Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

September 17, 2015

Writers in the Park, Centennial Park, Sydney. Sunday 27th September 10 am

Great new event for book lovers! Kids and adults alike are welcome to the inaugural and free

Writers in the Park logo

 Writers in the Park

at The Residences Centennial Park

on Sunday 27th September, 2015. 10 am start.

Free entry to the Writers in the Park events

Hosted by The Hughenden​ Boutique Hotel and The Residences Centennial Park

A chance to hear and meet authors and illustrators in one of the most scenic spots in Sydney

Fabulous food, fantastic books and great coffee on sale will make the day perfect, check out the links.

Full day program each for adults and for children with authors, illustrators, cartoonists, journalists, publishers, bookseller and books.

Centennial Parklands

Here’s the Program

& The Writers and Illustrators

including Jessica Rowe, Joanne McCarthy, Annabel Morely, Sunil Badami, Libby Hathorn, P M Newton, Deborah Abela, Anne Schofield, Bem Le Hunte, Lisa Heidke, Hazel Edwards, Susanne Gervay,  Susanna Freymark, Graham Rundle, Michael Parker, Philip Wilcox, Joanne Fedler,  Pamela Cook, Helen O’Dare, Robyn Arrowsmith, Maria Katsonis, Shelley Kenisberg, Reverend Gilmore, Rick Raftos, Shona Martyn and  Jane Curry.

Eastside Radio 89.7FM is setting up live podcast. See also: http://eastsidefm.org/writers-in-the-park-festival/

#‎SimonMarnie‬ from 702 ABC Sydney is interviewing Sunil Badami on Sunday morning on ABC702 radio.- listen in.

Susan Wyndam’s column in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald

Writers in the Park poster

Centennial Parklands – Writers in the Park

Writers in the Park website

Writers in the Park Facebook Page

#‎writepark‬

If you’re travelling to Sydney, why not stay at the Hughenden Hotel, 14 Queen Street Woollahra.

The Hughenden melds heritage with modern conveniences to meet individual needs. From cosy rooms to the Manor Suite, family apartments to pet-friendly rooms – with complimentary breakfast, complimentary wi-fi, guest lounge, dining, concierge services and function rooms.
Located at the crossroads of historic Woollahra and Paddington, and surrounded by designer fashion boutiques, restaurants, cafes, The Hughenden is opposite Centennial Parklands and in close proximity to the SCG, Allianz Stadium, the Entertainment Quarter, with easy access to the city and Bondi Beach.
Or if you’re really feeling like a treat have a look at the Residences Centennial Park.

The Residences Centennial Parkland

The Hughenden on Facebook

The Residences Centennial Park on Facebook

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August 2, 2014

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us, Rupa Publications India Edition

Rupa – The House of Best sellers in India

releases

Only Connect: short fiction about Technology and Us

Congratulations to all of our authors!

 Cover courtesy Rupa
Cover design and photography by Pallavi Agarwala

 

ONLY CONNECT!: SHORT FICTION ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND US

FROM THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT AND AUSTRALIA

 

by Editors: Meenakshi Bharat & Sharon Rundle

SHARON and Meenakshi in Khazuraho 4(2)

Endorsement on back cover by Tabish Khair.

“We live in a world where battles are fought in cyberspace, relationships are forged through voice-over-IP, and declarations of love are made through speedy text messages. Pertinently then, the stories in Only Connect weigh the deep impact of technology on our lives, relationships, and the ways in which we perceive each other and ourselves.

While Meenakshi Bharat’s ‘B Wid U Soon’ shows how, despite the distance between them, technology helps a couple share the birth of their baby, Janhavi Acharekar’s ‘Sneha, 25’ highlights the hoax of digital ties as a young girl is conned by a cyber-lover. The sinister face of technology is alarmingly demonstrated by Malik Sajad’s graphic tale, ‘Facebooked’, Chandani Lokugé’s ‘Trial by Media’, and Kiran Nagarkar’s ‘The Race for Arms’. Technology changes the language we speak, as dramatized in Neelum Saran Gour’s ‘A Software Sonata’. It colours our perception of lived experience, as shown by Sharon Rundle in ‘Fugue for Guinea Pigs’. And, in fact, technology even irrevocably changes the way we connect with art as Yasmine Gooneratne describes in ‘Barry Meets His Muse’. 

A collection of twenty riveting stories, Only Connect traces this brave new world we have come to inherit.”

Janhavi Acharekar, Manisha Jolie Amin, Sunil Badami, Meenakshi Bharat, Devika Brendon, Susanne Gervay, Roanna Gonsalves, Yasmine Gooneratne, Anita Heiss, Bem Le Hunte, Anu Kumar, Chandani Lokugé, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Sophie Masson, Kiran Nagarkar, Felicity Pulman, Sharon Rundle, Malik Sajad, Sujata Sankranti, Neelum Saran Gourr, Annie Zaidi

Meenakshi Bharat, University of Delhi, is a writer, translator, reviewer and critic. Some of her published books are: The Ultimate Colony: The Child in Postcolonial Fiction; Rushdie the Novelist; and two volumes of Indo-Australian short fiction entitled Fear Factor: Terror Incognito and Alien Shores: Tales of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Sharon Rundle is Chair of the University of Technology Sydney Writers’ Alumni; has served on the Board of Directors of the NSW Writers’ Centre; and is a founding member of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators. She coedited Alien Shores and Fear Factor.

http://www.rupapublications.co.in/books/only-connect-short-fiction-about-technology-and-us-indian-subcontinent-and-australia

“Only Connect!” Reviews in:

My City Book Reviews, New Delhi, Saturday Nov 1, 2014

OnlyConnectReviewHT

Indian Link

Sydney Morning Herald

Journal of Postcolonial Writing

UTS Newsroom review of Only Connect,

Sunday Guardian Indian Edition

Telegraph India

Two Circles

Between The Lines Book Review

A mention of “Only Connect!” in The Hindu 

and Business Standard

Sydney Launch of “Only Connect!” was covered by Paul McKenzie at the Indian Telegraph, May 2014, Page 36.

Australian edition of Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us  (April, 2014) by Brass Monkey Books

AuthorsOnlyConnectlaunch_thumb.jpg

 Our previous anthologies are: Alien Shores

Alien Shores launch with slide show.

and Fear Factor Terror Incognito

http://roundtablewriting.com/FFREVIEWS.htm

More at Roundtablewriting.com

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April 22, 2014

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us

Only Connect: Short fiction about Technology and Us from Australia and the Indian Subcontinent

has just been released and is in book shops now!

oc full cover final2

Thank you to all our authors from Australia and the Indian subcontinent who have contributed to this exciting volume of stories that include crime, mystery, murder, deceit, missed connections, relationships, romance and humour. Truly a wide range of responses to our theme of ‘technology and us’.

 

Published by Brass Monkey Books and available from book shops including Dymocks Melbourne, Readings, Dymocks Erina Fair Central Coast, UTS Co op Bookshop and  Lesley McKay Woollahra (who provided books for the launch), among others.

 Kerry Goldsworthy reviews Only Connect in the Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum Books, In Short Fiction page.

Salma Shah reviews Only Connect in Indian Link, June 2014.

The launch held at The Hughenden Boutique Hotel in Woollahra on March 31

It was lovely to see so many of our authors at the launch. Thanks to Felicity Pulman, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Bem Le Hunte, Manisha Jolie Amin, Devika Brendon, Susanne Gervay, Roanna Gonsalves and our publisher Kabita Dhara at Brass Monkey Books for joining us in celebrating the release of our book of stories. Many thanks to our authors from the Subcontinent who sent best wishes and promises to be at the launch in spirit if not in body.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to Co-Editor, Meenakshi Bharat, who is the better half of our editing partnership and who longed to be with us in person but this time it was not to be. Meenakshi now has all the photos and a sound recording from the launch.

 

Authors Only Connect launch

Sunil Badami, author and ABC radio presenter, bon vivant, raconteur, flaneur, did us the great honour of launching the book with a rousing and humorous speech that had us all spellbound. Sunil generously read from the stories of our contributing authors as he spoke about the significance of Only Connect. Sunil’s story ‘Leftovers’ is one of the highlights of the volume. While it may be unusual for one of the contributing authors to launch the book, we really could think of no-one better than Sunil.

 

Sharon Sunil Kabita

Sharon with Sunil Badami and Kabita Dhara

After enjoying Sunil’s speech and toasting to the success of Only Connect: short fiction about Technology and Us, we continued to party and celebrate its release. I know I had a marvellous time chatting to the authors, publisher and guests.

View Launch of Only Connect Short fiction about Technology and Us at the Hughenden Hotel
View Full Album

My heartfelt thanks to all at the Hughenden Hotel for sponsoring the launch and thanks especially to Jamie and to Ryan Power who gave so generously of their time to set it all up; and to Deidre Stein who designed the poster, invitations and champagne vouchers for our launch. All the Hughenden staff went out of their way to take care of guests who attended the launch and those who stayed at the hotel for the weekend. We all noticed and appreciated it. And last but not least thanks to Vincent’s Bar and Restaurant for providing the champagne and for welcoming our guests who booked for lunch.

 

SBS Hindi Kumud Merani interviews Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle about Only Connect: Short Fiction about Technology and Us.

For more information, please see the Brass Monkey Books Press Release:

Only Connect Press_Release with booksellers

December 22, 2013

Compliments of the Season

Wishing everyone a Merry Yuletide and a safe and happy holiday.

20131216_224204

It’s been a busy year with several highlights, including but not limited to:

  • Graham’s book in production for release in 2014;

  • Only Connect: tales of Technology and Us from Australia and the Indian subcontinent’ ,  which I co-edited with Meenakshi Bharat, due for release in 2014 – it has intrigue, suspense, romance and humour – stories from some of the best emerging and established authors on both continents;

  • Gondwanalandings at the Victorian State Library;

  • The UTS Postgraduate Conference; mindfulness-research-program-2013

  • Book launches and events – fabulous books were launched this year, some have appeared on this blog – including: Dancing to the Flute (Manisha Jolie Amin), After Love (Subhash Jaireth), Poetic Connections: Australia and India (ed Tamaso Lonsdale),  Letter to George Clooney (Debra Adelaide), A Country Too Far (Ed. Rosie Scott & Tom Keneally) and Susanne Gervay’s Gracie and Josh and  ‘I Am Jack’ translations; Meenakshi Bharat A House for Mr Biswas: Critical Perspectives;

  • Theatre events, including opening nights at ‘Rapture Blister Burn’ at The Ensemble and ‘The First Garden: Olive Pink’ at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens; ‘Short & Sweet’ at Newtown and Nautanki Theatre.

  • The UTS Writers’ Alumni continuing to expand and our fabulous team at Writers Connect;

  • Interviewing authors, publishers and reviewers for my research. Many thanks to all who participated and contributed their views and valuable insights;

  • Catching up with friends when in Sydney—including Susanne Gervay, Wendy Ashton, Libby Sommer, Devaki Monani, Devika Brendon, Sunil Badami, Louise Porebski, Shashi Sharma, Manisha Amin, Roanna Gonsalves, (when she is in Sydney), Chris and Natasha Raja, Ali Atkinson-Philips (when they are in Sydney) and all at the South Asian-Australian Writers’ Network (SAAWN).

I’m now eagerly anticipating a Merry Yuletide with my family who I don’t see nearly often enough. After that I’m looking forward to the New Year with more book releases; conferences, cultural programmes and keynote series  (including Kerala & Delhi); and continuing my research at UTS.

Watch this blog for the call out for stories for the fourth Indo-Australian anthology sometime in 2014.

Cheers,

Sharon

September 12, 2013

The Sydney Story Factory Volunteers Wanted!

The Sydney Story Factory

is looking for

volunteer tutors to help kids write the most exciting stories of their lives!

At its home in Redfern, volunteer tutors
work with students one-on-one or in small groups to write stories of all kinds, which it
publishes in as many ways as possible

Please download the

Volunteer call out Flyer

 You can volunteer as much or as little as you like

– an hour a month, or two hours a week –

and training is provided

.

All classes are led by our
Storyteller-in-Chief, who designs the curriculum and supports you as you work with a
child. You’ll never be left alone to work these things out.

Take a look at some of the photos and videos

If you’re interested go to www.sydneystoryfactory.org.au and click “get involved.”

Volunteers from Indigenous or non-English speaking backgrounds are particularly welcome.

176 Redfern Street, Redfern NSW 2016. Just look for the Martian Embassy.
Tel: 9699 6970 or email info@sydneystoryfactory.org.au

 

So, all my author and teacher friends and colleagues, parents and grandparents, aunties and uncles, please do think about volunteering at the Sydney Story Factory.

I know that some of you already are, including Susanne Gervay who is running a workshop later this month.

So what’s it like to volunteer at the Sydney Story Factory?

Click on this link to find out…

and meet the Volunteer of the Month!

March 2, 2013

Gracie and Josh Launch

Down came the rain but it didn’t wash out the launch of Gracie and Josh, a new picture book written by Susanne Gervay and illustrated by Serena Geddes. Despite the deluge, readers, authors, poets, playwrights, editors, parents and children, representatives from the children’s charity Variety came from as far afield as Wollongong, The Central Coast and the Hunter to help launch this very special storybook, including Beverly George, Jodie Wells Slowgrove, Vicki Stanton, Sarah Davis and Nikau, Sue Murray, Rachel Greenwood, Libby Gleeson, Wendy Blaxland, Moya Simons, Meredith Costain, Kristie Lamb and Nina; and many many more.

The unseasonably cold weather and rain was forgotten as the heart-warming storybook of Gracie and Josh was launched amid singing, laughter and storytelling.

Paul McDonald, who hosted the launch at The Children’s Bookshop at Beecroft, introduced Susanne Gervay and Serena Geddes, while Meredith Costain from Ford Street Publishing spoke about the importance of Gracie and Josh.

Susanne, as always, was an absolute delight holding adults and children alike in the palm of her hand. Serena could have popped out of a Disney movie herself, with her natural grace and warmth. Serena spoke of her own experience of having a sibling with a serious illness and how the story had brought back vivid memories and emotions.

Wendy Blaxland led the children and adults in a fine rendition of Incy Wincy Spider, which had everybody laughing, as the rain came down outside. Though the sun didn’t come out to dry up all the rain, the sunny disposition of Susanne and Serena kept their young audience entranced and engaged as Susanne read the story and Serena held up her delightful and imaginative illustrations. Children and adults alike queued to have their books signed by Susanne and Serena. Everyone was delighted to be given the sweetest little ‘Gracie’ in full spider costume, to take home with their book.

Gracie and Josh show how children can use their imaginations and dreams to deal with the effects of a life-threatening illness of a child in the family. In between trying to deal with an illness that they don’t fully understand, Gracie and Josh collaborate to create their own stories. The wit and spontaneity keep the story from becoming too heavy and yet the seriousness of the illness is never diminished. It is a testament to the skill and light hand that Susanne’s writing brings to this story that this combination can be so successfully achieved.

Susanne says: ‘Deeply personal, Gracie and Josh is our public testament to the resilience and courage and love of children’.

I highly recommend Gracie and Josh to all young readers as well as to school and public librarians.

Gracie and Josh is endorsed by Variety, the children’s charity.

Gracie and Josh is Published by Ford Street Publishing and is out in bookshops from today.

For more, please see Susanne Gervay’s Blog

October 29, 2012

Week-end Book Review: Ships in the Field by Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro

Ships in the Field

Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro launch “Ships in the Field”.

A sensitive and intelligent review of Susanne Gervay’s picture book ‘Ships in the Field‘. It will make an excellent Christmas present for children.

Week-end Book Review by Marjorie Coughlan: Ships in the Field by Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro.

Alien Shores

Alien Shores, Brass Monkey Books. Short stories.

 

is going to reprint. Congratulations to all involved. Please pass the word to your book clubs, Good Reads, blogsnetworks, newsrooms, FaceBook and on your websites.

Alien Shores would also make a welcome Diwali, Christmas or end-0f-year present. Order ‘Ships in the Field’ and ‘Alien Shores’ from your  book shop or online.

Coop Bookshop Blog review of Alien Shores by Manisha Amin

September 25, 2012

Alien Shores & AILIF Podcasts and Reports

Two Radio Podcasts from SBS Radio this week and a podcast from ABC Radio National.

Two are interviews about Alien Shores, tales of refugees and asylum seekers – stories from Australia and the Indian subcontinent. The other is about Poet Prabodh Parikh in Sydney.

SBS Hindi Radio

Alien Shores

An exclusive interview with the editors of ‘Alien Shores’, Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle. Interview by Devaki Monani, SBS Hindi Radio.

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/highlight/page/id/231085/t/Alien-Shores/in/english

ABC Radio National Books and Arts Daily Interview. Michael Cathcart with Susanne Gervay and Sharon Rundle.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandartsdaily/alien-shores/4025364

Article in Indian Herald (online and print editions)

http://indianherald.com.au/epaper/aug2012/?utm_source=Rohit+Contacts&utm_campaign=6e01d9b6cc-August2012_Epaper&utm_medium=email#/40/

An article was published in IndianLink NATIONAL EDITION June (1) 2012 p17 (Online and Print editions).

SBS Gujarati

Poet Prabodh Parikh in Sydney

Gujarati poet, short fiction writer and visual artist Shri Probodh Parikh was in Sydney to attend Australia India Literatures International Forum. His book of poems, Kaunsman has been awarded the Gujarati Sahitya Akademi Award and the G F Saraf Award for Best Gujarati Book.

Vaidehi Mehta talked to him about his love for poetry, Philosophy and his attraction and connection to the Bangla language.

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/gujarati/highlight/page/id/232601/t/Poet-Prabodh-Parikh-in-Sydney/in/english

Newspaper reports:

The making and mastering of myths

Renowned writer/actor Girish Karnad speaks at an Australia-India writers’ fest. PRIYADARSHINI reports in IndianLink.

http://www.indianlink.com.au/front-page/the-making-and-mastering-of-myths/

A full report of the Australia India Literatures International Forum at the State Library NSW is published in  The Indian Herald.

http://indianherald.com.au/australian-news/australia-india-literatures-international-forum-a-great-success/2232/

More authors in the Media

Also, Watch out for Susanne Gervay on Channel Seven ‘Today Tonight’ soon.

Susanne Gervay and Deb Abela speak  about ghost stories in the The Age newspaper, September 23.

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/stories-that-go-bump-in-the-night-20120922-26dfa.html

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 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 

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