Friday, December 18, 2009

Pigeons. Stories in the post

Cooking Up A New Friend. Pigeons is a community group dedicated to assisting children in improving their literacy skills and developing a passion for reading and writing. Pigeon Letters paired students from a suburban primary school with Australian children's authors in collaborative writing projects, through the exchange of letters. I was matched with Kaydi. The result of our collaboration is a fantastic story called "Cooking Up A New Friend". Kaydi is holding up the anthology of stories. Its an amazing testament to the energy and enthusiasm of Jenna Williams and Lachlann Carter, the drivers of this project, teachers and authors who donated their time. Kaydi and I met for the first time at the launch - we were a perfect match! Both a bit nutty! (Well its the best way to be.)
Other authors involved in the project: Sally Rippin, Claire Saxby, Jane Godwin, Michael Wagner, Tony Wilson, Michael Hyde, Michael Pryor, Paul Collins, Meredith Costain, Alison Lloyd and Kirsty Murray.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Newport Fiddle and Folk Club Carols in the Substation

It was suggested by the Hobson's Bay City Council that this Folk Club take on the task of creating a community carols night. Say no more and its done! Club dynamo Michael Stewart whipped up an orchestra of over 30 players, The Newport Choir joined with the Williamstown Willin' Women to create a choir of over 45 angelic voices, a Barber Shop Chorus and a variety of superb soloists leading the carols. The evening opened and closed with a lone piper who raised the roof and brought tears to many eyes. It was my honour to MC and speak on behalf of the Club. And I am so proud to be associated with this group of big hearted people who genuinely believe in the importance of music, song and story and in teaching people how to find a voice and shine.

Welcome Debbie Guneratne UK Storyteller

The VIC GUILD Storytellers welcome and share stories with Sri Lankan born, UK storyteller Debbie Guneratne.

This is the second time this year the Guild has hosted an overseas teller. Having a website and facebook has made us more accessible to the world and it is our pleasure to make these travellers welcome in our homes.

Claudette opened her door to us (and her kitchen) in Albert Park and we celebrated in festive style with food and wine.

Debbie Guneratne is an International Storyteller and the Artistic Director of Create. She founded Small Tales Storytelling Clubs, which train the storytellers of the future and leads educational workshops for The Royal National Theatre. She also works with young offenders and alienated youth, using story to help them reshape the direction of their lives.

Debbie told us a little of her life story in her unique style – a bilingual teller, she used a blend of autobiography and mythology, conversational and stylised language to weave her spell. Debbie’s family migrated to the UK when she was about 10 years old. She trained as a geologist but lives life as a travelling storyteller.

Debbie also talked about the work of other UK tellers – the way people are choosing to define themselves – as Performance Tellers and Fireside Tellers and the nuts and bolts of public liability and working with children checks. We enjoyed some discussion about the trends in the US, copyright and linguistic confusion in the States when describing oneself as a “storyteller” to customs!

Hearing tales from Renata, Janet, Pamela, JB, and Jim was a treat.

Cheers to all


Monday, December 7, 2009

The Substation Art Market December 2009

I don't normally attach so many pics but how else can I convey the wonderful atmosphere at the Newport Substation Art Market. Held the first Saturday of each month 10.00 - 4.00 the big brick building is full to overflowing with stalls, music and of course, storytelling. This month, Claire Saxby and I created a Story Space where we told and read stories to children. We also had our books for sale and of course happily signed copies for our customers. We will be back in February. Claire's new book The Old Sailor will be out just in time. The music at the Substation is always a highlight and this month The Mercurials were in the line up. The soft sounds of the Mark Ferrie, Andrew Pendlebury and Adi Sappir filled the space to the delight of stall holders and customers.

Altona U3A and Brighton PROBUS. GUEST SPEAKER

The end of the year brings a round of guest speaking spots. Its a pleasure to enjoy a midday meal with engaged and challenging seniors. These groups have members ranging in age from 60 to 90 years old. In 2009, as a travelling teller of tales, I have enjoyed sharing stories with with the 0 to 90s. And that's how I like it!

Ada Cambridge biographical short story prize LAUNCH

Its been a busy time for storytelling. 26 November I attended the launch of the Ada Cambridge 2010 biographical short story prize. This award is part of the Williamstown Literary Festival - a wonderful event that has gone from strength to strength and is now the biggest celebration of writers and literature in the western suburbs of Melbourne. As co-winner of last years prize, I found myself eligible to submit my work to the Anthology of Award Winning Writing 2009 and ended up on the stage of the Melbourne Writers Festival! An adventure to be remembered. So its on again people. Check out the Williamstown Festival website and start planning. Shortlisted and winning entries are published in the Festival anthology 'Beyond Words'.


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