pendemic pen-demic project cover picture
March 17, 2020


Members of Hunter Writers Centre are submitting works to our latest project. Read the submissions received so far and, if you are a member, why not submit a piece in response to the prompts below? Pen-demic is a writing opportunity to take you away from your quarantine blues. Spread your…
February 28, 2020

February 2020 Newsletter

Live Reading Enjoy HWC member Diana Pearce’s poem which won a cash prize at our recent live reading: On Being There A response to George Gittoes exhibition Newcastle Art Gallery, March ‘20 Old wars and modern deprivations. The dispossessed sheltered only between fragments of lives once known, Some palms skyward…
2020 Newcastle Short Story Award judges - Laura Elvery and Khalid Warsame NewsNewsletters
January 22, 2020

January 2020 Newsletter

Closing soon! Newcastle Short Story Award Entries close 8pm AEST, 3rd February Accepting short stories up to 2000 words. Top works selected by the judges will be published in the 2020 anthology. $7800 in prizes Learn more Upcoming workshops Creative Writing Course Monday 17th February Have you always wanted to…
Newcastle Short Story Award book cover NewsNewsletters
December 18, 2019

December 2019 Newsletter

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…
NPP 2019 book cover for Soft Serve NewsNewsletters
November 18, 2019

November 2019 Newsletter

2019 Newcastle Poetry Prize The 2019 anthology is now available. Click here to purchase Congratulations, Chloe Wilson, winner of the Newcastle Poetry Prize for her poem 'Soft Serve' read more about Chloe here Steve Armstrong, winner of the Local Award for his poem 'Thirteen Ways to Know My Grandfather' Kit…
University of Newcastle NeW Space Building NewsNewsletters
October 10, 2019

October 2019 Newsletter

You're invited ! Newcastle Poetry Prize Ceremony A free event Level 8, NeW Space from 2pm Saturday 26th October Program includes: Live Reading $25 000 Prize Pool awarded and the launch of the 2019 anthology See the list of poets to be published in the 2019 anthology   Hear these…
creative writing course banner News
September 11, 2019

September 2019 Newsletter

  Join us Level 8, NeW Space from 2pm Saturday 26th October at the Newcastle Poetry Prize Ceremony Program includes: Live Reading $25 000 Prize Pool awarded and the launch of the 2019 anthology See the list of poets to be published in the 2019 anthology   Level 8, NeW…
Kilgour Prize finalist work Sebastian Galloway News
August 11, 2019

August 2019 Newsletter

First Tuesday Live Readings at Newcastle Art Gallery bring your readings 3pm, Tuesday 3rd September The Kilgour Prize for portraiture (a few pictured here) is on display at Newcastle Art Gallery. Come and read a poem or prose piece in response to one of the works on display. Click here…
Phil WIlliams HWC member Live reading at Newcastle Art Gallery Speaker at July 2019 to a full audience and art works News
July 8, 2019

July 2019 Newsletter

First Tuesday Live Readings at Newcastle Art Gallery Our inaugural Ekphrastic live reading was held last week. 23 pieces were heard and the judging was very challenging! All the works brought the artworks alive. Congratulations to Brian Noble, Nicole Sellers, Gail Hennessy and, people's choice award winner, Jan Dean. See…
microphone NewsNewsletters
June 17, 2019

June 2019 Newsletter

Live Readings   New time, new space Cash Prizes - $50, $100 We are thrilled to present our monthly live readings from July to November at Newcastle Art Gallery Join us July 2nd from 3pm share your stories, poems, songs, scripts in response to James Drinkwater's exhibition  the sea calls…


shirley temple DisabilityNews
February 13, 2020

Get a Hair Cut and Get a Real Job – by Lauren Hislop

I'm Lauren. I’m a writer, desiring to open minds, broaden perspectives and challenge status quo. I am a ‘crazy socialist’, with three university degrees and a fiercely honed sense of independence. I also have cerebral palsy, which affects every muscle in my body, including my speech. I require subtitles to…
Michael Ladd - 2020 judge Newcastle Poetry Prize Newcastle Poetry PrizePoetry
February 12, 2020

2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize

The 2020 Newcastle Poetry Prize is now open for entries Judges are Mike Ladd and Judith Beveridge $25,000 prize pool and a chance to be published in the 39th anthology Purchase an anthology
Katrina McKelvey author NewsWriting for Children
November 25, 2019

Writing for Children Part 4

How do I find an illustrator? How do I find a publisher? How do I submit my manuscript to a publisher? by Katrina McKelvey I get asked these questions all the time. Usually the person asking doesn’t realise there are whole courses and workshops written to answer them. They are…
Front cover of 'Dandelions' book by Katrina McKelvey NewsWriting for Children
November 18, 2019

Writing for Children Part 3

I’ve just written a picture book.  What do I do next?  How can I learn more about writing for children? by Katrina McKelvey Inspiration can hit anyone at any time. But getting an idea down and crafting it into a polished manuscript takes work and time. No one gets it…
Front cover for 'Up To Something' book by Katrina McKelvey NewsWriting for Children
November 11, 2019

Writing for Children Part 2

What are the different ways I can write for children? by Katrina McKelvey Becoming a children’s author can happen in many ways. I’ve heard loads of unique stories which included a combination of hard work, strategic moves, and luck. And just like any journey, some who start make it, and…
Front cover for 'No Baths Week' book by Katrina McKelvey NewsWriting for Children
November 4, 2019

Writing for Children Part 1

Writing for children is easy—right? Wrong! by Katrina McKelvey Writing for children is complex. After all, the readership is complex. To put it simply: kids are smart! Children deserve stories that are compelling, breathtaking, and authentic that will make them think, empathise and wonder. Childhood is about learning, exploring and…
Sign: looking for a job DisabilityNews
October 28, 2019

Living with Disability (4)

I started a Bachelor of Arts a few months after high school and was the model student, with a propensity for caffeine induced procrastination. Most of my time was spent navel gazing, and basking in the sun. My peers at university, accepted my intellect separate to my disability. I was…
girl having fun in wheelchair DisabilityNews
October 21, 2019

Living with Disability (3)

  As I stumble down the supermarket isle, my eyes gravitate to the word ‘special’. Whilst I yearn for a bargain, I have a sense of utter aversion to that word. ‘Special’ conjures negative memories of starting school, it equates with segregation and confinement. I was placed in a ‘special…
clock DisabilityNews
October 14, 2019

Living with Disability (2)

Living with Disability - By Lauren Hislop I’m a university educated, liberated woman. The lyrics of ‘I’m a woman hear me roar’ are ingrained. The incongruency of being an extremely independent spirit, dwelling in a vessel unable to be self-sufficient, is conducive to anxiety and frustration. Have you heard the…
Lauren Hislop Blogger on Disability DisabilityNews
October 7, 2019

Living with Disability (1)

Have you ever lived with a puppy, one which becomes your beloved family pet? Whilst you watch Netflix, it nestles in your lap, an intrinsic part of your life. However, after a long day at work, when you open your front door to be greeted with dog excrement, your endearment…
Butterflies & Bushland: The Illustrated Guide to Ash Island Butterflies Book by Rosie Heritage & Julia Brougham Nature writingNews
September 26, 2019

Nature Writing Part 4

Caterpillar Weirdness by Julia Brougham The Very Hungry Caterpillar, VHC, has been eating its way through an improbable menu and counting game with children since 1969. Compared with real caterpillars - shape shifting cryptic tricksters hiding their multiple personas in plain sight - VHC is as exciting as a used…
Eastern Curlews in flight Nature writingNews
September 19, 2019

Nature Writing Part 3

Put A Bird In It by Julia Brougham Birds in flight make air visible. Air flows through and within them as they fly through the air, inhabiting the spaces within and between each feather on a structure exquisitely evolved to enhance flight; strong, light, hollow, honeycombed bones; lungs full of…
Eastern Curlew Nature writingNews
September 12, 2019

Nature Writing Part 2

Booklovers Dilemma by Julia Brougham Bookshelves stacked high and in double rows squeezed tight. Bedside tables stacked with four or five books on the go. The numbers grow, the TARDIS Effect fails and the booklovers dilemma sneaks in with a strange urge to be sensible.  Bargain with self and make…
map of ash island in the Hunter River Nature writingNews
September 5, 2019

Nature Writing Part 1

Trees Are Company by Julia Brougham Julia is a landcare co-ordinator on Ash Island in the Hunter River. We asked her to blog about Nature. We were a rambling trio on Ash Island, strolling and looking, and we were suddenly transfixed. A lizard wrapped around the stalk of a tall…
'ABANDONED The Sad Death of Dianne Brimble' by Geesche Jacobsen NewsTrue Crime
August 26, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 4

True Crime by Ted Bassingthwaighte The best . . . Now that you are prepared for it let’s talk about what’s good. I am passionate about stories in book form in particular. I don’t deride digital versions of true crime. True crime podcasts are arguably the fastest growing medium in…
'MILAT, Inside Australia's Biggest Manhunt - A Detective's Story' by Clive Small and Tom Gilling NewsTrue Crime
August 19, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 3

True Crime by Ted Bassingthwaighte The whole crime scene! So, you are ‘standing at the shoulder of monsters’ and what do you expect to see or hear or feel? Are you just a curious observer? Do you feel slightly voyeuristic? Or do you want to ride that imagination train into…
picture of a footprint in the sand NewsTrue Crime
August 9, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 2

Why Do We Love True Crime? Mark Lawson in this article in The Guardian  said, "Humans are fascinated by evil,” says bestselling crime writer Ian Rankin. “We wonder where it comes from and whether we ourselves could ever carry out such an act. Some readers turn to crime fiction for…
NewsTrue Crime
August 5, 2019

True Crime Writing Part 1

True Crime by Ted Bassingthwaighte See It, Touch It, Smell It, Taste It True crime was my passion and occupation for 22 years. I joined the NSW Police Force on May 18th 1987. In the first 12 months of my probationary period at Wyong police station on the NSW Central…
Flames from bonfire NewsPoetry
July 25, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 5

the last post   in my last blog entry I listed a number of ‘modes’ for the composition of a poem the peripatetic, the here-and-now view, the political – the bearing witness mode (was where I got stuck) it seems like a hundred years ago I was in Hong Kong,…
photo taken by Kit Kelen NewsPoetry
July 20, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 4

Poetry Process by Professor Christopher (Kit) Kelen I want to write a poem about the different modes of process I encounter in drafting poems. I started these posts with what I call the peripatetic mode; that is, drafting while walking. This is something I do all the time (almost daily),…
Kit Kelen's sun image with people watching NewsPoetry
July 16, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 3

Poetry process by Professor Christopher (Kit) Kelen    and what a week it’s been, poetry process enthusiasts… there we were, up above the Arctic Circle, experiencing the midnight sun … first on land (over the water) … so mainly I was inspired to draft just from where I was, just…
Drafting a poem-part of the process NewsPoetry
July 12, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 2

a cheerio call from inside of the poem in its making here I am back again happening to be in a Norway summer high above the Arctic Circle no chance of sunset at all (see pictures, stay tuned for midnight sun) …. and right now I am making an example…
Norway, where member blogger Kit Kelen is residing NewsPoetry
July 8, 2019

Poetry Writing Part 1

Professor Christopher (Kit) Kelen is a resident of Bulahdelah and he has travelled extensively around the world. He is a poet, painter and academic who has published a dozen full length poetry collections and translated books of poetry in several languages. Kit is Emeritus Professor at the University of Macau.…
Susan Francis , blogger, member of HWC Australian LiteratureNews
June 15, 2019

Australian Literature Part 4

Different Voices: new and emerging writers – blog by Susan Francis My relationship with Newcastle, the city of my birth, was always problematic. Years were spent away from the place. And now? Well, I have to admit, hand over my heart, I’m in love with it. I discover myself residing in…
Ronald McCuaig poet Australian LiteratureNews
June 10, 2019

Australian Literature Part 3

Reality Rhymes - blog by Susan Francis Who’s your favourite Australian poet? This one’s easy! Because I think the ideas explored in Australian poetry, post colonisation, are more unconventional than some of the broader subject matter written about in our fiction. Since settlement, there’s been a long tradition of poets…
for love alone Christina Stead Australian LiteratureNews
June 5, 2019

Australian Literature Part 2

Something Novel - Australian Novelists - blog by Susan Francis In my mid-twenties I formed an attachment to an extremely astute young man: a poet who would invite me ice skating in Prince Alfred Park on Friday nights. Skating in the dark, beneath strings of fairy lights hung from the…
book cover of Seven Little Australians Australian LiteratureNews
June 1, 2019

Australian Literature Part 1

Pages of Us - Introduction  - blog article by Susan Francis Australian Literature. Does such a thing exist? That was the response from my Head Teacher at the UK school where I taught English. 'Christina Stead . . .' , I began to respond but, in the face of her…
person's hand holding an iphone showing rows of books NewsSpeculative Fiction
May 24, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 4

SpecFic for Fun and Profit I’ve never bought into the genre writing vs. literary writing argument, because it doesn’t take too much research to find out which side makes most of the money. You can’t eat accolades after all. If you want to make a living from your writing, you…
picture of dragon NewsSpeculative Fiction
May 17, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 3

Writing mythic spec fic: 6 tips You’re setting off on an epic quest. You plan to slash through jungles, slay monsters, summon storms, and conquer civilisations. But how do you get your readers to follow you? With a powerful story to capture and sustain their interest, they’ll happily share your journey.…
Book cover 'Fire In the Veins' NewsSpeculative Fiction
May 10, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 2

Putting the characters in the driver's seat by Graham Davidson Why be a control freak when you can let your characters drive the story for you?  Put a group of Spec fiction writers together and they’ll often get caught up in the Pantsers versus Plotters debate. For those unfamiliar with…
spaceship NewsSpeculative Fiction
May 3, 2019

Spec Fic Writing Pt 1

Take Us To Your Reader by Michael Tippett Let’s address the oliphaunt in the room, shall we? Speculative fiction is finally getting the respect it deserves. Not too long ago there was a stigma attached to being a genre writer—more so if you huddled under the ‘spec-fic’ umbrella of horror,…
Red Cross nurses WW1 NewsWriting History
April 25, 2019

Writing History Part 3

Thomas Keaneally's Error In my last post I referred to the writerly error of “changing the date of the Battle of Waterloo”, i.e., getting the facts wrong in relation to a topic that’s easy to check.  I was disappointed when I read Thomas Keneally’s Daughters of Mars, a novel of…
NewsWriting History
April 19, 2019

Writing History Part 2

'You can’t change the date of the Battle of Waterloo' Writing Historical Non-Fiction with Christine Bramble Some years ago I attended a workshop on Creative Non-Fiction.  When I mentioned this to a friend who, like me, was working on a biography, she looked puzzled.  How can nonfiction be creative? Doesn’t…
train at station NewsWriting History
April 11, 2019

Writing History Part 1

Carriage 'B' of the northbound CountryLink at 1.50pm Writing Historical Non-Fiction with Christine Bramble I’ve spent most of my working life writing – but for someone else!  Study notes, exhibition guides, newsletters, council reports, strategic plans, you name it: schools, a museum and the planning departments of local government.  It…
hands reaching out of the swamp - picture for crime fiction article Crime FictionNews
March 26, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 4

The Comfort of Horror Fiction Crime Writing with Megan Buxton I find horror very comforting. I can just see the raised eyebrows as I write that. The modern world is terrifying enough – war and terrorism, senseless crimes on a daily basis. Why subject yourself to more? Stephen King, probably…
drawing of a house for crime writing blog post Crime FictionNews
March 18, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 3

Home Sweet Home . . . or is it? Crime Writing with Megan Buxton   Carly scrambled from bed, stumbling and snatching at the darkness, caught between fight and flight. Where? Where was he? Listening, straining for sounds, she heard the thump of her heart, the dry gasp of her…
female lying on oversized book for women and crime article Crime FictionNews
March 7, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 2

Women and Crime Crime Writing with Megan Buxton Crime, mystery and thriller are the most popular genres in Australia - a large percentage of book sales come from this category and I’ve made a substantial contribution to that statistic. There’s an ever-increasing TBR pile on my bedside table and I…
hand against a window - crime fiction image Crime FictionNews
March 1, 2019

Dark and Loving It – Crime Writing Part 1

Dark and Loving it Crime Writing with Megan Buxton   I love a good murder. Don’t be alarmed. I’ve never actually killed anyone; nor am I likely to (though my partner might debate that). I am also, I hope, unlikely to be the victim of a violent crime. But, according…