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December 2019 Newsletter

By December 18, 2019News, Newsletter, Newsletters

HWC Member Gillian at NAG live read 2019

Newcastle Art Gallery Live Reading
The last live reading of 2019 was held at Newcastle Art Gallery. Over 20 stories, poems, opinion pieces were heard amid a brilliant collection of landscapes.
Cash prizes were awarded to: Eve Gray, Phil Williams, John Dunn, Diana Pearce and Gillian Swain

Here are two works we heard on the day:


NOT ONLY A TREE             
Eve Gray                                            
in response to Bonsai nursery 
by Alexander McKenzie  
of the beloved
had a tree
to rest under
and contemplate,
to hang upon
and contemplate,
to plant and wander
through, meander,
and contemplate.

What is hidden 
is revealed
What is below
is above.
What is lost
is sometimes found.

You may never know
the answer,
but look,
if there is one
it should be here
between the seed
and top of the canopy.

It is about potential,
perhaps the seeming small
holds the complete 
whole miracle.

and perseverance
nurturing nature
and the goodness
of earth left
Resting in peace
Diana Pearce
in response to Summer Rain 
by Angus Nivison

I sit on the verandah
listen to rain’s timpani 
                       on the iron roof
its chorus in the downpipes
of overflowing tanks

breathe the dampness in the air
watch water cascade
like shafted light
a pale promise of relief

see the water become blood
as it scours the tree-dead 
of a distressed land



Creative Writing group HWC members

2020 Membership Gift Vouchers 
in time for Christmas
Email us for more information


Why not gift an HWC membership to a friend or family member for 2020? 
No landfill! Lasts for 12 months. The gift that keeps on giving.
Read all the benefits of a HWC Membership
HWC Member News
Thank you to our writing group facilitators for the wonderful task hosting HWC groups, welcoming new members and encouraging our writers. Thank you to the HWC Board who steer our vision and to Sue Polson and Helen Blackney, the volunteers working constantly behind the scenes to bring you all our programs and activities.
Jill Emberson, ABC Newcastle presenter
HWC lost one of our vibrant members last week. Jill Emberson asked HWC to help make a book from her Meet the Mob podcast series. Member-writers have created beautiful stories and poems during 2019. Local Aboriginal people and HWC Director met with Jill recently to finalise the editing process. We are sad that Jill did not live to see the final book but we continue with the next phase of the design, printing and launch in 2020. Vale Jill.
Emily S Smith Author of Childrens books
Member Emily S. Smith
has a picture book coming out with Larrikin House next year - her first book published by a traditional publishing house. The book is called 'Garbage Guts' - an environmental story about a garbage monster who is determined to have the ocean for himself. It personifies the North Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch and is aimed at 3-7 year olds. Illustrated by Heidi Cooper Smith.

In the past, Emily has self-published two picture books, 'Betty the Yeti's Disappointing Day' and 'Life Is Not Fair When You Are Just a Chair', with Graham Davidson as a part of the project Storytime Lane.
Katrina McKelvey author Member 
Katrina McKelvey
was commissioned in June this year by Macmillan Education to write four books for their Snappy Sounds reading project. They are being released May, 2020.

Phil WIlliams HWC member Live reading at Newcastle Art Gallery Speaker at July 2019 to a full audience and art works

Phil Williams' 
short story Lines of Steel was a finalist in the Newcastle Herald short story competition, and was published in the Newcastle Herald in January this year. His poem Goodbye Humans won a HWC-NAG ekphrastic award last month.

Claire Thomas authorMember Claire Thomas

As a result of being part of the HWC children’s writing group, I have improved my craft and formed networks by entering competitions and attending conferences. I attended the CYA conference in Brisbane earlier this year where I won the preschool picture book category with my manuscript, Secret Worlds.

I entered manuscripts in the CWA Scribbles awards. Manuscripts Moon Rise Sun Set; Not Another Unicorn Book and Adorn the Sky were all shortlisted. Moon Rise Sun Set was awarded Highly Commended in the final results. My next project is researching Margaret Olley for a new picture book manuscript.

Sharon Boyce author

Sharon Boyce 
received her first traditional publishing contract this year for her picture book There's A Shark In The Loo illustrated by Suzy Houghton. The contract is with Larrikin House and is due for release in 2020. Shortly afterwards she received a second contract from Larrikin House for another picture book to be released in 2021


Rebecca Trowbridge
Her two poems david is goliath and Dear E were published in The Enchanting Verses Literary Review in July. Her poetry and prose collection Bitter Matriarch was published in November.
Cover and illustrations from 'My Little Monster'
Member Kate Griffith My amazing mum took one of my children's picture book draft manuscripts and fully illustrated it herself then got it printed for my birthday. I was a little teary at seeing it in print I must say. I wrote this when I was 14 years old 

Magdalena Ball

Magdalena Ball 
interviewed Beth Spencer about her book High Wire Step on the Climactic Network

Nicole Sellers Spec Fic Part 3 blogger in May 2019

Member Nicole Sellers’ 
poems Ode to my Axial Skeleton and Sun Coat were published in The Enchanting Verses Literary Review in July.  Her poem Lady Firebrand Calls the Sea by Name won a HWC-NAG ekphrastic award in July. Her short story Safari Blonde was illustrated and published by Patchwork Raven in August Her poem Song for Cliodna was published in Three Drops from a Cauldron.


HWC Blog - our members Blogging
Lauren Hislop Blogger on Disability

Next year, our 2020 blogger will be social scientist 
and disability advocate
Lauren Hislop (L)

Lauren will blog about the challenges of seeking employment when you live with a disability

Lauren blogged for us in October
read her humourous, engaging pieces here:
Living with Disability
Meet the Newcastle Short Story Award judges Laura Elvery and Khalid Warsame

2020 Newcastle Short Story Award judges - Laura Elvery and Khalid Warsame

Newcastle Short Story Award Open Now

Accepting short stories up to 2000 words
$7800 in prizes

 Top works selected by our judges, 
Laura Elvery  and Khalid Warsame 
to be published in the 2020 Anthology
Learn more

NPP 2019 book cover for Soft Serve

2019 Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 
and all our anthologies are available from our

Literary events and opportunities
Submissions close 27 January 2020 for the 
Writing NSW Kids and YA Festival 
(June 2020)
Learn more
book cover Butterflies book from Ash Island Hunter Wetlands
from Member Julia Brougham:
Butterflies and Bushland - is a book on sale for $25 in The Schoolmasters House on Ash Island Hexham and at MacLean's Booksellers Beaumont Street Hamilton
Survey: Arts and Culture in Newcastle
Have your say and help shape Newcastle's art and culture
Consultation closes 15th January 2020.  
Learn more here

Writing NSW Access for Regional Writers Grants

Round 2 of the regional writers' grants opens November 25. HWC can support your application. Members of HWC have been successful receipients of Writing NSW grants in the past.
Learn more
HWC Writing Groups
Attendance is free as part of your membership. 
There are vacancies in most of our groups especially: 
Belmont, Maitland and Teralba. 
Email us for more information or see the entire list of writing groups 
when you login to the Members Area