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

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Author Event – Maria Katsonis

READINGS BY THE BAY sept 2016.jpgThe inter-generational transition of Mordialloc Writers powers ahead and Kristina Rowell has arranged another author event to invigorate our regular Readings By The Bay.

Kristina sent around a reminder email to regulars (and not so regulars) to explain that this is a unique opportunity for an intimate discussion with an author, senior public servant and mental health advocate.

Maria and Kristina worked in the same government agency years ago before Maria became “famous and extremely busy!”

She will speak about writing and publishing her memoir “The Good Greek Girl” (Ventura Press, 2015) which is ‘about her experience of depression and rebellion against a traditional Greek upbringing’, as well as share her insights into the world of publishing and where the journey has taken her.

An engaging, confident, and inspiring speaker who has done similar talks at public sector forums, as well as the Newcastle Writers Festival earlier this year, she is sure to give you an honest and meaningful answer to any question you may ask.

Her most recent achievement is co-editing a book Rebellious Daughters (just published last month), described as ‘an anthology of true stories of rebellion and defiance from Australia’s finest female writers’.

For more detail see Maria’s blog http://mariakatsonis.com.au/ and the Readings review http://www.readings.com.au/review/rebellious-daughters-edited-by-maria-katsonis-and-lee-kofman.

Both books are available from the Readings bookshops and Maria will bring some copies on the day.

Hope to see many familiar and new faces on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25TH at 2.00pm.

Mairi Neil

A Special Invitation

A Special Invitation

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I can’t believe half the year is almost over! My apologies for the lack of upkeep of this blog but my teaching has kept me busy – and life in general! Also my own blog Up The Creek With A Pen Writing …

A recent press release to advertise a special Readings By The Bay notes (last para in particular!):

The Mordialloc Writers’ Group is a group of local writers coordinated for over 20 years by Mairi Neil, the 2016 Kingston Council Citizen of the Year.  The writers meet fortnightly on Tuesday evenings at the Mordialloc Neighbourhood House to workshop ideas and works in progress.

They also host public readings in the afternoon, on the last Sunday of the month at the same venue. These gatherings offer invaluable time and space for local writers to read their work in a friendly and supportive environment.  

Mairi wants to facilitate intergenerational transition so that the Mordialloc Writers’ Group continues to grow and remain relevant in the digital age. She encourages writers with fresh ideas to join and revitalise the group.

The Mordialloc Writers’ Group is calling all writers, readers, and listeners to join them in the coming months for this series of special Readings by the Bay, to enjoy guest speakers and presentations by published Melbourne authors.

These guest authors have been organised by one of our members who volunteered to be part of the generational transition I hope will mean Mordialloc Writers will continue to meet and be supportive of local writers. A shared workload will keep the group growing and relevant.

Kristina has organised several special author events this year to be held on our regular public Readings By The Bay  hosted on the last Sunday of the month. Another two members Steve and Coral are taking responsibility for workshop nights.

Perhaps an expert blogger will join and improve this part of the Group’s public persona too!

Kristina has organised several special author events for the remainder of this year but the first event will be presented by two successful storybook authors and animators.

Soft Stories

 

The first of these special readings will be on Sunday 26th June, when we welcome the talented Melbourne authors/artists Ms Isobel Knowles and Cat Rabbit, the creative team behind the crafty, innovative and unique children’s books Owl Know How and Too Much for Turtle, published by Thames and Hudson in 2012 and 2015 respectively.

Isobel and Cat recently ran fun and creative art workshops with over 100 children at ArtPlay, Melbourne, building exciting sets similar to those featured in their books. They will come  to Mordialloc and share their creative journeys, their road to publishing, and answer questions.  For more details about their work see www.softstories.com.au.

COPY readings by the bay JUNE 2016

If you are a writer or have an interest in writing and at the same time want to meet other local writers and contribute to their writing journey as well as sharing your own, Mordialloc Writers welcomes you. The community group has an established history of individual and collective achievement including the publication of nine anthologies.

Please join us to hear the  journey to publication of special guest authors, be inspired, and meet and chat with local writers over a cuppa. Gain the confidence to share your own writing.

 

See you on the 26th!

 

 

 

New National Short Story Competition for Australia

THE HOPE PRIZE

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence has a new initiative – they have proposed a new national short story competition to explore hope and resilience in the face of poverty and disadvantage with a prize pool of $12,500.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence is a community agency that works to create a compassionate and just Australia. It is running the competition to encourage Australian writers to tackle a subject too often hidden from public view.

They have some high-profile judges:

Actor Cate Blanchett: ‘I am excited to take part in the Brotherhood short story competition and look forward to reading the stories that shine a light on disadvantage.’

Kate Grenville, one of Australia’s best-known writers: ‘Stories enrich both the storyteller and the story-reader, bringing new understanding and new perspectives to both.’

Quentin Bryce, former Governor General: ‘Poverty and disadvantage are pressing issues in contemporary Australia, especially in outer suburbs and rural areas. This important new short story competition will help illuminate this to new audiences.’

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The Hope Prize is supported by publisher Simon & Schuster and books retailer Readings.

The generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family will ensure the winners of The Hope Prize will receive cash prizes:

First prize of $5000
Second prize of $3000
Third prize of $2000
Highly commended stories will each receive $500
An award of $500 will also be made to an emerging writer under 18.

The short story entered can be fiction or fact. Whatever the genre, the story submitted must convey the experience of people facing hardship in their lives. Stories must be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.

Further information and to enter go to bsl.org.au

The deadline for entry is 31 January 2016.

Connect With Writers Online

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This week I received an email from a couple of Melbourne-based writers who have set up a website collabant.com to help writers find a writing partner.

In short, our project is to match-up fiction writers with other fiction writers in order to workshop, critique, and collaborate on their fiction. Since you run a writing group, I thought it would be perfect for those who either can’t make it to all of your meetings or want to connect with more writers one-on-one.  

Michael went on to say:

We’re trying to connect a large community and need all the help we can get…

Here’s how it works:
You visit the website and through a short survey give information about your writing habits and preferences. They’ll find and send you a writing partner on the first of every month based on your answers.

It’s 100% free, there’s no long-term commitment, and all writers are welcome.

The beauty of being online is there are no borders or timetables, and you can connect with whoever you like when you like. I suppose if your writing tastes and needs change you can redo the survey.

Below are the questions in the survey. How you answer determines the type of writing partner allocated.

  1. What are your name and email address?
  2. What genre do you primarily write?
  3. Who is your primary audience (highbrow, entertainment, or young adult)?
  4. Which level best describes your writing experience (advanced, intermediate, beginner)?
  5. Do you like to receive sugar-coated or brutally honest feedback?
  6. Do you like to give sugar-coated or brutally honest feedback?
  7. How much time per week can you spend collaborating?
  8. How did you hear about us?

What else do they offer?
Joining Collabant not only gives you one custom-picked writing partner per month, but they also send special offers to your inbox, inform you about contests and send articles about writing.

The best part? It’s 100% free.

They emphasise their difference:

Search the entire internet, we’re the only service that finds writing partners for you. Instead of going to a pool of writers and trying to find a partner yourself, we pick one writer from the pool based on your attributes and send you their information. It’s like the difference between going to a bar versus having a friend set you up on a date…. only without the romance.

For any writer, feeling isolated or wanting a change from their current group, or someone just starting out and feeling a bit lonely this new website may be right for you.

Good luck and please leave feedback because sharing your experience will help others.

The Southern Cross Literary Competition

Ballarat Writers are holding their bi-annual short story competition, The Southern Cross Literary Competition.

They are a small regional Victorian writers’ group and want to spread the word about the competition to all writing networks.

The competition closes on October 16, admissions accepted from July onwards.

The judge is Tony Birch, and first prize is $1500. All details, including submission guidelines can be found at: www.ballaratwriters.com/competitions/

The competition coordinator is Bronwyn Blaiklock of Ballarat Writers Inc details can be found here: short-story_comp2015

Prize: The winning entry will receive $1,500 (AUD)

Entry fee: $20 per story for Short stories to 3000 words, open theme.

To enter, go to: www.ballaratwriters.com/competitions for full guidelines and entry instructions

Results: Announced online in November

How’s your Sense of Humour?

Can you write a humorous story?

Chris Broadribb organises The Best of Times short story competition #20.
For humorous short stories (any theme) up to 2500 words.
First prize: $300-$500 (depending on number of entries),

Second prize: $100.

Closes 31 Oct 2015.

No entry form is required.

Include a cover sheet with your name and address, story title and word count, and where you heard about the competition.

Entry fee is $10 per story. Send a cheque or money order made out to Chris Broadribb or use Paypal to pay cabbook-20@yahoo.com.au
Post your entry to PO Box 55, Blaxcell NSW 2142 (including a large SSAE if you want the story returned and a results sheet, or a small SSAE for results only)

or email it to cabbook-20@yahoo.com.au

Competition website: www.bestoftimes.com.au

Check out the website and read previous winners to give yourself an idea of what is wanted.

GOOD LUCK!