Blog posts

‘What I’m Reading’, by Jennifer Bryce in Meanjin

How can we find out what Jennifer Bryce is reading? Maybe we could ask her. Or, we could simply hop over to Meanjin, where she’s been writing about it. You can read all about what Jennifer’s been reading about, here. It’s a really interesting read in itself.

Spike is Meanjin’s blog. The name comes from Meanjin’s original meaning as an Aboriginal word for the spike of land on which central Brisbane sits.

Happy reading, as always!

Closing date extended: Fundación César Egido Serrano VI International Flash Fiction Competition

Originally closing on 30 September, this international microfiction competition has extended its deadline, and is still accepting entries. Maximum two stories per entrant, 100 words per story. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.

Barry Lee Thompson

“”The César Egido Serrano Foundation was created to propose that the word be the tool of coexistence between cultures and religions and against all violence.”

The closing date was originally 30 September 2021, but has now been extended, with the new date yet to be announced. The competition is open to writers from anywhere in the world over the age of 14 years. Two entries allowed per author, maximum 100 words per entry (not including an optional title), in either Spanish, English, Arabic or Hebrew. The competition slogan: “Faced with COVID; Solidarity and Resilience”.

More details, including information on previous editions, can be found here. Contest rules here. Find a participation form here. The language of the page can be changed to Spanish, Arabic or Hebrew from the list at the top-right.

This year sees a twist on the usual judging process: the participants will have the…

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Poetry d’Amour

Love in popular culture is so overrun and overwrought with mass-market metaphor that it’s hard, especially in love’s thrall, to find language unsaid before, to find words that do justice … It is the intention of Poetry d’Amour to explore new and intriguing ways of saying “I love you”.

WA Poets Inc
Poetry d’Amour 2021

We’re delighted to learn that two of Helen’s poems feature in this year’s issue of Poetry d’Amour from WA Poets Inc. They are ‘Socks’ and ‘Do we ever grow up?’.

You can buy copies of the anthology directly from the WA Poets Inc shop, here. Back issues are also available from the shop.

We can’t wait to get hold of this beautiful publication. Congratulations to Helen and the other featured poets. Happy reading to everyone! And much love, of course.

A question of websites: Jennifer answers

What was your original intention when setting up your website?

Although I started my website way back in 2014, I must confess that I still haven’t made a clear distinction between my website and my blog. That is still on a hypothetical ‘to do’ list! In 2014, I hardly knew what a blog was, but like Barry I wanted some kind of social media presence. I had resolved to become ‘a writer’ after many years of working as a musician and in educational research – and this was one way of establishing a writerly presence.

I looked at a few blogs and enrolled for a workshop at Writers Victoria on setting up your blog. I was flabbergasted when the person taking the workshop spent her time talking about recipes and childcare! I think it hadn’t occurred to me that people would want to share these very important aspects of their lives in this way – I’d envisaged blogs as being ‘literary’.

Barry acquainted me with WordPress and my nephew helped me with the initial setting up of a blog, designed with categories covering the various areas I thought I might write about. The six categories haven’t changed over the years (although I haven’t had any travel to write up since 2018). They are: My Reading, Memoir, Comments on concerts, plays, films, Travel, Short stories and Writing.

Continue reading “A question of websites: Jennifer answers”

Queensland Literary Awards | State Library of Queensland

We enjoyed every minute too, Barry. A night to remember. Congratulations once again.

Barry Lee Thompson

It’s a huge thrill and honour to have been a finalist in this year’s Queensland Literary Awards. Broken Rules and Other Stories was one of five books shortlisted for the University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection. Thanks so much to the judges and everyone involved in the awards.

I enjoyed every minute of the live stream of Thursday evening’s awards ceremony from State Library of Queensland. The recording is available on the State Library website, or you can catch it over on YouTube. It’s well worth a watch. (The Steele Rudd Award begins 43 minutes in.)

Many congratulations to the other finalists and winners. Shortlisted and winning titles are available in-person or online from SLQ’s Library Shop.

Happy reading and writing!

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A question of websites: Barry answers

Thanks for inviting me to answer your website questions, Elwood Writers. Here are my responses.


What was your original intention when setting up your website?

It was a while ago, but if I cast my mind back, one of the main things was having some kind of online presence, in line with advice I was hearing at literary events. I spent ages debating the pros and cons, on paper and with Elwood Writers. The details are swirling in the mists of time, but I concluded that it’d be a good idea to start a blog. I began with wild and ambitious ideas for its direction. It would be different to anything that had ever gone before (!), an experimental fictional adventure. I would write a brand new post every day. Or more! These were early ramblings, and useful to have had because now I needn’t wander there ever again. It’s been invaluable throughout to discuss aspects of building an online presence with the group. In a sense, we all came to the brave new online literary world together, so it’s been very much a shared experience.

Continue reading “A question of websites: Barry answers”

A question of websites

Elwood Writers is in a slightly introspective mood. Maybe it’s the change of season, or the gloomy weather, or the world news. Whatever the cause, our self-reflection has led us to wonder what makes the group tick. In particular, what makes us tick online. We have maintained a group website, the one you’re reading now, for quite some time. But three of our four members also have their own individual websites, and have for a number of years. Their sites contain active and fascinating blogs, each with a rich history, and each vastly different from the others. You can access Barry’s here, Jennifer’s here, and Margaret’s here.

So we’re throwing out a few questions to Barry, Jennifer, and Margaret:

  • What was your original intention when setting up your website? What are your reasons for maintaining a blog?
  • What audience are you trying to reach?
  • What do you hope to communicate through your website?

If we go alphabetically, then maybe Barry could start the ball rolling? It’s up to you how you approach this. You could choose just one question, or address them all if you want. There might be a bit of overlap between the questions, anyway. You could also say ‘no comment’ or ‘I’m too busy’, and we wouldn’t be offended. Though our curiosity would continue to nag.

We look forward to seeing the responses over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we’ll go back to gazing through the window, watching the rain, and wondering what it’s all about.

Elwood Writers

Glittering Ceremony

Broken Rules and Other Stories (Transit Lounge, September 2020)

Here at Elwood Writers we enjoy a good old celebration and relish any chance to get dressed up to the nines, so we’re excited to have the opportunity to remotely attend the Queensland Literary Awards ceremony, which will be live-streamed from State Library of Queensland at 6–7:30pm on Thursday 9 September.

We’re really looking forward to cheering on the finalists in all the categories. The evening will be particularly thrilling for us because Barry’s book Broken Rules is on the shortlist for the University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection.

If you’d like to be a part of this year’s awards ceremony, click here and scroll down the page to register for the live stream. It only takes a few minutes. And you won’t have to dress up on the night, unless you want to. You can wear whatever you want. As far as we know.

Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists. Every one a winner.

The Queensland Literary Awards are supported by the Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland and State Library of Queensland. The Queensland Literary Awards also receive funding from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. The commitment of sponsors is critical: Griffith University, The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland and The Courier-Mail. Philanthropic support through the Queensland Library Foundation is gratefully received from Jenny Summerson and Susan Hocking and Ian Mackie, and their family, through the Hocking Mackie Trust at APS Foundation.

State Library of Queensland

2021 Queensland Literary Awards

Yesterday we had news that Barry is a finalist in this year’s Queensland Literary Awards. His book Broken Rules and Other Stories (Transit Lounge) is one of five titles shortlisted for the University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection.

The Queensland Literary Awards celebrate outstanding writers from Queensland and around Australia, across published and unpublished categories. The awards also offer fellowships and development awards for Queensland writers, and emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers, Australia-wide.

State Library of Queensland

The winners’ announcements will be livestreamed on State Library’s website and Facebook Live at 6pm on Thursday 9 September 2021. You can register for the event here. We’ll be booking our ‘seats’ right away.

Well done, Barry. We’re thrilled for you, and hope you’re celebrating wildly, in whatever way you choose. This may well be a time to shun restraint and fully enjoy the moment! Safely, of course.

Congratulations and very best wishes to Barry and to all of this year’s finalists,

from Elwood Writers

American Writers Review 2021

American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery

Barry just sent us this picture of him holding his newly arrived contributor copy of American Writers Review. Nice hat, Barry. He says he’s really been enjoying delving in to the book since receiving it a few days ago. It’s the ideal companion, he says, for curling up with on chilly winter nights in old Melbourne town.

The theme of this year’s edition of the journal is ‘turmoil and recovery’, and the anthology features work from an array of international writers and artists, including stories and poetry from Barry and fellow Elwood Writer Helen.

To find out how you could also be posing in a beautiful garden setting with your very own copy of this wonderful book, head over to the journal’s website at the link here.

Happy posing and reading!