Society of Women Writers Victoria

I’ve had two successes in the SWWV Christmas competitions. My short story ‘Famous Last Words’ came second in the Short Story Competition, and my poem ‘Nostalgia Trip’ came second in the Poetry Competition.

Update – the poem ‘Nostalgia Trip’ has now been chosen by Les Murray for publication in ‘Quadrant’ magazine, after the poetry judge Joe Dolce submitted the SWWV shortlisted poems to him.

Poetry Masterclass at Clunes

I’m delighted to have been part of a fantastic long weekend of poetry, led by Jordie Albiston, in the congenial surroundings of Clunes. The hospitality was superb, and the group of seven poets and one tutor established a very special relationship right from the start. The work-shopping, discussions, exercises and general literary gossiping were so productive that we’ve decided to keep the group going and meet once a month – basically we were having so much fun we didn’t want to stop at the end of the course. Thank you to Writers Victoria for the opportunity, and to Jordie for such inspiring tutoring.

ANTHOLOGY ENTRY

My sonnet ‘Creation’ will appear in the anthology ‘The Poet’s Quest For God’, to be launched in London in April 2014, published by Eyewear Publishing. I’m hoping I can tweak the dates of a planned trip back to the UK so that I can attend the launch

The book has an impressive list of contributors, including Wendy Cope, Andrew Motion, and previous Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. I’m overwhelmed and excited to find myself in such exalted company!

The anthology is available for pre-order on Amazon here

CARMEL BIRD AWARD

My short story ‘Graffiti’ has made it on to the long-list in The Carmel Bird Award short story competition for Spineless Wonders. If it progresses to the short-list it will be included in an anthology.

Part of the plot of this story can be found on the May entry on the Extract of the Month page.

Update: I didn’t make it to the shortlist after all, but it’s good to know I was close!

Peninsula Poets at Rosebud

Six poets, multiple poems, varied content and slick presentation. Members of Peninsula Poets performed to an enthusiastic audience in the interval between two one-woman plays at the Southern Peninsula Arts Centre on August 2nd. The event was a spin-off from the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and was very well received by all who attended.

Book Links

A reminder about how to access my poetry collection ‘Lines Dancing”. You can order it as a printed book from either Lulu or Amazon (which of them is best value probably depends on which country you’re ordering from and what the postage costs are) or as a download to an e-reader.

To find it on Lulu click here

To find it on Amazon, click here

To find it as a downloadable e-book, click  here

ARTZ Event

I’m involved in a fashion show with a difference on June 16th – as well as a fashion presentation it’s an opportunity for artists and poets to strut their stuff, with art-works on display and poets performing poems related to the art. (The posh word for poetry based on art-works is ekphrasis – sounds impressive!) I’m linked with a photographer, a painter and a jewellery designer.

artz1

Summing up NaPoWriMo

As the end of April finally arrives, it’s possible to look back at the frustrations and benefits of NaPoWriMo. Frustrations because the ‘one poem a day’ challenge proved, for me, a bit counter-productive at times. There were too many days when I just churned out something in a hurry and got no real benefit from it, and I suspect quite a few of the poems will just get quietly ditched in the end. But benefits there certainly were, too – I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the poems did bear looking at when returned to a few days later. Some have already been modified, and several will be worked on at more length after a decent interval for reflection. I certainly have more usable material at the end of the month than I ever would have without NaPoWriMo. I’m glad it’s over, though! Not sure if I’d do it again.

Crime with Shane Maloney

I’m three-quarters of the way through a novel-writing boot camp – a course run by  Writers Victoria in Melbourne. The tutor is Shane Maloney, who is excellent at keeping us focused and giving us lots of useful insights. We’re a mixed bunch of pupils, some in the early stages of plotting a novel, some much further down the track. The subject matter we cover between us is very varied, but the basic principles of knocking a book into shape are relevant to all of us, and I think everyone is finding the course useful and inspiring. Three Wednesday afternoons down, one to go. I’m working on resurrecting a crime novel set in the Channel Islands that I came close to getting published in the UK years ago, with a view to trying again now I’m in Australia. I’ve posted a sample from it on the new extracts page I’ve just started.

After a couple of months of not writing very much at all, I suddenly find myself working on a crime novel, polishing some new poems, and plotting a new idea for a short story – much like the weather, which has now broken after a long dry spell. Extended metaphor there, I think, about long-awaited rains bringing forth blossom and fruit – but I’ll leave someone else to turn it into a corny poem!