Welcome to 2017 – New Year Heralds Change

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As mentioned in a previous post there will be changes to the Mordialloc Writers’ Group this year.

Unfortunately, no one stepped forward to organise Readings by The Bay on a monthly basis so there have been no dates booked for 2017.

If the readings are revived, regular attendees will be the first to know.

Breda Hertaeg is coordinating the Tuesday night workshops and the following dates have been booked this year. All bookings are for ROOM 1, 7:30 – 10:00 pm.

FEBRUARY 7, 21

MARCH 7, 21

APRIL 11, 25 (ANZAC day)

MAY 9, 23

JUNE 6, 20

JULY 4, 18

AUGUST 1, 15,  29

SEPTEMBER 12, 26

OCTOBER 10, 24

NOVEMBER 7, (Melb Cup) & 21

DECEMBER 5

 I guess the changes can be described as ‘an end of an era’ – I founded the group with Noelle Franklyn. I’m the only one remaining who has seen every writer come through the group (over 200 local and not so local writers) – some achieving publishing success with novels and poetry collections. Many published in our nine anthologies, the last one for our 20th Anniversary.

I’m thrilled Breda is running Tuesday nights and although it is sad Readings By The Bay will no longer be a regular fixture there are many other venues for writers to read their work that didn’t exist when I first started our event in Mordialloc.

Good luck to everyone for a great writing year  – I’ll still be teaching at three local community houses but I’m taking the second term off to go travelling.

On March 31, I fly to Beijing, then to Mongolia to start my journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway and then fly to London from Helsinki.

In the UK I’ll be catching up with friends and family in England, Scotland and Ireland,  plus visiting the Orkney and Shetland Isles, new destinations for me. I’m hoping to catch up with writer friends I only know through the Internet.

I’ll be blogging my trip, so for anyone interested please follow me at Up The Creek With A Pen, https://mairineil.com

And for anyone living near any of my intended destinations and who may want to have a cuppa with me – please get in touch.  

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Rural Writers Rock!

It is the last Readings by the Bay for 2016 – and courtesy of Kristina Rowell’s efforts we have guest author Jennifer Scouller a best-selling author of rural fiction coming to share her writing journey.

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After Jennifer presents, we will share questions and refreshments and if there is enough time, we can extend the afternoon to public readings – traditionally our last readings have always been upbeat and happy get-togethers with everyone looking forward to summer holidays.

The Future

As has been mentioned in earlier posts, Mordialloc Writers’ Group is going through a transitional period – so now is the time for people who value the existence of a local group where people can workshop their writing and support other writers, to step up and commit to regularly doing the work behind the scenes that is often taken for granted.

If the workshop nights and readings are to continue someone has to volunteer to organise and run these. Perhaps after the Readings, people can have this discussion or arrange a time to think about 2017 and beyond.

The workshop nights have been successful this year hosted by Coral, Breda and Steve and the Readings too with Kristina  – there is no reason, business, as usual, won’t continue once people decide and book meeting dates and divide the workload.

The necessary work can be a joint effort – discussion, negotiation, sharing of ideas – please think about the commitment, the passion, the time required, the positives and the negatives – and perhaps put your hand up.

Think about priorities:

  • Is the group’s focus more social and nurturing
  • How often do people want to get together to workshop – weekly, fortnightly, monthly?
  • Does the group want to publish future anthologies
  • Does the group want regular public readings – if so how often, where and what format
  • If the group wants to continue hosting published authors to learn from success – when and how often?
  • Does the group want to invite skilled editors and small press publishers so people can learn to be self-sufficient
  • Currently, the group is not incorporated – how will funds be raised for rent etc and who will look after the funds? (It has survived successfully without incorporation.)
  • Who will book meeting places and dates? The neighbourhood house has been good to us – and meeting there we come under their insurance policy!
  • Does a new website need to be set up and maintained – a Facebook presence?
  • Who will be contact person/s?
  • Relationship building with other groups

It is time for a change.

(Not in a Donald  Trump way!!!)

I can’t give the time or effort to Mordialloc Writers because of my teaching commitments and other community involvements.

I founded the group over 21 years ago, we’ve produced nine anthologies and have hosted some wonderful book launches and events but Kingston My City was my swansong – I hope others find enthusiasm, the focus and passion I did when I started a local group accessible for writers of all talents, in all genres…

It is exciting to end the year with an inspirational and successful author – see you Sunday!

Mairi Neil

The Newcastle Short Story Award

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The Hunter Writer Centre

presents

The Newcastle Short Story Award

Open to all Australian residents and citizens

Story length 2000 words

Over $3000 in prizes to be won
Closes 31 January 2016
Entry fee: $15

Enter here: http://www.hunterwriterscentre.org/short-story-award.html

First Prize                                        $2000

Second Prize                                   $1000      – awarded by Leah Jay

2 x Highly Commended Awards:    $500 each – awarded by Tower Cinemas
Commended Award:                       $200 – awarded by Foghorn Brewhouse

$200 – awarded by Maclean’s Booksellers.

The judges will be: 

Glenys Osborne who has won numerous prizes for her short fiction. Her first novel, Come Inside (2009), won the Barbara Jefferis Award and was shortlisted for the 2010 Age Book of the Year, among other awards.

Glenys writes, edits and teaches. She was formerly fiction editor for the creative journal Etchings. She worked as a managing editor in educational publishing houses and as a freelance editor. She taught editing in RMIT’s Master of Communication for more than a decade. She is writing her third novel and a collection of short stories.

Michael Sala’s writing has been published in numerous national anthologies, including Best Australian Stories in 2009, 2010, and 2011. His first novel, The Last Thread, was published in 2012 and, in 2013, won the Commonwealth Book Prize (Pacific Region), and the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Michael has a PhD in Creative Writing and lectures in numerous creative writing subjects at the University of Newcastle. He is currently working on his second novel, which is due to be published with Text in 2016.

Contact: info@hunterwriterscentre.org

www.facebook.com/hunterwriterscentre

Best of luck – and it’s always a good idea to read the work of the judges beforehand and get an idea of what they like:) You never know you may be in the next anthology of winning entries.

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A Free Literary festival in Melbourne

Melbourne will host another Literary Festival this year, and it’s FREE!

Thanks to Lisa Hill from ANZ Litlovers I’ve attended the Stonnington Literary Festival in the past and can verify it is well worth attending.

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Nicole Hayes, Lisa Hill, Paddy O’Reilly, Catherine Harris and Mairi Neil at last year’s festival.

All events are free, but you need to book!

 Check out their website – http://www.stonnington.vic.gov.au/festival-program/

Lisa (a member/supporter of Mordialloc Writers’ Group) usually hosts a panel. This year her session is entitled That’s Odd, and it’s a discussion about fiction that’s strange, macabre, or inexplicable. The panel includes

  • Angela Meyer, editor of The Great Unknown and author of Captives
  • A.S. (Alec) Patric, author of the novel Black Rock, White City
  • Jane Rawson, author of A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists

The (Untitled) Literary Festival will take place from 19 – 26 November 2015, but at the launch on Wednesday 18 November, 7pm-9pm, Functions on Chapel, 255A Chapel Street, Prahran you can hear and meet the 2015 Miles Franklin award winner, Sofie Laguna. (Brief profiles of other writers and presenters here too.)

Book online or call: 8290 8000

Lisa’s session is on:

Sunday 22 November, 2pm-4pm, Toorak/South Yarra Library
Bookings open 1 October. Enquiries: 8290 8000

She has announced details and links today on her amazing blog full of excellent reviews.  Lisa mainly reviews Australian and New Zealand books, but also many others because the Australian literary scene benefits from a magnificent diaspora of almost every nationality on earth! (apologies for hyperbole, but hey I’m a creative writer.)

Because of her wealth of experience Lisa’s panel will be insightful and entertaining, and at least you will know she has read the author’s books!

Hope to see you there!