Welcome to 2017 – New Year Heralds Change



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.


MARCH 7, 21

APRIL 11, 25 (ANZAC day)

MAY 9, 23

JUNE 6, 20

JULY 4, 18

AUGUST 1, 15,  29


OCTOBER 10, 24

NOVEMBER 7, (Melb Cup) & 21


 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.  



Join Us For Our Fifteen Minutes Of Fame

Join Us For Our Fifteen Minutes Of Fame

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Next weekend will be a busy one for  Mordialloc Writers Group.

On Saturday, some of us will be at the Mentone Public Library reading from our latest anthology, Kingston My City and sharing the billing with writer Amanda Apthorpe who will be showcasing her latest novel. The details can be found at Mentone Library’s blog:


Kingston Seniors Festival Literary Showcase

with Amanda Apthorpe + The Mordialloc Writers Group

When: 11am, Saturday, 29th October 2016

Email: mentonepubliclibrary@gmail.com

Address: Rear Entrance to the C.A.B.

36 Florence Street, Mentone. VIC. 3194

RSVP: Thursday, 27th October 2016

(Bookings Essential due to the Cosy Nature of Our Space)

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On Sunday, the group will be hosting our regular public monthly readings at Mordialloc Neighbourhood House, welcoming all those who want to read or listen to poetry and prose.

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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!




The Newcastle Short Story Award


The Hunter Writer Centre


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


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.


New Writing Competition – notJack Writer’s Prize


Today I received an email about a new writing prize – the notJack Writers’ Prize – with the theme of ‘writing from place’. It is a deliberately broad theme designed to encourage entrants from all genres, whose writing demonstrates creative engagement with place and/or shapes the significance of place for Australian writers and their readership.

Entries may be up to 3000 words or 40 lines of poetry. There are three cateogries – youth, open and Baringhup. Entry fees are either $10 or $20 according to category. The prize closes November 1st.  Please click on links below to go to the website and read the guidelines and obtain an entry form.

The notJack Writers’ Prize supports Australian writers in their creative engagement with place. Bush, country, coast, the countryside, land, property, suburbia – all these and more figure prominently in Australian writing, in shaping the significance of place for individual writers and in turn, forming iconic literary landscapes that sustain the cultural and national identities of readers.

Prize open July 13th – November 1st 2015

The prize welcomes submissions from all genres – including prose, essay, flash fiction, short story, poetry, biography, memoir, plays, screenplay – in which place, and writing from place, figures prominently. Submissions are not limited by the specific examples provided here.

notJack was established to support and protect iconic Australian literary landscapes, by fostering creative engagement with place and promoting the significance of place for Australian writers, their work and readership.

notJack currently supports the protection of the Moolort Plains, from and in which the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Winner Romulus, My Father was written. The film of the same name was shot on site. In honour of this book, and the manner in which it crosses several genres to engage with place, the notJack writers’ prize accepts submissions from a wide variety of genres and writing styles.

Guidelines:  https://notjackwritersprize.wordpress.com/guidelines/

Entry form: https://notjackwritersprize.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/notjack-writers_-prize-entry-form.pdf

I had a lovely chat with the organiser/Manager Yana Canteloupe and she is keen for writers to contact her if there are any obstacles to their participation.

e: notjackwritersprize@gmail.com

m: 044 88 55 832

Prizes are substantial and desirable for any writer – masterclasses with respected and much lauded Australian writers: https://notjackwritersprize.wordpress.com/entry-details/

What can I say?   GO FOR IT  and Good luck!!

Catch-Up What’s On and Competitions For Writers

Sincere apologies for taking so long to update this blog, but shortage of time and wearing multi-hats is the price paid by volunteers who still have all the demands of “life” while they try to be creative.

This is a timely intro into the new state government’s request that all those involved in what they refer to as the Creative Industries,  anyone with a connection to ‘the arts’, submit ideas, opinions, and comments on a discussion paper, Let’s Get Creative About Victoria’s Future. Your contribution will help form Victoria’s first Creative Industries Strategy.

I went to a workshop last week and here is my blog on what we discussed. The Victorian Writers’ Centre has a lot to suggest too and this can be read here. The most important take away is the closing date for submissions is soon – please connect and contribute, it’s important. We don’t often get asked and this is an inclusive process – you can even remain anonymous and just click on suggestions you agree with on an interactive page online!

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2015: Call for Entries

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is open for entries. Now in its eighth year, the Prize is an internationally renowned award presented by Aesthetica Magazine that enables emerging and established writers to showcase their work to new, international audiences.

Judged by industry experts including Arifa Akbar, literary editor of The Independent and inewspapers, the prize awards £500 to each winner in Short Fiction and Poetry as well as publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, a compelling anthology of new writing.

Prizes include:

£500 Poetry winner
£500 Short Fiction winner
Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual
One year subscription to Granta
Selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage
Complimentary copy of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual
There are two categories for entry: Short Fiction (maximum length 2,000 words each) and Poetry (maximum length 40 lines each).

Deadline for submissions is 31 August 2015.  Here is the link.


Submit your #poetry #shortfiction to @AestheticaMag Creative #Writing Award. Win #publication to showcase your talent http://tinyurl.com/ckktess

CONTACT for further information:

Alexandra Beresford         www.aestheticamagazine.com
Marketing Coordinator
Aesthetica Magazine
PO Box 371
YO23 1WL
0044 (0)1904 629 137
01144 1904 629 137 from USA and Canada

The Geoff Dean Short Story Competition

The Geoff Dean Short Story Competition is open to all Australian writers for short fiction between 3000-10,000 words. The competition is presented by the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and Island Magazine, in conjunction with the Geoff and Elizabeth Dean Foundation. Entry fee is $20. First prize is $2,000.

Closes 31st July

2015 Poetic Christi Press Poetry Competition

The theme for Poetic Christi Press’s poetry competition is ‘imagination’. Poems must be previously unpublished. Maximum length is 50 lines. First prize is $300; second is $100. Twenty five poems will be selected to be included in an anthology to be published by the press. Entry fee is $6 per submission.

Closes 31st August

Melaleuca Blue Life Writing Competition

This year we are going to collect flash-memoir, short stories and prose about your schooling life, and in particular a funny or useful lesson learned at school. The title of the book will be “Do nuns wear knickers? True stories of school life and what we really learned.”

Kari O’Gorman is seeking a wide range of experiences and especially types and generations of schooling. If yours is not successful, it is not likely due to your quality of writing, it is simply for variety sake.

In addition, we are also seeking photos or images of school as fillers in the book. We also would like some filler stories to be collected verbally and written down in less than 300 words. So if you know of anyone with an interesting school story who perhaps doesn’t like to write, please find out if you can record them with their permission and ask if they want to be included in the book.

Closes 14th August

A New Poetry Reading Project in Melbourne

Dimitri Troaditis who organised poetry in Federation Square before it was cancelled has been busy organising an alternative venue.

Calling all poets and lovers of poetry every second Saturday of the month

Especially all those who write in a language other than English and/or have their work in a bilingual or translated form!

WHAT: First Reading is on: Saturday, April 11, 11.45am – 1.45pm

WHO: Featuring Michael Crane and Ben John Smith (hopefully)

plus open mic

WHERE: at Emerald Hill Library & Heritage Centre
195 Bank St.,
South Melbourne (opposite South Melbourne Town Hall)

Put the date in your diary now: April 11th @ 11.45am- 1.45pm (Library closes at 2pm on Saturdays)

The room can seat up to 30 persons. There is a kitchen available to use, with the usual facilities, including crockery and a hot water urn. The room also has audio visual equipment and screen if required.

The Poetry Reading dates through out 2015 are as follows:

April 11, 11.45AM-1.45PM
May 9, 11.45AM-1.45PM
June 13, 11.45AM-1.45PM
July 11, 11.45AM-1.45PM
August 8, 11.45AM-1.45PM
September 12, 11.45AM-1.45PM
October 10, 11.45AM-1.45PM
November 14, 11.45AM-1.45PM
December 12, 11.45AM-1.45PM

For more information:
CONTACT: Dimitri Troaditis troaditisdimitris@gmail.com and/or 0432 094 342
Emerald Library and Heritage Centre
Art & Heritage Programs | Arts & Culture 9209 6416 http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au

***Dimitri’s email advises there will be further announcements.

More Writing and Publishing Opportunities – 2015 Alan Marshall Short Story Award

Entries are NOW OPEN – Enter your short story.

Winners share a prize pool worth over $5,000 in cash plus professional development.

For more information and to enter go to www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au/AMSSA2015

Alan Marshall Short Story Award Anthologies

… On the Loose To be Caught and Read with Book Crossing

Keep your eyes on the lookout for copies of the Alan Marshall Short Story Award anthologies Write On… and Illuminations.

The anthologies will be ‘released into the wild’ and able to be tracked using the BookCrossing website: http://www.bookcrossing.com/

The Alan Marshall Short Story Award is presented by Nillumbik Shire Council in partnership with Yarra Plenty Regional Library.

Invitation to Inaugural Gwen Ford Talk – An Evening with Helen Garner

As part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for the Alan Marshall Short Story Award, this inaugural event honours the memory of one of the great contributors to the cultural life in Nillumbik Shire: Gwen Ford – gardener, writer, artist, social justice advocate, and friend to an entire community.

Guest speaker is, Helen Garner, one of Australia’s most loved – and read – writers. Helen will discuss This House of Grief, her most recent work, described by Peter Craven as ‘A magnificent book about the majesty of the law and the terrible matter of the human heart.’

The evening will also include a reading by Dennis Coard of the 2014 Alan Marshall Short Story Award Open Section winning story Last Man Standing by Michelle Wright.

Gwen Ford, whose anniversary falls in late March, was intimately involved with the Alan Marshall Short Story Award. Helen Garner is former judge of the competition. So all things come together for an evening of talk and fellowship.

Date: Wednesday 1 April 2015

Place: The Great Hall, Montsalvat, 7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham

Time: 7.00pm for 7.30pm

Tickets: $10

A glass of wine and light refreshments will be provided

Bookings essential at (03) 9439 7712 or montsalvat@montsalvat.com.au

Information: http://www.montsalvat.com.au/WhatsOn/RememberingGwenFord-Anevening.aspx

Further information:

Clare Leporati | Literary Arts Project Officer
Nillumbik Shire Council | Civic Drive (PO Box 476) Greensborough Victoria 3088
9433 3126 | clare.leporati@nillumbik.vic.gov.au | www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au

Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award 2015

Entries for the Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award 2015 are now open. Poets are invited to respond to artworks from the Nillumbik Shire Art Collection.

Contact person:

Clare Leporati | Literary Arts Project Officer
Nillumbik Shire Council | Civic Drive (PO Box 476) Greensborough Victoria 3088
9433 3126 | clare.leporati@nillumbik.vic.gov.au | http://www.nillumbik.vic.gov.au

To enter the award and for more information go to here!      And view the artworks here:

Nillumbik Shire Council invites people to participate in a live Question and Answer session on Facebook with, Grace Longato, Ekphrasis exhibition curator.

The session will provide an opportunity to learn more about the artworks and answer any other queries that may be helpful to the poetic process.

Q&A with curator details: Facebook page
Date: Friday, 6 March 2015
Time: 3:00pm (Melbourne time)

NB: Also COUNTDOWN…11 days until entries open for the Alan Marshall Short Story Award 2015 run by  the same shire!