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History Festival September 2018

By | Lit Resourses, News

Logo for History Festival Lake Mac Libraries for History Week first week of SeptemberThe 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.

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

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  

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, 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)

MeganBuxton RyanONeill KateGriffiths

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

Wayne Strudwick - award winner

Wayne Strudwick, Commended award winner for his story ‘Postcard

ShawnSherlock and JaneOSullivan

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

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
Nathan Curnow Sarah Day

2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize Judges

By | Newcastle Poetry Prize, News

We are thrilled to have poet Nathan Curnow as one of our judges of the 2018 Newcastle Poetry Prize judges. Nathan is based in Ballarat, Victoria, and is a past editor of Going Down Swinging. He was published in the 2011 Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology and his published books include The Ghost Poetry Project (2009), RADAR (2012), The Right Wrong Notes (2015) and The Apocalypse Awards (2016). His work has featured in leading journals and been shortlisted for major prizes, receiving the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize in 2010. As a peer assessor he has worked for the Literature Board of the Australia Council, Creative Victoria and Arts Queensland. He has recently taught Creative Writing at Federation University and continues to conduct school workshops across the country.

What a coup that Sarah Day agreed to judge the Newcastle Poetry Prize this year with Nathan Curnow. Sarah’s most recent book is Tempo (Puncher & Wattmann, 2013); it was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and won the University of Melbourne Wesley Michelle Wright Prize. Awards for previous books include the Judith Wright Calanthe Queensland Premier’s Award, the Judith Wright ACT, the Wesley Michelle Wright Prize and the Anne Elder Award. She was poetry editor of Island Magazine for seven years. Her poems have been widely anthologized in Australia and overseas and have been set to music in Australia and Britain. She has written reviews and articles for magazines such as Island; The Monthly; Southerly; Cordite; Famous Reporter. In 2016 she was one of the judges of the National Wildcare Nature Writing Prize. Her next collection will be published early this year.

Cover of Newcastle Short Story Award anthology 2018

2018 Newcastle Short Story Award finalists announced

By | Newcastle Short Story Award, News

 

Ryan O'Neill, 2018 Newcastle Short Story Award judge

Ryan O’Neill, 2018 Newcastle Short Story Award judge

We are thrilled to announce the authors selected to be published in the 2018 Newcastle Short Story Award anthology.

Join us at the prize ceremony to find out which of these authors (listed below) will win the prize pool valued at over $7000.

Hear the judge, author Ryan O’Neill, discuss short story writing and this competition.

When? On the eve of the Newcastle Writers Festival, at 5.30pm, 6th April, 2018 in City Hall, Newcastle.

 

In alphabetical order, the selected authors are:

Shaynah

Andrews

Not for Me to Understand

Sophia Helen

Barnes

Look Me In The Eye

Kate

Cantrell

We Caught Her in the Act

Edyn

Carter

Gyne

Jessica

Clements

Blackberries

Else

Fitzgerald

Felidae

Chris

Flynn

Fantasia

Jean

Flynn

Suffering is Universal

Marlish

Glorie

Red Dust & Pearls

Cassie

Hamer

Sculptures by the Sea

Rhona

Hammond

Socks

Nicole

Hodgson

Just One Night

Stephanie

Holm

Grey Gum

Elspeth

Ives

End of Lease

Roland

Leach

G

Beverley

Lello

Blue Day

James

McKenzie Watson

Twin Suns

Meg

McNaught

Fresh Dirt

Paul

Mitchell

A Belt for Buddha

Rashida

Murphy

Strands of Jupiter

Alexandra

O’Sullivan

Lucky

Jane

O’Sullivan

Red Belly

Hollen

Pockets

Water the Colour of Clay

M.J.

Reidy

Dachshunds on Antidepressants

Emily

Riches

A Bad Friend

Peter

Rodgers

The Right Call?

Dorothy

Simmons

Jupiter Rising

William

Stanforth

Animalia

Wayne

Strudwick

Postcard

Tanya

Vavilova

Excess Baggage

Sanchana

Venkatesh

Arranged Marriage

Joshua

Wildie

Saviour