Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

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.

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

 

 

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