Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

October 6, 2013

A COUNTRY TOO FAR – SPECIAL FUNDRAISER PANEL EVENT

Following in the footsteps of ‘Alien Shores‘ comes another anthology on the theme of the dispossessed and asylum seekers.

There are two  Sydney events celebrating  the publication of A Country Too Far one the launch/event at Gleebooks on the 5th November and the other Unsafe Haven is the award winning work of Abdul Karim, ex-refugee, writer and social worker.

A COUNTRY TOO FAR – SPECIAL FUNDRAISER PANEL EVENT

 A Country Too Far cover

Panel: Rosie Scott, Gail Jones and Debra Adelaide, chaired by Tom Keneally

One of the central moral issues of our time is the question of asylum seekers, arguably the most controversial subject in Australia today.

In this landmark anthology, twenty-seven of Australia’s finest writers have focused their intelligence and creativity on the theme of the dispossessed, bringing a whole new perspective of depth and truthfulness to what has become a fraught, distorted war of words. This anthology confirms that the experience of seeking asylum – the journeys of escape from death, starvation, poverty or terror to an imagined paradise – is part of the Australian mindset and deeply embedded in our culture and personal histories.

A Country Too Far is a tour de force of stunning fiction, memoir, poetry and essays. Edited by award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Thomas Keneally, and featuring contributors including Anna Funder, Christos Tsiolkas, Elliot Perlman, Gail Jones, Raimond Gaita, Les Murray, Rodney Hall and Geraldine Brooks, this rich anthology is by turns thoughtful, fierce, evocative, lyrical and moving, and always extraordinarily powerful.

A Country Too Far makes an indispensable contribution to the national debate.

Please join the editors and contributors to celebrate the publication of this timely and important new anthology.

When: Tuesday November 5, 6 for 6:30pm

Venue: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

Cost: $10 full price/$7 concession/free gleeclub

Bookings essential: phone (02) 9660 2333 or online

This is a fundraising event – all profits from book sales on the night will go to the Bridge for Asylum Seekers Foundation.

Fairfield City Museum & Gallery invites you

Unsafe Haven

On Thursday 31st October at 6pm

Unsafe Haven is the award winning work of Abdul Karim, ex-refugee, writer and social worker.

To be launched by Phil Glendenning, President of the Refugee Council of Australia and Director of the Edmund Rice Centre

The new publication, A Country Too Far, an anthology of works by Australia’s finest writers about refugees and asylum seekers, edited by Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally AO will also be launched in conjunction with the exhibition by writer  Gail Jones, Professor at UWS.

RSVP essential T: 9609 3993  by October  28th

Exhibition dates: 19 October – 7 December 2013

Fairfield City Museum & Gallery Open: Tues – Sat 10am – 4pm

FREE ADMISSION

Cnr. The Horsley Dr & Oxford St, Smithfield NSW 2164

www.livingmuseum.com.au Phone: 02 9609 3993 | Fax: 02 9757 4357 | Email: museumgall

August 17, 2012

Indian Australian Friendship Fair 2012 & Special Indian Herald Issue

Indian Australian Friendship Fair 2012

Fun for all the family. Dance, Music, Masti – Food Stalls, Kid’s Rides, Camel Rides and many more activities.

Come along and join the Indian community for a family fun day.

United Indian Association Inc (UIA) presents

the biggest Indian Fair in Sydney

on Sunday August 19, 2012

at Sydney Olympic Park

Edwin Flack Ave, Homebush, NSW, 2140, Australia

Cost: $7 entry

 

Phone: 0411 259 978 0469 325 981

Organizer: United Indian Association Inc

Phone: President Amarinder Bajwa 0421 998 458

http://www.indiandownunder.com.au/event/uia-presents-the-biggest-indian-fair-in-sydney/

Special Big Issue of the Indian Herald will be published on August 18 and distributed at the Indian Australian Friendship Fair 2012 on August 19.

Alien Shores tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers is featured in a two-page spread. Thanks, Rohit Revo (Editor) it’s much appreciated.

Alien Shores
Eds. Sharon Rundle & Meenakshi Bharat
published Brass Monkey Books 2012

June 16, 2012

‘Alien Shores’ launched

Huge thanks to all who participated in our successful launch of Alien Shores.

We managed not one but four launches for Alien Shores: Tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle this volume features stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent by Linda Jaivin, Arnold Zable, Amitav Ghosh, Susanne Gervay, Jamil Ahmad, Sophie Masson, Deepa Agarwal, Michelle Cahill, Joginder Paul, Ali Alizadeh, Tabish Khair, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Anu Kumar, Andrew Y M Kwong, Bijoya Sawian, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Sujata Sankranti, Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat; with a foreword by Rosie Scott.

The collection of stories is a transnational publication to bring stories from India to Australia and from Australia to India. In our brief to the authors, Meenakshi and I asked that the stories be fictional, original and not play the blame game; but reveal the deeper complexities of the lives of refugees and asylum seekers from many different perspectives. The authors responded to our brief by imaginatively showing the effect on people in their daily lives. These diverse, creative and imaginative stories cover some surprising territory. Each story is different and unique. This means that we have included stories that portray refugees in a less kindly light, stories with no happy endings, stories that are deeply moving and stories that inspire with their courage and hope, warmth and humour.

In Sydney, Alien Shores was launched on May 20 by Mr Amit Dasgupta, Consul-General of India, Sydney, at a stellar event sponsored by the Hughenden Hotel. Finding a person to launch a book is never a problem. The real achievement lies in having someone who has not only read the book but one who brings a unique understanding to it.

In releasing Alien Shores, the Consul-General of India, Sydney, Mr Amit Dasgupta addressed the audience in a way that showed compassion and understanding. He acknowledged the gravity of a world with a moving mosaic of refugees. He spoke of the need for us to show humanity and of how easily any one of us could be thrust into similar situations.  The Consul-General spoke with warmth, generosity and humour.

Photo of the Consul-General of India taken by Raihana Hekmat

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Roanna Gonsalves, our MC, made sure that the launch was beautifully paced. Editors Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle spoke about discovering the theme and collaborating to bring these stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent together in a transnational collection. Linda Jaivin, Andrew Y M Kwong, Abdul Hekmat, Michelle Cahill, Susanne Gervay and Rosie Scott, who have given such support for Alien Shores, came along and read from their stories; and afterwards happily signed books at our tea party. Authors in the audience included David Malouf, Devika Brendon, Patti Miller, Libby Sommer, Mabel Lee, Jacquie Everitt, as well as film and theatre producers Ana Tiwari, Neel Banerjee and Devaki Monani from SBS Hindi Radio.

 Readings Bookstore hosted the launch of Alien Shores in Melbourne on May 21.

Julian Burnside QC gave a moving and eloquent speech to launch ‘Alien Shores’. Arnold Zable read briefly from his story in ‘The Dust of Life’, followed by author and poet Ali Alizadeh who spoke about the unique perspective of his story before treating the audience to a short reading from ‘The Ogre’.  Sharon and Meenakshi revealed more about publishing the collection of stories. Publisher Kabita Dhara, spoke about Brass Monkey Books and Alien Shores. Authors Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Paul Collins, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner joined us to celebrate the release of Alien shores.

After toasting Alien Shores with a glass of bubbly, Meenakshi and I moved on to Lygon Street to a birthday dinner for Paul Collins with Susanne Gervay, Jen McVeity, Hazel Edwards, Meredith Costain, Rose Inserra, illustrator Marjory Gardner and Edwin Wandha where we consumed some delish pasta and a few more bubbles.

Gosford Library Services held a Preview Launch on May 18 at their Erina Library on the NSW Central Coast.

        

Guest of Honour, Deb O’Neill, Federal MP, gave an impassioned speech about the theme of the book. Her deep understanding and recognition of the purpose of the book and the individual stories within, as she launched the volume had the audience spellbound. Andrew Y M Kwong, Michelle Cahill, Julia Mackay-Koelen attended the launch. Editors Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat talked about the value of reading the stories by authors from India and Australia in Alien Shores. John Caska, acted as MC to introduce the guest speakers.

 Gloucester Writers’ Festival launched Alien Shores during their warm and friendly lunch time event.

The festival featured writers Michael Wilding, Lisa Heidke, Lisa Walker and Susanne Gervay who was keynote speaker. Andrew Y M Kwong and Sharon Rundle read from their stories. Sharon spoke about the genesis of the book and Susanne gripped the audience with her story of her refugee background.

 

 Alien Shorespresents nineteen remarkable stories from acclaimed writers based in Australia and the Indian Subcontinent, which ruminate on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers all over the world. Powerful, poignant and sometimes funny, they tell the tales of brave people who, at great peril to their own safety, seek out a new life in a new land.

Alien Shores is available in all good book stores, including the Coop Bookshop, Berkelouw Paddington, Abbeys, Dymocks, Gleebooks, QBD.

 Alien Shores is published by Brass Monkey Books an imprint of Hunter Publishers.

 brassmonkey@hunterpublishers.com.au

 for any enquiries

 

ALIEN SHORES IS AVAILABLE FROM MAY 2012 FROM UNITED BOOK DISTRIBUTORS

 

 Brass Monkey Books Australia

Editors: Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle (Eds)

Publish Date: May 2012

ISBN-13:9780980863932

ISBN-10:0980863937

Origin:Australia

Imprint:Hunter Publishers

Publisher:U.Q.P.

September 16, 2011

Commonwealth Short Story Prize-winning Stories announced.

Overall Winner and Regional Winner, Canada and Europe is

Philip Nash from the United Kingdom for his story Rejoinder

Read the winning story by Philip Nash,

the Regional winners,

Highly Commended and Special Prize stories

on the Commonwealth Foundation website.

And remember to write a story to enter next year!

New writer triumphs in Commonwealth Short Story Competition

Philip Nash wins 2011 Prize

Press release

In 2012 the competition will be re-launched as the Commonwealth Short Story Prize under the new banner Commonwealth Writers – a world of new fiction. Find out more at www.commonwealthwriters.org

August 12, 2011

Violin Lessons – Arnold Zable

Violin Lessons by Arnold Zable

Arnold Zable has released his latest book Violin Lessons published by Text.  Zable is the narrator of stories of the lives of displaced people, survivors and their families, like Amal Basri rescued from the SIEV X after almost twenty-four hours in the ocean, whose moving story is told in ‘The Ancient Mariner’.   Another story, ‘The Dust of Life’ follows the lives of children orphaned by the war in Vietnam: Bui doi, the boys were called, ‘the dust of life’, but in this moment of blessed sleep they were a brotherhood united by common circumstance, living a semblance of family life in a transient haven in a warring city where the bonds of civility had been strained beyond the limits.

As the title of this poignant yet gripping collection of stories suggests, music is present in each story. In ‘The Ancient Mariner’, Amal sings; in ‘The Dust of Life’, the music flows from a bamboo flute. ‘In time, the distinction between flute and water, bamboo and breeze vanished, and all that remained was the flow of the notes—a melody that belonged to streams and rivers, outside and beyond history, beyond the scourge of contending armies, beyond the stench of camps and shantytowns housing the displaced and exiled. Beyond the madness.

You can read a review of Violin Lessons published in the Canberra Times. Arnold tells me that: ‘one thing I would add to that quote from the Canberra Times article is that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary for the story teller is often dependent on the intensity of our listening. Seemingly ordinary people often possess that extra in simple but profound ways.‘

Zable book review in the Canberra Times

Violin Lessons is hitting the bookshops now, so watch out for it or order your copy from Text Publishers.

Arnold is an award winning writer, storyteller, educator, and human rights advocate and a wonderful speaker. I met him at Eltham “World Matters” where he spoke eloquently and passionately about refugees and people who are seeking asylum during his discussion with Susan Metcalfe about her book The Pacific Solution

Arnold Zable’s many books include:

 Jewels and Ashes, (Scribe, 1991) which won five Australian literary awards

Cafe Scheherazade, (Text, 2001)

The Fig Tree, (Text, 2002)

Scraps of Heaven, (Text, 2004)

Sea of Many Returns, (Text, 2008)

Special Event for Members of the NSW Writers’ Centre

Arnold Zable will join NSW Writers’ Centre members for an in conversation event, where he will talk about his life and his work. Arnold comes to the Writers’ Centre via the Writing Australia 2011 touring program and will be in conversation with Rebecca Giggs.

The event is part of the NSW Writers’ Centre Free Member Events.

Arnold Zable and Rebecca Giggs in Conversation at the NSW Writers’ Centre Members Only night on Monday 26 September, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.

An event not to be missed.

RSVP to events@nswwc.org.au with your name and member number to attend.

June 17, 2011

UTS 25th Anthology and Queen’s Birthday Honours awards

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) 25th Anthology Celebration.

Angelo Loukakis and John Dale

The Chancellery was full of warmth from the large crowd attending the celebration of 25 years of anthologies of stories by UTS writers.

Such luminaries as Rachel Ward, Beth Yahp, Susanne Gervay, Angelo Loukakis mingled with other well known, established and emerging writers, as well as academics and alumni staff.

We learnt the history of the UTS writing courses and anthologies which have showcased the early work of writers including Mireille Juchau, Bernard Cohen, David Astle and Mark Dapin

We were treated to a lively performance of  “Mollycoddled” by Georgie Symons, one of the pieces included in the anthology, which added to the buzz in the room.

John Dale introduced Nichola Garvey and me to the writers in the room, so that those who hadn’t already found us could talk to us about joining the UTS Alumni Writers’ Network and Facebook page. Nichola and I are delighted at the response with a huge rise in membership.

I caught up with Ross Milbourne, Vice-Chancellor, and Angel Lin took this photo of us with Susanne Gervay.

UTS Vice Chanceller, Ross Milbourne, Susanne Gervay and Sharon Rundle

Well done to the organisers, Jane Miller, Liz Wood, Angel Lin and all at the Alumni office.

The life you chose and that chose you the 25th UTS anthology of stories can be purchased at all good bookstores, including Gleebooks and the UTS Co-op Bookshop, for $26.99.

More at http://newsroom.uts.edu.au/news/2011/05/influential-anthology-marks-its-25th-edition

Queen’s Birthday Honours 2011

Also celebrating are Susanne Gervay and Peter FitzSimons who were honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2011.

Susanne  received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia. Susanne Gervay was appointed an OAM for service to children’s literature, and to professional organisations.   More on Susanne’s Blog

Peter FitzSimons has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia  ”for service to literature as a biographer, sports journalist and commentator, and to the community through contributions to conservation, disability care, social welfare and sporting organisations”.

Read more

I was a friend of Peter’s mother, Helen, who was herself an OAM and I’m positive she would have been very proud of him. I wish she could be here to see him with his AM.

Congratulations, well done and well deserved to two of the most generous and hard working authors I know.

(photos at UTS supplied by Susanne Gervay)

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.

June 3, 2011

Authoring the Author at the NSW Writers Centre

More about the publication process.

A brand new professional development course is running at the NSW Writers Centre,

which may be of interest either to you  or perhaps to people in your network emerging into the role of author.

Authoring the Author is run by William Kostakis (YA author and professional blogger) with a tonne of guest speakers including Zoe Walton (Random House) and Benython Oldfield (Zeitgeist media). This is a selective course and participants will need to submit a one page statement of what they would like from the course before being offered a place. 

Over six sessions William will examine the industry from all angles, navigating the challenges and identifying the opportunities presented to modern authors.

We are trying to spread the word about this opportunity for emerging writers as far and wide as possible, so do please pass it on.

Jacqui Dent

Program Officer

NSW Writers’ Centre

PO Box 1056

Rozelle NSW 2039

T  02 9555 9757

F  02 9818 1327

E  jdent@nswwc.org.au 

W www.nswwc.org.au

December 19, 2010

Wanted: Your views on E-Books – Campaign to save the Dorothea Mackellar Award – and ‘A Bunch of Hazelnuts’.

 

Are you a publisher, editor, author?

If so, the government is interested in hearing your views on E-Books, according to Barry Jones in his article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

For more about how you can have your thoughts and opinion heard  and for the full article — go to the Sydney Morning Herald, The future of books is a real page-turner by Barry Jones, December 13, 2010 

Barry Jones is the chairman of the Book Industry Strategy Group. Ideas can be submitted to www.innovation.gov.au/bisg until January 31.

An example of a New E-Book reader

Take a look at some of the new E-Book covers available now.


 

Hot on the heels of the campaign to save our School Magazine, we now hear news of another campaign to save the Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards.

'My Country' by Dorothea Mackellar

A recent report found that: A new international study shows Australian students compare well to those overseas, but the nation is slipping when it comes to literacy. But despite scoring well in literacy, Australia has still slipped in the ratings. “Australia is one of only five OECD countries in which reading literacy levels have declined,” said Geoff Masters, chief executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research, which conducted the national part of the study. “So we have fewer 15-year-olds now performing at high levels in reading than we did in the year 2000.

You can read the  full ABC article: Australian students’ literacy levels declining by Timothy McDonald.

 

  If this is the case, then why are Australian Federal and State governments reducing funding and support for these Australian literary icons? Surely, they have proved their worth by their longevity and popularity?

 If you’re interesting in lending your support for the Dorothea Mackellar Awards to continue, please read the article From the NSW Association for Gifted & Talented Children website http://nswagtc.org.au/mynswagtc/news/1204-dorotheas-demise.html

    

Dorothea Mackellar

HELP SAVE THE DOROTHEA MACKELLAR AWARDS

 WHAT YOU CAN DO –

Send your objections to Graham.Nuttall@aph.gov.au  and/or Tony.Windsor@aph.gov.au Tell these people how important poetry is in Australia and to Australian children. At a time when literacy is supposed to be a priority, it seems absurd that this funding would have been cut. 

 


 

Multi-award winning author, Hazel Edwards shares a story of tutoring an adult writing class and the resulting Bunch of Hazelnuts:

Hazel Edwards: A Tutor’s Perspective

A Bunch of Hazelnuts

 All adult writing classes are different. Chances are you’ll have experts from varied fields, and that’s the delight. We all learn together. Classmates include engineers, rap musicians, truckies, hairdressers, potters, gardeners, singers, psychologists, nannies, herbalists, actors, speech pathologists, teachers, parents, chemists, check-out chicks and roosters, interpreters, illustrators, and I’ve even had an ex-spy in an earlier class. Many speak and write multiple languages.

It just so happens that my skills are in crafting ideas in accessible English and anecdultery (structuring mini stories with humour). Age, shape, gender or culture doesn’t matter, except in the first five minutes in the opening class, and in providing perspectives and facts from which to write.

My adult students are aware of my deficiencies in admin, formatting and filling in rolls. But I hope they gain a realistic insight into the workstyle of a professional creator.

Most people who enrol for a year-long writing project course, have a subject about which they are passionate. Their content matters. They have ‘real’ experience of value to others in our society. They just need help writing it. Often ‘tragic’ historical material needs to be crafted so the writer can make sense of a past, but the reader is not overwhelmed and rejects the story.  Common strands are those who wish to write aspects of their family history for grandkids or to make sense of their migrant parents’ earlier struggles. Others want to write How to books in their specialties, such as health, cooking or racing. Some plan autobiographies but often settle on ‘memoirs’ focussing on important stages.

Writing is more than therapy. An amateur writes for the love of writing and for themselves as the only reader (or maybe their Mum). A professional invests time to craft those ideas and experiences in a format more people will read, so it’s effective use of time, both ways.

As a self-employed author, I encourage habits which will enable creators to work regularly and to a high standard, but also to get recognition for their efforts. We ‘celebrate’ acceptance, publication or awards, with champagne, or even an ‘imaginary’ toast. Networking is encouraged, beyond the class, so that those with a significant story to tell about extra-ordinary ‘so called ordinary’ people, can do so.

 Why do I teach in a TAFE as a sessional lecturer? I was asked to ‘fill in’ by author Garry Disher, about 20 years ago. I enjoy seeing the ‘light bulb’ moment when an adult student understands I am a mentor, partly because I didn’t have a writing mentor when I needed one as a beginning author. I consider that I am ‘giving back’ in practical ways from the viewpoint of a practitioner, not an academic dealing only in theory.

I’m also an authorpreneur, aware of the need for an artist to learn media skills and to initiate paid work. TAFE courses offer ‘a second chance’ to those who wish to learn new skills when they are ready to do so, at any age. When an adult student ‘gets it together’ in a well-crafted piece, this gives me pleasure.

Taking a weekly class, forces me to analyse techniques, and keep up with topical examples. We swap recommended books. A writing tutor’s role is to offer technical suggestions, and set up a workshopping environment in which people’s stories can be crafted for a wider audience. The rest of the class create the public opinion responses (which may differ) enabling ‘testing’ of those ideas.

Commercial publication is not the only aim, but on average 3-4 books are published by major publishers within a couple of years of those students completing their year-long course. Others find their aims change. Completing the writing of a book length project is a creative achievement, inspiring the confidence to tackle other goals.

Many ex-students retain contact, because friendships have been formed from the depth of ideas explored, or from new socialising via galleries, book launches and festival attendance. Lives have been deepened because others’ motivations are better understood.

 A ‘freelance’ used to be a medieval mercenary with a lance for hire. A freelance writer can be many things. An ex-student, now a published author and exhibited artist, told me that a ‘filbert’ is a cultured hazel nut, and maybe that could be my pseudonym. A freelance filbert? A bunch of filberts doesn’t have the same ambiguity of title, but … Titles are vital. I am proud that my students have called this a Hazelnuts Collection, or even colloquially the ‘Hazelnits’. Playing with words works.

Hazel Edwards (c) 2010

http://www.hazeledwards.com/

Of Hazel Edwards’ 200 published books for adults and children, the best known is There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake, soon to be a film with Pocket Bonfire Productions. In 2010 she wrote the novel f2m:the boy within, on transitioning gender, with Ryan Kennedy who is the first ftm.( female to male) co-author of YA fiction on this subject internationally. On the Australian Society of Authors committee of management, Hazel holds the Education portfolio. She’s been nominated for the international 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and is a recipient of the peer awarded ASA Medal in 2009. She’s also proud of her ‘espionage network of ex-students’ using their writing skills in diverse occupations.

Thanks, Hazel, for your inspiring story – I’m sure a Hazelnuts Collection is a great read.

   

  

Happy writing, until next time,

Sharon

 

 

October 20, 2010

World Matters ~ Writers Disturbing the Peace

 

Diamond Valley Oxfam, Montsalvat and ELTHAMbookshop

With Nillumbik Shire Council

Present The 6th Annual 

World Matters 2010 Writers – Disturbing the Peace

Dates: October 27 & 30-31

Venue: Montsalvat, Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham 

An International and Regional Programme featuring: Fear Factor Terror Incognito Indo-Australian Authors’ Anthology Panel, chaired by Sharon Rundle, with excerpts of short stories from a unique Indo–Australian collaboration, edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat, which includes David Malouf, Salman Rushdie, Kiran NagarkarTabish Khair, Neelum Saran Gour,  Janhavi Acharekar, Temsula AoThomas Keneally Andrew Y M Kwong, Rosie Scott,   Meera KantSujata Sankranti, Guy Scotton, Jaspreet Singh, Denise Leith, Gulzar, and Yasmine Gooneratne.

 Readings will be followed by an in-depth discussion, by authors Susanne Gervay, Devika Brendon, Jeremy Fisher and Meenakshi Bharat from Delhi of the issues raised. Book signings will follow the panel discussion and questions.

We invite you to join us.

Susanne Gervay says: please say hello to Sharon, Meenakshi and me at the Festival

Fear Factor Terror Incognito ~ Stories from India and Australia
 

 Also on the Programme: Titi Amaral and Jude Conway’s audio visual narrative of East Timor Women’s brave stories of resistance and survival from the anthology Step by Step, this is Supported by East Timor Women Australia and an Exhibition and sales of East Timor textiles in the Resident Artist’s Gallery; and Ouyang Yu, The English Class, Roger Averill, Keeping Faith, Jane Carswell Under the Huang Jia Tree: Two Journeys in China through story and memoir, transit lounge us across cultures of China, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

There is so much more to World Matters 2010 Writers – Disturbing the Peace, for bookings and the full exciting programme at magical Montsalvat

 Books and CDs will be available for sale and signing. A 10% discount for purchase of 5 books or more. Reading the books beforehand will ensure a lively and informed discussion during Q and A.

 Prepaid bookings for World Matters are essential at

ELTHAMbookshop@bigpond.com

970 Main Road, Eltham

Phone +61 3 9439 8700

 October 27

Here on Earth: A Sustainable Future with Tim Flannery $10.00

 October 30 – 31

Festival Pass: $45.00 ( Does not include Tim Flannery event) Early Bird Bookings: $35.00 (bookings by October 20th)

Students: $25.00 Each session: $7.00 (unless otherwise stated)

 October 31

6.30pm – 7.30pm Duende Concert with Joe Chindamo: $15.00

 The Meeting Pool at Montsalvat offers the World Matters audience a very special menu to sustain you through the two days.

Bookings for breakfast, lunch and dinner must be made with Andrew Proctor by October 27th at 9431 2681

catering@montsalvat.com.au.

Join us for an exciting and stimulating weekend of literary brilliance! 

Book now  for the World Matters Festival, details on the websites and programme.

Please pass the word wherever you can, here are some additional websites:

Montsalvat: a Weekend of Literary Brilliance

the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership

World Matters ~ Writers Disturbing the Peace Full Programme (pdf)

ABC The Big Diary

 

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