Out and About

Every Second Tuesday in Readings, St Kilda

Our new anthology was spotted over the weekend hanging out in the new releases section of the St Kilda Readings bookshop. It looks at home and in good company. If you’re passing the store, why not pop in and pick up a copy to take home. Alternatively, you could have it delivered. If you’re in Australia you can order your copy here.

If you’re overseas, there’s a number of options. One option that offers free worldwide delivery can be found here (change the currency from the drop-down at the top of the page).

If ebooks are your preferred way to read, then simply visit your favourite online bookseller.

And don’t forget you’re invited to the online launch of Every Second Tuesday on Wednesday 9 December at 6.30PM AEST. It’s online, so location is no barrier. And it’s free. Though you must book in order to receive the event link on the day. If you’re concerned about a time difference, book a ticket anyway and you’ll receive a recording of the event whether you attend on the evening or not. Find more information here, and the booking page here.

In the meantime, happy reading!

Elwood Writers

Anthology Announcement

We interrupt this series of anthology teasers to let you know that Every Second Tuesday is now available to buy from Readings, our hosts for the launch on 9 December. You can get your copy of the book here. Quick, before they sell out!

If you happen to be in Melbourne, you could visit the St Kilda branch of Readings to pick up a copy. But give them a call first to reserve one.

If ebooks are your preferred way to get your literary hit, then head to your favourite ebook retailer for a copy.

We can now return to our regular programming.

Thanks for reading.

Elwood Writers

About ‘Duets’, by Jennifer Bryce

My short story ‘Duets’ features in Every Second Tuesday, the new anthology of work by Elwood Writers.

What inspires one to write a short story? My motivation to write ‘Duets’ was different from usual, when I’ve recalled an episode from my childhood, or been moved by a particular experience, or tried to put myself in the place of someone else. In the case of ‘Duets’, I saw that the Henry Handel Richardson competition was to be judged by my writing hero, Helen Garner, and I wanted her to read my work.

Henry Handel Richardson/ Ethel Florence Richardson

The competition required that the short story have ‘some link to Henry Handel Richardson and/or her work’. I had recently read her first novel, Maurice Guest, much of which is set in the Leipzig Conservatorium – a world that interested me because I was writing a novel set in a musical environment. The story that emerged was: ‘a glimpse into the life of Madeleine from Henry Handel Richardson’s novel Maurice Guest ‘. Madeleine is a sensible and well-organised student, never frivolous, never passionately in love and I imagined how that young woman might have become a school principal’s wife, where she would have an intellectual more than a passionate compatibility with her husband. My own maternal grandmother (only about ten years younger than Henry Handel Richardson) had made a career out of being a school principal’s wife and I drew on my childhood memories as I developed my own older Madeleine.

My grandparents lived in a flat in the grounds of the school where Grandad was principal and I used my memories of this as a setting for ‘Duets’: ‘the scuffling of feet as the boys were summoned to bed’ [page 122], the dingy sitting room in the flat, ‘furnished in deep-red brocade and dark wood, the darkness broken only by cream lace antimacassars on the back of the upholstered chairs’ [page 115].

The school boarding houses, where my grandfather was principal, taken in the 1930s

Helen Garner did get to read my story and I was awarded an honourable mention. The judge’s comment was: ‘A shocking and very touching and strong story about a child’s suffering and despair, and the breath-taking dishonesty of adults.’

Teasers

In the run up to the launch of Every Second Tuesday on Wednesday 9 December, each member of Elwood Writers will be introducing one of their pieces from the anthology. These teasers will appear on the Elwood Writers website, so if you’re not already following the blog and want to be sure of seeing every post, press the ‘follow’ button on the home page, here.

A reminder that our launch event will be online through Readings. To ensure you receive the link on the day, please register here. As it’s an online event, there are no geographical barriers to attending. The event is free, and the only requirement is an internet connection. And should the time difference be prohibitive, book a ticket anyway as the event will be recorded and a link to the video sent to all registered participants, whether they attend on the day or not.

So keep your eyes peeled for our anthology teasers over the next couple of weeks. Coming up shortly, Jennifer Bryce will talk about her short story ‘Duets’.

Stay tuned!

And the 2020 Booker winner is….

Another ‘good on you’ to Jennifer: her favourite from this year’s Booker shortlist, Douglas Stuart’s debut novel Shuggie Bain, has been announced as the winner.

littlesmackerel

Back in September I said of Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain: ‘This is a debut novel and it’s made it onto the Booker long list — and of the three books from that list that I’ve read so far, it is by far the best.’ Well — last night, London time, Douglas Stuart was announced as the winner of the prestigious Booker Prize. https://thebookerprizes.com/fiction/2020

Congratulations — what an achievement!

Maybe Douglas Stuart will now give up his work as a fashion designer? I am pleased to hear that he is working on a second novel, set in Glasgow in the 1990s.. I look forward to reading it. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/nov/19/douglas-stuart-wins-booker-prize-for-debut-shuggie-bain

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Two more books from the 2020 Booker shortlist

Elwood Writer Jennifer has been reading her way through this year’s Booker shortlist. Good on you, Jennifer. She’s one title short of finishing the entire list. The Booker winner will be announced on 19 November. This is the latest post from Jennifer’s blog, Little Smackerel:

littlesmackerel

Real Life and The New Wilderness may be the last two shortlisted books I read before the winner of the Booker is announced on 19th November. The only book on the shortlist that I haven’t read is The Shadow King, by Maaza Mengiste. Overall, I’ve found the books rather disappointing — possibly a result of my own short-comings, as I tread cautiously, for example, when I, a middleclass caucasian, try to immerse myself in the world of an Afro American gay man.

Brandon Taylor’s Real Life is a debut novel, so he must be congratulated on making it to the shortlist in this prestigious competition. The whole story takes place over one weekend in a university town in the US Midwest. It is a slab of life — a slab of a particular kind of life, where Wallace, a gay Afro American postgraduate biochemist, tries to exist in a…

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Armistice Day

In 2018, Elwood Writers was commissioned by Vision Australia Radio’s Tim McQueen to create the material for a special edition of the literary program Cover to Cover. The program was to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day, and was broadcast then repeated on 9 and 11 November.

Today marks 102 years since the signing of the armistice ending the First World War. For another chance to hear our Armistice Day Centenary stories, an audio file of the commemorative edition of Cover to Cover can be accessed here.

The stories are also collected in a dedicated section of our new anthology Every Second Tuesday, available soon from selected bookstores including Readings. Every Second Tuesday will be launched on 9 December by local author Lee Kofman at an online Q&A and celebration through Readings. Details are on the Readings events page, here. Tickets are free, and booking is necessary to receive the Zoom link on the day of the launch. We’d love to have you there, and hope you can join us.

So whether listening or reading is your preference, please enjoy our Armistice Day stories, each a reminder of a time when guns across the world fell silent and peace prevailed.

Book Launch Invitation

We are delighted to have the Elwood Writers group – Jennifer Bryce, Margaret McCaffrey, Helen McDonald and Barry Lee Thompson – join us online to discuss Every Second Tuesday. A new anthology of poetry, fiction and memoir, this kaleidoscope of stories spans the globe from the trenches of France in World War One to a dystopian Australia, via contemporary Harlem and the streets of northern England. The Elwood Writers will chat about their book and their group with award-winning local author Lee Kofman.

Elwood Writers in conversation | Wed 9 Dec 2020 at 6:30pm

from the Readings events page

It’s coming! Our anthology Every Second Tuesday is about to hit the shelves, and we’d love you to join us online as Lee Kofman launches the book with Readings on Wednesday 9 December at 6:30pm (AEST). This is a free event, though booking is required in order to receive the meeting link on the day of the event.

Every Second Tuesday | Stories by Elwood Writers

As it’s an online event, geography is no bar to attending. There are no limits to how many people can come along, so feel free to share this invitation far and wide. And if you’re unable to make it on the day, book a ticket anyway to automatically receive a recording to watch at your leisure.

Here’s the event details again: Elwood Writers in conversation | Wed 9 Dec 2020 at 6:30pm. Booking info is on that page, or this link takes you straight to the booking page. It’s free, and it’s online.

So wherever in the world you might be, we hope you’re able to celebrate with us in some way. We guarantee it’ll be a night to remember.