Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

July 23, 2012

First Night of ‘Frivolities at Five Ways’

Frivolities at Five Ways is a very entertaining way to spend an evening.

These seven short plays are guaranteed to have you laughing at the way the characters see the world.

I went along to the first night of this season of short plays to join Linda Jaivin, Susanne Gervay and Linda’s friends Alexander, Ahmed, Lesley, Mandy, Rosemary and Simon. It was a lively table with wine, cheese and chatter—but all eyes and ears were on the performers as soon as the Frivolities began.

I loved Linda Jaivin’s play Lucky to Have Them, a hilarious monologue set in a Double Bay hairdressing salon, where a woman unloads her neurotic thoughts and trivial troubles onto her long-suffering stylist; but is so involved in her problems that she fails to see he has left the room. Linda tells me it was inspired by an article that she once read about a celebrity hairdresser in Double Bay and the women who went to him. Emma Harris gives a very amusing and expressive performance as a woman of privilege who feels much put-upon by the demands and antics of family and friends.

All of the plays had the audience chuckling.They are all well written with sterling performances from the actors. Another highlight for me was the witty Tumble Tots,  written by Kate Toon, which really hit the mark as a comment on ‘helicopter’ mums who compete to be the most socially aware and environmentally conscious in their neighbourhood. A touch of pathos amid the many laugh-out-loud moments. Nicola Furst and Corinne Marie were superb in performing this very topical play.

Congratulations to the Writers: Linda Jaivin, Kate Toon, Mark Harvey, Pete Malicki, Malcolm Frawley;    Actors: Nicola Furst, Corinne Marie, Grace Rouvray, Emma Harris, Claire Gandy, David Woodland, Steven McGrath; Directors: Malcolm Frawley, Lewis Scamozzi, Ingrid Yin Hu; and to Nicola Furst producer and organiser–and to furst class productions.

Finally, congratulations to Susanne Gervay who won a raffle prize—looking forward to seeing the ‘love those lashes’ fluttering.

The venue is St George Church in Paddington, and it’s showtime every Saturday night from 21 July through 25 August. Bookings at Moshtix.

First Night at Frivolities at Five-Ways.

 Linda’ story ‘Karim’ is published in Alien Shores, tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Published Brass Monkey Books, May 2012.

Her latest book is A Most Immoral Woman 

July 5, 2012

FRIVOLITY at FIVE WAYS!

“Lucky to Have Them”.

Linda Jaivin, best-selling novelist, author of marvellous short stories and playwright, tells me that she has “a tiny little play (a monologue called ‘Lucky to Have Them’ inspired by an article I once read about a celebrity hairdresser in Double Bay and the women who went to him) in a what should be a fun season of short plays:

Frivolity at Five Ways.

The venue is St George Church in Paddington, and it’s showtime every Saturday night from 21 July through 25 August. I’ll be there on the 21st, and would love it if you could join me then, but if you can make it any time during the season, that’d be fantastic.”

Linda has a story ‘Karim’ in Alien Shores, which she read so beautifully at our Sydney launch at The Hughenden.

I’ll be there at Frivolity at Five Ways along with Susanne Gervay and other friends. Hope you can join us.

FRIVOLITY at FIVE WAYS

http://www.moshtix.com.au/event.aspx?id=58248&ref=moshtix&skin=

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.

February 7, 2012

“Alien Shores”, the stories that Geoffrey Rush is calling for.

English: Geoffrey Rush at the 2011 Cannes film...

Image via Wikipedia

Alien Shores – Tales of refugees and asylum seekers from Australia and the Indian subcontinent

edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat.

Geoffrey Rush, in his speech as Australian of the Year 2012, put out a call to the writers of Australia, saying that he wanted to see the “stories of people wanting to come here at great peril to their lives, with such extraordinary bravery”, adding that: “we’re not finding that human scale in the story and I think it’d be good if we did.

Alien Shores is exactly what Geoffrey Rush is calling for. A book ahead of its time, it has stories about refugees and asylum seekers from Linda Jaivin, Arnold Zable, Amitav Ghosh, Sophie Masson, Jamil Ahmad, Ali Alizadeh, Sujata Sankranti, Abdul Karim Hekmat, Anu Kumar, Susanne Gervay, Deepa Agarwal, Michelle Cahill, Tabish Khair, Joginder Paul, Andrew Y M Kwong, Bijoya Sawian, JuliaMackay-Koelen, Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat.

Rosie Scott in her foreword, writes: ‘It is the writer’s act of imagination which is the basis of all good fiction, the kind of fiction that opens new worlds to the reader. The power of literature to move people, allow us to see into one another’s hearts, to foster compassion and understanding and inspire political action works in a way that almost nothing else does. This anthology “Alien Shores” edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat, following on from the success of their first anthology “Fear Factor Terror Incognito” does just that. In this unique collaboration between Indian and Australian writers these stories describe the experiences of refugees in powerful and poignant detail.

Meenakshi Bharat, Rosie Scott and Sharon Rundle

 Co-editor Meenakshi Bharat will be visiting Sydney from New Delhi for the launch of Alien Shores at the Hughenden Hotel in Woollahra on May 20, 2012. Many of our authors also plan to join us for the launch.

Contact: Sharon.P.Rundle@alumni.uts.edu.au for details.

Meenakshi is also speaking at Sydney University ‘Scenes of Reading: Is Australian Literature a World Literature?’ symposium (26th May) and at Wollongong University on 23rd May and the UTS Centre for New Writing.

Alien Shores, Eds. Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle

published Brass Monkey Books (May 2012)

ISBN: 9780980863932.

RRP: $24.95

http://www.penguin.com.au/browse/by-publisher/uqp

Alien Shores will be available from the Penguin Books website and all good book shops, so you can order your copy now or copies can be ordered from United Book Distributors (UBD)

Phone: (03) 9811 2555 Fax: (03) 9811 2403 Email: orders@unitedbookdistributors.com.au

English: Still image from the documentary film...

Image via Wikipedia

  • Map showing origin countries of refugees /asyl...

    Image via Wikipedia

May 24, 2010

Cats, Peking Duck and Sydney Writers


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Cats and Peking Duck

I had a fabulous weekend in Sydney, courtesy of my daughter Erin who took me to dinner and to the musical ‘Cats’ at the Lyric Theatre.

Cats is a slick, fun, energetic performance where Rum Tum Tugger nearly stole the show, though Mestoffelees just managed to eclipse him with his magical illusions and acrobatics. The set, costumes, dancing, singing and acting were all spot-on. There were fun moments when the cats prowled through the stalls and interacted with the audience. A real treat.

We had yummy Peking Duck at the Emperor’s Garden restaurant.


On the topic of delicious meals– food writer, critic and editor Jacqui Fisher’s blog has really fab recipes, the latest from the Congo.

Jacqui is deputy chief subeditor and online editor for the Woolworth’s Australian Good Taste.

It was quite a buzz to open the pages of  Antiques & Art in New South Wales May – September 2010 issue and see the Sydney launch of Fear Factor Terror Incognito

featured in the ‘Out and About’ pages (p7). The write-up includes photos of the excellent launch at the Hughenden Hotel in Woollahra.


Sydney Writers’ Festival

Of course, we went to Pier 4/5 for some of the Sydney Writers’ Festival events.

Intermittent showers didn’t deter the crowds on the pier and most, if not all, sessions were booked out.

I spotted Anita Heiss and Linda Jaivin among other well known authors on the pier; and caught up with good friend Wendy Ashton.

The sun shone for a while and it was a pleasant few hours catching up with people over a cup of coffee. I was keen to hear the Short Story session among others.

Have you been to the SWF, what did you see and hear? What events did you enjoy the most?

If you’ve missed some of the sessions at the festival or weren’t able to get to Sydney,  you can catch up with podcasts of many of the sessions on the link above.

It was a beaut weekend in Sydney and I had the best fun spending time with my daughter.

Erin’s cute long-hair Mexican Chihuahua is entered in a competition-vote for Taco


Roanna on Radio

Roanna Gonsalves has been commissioned to write and present a program about Indian students after ABC Radio National read Roanna’s Curry Muncher story.

Listen to or download the ABC audio version of Doosra: The life and times of an Indian student in Australia and companion piece O Other Where Art Thou .

Roanna (Gonsalves) and Rosie (Scott) at the Launch of Fear Factor Terror Incognito at The Hughenden.

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Listen to a podcast of Valerie Khoo with Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Swan Thieves.



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New Books

Short and Scary

Short and Scary – A whole lot of creepy stories and other chilling stuff. The book suits 11-14 year olds.

Edited by Karen Tayler, published Black Dog Books

All profits are donated to youth mentoring programmes.

Contributors include Jackie Hosking, Shaun Tan, James Roy, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton, James Moloney, Susanne Gervay and many others.

Black Dog Books invited Australia’s best loved authors and illustrators and new authors and illustrators to join together to create an exciting, funny, scary and innovative books of short stories and creative works. Dip in and be scared and delighted.


The Kids and Young Adult Literature Festival

3 July, 9.30 – 5pm

‘Youth Literature Reaching the World’

with keynote speaker Gabrielle Lord. Her huge international best selling 12-book series Conspiracy 365 is taking the ‘fugitive’ style young adult conspiracy into South America, USA, Europe.

The Festival will include:

• Publishers, script film writers, playwrights, major authors and illustrators who will speak about innovative Australian works;

• A pitch-your-work section with opportunities to network with people in the industry;

• Celebrated authors from fantasy writer Kate Forsyth to the ABC TV team of Nadia Wheatley’s My Place;

• Book launches;

• Publishers from the major houses including HarperCollins and Random House, as well as new small publishers.

Bookings are essential. It will be held at the NSW Writers Centre, on the Rozelle grounds of Callan Park.

Email: events@nswwriterscentre.org.au or visit: www.nswwriterscentre.org.au


Some current writing competitions and awards you might like to check out

Expatriate and Work Abroad Writing Contest

The Winner Earns $500 to Share their Living Abroad Experiences.

Visit the website to find out more.


Australia’s Richest Radio Play Writing Competition 2010

Closes: 30 June

The launch of Australia’s Richest Radio Play Writing Competition in Miles, Queensland in September 2009, challenges writers around Australia to write a 30-minute radio play about contemporary issues that effect and impact upon our lives.

Prize money of $6000 will be awarded to the top four scripts.

Winners will be announced in September 2010. Visit the website to find out more.


Solas Awards for Best Travel Writing

Closes 21 September

Travelers’ Tales runs an annual award to honour great travel writing.

Head to http://besttravelwriting.com to learn more about the Solas Awards and the $1000 Grand Prize for ‘Best Travel Story of the Year’.

Awards are offered in many categories, covering the full scope of travel writing, from adventure to funny, spiritual, women’s, food related, memoir, destination, and more. All entries will be considered for Travelers’ Tales books.

Stories submitted after the deadline will be entered in the following year’s contest. So it’s never too late.


Writing Tip

Polish some stories that you’ve been working on or have languishing in the bottom drawer. Join a critique or writing group to help you revise and edit your work. Enter your story, poem or play in a competition or submit to publications. Use the colder months of the year to finish, revise, polish and edit your work. Make sending your work to a competition or publication your goal for this winter.

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