Monday, May 25, 2009


The NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL is on! This is the second time Newportonians have put on a festival celebrating their talents and those of others. A exciting weekend of workshops, open mics, singing, dancing, poetry and storytelling.  

1. Saturday 4 July 10.30. Dharma and I will be busy at the Newport Library with a kids story time . 

2. Midday I will be in the Bowling Club co-hosting a Poets, Storytellers and Singer-songwriters lunch. 

Click on the posters for details of these events.

Check Newport Fiddle and Folk Club website for the full program

Hope to see you there ... and please say Hi.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Newstead Short Story Tattoo

Neil Boyack arranged a billet with Jenny and Barry Lacey. Passionate gardeners, their garden has been open for the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens and probably will be again. I couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome.

The TATTOO began Friday night with SLEAZY STORIES at the Mechanics Institute. I couldn't make it till Saturday arvo - arriving at the end of THE FICTITIOUS WOMAN- just in time to catch Cate Kennedy. It was standing room only in the Dig Cafe. I knew I was in for a great weekend! 

This is mate Anne E Stewart in her study in Daylesford  looking very studious. Anne drove to Newstead on Saturday for FIRE STORIES.  Neil made a massive bonfire by the racecourse. Folk appeared out of the dark to listen and share tales of all kinds. I can't believe I didn't take a pic - I was in my element and completely forgot. Ghost stories, love stories, horse stories, the eccentric and the strange - it was all there.

Sunday - it was HARD BALL - Stories and Footy in the Newstead Football Clubrooms. Starting with Martin Flanaghan who told us the story of his trip from Port Augusta to Darwin with Michael Long, we were then treated to Jo Bowers reading her story - The Return of Football from the Sleepers Almanac. A woman and pregnant  in the mens change rooms!! I loved this story. Jo read  deliciously - looking at us occasionally over the top of the book observing our pain as she took us through an agonising game between the Doggies and the Pies.

This last pic shows Jo standing next to Paul Mitchell and  Neil Boyack the master mind behind the Tattoo  (he's the one who looks like the cat who swallowed the cream and so he should). At A PLEASANT SUNDAY MORNING Paul read A Grandfather's Reminder from his book Dodging the Bull of which I have a signed copy! Another superb read and I will be enjoying the rest of the stories during the week.

Many thanks to Neil and the team who organised a brilliant week end - I don't know who you all are but thankyou. And especially - thankyou for honouring the oral tradition on Saturday night. Nick Dattner, Phil McNamara, Georgie Dowell, Peter Tangey, Lauren Lee Williams, Anne E Stewart and Kenny Joe Blake - what a night!

Jo Bowers
Paul Mitchell
Neil Boyack
Newstead Short Story Tattoo

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Ada Cambridge Prize Williamstown Literary Festival

The 2009 Willy Lit Fest shaped up to be a fantastic w/end of words. One person can only be in so many places at once. I missed more than I saw and I was in sessions solidly for two days! It's true. This Festival is the biggest of its type in the west. My highlights included Catherine Deveny, Kerry Greenwood and Robin Grove's w/shop - The Hidden Life of Language.

I am also proud to tell you that I am a joint winner of The Ada Cambridge Prize for biographical short story writing 2009. My story is called 1984. The author standing beside me here is Simonne Michelle-Wells. Simonne's story, Broken Light, is witty, powerful, beautifully crafted and from the heart. I feel honored to share a prize with such a gal. Our stories are published in the anthology, Beyond Words 2009, available at the Hobson's Bay Libraries and local booksellers. Already looking forward to the 2010 Lit Fest.


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