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cover of To End All Wars

Our members – 2018 achievements

By | News

 

Cassandra O’Loughlin released her wonderful collection Taking my Breath – a collection of ecopoems.

Taking My Breath 500
to end all wars 500

Dael Allison, poet, HWC  member and secretary of HWC Board has had a very busy year completing much of our governance paperwork, writing her PhD and editing two books. What an amazing woman. One of the books she edited was To End All Wars. Here’s a review by one of the featured poets, HWC member Magdalena Ball.

 

Christopher Kelen has the rare gift of a voice that feels effortlessly, mesmerizingly, unique.

Poor Man’s Coat is a delight: a fresh and haunting mix of deep meditation, witty intelligence and the abundant wonder of poetry’s ‘wise surprise’. – Jean Kent

 

 

Kathryn Fry’s book of poems Green Point Bearings has been reviewed in The Compulsive Reader and by poet Brook Emery.

green-point-bearings 500

 

Storytime Lane have released two new books since their January launch: “Life is Not Fair When You Are Just a Chair” (E. S. Smith/Graham Davidson) and ‘”Hunter” which is book 2 in Graham Davidson’s Witches of the Cross-worlds series.

Books by HWC member Graham Davidson

Sutherland Shire Literary Competition

Congratulations Penny Lane

1st and 2nd Prizes Free Verse for her poems ‘Nothing Much Here’ and ‘How to Write a Waterfall’

Congratulations Catherine Moffat

Highly Commended for her story ‘The Lady Vanishes’

 

 

Karen Whitelaw won the Peter Cowan Short Story Award (WA) with Heat.

Karen Whitelaw HWC member

 

Hayden’s Bedtime by Wendy Haynes will be available late March 2019.  A crowdfunding event for this book starts soon. Please share and help families escape domestic violence.

reedslarge 500

 

Gillian Telford had two poems published in Not Very Quiet poetry journal: ‘Brisbane Water Estuary’ and ‘Midnight Lexicon’  and  2 poems in The Ghazal Page international online journal. ‘On being Alone’ and  ‘of belonging’

Jan Dean, Kathryn Fry and Magdalena Ball also had poems published in Not Very Quiet this year.

 

Malcolm St Hill’s essay on Australian Frederic Manning and his novel, ‘The Middle Parts of Fortune’, (the greatest war novel of all time) was published in Overland in November

Picture for Essay by Malcolm St Hill
HWC member Laura Brown

 

Laura Brown’s short story ‘My Brave New World’ features in A Patchwork of Stories, the best stories from the 2018 Birdcatcher Books Short Story Competition.

louise 500

News from the Lake Macquarie Poetry Group:

Louise Berry had a poem published in the New Shoots Poetry Anthology 2017 and published her second book on Dora Creek history

Diana Pearce had a poem published in Valley Micropress in 2017, and several poems published in The Mozzie in 2017 and 2018 (print only journals).

Black Crow Walking received a 2017 HWC grant to write about homelessness in the Hunter.

Nicole Sellers had a poem published in Plumwood Mountain in 2017 and a poem published in Grieve Volume 6 Anthology in 2018.

HWC Member Laura Taylor

 

In November, Laura Taylor celebrated her 100th post on Planet Picture Book, a blog where she explores children’s literature from every country in the world.

midnight on a clock

 

Michael Tippett won First Prize in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge with his short story Crawlers. Read Michael’s story here.

The horizon shimmers, a quivering line of gel squeezed between the immense blue sky and the hard dun-coloured earth.

Mark Maclean is currently living and teaching in Lightning Ridge. He blogs about his experience in and around the town and his latest blog entry is about the time Bowie came to a nearby town. Read more

From Mark Maclean's blog 'Learning About Lightning'

Congratulations Katrina McKelvey on the signing of a contract for her 5th published picture book, Isla’s Family Tree to be illustrated by Prue Pittock and published by EK Books in 2020. Read all about it here.

katrina mckelvey member

Jan McLeod’s book, Shadows On The Track: Australia’s Medical War in Papua 1942 – 1943 is scheduled for release by Big Sky Publishing in February 2019

Book cover by Jan McLeod

Judy Johnson had a poem published in The Sydney morning Herald during 2018.

Judy Johnson poem

 

 

HWC Newcastle poetry group has reprinted its collection The Olley Poems. Hunter Writers Centre funded the publication of poems that pay tribute to Margaret Olley. Olley was an iconic figure in Australian art whose main focus on landscapes and interiors turned everyday objects and scenes into bursts of colour. Congratulations, HWC poetry group on a second print run! Purchase the book from the Newcastle Art Gallery for $15.

HWC poetry group
NPP 2018 cover

Thoughts from poetry winners

By | Newcastle Poetry Prize, News, Poetry at HWC
NPP 2018 cover

The 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize winners are listed on our competition page

The 2018 anthology, BUYING ONLINEis on sale for $20 here

Here are thoughts from our winners:

Ross Gillett, winner of the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize

 

If poets can be said to have careers, then winning this prize is definitely an enormous career highlight. Its status as the major prize for a single poem in Australia and the substantial amount of money awarded make it a huge honour to have won. The fact that the competition encourages the longer poem is also very significant, as it’s not easy to get longer poems, or sequences of poems, published at all. To publish thirty or so really high quality long poems in such fine anthologies every year is itself a great contribution made to the poetry world.

Ross Gillet, winner.

Joanne Ruppin, awarded Commended in the Newcastle Poetry Prize 2018

 

Writing poetry can feel like slogging away in a one-person show with no audience. While the Newcastle Poetry Prize provides a generous financial incentive to persevere, the opportunity to have work read by such eminent judges is a gift in itself. Receiving an award and being published in the NPP anthology encourages me to continue, with fresh resolve, an exciting, exhausting endless game of hide-and-seek with words.

Joanne Ruppin, Commended

Kevin Smith, commended prize winner NPP 2018

 

To be commended in the Newcastle Poetry Prize is to be judged worthy by one’s peers, and this might be the best kind of acknowledgement. The prize provides opportunity for the longer poem, a chance to reward a sustained aesthetic effort seldom found elsewhere. What poets do is mostly done in isolation. Attending the awards ceremony put me in the company of fine poets and their work—and fine conversation, too—and I sense the rejuvenating desire to improve my craft. I’m standing on more solid ground, I think, looking forward to the road ahead.

Kevin Smith, Commended

History Festival September 2018

By | Lit Resourses, News

Logo for History Festival Lake Mac Libraries for History Week first week of September

The first week of September every year is History Week in NSW and Hunter Writers Centre is proud to partner with Lake Macquarie libraries to present a wonderful program of local, national and global history. Talks, presentations, interactive displays and interviews are delivered at Toronto, Speers Point and Belmont libraries. Click here to view the 2018 program held 1-9 September and mark your diaries for another informative, fun-filled week in 2019.

boat in the mist

Announcement – 2018 Grieve Writing Competition Prizewinners

By | Grieve, News

Grieve volume 6 cover photo Congratulations to the prizewinners in the 2018 Grieve writing competition.

Grieve Volume 6 is now available for sale – click to purchase

Watch the reading (with captions) of the 22 prizewinning pieces here

Congratulations:

The National Association of Loss and Grief (NALAG) Award 
Blood and bone by Justine Hyde

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement Award 
Not Horses, or Mothers by Lisa Jacobson

The Australian Funeral Directors Association Award
Time by Alyssa Sterry

The National Association of Loss and Grief (NALAG) 2nd Award
A Day in October by Kim Waters

The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement 2nd Award
One Word by Rob Selzer

The Australian Funeral Directors Association 2nd Award
Would haves by Naomi Deneve

Lifeline Award
The Skeleton by Nicole Melanson

Palliative Care Australia Award
The Line Our Thread by Cynthia Troup

White Lady Funerals Award
Heartbeat by Emily Usher

Good Grief Award — for a work about grief or loss other than death
This big bright land by Simone King

All About Grief Award — for a work about grief or loss after the death of a child
The day after coming home from hospital by Claire Watson

David Lloyd Funerals Award (Newcastle and Hunter Valley)
Hot and Cold by Belinda Oliver

Suicide Prevention Australia Award
What About Me? by Samantha Noble

Simplicity Funerals Award
Tough Love by Barbara Hunt

White Lady Funerals (Mayfield, NSW) Award
Let Me Introduce You by Vanessa Farrer

The Compassionate Friends Award
The little ones by Christine Kearney

The Calvary Mater Hospital Pastoral Care Award
I Have the Weight of a Life that is Substantive and Real on my Shoulders by Sook Samsara

The Blue Knot Foundation Award
Hashtag by Karenlee Thompson

Mindframe Award
Knitting, Endings and Grieving by Anne Boyd

Hunter New England Health, Mental Health Services Award
A Hard Won Spring by Tahra Baulch

Hunter Writers Centre Award
Sometimes, Love Isn’t Enough by Louisa Simmonds

Hunter Writers Centre Members’ Award
There are days by Penny Lane

Highly Commended Awards

Black News by Anthony Levin

Fells by Philip Radmall

Special Mention

Lost by Jacqueline Damen

boat in the mist

Announcement – Grieve Competition 2018 Finalists

By | Grieve, News
Grieve volume 6 cover photo

Congratulations to the 110 writers listed below. These poems and stories are published in Grieve Volume 6 available from the Grieve Project  website. Here is the list of 22 prizewinners who have won the prizes kindly donated by our sponsors.

Title First Name Family Name
4pm Sara Crane
A black point Niko Campbell-Ellis
A Day in October Kim Waters
A hard won Spring Tahra Baulch
A Japanese Airman Forewarns His Wife Brett Dionysius
A Letter Anahata Giri
A Love Letter to My Incarcerated Sister Trixi Rosa
A tea-rose for Frieda Louise Wakeling
Ashes Gillian Telford
Bendalong Michele Seminara
Black News Anthony Levin
Blood and bone Justine Hyde
Blue Deb Godley
Blue Karen Wickman-Woldhuis
Broken Decima Wraxall
Burial Connor Weightman
Cairo Natalie Holder
Camp David Thérèse Murphy
Chemo days Trisha Pender
Choosing Gail Hennessy
Circumference of desire Jenny Pollak
Circumspection Paul Hetherington
Cold Karen Lieversz
Comfort Steve Evans
Custard Lindsay Watson
Custodian Norm Neill
Dear Diary Richard West
Debt for Life Barbara Rosie
Detritus Joan Katherine Webster
Ether Jo Withers
Eulogy Grace Dwyer
Even Richard James Allen
Everything I need to know Susan Bradley Smith
Everywhere Jo Gardiner
Fairy Dust Louise Baxter
Family portrait Grace Dwyer
Farewell to Billy Duluth Lesley Carnus
Fathom Nicole Sellers
Fells Philip Radmall
First season Jane Gibian
Grief Is Kim Anderson
Grieving is Overrated Mark Bromhead
Guilty gratitude Christine Burrows
Hashtag Karenlee Thompson
Heartbeat Emily Usher
Hot and Cold Belinda Oliver
How it is Alison Flett
I have the weight of a life that is substantive and real on my shoulders Sook Samsara
I wish I knew Helen Angela Taylor
In black and white Ian Wicks
In the Quiet Moments Emma Pasinati
Indwelling Ron Pretty
Intermission Jenny Pollak
KNITTING, ENDINGS and GRIEVING Anne Boyd
Kulaluk Paul Drewitt
Let it not be this Jennifer Chen
Let Me Introduce You Vanessa Farrer
Looking for Clark Gable Alexandra Geneve
Lost Jacqueline Damen
Maracas Trixi Rosa
Memoria in aeterna Sandie Walker
Motherless Daughter M Fletcher
My Dear Son Michelle Wong
My Elisa Alexandra Geneve
No one is ever really gone. Tim Hardy
Not Crying, Dancing Linda Stevenson
Not Horses, or Mothers Lisa Jacobson
Not long, my darling Audrey Molloy
On My Mum’s Passing Belinda Paxton
On the hottest midwinter day on record Peter Lach-Newinsky
One Lump or Two Billie Ruth
One Word Rob Selzer
Renovations Sylvia Muller
Residue Judy Mullen
Resting Bitch-Face Thérèse Murphy
Scenes from a Hospital Kate Ryan
Since you Beth Spencer
Sirens Meg McNaught
Skin and Bone Melissa Manning
Small Things Cameron Langfield
Some time later PS Cottier
Sometimes, Love Isn’t Enough Louisa Simmonds
Still Lauren Forner
Stuff going on while I’m paying rent Glenn Aljatreux
Super Hero Fiona Everette
Tears Marianne Hamilton
The day after coming home from hospital Claire Watson
The Hobs of Drought Jan Iwaszkiewicz
The lactic acid in the calves of your despair Ali Whitelock
The Line Our Thread Cynthia Troup
The little ones Christine Kearney
The Skeleton Nicole Melanson
The Stone Jar Chris Lynch
There are days Penny Lane
This big bright land Simone King
Those Days Sarah Bourne
Three Unbearable Things Helen Richardson
Time Alyssa Sterry
Time for Grief Seetha Nambiar Dodd
Tough Love Barbara Hunt
Try Judy Mullen
Two Trees Tanya Richmond
Ultrasound Lisa Jacobson
Vincero, I will overcome Merran Hughes
What About Me? Samantha Noble
Where has my family gone? Michael Cole
Why I can’t talk Eleni Hale
Words out my mouth Kathryn Lyster
Would haves Naomi Deneve
Yiayia Sibella  
BlueKnot grieve logo and image of the CEO

Blue Knot Foundation

By | Grieve, News

Within Blue Knot Foundation, the national Australian organisation which supports adults who have experienced all sorts of trauma, abuse and violence in childhood grief and loss is never far from the surface.
   Whether it is loss of childhood, of innocence, of meaning, of family or of possibility, Blue Knot works to help those affected to feel safe, rebuild trust and find a path to hope and healing. It is not about simply getting over it and getting on with it but it is about the support of others – listening, hearing and being there with and for one another. It’s about being human and sharing the vulnerabilities and sensitivities we all experience, at different times in our lives.
   My experience is that grief takes as long as it takes. Each and every person has their own experience, their own way of trying to deal with it, of processing their loss and an intensity of emotion, which at times, feels unrelenting and infinite. Yet as an organisation we daily witness the resilience of the human spirit, buoyed through connection and community, over time.
   Helping to judge some of the entries to the Grieve writing competition has been profoundly moving and humbling. The experiences of grief and loss, so deeply personal have presented works of raw honesty and lyrical imagery, metaphor and narrative rarely shared.
   To find out more about Blue Knot Foundation visit www.blueknot.org.au

Cathy Kezelman
President

Jean Kent poet

Jean Kent – poet and mentor

By | Member News, News, Poetry at HWC, Writing Groups
Pretending for a moment that she's not tough,
under the rotary clothes hoist the coordinator
of the Affirmative Action for Women program
buckles. This seems like the hardest job
she ever has to do, wrestling with wind and light,
the wet clothes slapping her face
and knuckling her into corners where sun assaults
and the frantic morning pegs down
like a sideshow tent while an audience
of waiting household tasks
boos and jeers
- from 'Superwoman' by Jean Kent (HWC member)
Jean Kent poet

Jean is a long term member of Hunter Writers Centre. Born in Chinchilla, Jean grew up in rural Queensland. She has published 5 full-length collections of poetry and co-edited a comprehensive anthology of contemporary poetry by writers who live in the Hunter or have close connections with the region. Here is her website.  Jean is available for mentoring – contact us at info@hunterwriterscentre.org (photo by Dean Osland, Newcastle Herald)

Shaynah Andrews Ryan O'Neill

2018 Newcastle Short Story Award prizewinners

By | Newcastle Short Story Award, News, Uncategorized

The 2018 anthology is now on sale

Congratulations to all the prizewinners:

First Prize – sponsored by the University of Newcastle, awarded to Shaynah Andrews (pictured R with Prof Darrell Evans and Ryan O’Neill, judge)

Here is an excerpt from her winning story ‘Not for Me to Understand’:

My blood feels too hot. I want to beat my fists against Dad for treating me like a kid. I smash a cup on the kitchen tiles, half on purpose. There are little bits of glass all around me. Dad and Linda rush into the room.

‘I’m sorry, it was an accident,’ I say.

‘It’s OK, possum,’ says Dad. I want him to yell and scream at me but he is gentle. ‘I’ll clean this up darlin’, just get away from all the glass. Careful now.’

Dad and Linda hover over plastic dustpans. I walk out the front door and ride my pushie to the beach with Ellie behind me.

 

Shaynah Andrews Ryan O'Neill
Sally Davies and Cassie Hamer

Cassie Hamer (R) won second prize donated by Newcastle Law Society represented by Sally Davies (L)

Megan Buxton Ryan O'Neill and Kate Griffith (sponsor from Westfield)

L to R: Megan Buxton, HWC President, Ryan O’Neill, judge, Kate Griffith from sponsor Westfield Kotara

Wayne Strudwick - award winner NSSA

Wayne Strudwick, Commended award winner for his story ‘Postcard

Shawn Sherlock and Jane OSullivan

Shawn Sherlock, Foghorn Brewhouse donated the Highly Commended awarded to Jane O’Sullivan

Tanya Vavilova and Amanda Shirley

Amanda Shirley from MacLean’s Booksellers donated the Highly Commended awarded to Tanya Vavilova

Author Ryan O'Neill and prizewinner in the Newcastle Short Story Award

M.J. Reidy (pictured here with judge Ryan O’Neill) won a Commended award donated by Dymocks, Charlestown.

Derice McDonald and Rhona Hammond

Derice McDonald from Macquariedale Organic Wines donated a $120 wine pack awarded to Rhona Hammond, local writer’s award.

writers - local winners within the Newcastle Short Story Award 2018

Local Award Winners Shaynah Andrews, Edyn Carter and Stephanie Holm

close up of an elderly person's hand

Writing About Significant Loss

By | Grieve, News

Sometimes writing about the loss of a close family member can feel too hard because the enormity of all you have lost might stop you even starting. You may feel that in trying to describe it all you lose the sense of the person. What about writing about one aspect of the person? Start with a small physical characteristic or a small feature you loved about him or her – their smile, the way he sat to read, chat, write; the way she dressed or cooked or performed a regular chore. Below, Maree Reedman writes (in Grieve Volume 5) about hands as a recurring image which creates a clear and intimate portrait of her father. Enter your poem or story/essay into the Grieve writing competition.

My Father’s Hands
Maree Reedman

Long, tapered fingers,like candles.
Not a musician,though your sister
tried to teach you the piano.

A gardener
of fruit trees and roses
until you toppled over
the rosemary; the builder
of a mustard bookcase for my childhood
and my adolescent home;
a maker
of home brew
and pongy dog stew.

Your half-moons purpled
with blood as I held
your hand
while you snored,
mouth open
you always slept
easily.

My brother tried to close your lips
when you left,
off to go on that long-awaited
honeymoon with Mother,
the one you never took.
Man's hand in his lap