shadow of Legends’ published by Rupa India.

I had the privilege of reading the manuscript and this novel is a great read. Meenakshi Bharat and I are proud to have first published an extract from ‘In the Shadow of Legends’  titled ‘An Eye for an Eye’  in our Indo-Australian anthology, ‘Fear Factor Terror Incognito.

Sujata’s novel follows her collection of short stories “The Warp and the Weft” (Shristi, India) the title story of which won the overall Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Sujata, Meenakshi and I were recently featured in the ‘Commonwealth Foundation Journal

Andrew Y M Kwong

More exciting news that Andrew has just been notified that his memoir of his childhood during the Cultural Revolution in China “Snake Business” has been short-listed for the Penguin/Varuna Scholarship for 2011!

This is a gripping story of cruelty, violence, famine, survival, love and optimism told from the point of view of a young boy.

Andrew has also published several short stories.

Avril Carruthers

Congratulations to Avril who released her latest book “Freedom From Toxic Relationships published by Allen & Unwin and launched in May.

Avril’s book shows you how to recognise the manipulative or sweetly corrosive partner, the family dynamics that make Christmas and other get-togethers hell, the nightmare boss. And learn what you can do to leave these painful, destructive patterns behind.

Julia McKay Koelen

Has won competitions and has had her poems and stories published with the latest in the Peter Cowan Writers Centre anthology ‘Amulet’.

Read what they have to say about the Season of Inspiration Online Writing course.

May 4, 2011

Southerly India Issue

The long awaited India issue of Southerly is now out!

You may have already heard but in case you haven’t, there is a special India issue of Southerly this month.

 Meenakshi Bharat and I have an essay Tackling the Topic of Terrorism  published in the India issue of Southerly, where we discuss the process of editing and publishing the anthology of stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent, Fear Factor Terror Incognito.

The special India issue features  poetry by Temsula Ao, fiction by Michelle Cahill and Ali Alizadeh reviews books by Barry Scott and Kerry Leves.

It’s an excellent issue and a great read.

Subscription to Southerly

April 17, 2011

New books to put on your reading list

New books:

We’re all set for some great reading  judging by the latest releases by friends and colleagues.  Congratulations to you all and I hope they all prove to be best sellers. Here’s a selection of fiction, non-fiction for adults and a children’s book:


Freedom from Toxic Relationships

Avril Carruthers

Available from May 2nd, 2011 in all good bookshops. Published by Allen & Unwin.

Avril is a Transpersonal psychotherapist  with over twenty years’ experience. She also reviews films. Avril is a regular Season of Inspiration writer and all at SOI send our congratulations to Avril on the publication of her latest book.


Good friend and colleague, Susanne Gervay has a picture book for children to add to her extensive list of books and stories, including her story ‘Days of Thailand’ in Fear Factor Terror Incognito.

Ships in the Field

by Susanne Gervay and illustrated by Anna Pignataro

In a unique collaboration, award-winning author Susanne Gervay and award-winning illustrator Anna Pignataro have created a moving and significant picture book, Ships in the Field. It crosses boundaries in a universal recognition that children are part of the journey of war, migration, loss and healing. Through warmth, humour, pathos and story within story, it breaks the silence engaging children, families and community. Susanne’s parents were post war Hungarian refugees who migrated to Australia. Anna’s parents were post war Italian refugees who migrated to Australia. They are a part of the many immigrant and refugee stories that make up Australia.

www.fordstreetpublishing.com

ISBN: 978-1-876462-87-1

Publication date: October 2011

Price: AUD$26.95

Age guide: 7+


Nichola Garvey, UTS Alumna and current editor of UTS “Writers Connect”, has just released her biography of Alan Tripp.

Beating the Odds, Nichola Garvey

 

Beating the Odds: Alan Tripp’s rise from illegal SP bookmaker to gambling kingpin

by Nichola Garvey

Alan Tripp, a man some call a genius and others call a criminal, became the world’s most successful private bookmaker. He was Australia’s most convicted SP bookmaker and was the prime target of gaming and vice squads around the country in the 1980s. Yet he would eventually sell his businesses for hundreds of millions of dollars. This is his story.

Starting-price bookies, although illegal, were long a feature of Australian life, giving punters the opportunity to have a bet away from the track. But with the rise of the TAB, police were ordered to stamp out all other off-course bookmaking in order to protect the state governments’ monopoly.

 Alan Tripp, the biggest SP bookie in Australia, was their number-one target. His punting clientele ranged from the high society of Sydney to the underbelly of Melbourne, and included Prime Minister Bob Hawke, media baron Kerry Packer, gangsters Lewis Moran and Alphonse Gangitano, and underworld figure Mick Gatto — as well as many leading trainers and jockeys of the day. Tripp’s life quickly became a rollercoaster of high-stakes gambling, with the dual threats of bankruptcy and prison never far behind.

 In a fearless and thrilling narrative, Nichola Garvey recounts the drama and intrigue of the life of Alan Tripp, the billion-dollar bookie who beat the odds.

www.harpercollins.com.au

ISBN: 9780732290979

Publication date: March 2011

RRP: AUD$35


Forthcoming:

In the Shadow of Legends

My dear friend and colleague in Delhi, India, Sujata Sankranti is about to release her latest book ‘In the Shadow of Legends’, published by Rupa, Delhi, India.

Sujata has joined us in a previous Season of Inspiration forum too. She is the author of “The Warp and the Weft”, Shristi, India. Sujata was overall winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 1998. Her story ‘An Eye for an Eye’ appeared in Fear Factor Terror Incognito, Pan Macmillan Picador India and Picador Australia.

November 10, 2010

World Matters – Writers Disturbing the Peace at Eltham

 

What a stimulating and thought-provoking weekend it was. The speakers were articulate and passionate about their books, poetry and music. Topics covered Indigenous books and writing, the climate and environment, refugees and asylum seekers, the effects of terrorism; and some of the best poetry I’ve heard in a long time from the Adelaide Friendly Street Poets and others including Yahia al-Samawy.

The lovely Montsalvat is created in the ‘arts and crafts’ style and is a visual delight. Meenakshi, co-editor of Fear Factor Terror Incognito (Picador India & Australia 2010) was offered a Montsalvat Residency during her visit here.

The hall where World Matters was held was large with good acoustics but still had a cosy atmosphere. Despite the lashing rain, there was an excellent roll-up for the sessions. The unceasing rain also meant an indoor rather than outdoor barbecue lunch but spirits remained high.

Meera Govil, owner of Eltham Bookshop, held the whole event together, including organising speakers, sessions, refreshments and books. Morag Fraser, who flew in from the U.S. for World Matters, was a sterling MC for the two days of World Matters.

Some of the most poignant stories came from Ros Moriarty and John Bradley; and the courageous women of East Timor whose stories are chilling but infinitely inspiring. The book of their stories, Step by Step is available now and recommended reading. The East Timorese Women exhibited their exquisitely woven sarongs, wall hangings, scarves, bookmarks and other examples of their craft at Montsalvat. The fine thread is coloured using natural dyes in the traditional way. They had an example to show how they create the warp and the weft to make their gorgeous garments.

Devika Brendon, Susanne Gervay, Meenakhi Bharat formed a panel to speak about Fear Factor Terror Incognito, which I chaired. Each of the authors read from and discussed their stories which was followed by questions from the audience.

 Photo by Yahia al-Samawy, whose poetry was a highlight of World Matters.

As well as listening to the speakers being interviewed and the panel discussions, we met so many fascinating people. The people of Eltham extended such a warm welcome to us all. Meenakshi and I were taken through the Yarra Glen by Jan Aitken, it was great to see the Yarra valley but we were stunned by the extent of the damage from the bushfires last summer. The trees and plants in the national park are valiantly trying to recover but it looks as if it will be a long time before that happens, some may never recover. So it was heartening to see the creeks flowing after all the rain and Jan was suprised by the rise in the level of water in the local reservoir. Susanne Gervay made a trip out to Marysville to take books for the children.

If you missed Eltham’s World Matters this time around be sure to plan for it and book in for 2011.

Fear Factor in Westerly Volume 55

Fear Factor Terror Incognito (published Picador India and Australia 2010) features in an essay on Australian literature by Elizabeth Webby, published in Westerly, Volume 55 (the first of issue of Westerly 2010) which is out and available now from Gleebooks and other good book shops.

Congratulations and Commiserations

Congratulations to Hazel Edwards who is nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2011 for children’s and youth literature.

Commiserations and Get well Wishes to Jeremy Fisher–who missed Eltham World Matters–hope your foot is improving, Jeremy.

 

 

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