Okay so the classic writers might use the weather (Austen, Brontes, etc) as a vehicle to further the plot and show the mood of a character or two but what about real life? I spent last night relegating all the summer gear to the spare wardrobe and digging out jumpers, cardigans and coats and yes, believe it! even scarves, beanies and woollen gloves. The weather has changed drastically. Last week we were basking in 20 degree heat and now we can expect a top of around 10 with overnight temperatures down to - 1. And with the chilly wind you just know it is snowing somewhere. Stay warm indoors reading or writing!
Come along and meet popular children's author Michael Panckridge - author of the acclaimed Legends and Anniversary Legends series with Black Dog Books and mad keen sports fanatic when he visits libraries in the Central West. With more than 100,000 copies sold, the entire Legends first series has been re-issued. Both series are a culmination of many years of dedicated sports mania combined with an enthusiastic exploration of what boys and girls really want to read. He also writes adventure and mystery stories. Michael will be visiting the following venues: Orange City Library, Byng Street, Wednesday 21 January from 10.30am to 11.30am Cost $10 Ph: 6393 8132 to reserve your place. Molong Library, Bank Street, Wednesday 21 January, 2.30pm to 3.30pm, Cost $10 Ph: 6366 8404 to book. Cowra Library, Darling Street, Thursday 22 January 2.30pm – 3.30pm, Cost $10, Ph: 6340 2180 to RSVP. And Parkes Library ph 6861 2309 for details.
Announcing the first Litlink/NRWC Manuscript Award where entries are open to all writers resident in regional NSW, outside the Sydney metropolitan region. LitLink is a Statewide literary network, linking the nine writers' centres across NSW, supporting and promoting regional writers and developing audiences for Australian literature. Manuscripts may be fiction or narrative non fiction, and must be completed to a final draft stage. Sections of manuscripts or incomplete works will not be accepted. Unfortunately, picture books, poetry and performance pieces are not eligible for consideration. It is essential that works submitted have not been published in part or in full in any form. Deadline for entries, to be sent to the NRWC, is 5pm Monday 30 March, 2009. Each entry must be accompanied by the authorised entry form, available online at www.nrwc.org.au or from the Centre, Level 1, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay. There is an entry fee of $35 per manuscript, to assist with administration and adjudicating. A shortlist of four will be announced by Friday 29 May. The shortlisted writers will appear at the Byron Bay Writers Festival 2009, where the winner will be announced in a dedicated session. The shortlisted manuscripts will each be read and considered by Annette Barlow of Allen and Unwin, and the ultimate winner will receive a prize, details of which to be confirmed shortly. Enquiries and further information from the Director, Jeni Caffin, at 02 6685 5115 and firstname.lastname@example.org
The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and the Australia Council for the Arts are pleased to announce a new partnership. In 2009, the Australia Council's support for emerging writers will be administered by the ASA. The program will be known as The Australia Council's Emerging Writers/Illustrators' Initiative managed by the Australian Society of Authors. The ASA will assess applications and disburse emerging writer and illustrator grants for a total of $175,000. ASA Chair Dr Anita Heiss said: "We already work with emerging writers and illustrators through our successful mentorship program. This provides us with a further opportunity to nurture and support the creation of Australian literature in its many forms." The Australia Council's chair of the Literature Board, Dr Imre Salusinszky, welcomed the move. "We believe that the synergy offered between the Australia Council's funding and the ongoing support for emerging writers offered by the ASA through its mentorships and other professional support - the creation of a "one stop shop" for new writers - will be of enormous benefit for practitioners," he said. Susan Hayes, Australia Council Director of Literature, agreed, adding: "The Australia Council and the ASA have worked together successfully on numerous projects and I look forward to this new development".
Writer Dorothy Porter's funeral was held in Melbourne yesterday. She died from complications due to cancer, age 54. A writer at the height of her powers, Dorothy's most recent publication was El Dorado, her fifth verse novel. It was shortlisted for a number of awards including the Prime Minister's Literary Award for fiction, and Australian Book Review said "this mature and accomplished work...puts her at the top of the distinguished class of contemporary Australian poets when it comes to livres composés". She was most recently working with Tim Finn on a rock opera called January. Two of her verse novels have been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award: What a Piece of Work in 2000 and Wild Surmise in 2003. In 2000 the film The Monkey's Mask was made of her verse novel of the same name. Also a chamber opera The Eternity Man, by Dorothy Porter and Jonathan Mills premiered in London in 2003. Based on the life of Arthur Stace who for almost 40 years roamed the streets of Sydney writing 'Eternity' on the footpaths, it was one of three winners of the inaugural Genesis Foundation Opera Award. It had its international premiere at the Almeida Theatre in London, and was adapted for film, directed by Julien Temple and starring Grant Doyle and Christa Hughes. It premiered with a special Opera House screening at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2001 and will be shown on the ABC in January 2009.
Hip hop artist and poet Omar Musa from Queanbeyan has won this year's Australian Poetry Slam competition, held at Sydney Opera House last night. Poetry slam is a style of performed poetry which takes its influences from rap and hip hop. After the 18 state and territory finalists performed on topics such as going to the dentist and football, there was a tie between Omar Musa from Queanbeyan, south-east of Canberra, and Mark Lloyd from Western Australia. Mr Musa ultimately won the $5,000 prize. He says he hopes others will be inspired to write poetry. "I think we should keep encouraging events like this because in Australia I think sport and all that sort of thing is encouraged as opposed to intellectual activity and things like poetry," he said. "I think things like hip hop and slam poetry events are the kind of things that would reignite a love for the English language, which I think is often missing." More than 600 people entered this year's competition, many with political themes such as the global financial crisis, war and women's rights. Regina Sutton from the State Library says there has been a resurgence of interest in poetry. Read more about the contestants http://www.abc.net.au/local/features/poetryslam/default.htm
Waverley Council is pleased to announce Christopher Koch author of The Memory Room as winner of the "The Nib": 2008 CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature (sponsored by The Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) Cultural Fund). The winner's prize of $20,000 & receipt of "The Nib" (statuette) acknowledges excellence in research by Australian authors of literary works of merit. The other finalists were Catherine Jinks for The Dark Mountain, Babette Smith for Australia's Birthstain, Waleed Aly for People Like Us, Paul Ham for Vietnam The Australian War and Kathy Marks for Pitcairn Paradise Lost. To find out more about the Award and read the judges comments please go to: http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/library/award
In news just to hand (I've always wanted to write that) Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts, Virginia Judge today congratulated Sydney author Margo Lanagan, who has been awarded the 2008 NSW Writer's Fellowship. Ms Lanagan will use the $20,000 fellowship to write a literary fantasy novel set in colonial northern NSW. Ms Judge said "the Rees Government is committed to supporting our writers and encouraging the creative industries. Margo Lanagan is a well-respected writer and deserving winner of this prestigious award. Over a 17-year career, Ms Lanagan has published novels for a diverse range of readers, including children, young people and adults". Ms Lanagan won the 2007 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award (older readers) for Red Spikes. The 2008 selection committee of Anne Brewster (Chair), Stephen Measday and Mark Tredinnick also commended authors Georgia Blain, Chris Mansell and Mandy Sayer.
Nominations are invited for the New South Wales Premier's Translation Prize, presented every two years with the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. The prize is offered by the NSW Government through Arts NSW and the Community Relations Commission for a multicultural NSW in association with Sydney PEN. Valued at $30,000 the prize is open only to literary translators who translate from other languages into English. Translators should be able to demonstrate a body of literary work which has been published or performed in recent years. This work can include poetry, stage and radio plays, and fiction and non-fiction works of literary merit. Translators may nominate themselves, or be nominated by authors, agents, publishers, translation and literary associations, theatre companies or radio broadcasters. The closing date for nominations is Friday 5 December 2008. The winner will be announced in May 2009. Guidelines and nomination forms may be obtained from Awards Staff, Arts NSW PO Box A226, SYDNEY SOUTH NSW 1235 Ph (02) 9228 5533, Fax (02) 9228 4722 or Email: email@example.com or download them from Website: www.arts.nsw.gov.au
Listen to the Grand Slam Final of the Australian Poetry Slam 2008 broadcast nationally on ABC Local Radio webcast live across Australia via the internet, on Thursday December 4. The webcast starts at 6.30pm to introduce the finalists before crossing to the Sydney Opera House at 7pm hosted by Andrew Daddo, presenter of 702 ABC Sydney Evenings. Poets compete for $5,000 and the title of Australian Poetry Slam Champion. The night is the culmination of a three month search for Australia's best poetry slammers, consisting of state winners, plus the ABC Local Radio online winner. The online winner 'Butterfly', submitted by Elise Batchelor from Karratha (WA), was selected from 77 entries by judges: Alicia Sometimes (poet, writer, musician); Dr Wendy Were (Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Sydney Writers Festival); and Miles Merrill, the Australian Poetry Slam co-creator. Alicia Sometimes said of the winning entry: "It was the performer's succinct and powerful images within the piece that won me over. It was so well written." She describes the quality of the overall entries as having a "great freshness and some pieces had shining lines like 'our early night weezes in the rain' and 'Detox is the new Club Med'. The Australian Poetry Slam 2008, now in its second year, is organised by State Libraries and supported by ABC Local Radio. For more details about the Australian Poetry Slam 2008 or to view the online entries go to abc.net.au/poetryslam.