Blog posts

Fisher Girls on Island

Looking around for some reading for this very wet and cool day in old Melbourne town, we found just the thing: a brand new short story from Barry, available on Island Online. We’re going to make a nice hot cup of coffee, grab a few Bourbon biscuits, settle down into our favourite armchair, and get stuck in. Wherever you are in the world, and whatever your favourite cookie, you can read ‘Fisher Girls’ in full by clicking here. Enjoy.

In 2021, we take a bold new step: complementing our signature print magazine, our new website now regularly publishes new online content, and also buried treasures from our rich 40+ year archive.

Island

https://islandmag.com/read/fisher-girls-by-barry-lee-thompson

Happy reading, as always!

UNUSUAL WORK No. 32

The latest issue of Unusual Work (edited by Π.O.) features Helen’s poem ‘Breaking Up’, and is now available to read and enjoy.

If you haven’t already subscribed, get hold of a copy of the journal for $10 (cash/cheque/money order) from:

Collective Effort Press
P.O. Box 2430
GPO Melbourne
Vic 3001

$30 gets a subscription for 3 issues.

The current issue also features work by Retta Hemensley, Jeltje, D.G.Lloyd, Eddie Caruso, ACR, Albert Rotstein, Linda Judge, Henry Briffa, Ross Jackson, Alan Wearne, Allan Padgett, Michael Leach, Glen Murdoch, Peter Murphy, Gershon Maller, Jebediah Costin, Abe Dunovits, Sandy Caldow, Peter Jones, and Π.O., and includes a tribute to Retta Hemensley from her life long partner Kris, with FLASHBACK poems from ACR, and a tribute and salute to Kate Jennings.

Lots to savour. Happy reading!

 

Reminder: Australian Short Story Festival 2021

The Australian Short Story Festival is back. This year it’s in Adelaide, and it starts this Friday, running for three days. I’m taking part in a couple of sessions, on Saturday and Sunday. More details in the attached post, re-blogged from my site.

Barry Lee Thompson

Only a week to go till this year’s Australian Short Story Festival kicks off in Adelaide. It’s an in-person event, though it’s now been confirmed that some participants, myself included, will have to attend via Zoom because of current border restrictions. If you’re going to be in Adelaide from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 November, why not get hold of a ticket and pop along. It’s a really interesting line up of sessions and workshops. I’m taking part in ‘Masculinity’ on Saturday, and ‘Writing the Family’ on Sunday. Might see you there. Program info here, ticketing here. For a full list of this year’s writers, go here.

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A question of websites: Margaret answers

Writings and Musings of Margaret McCaffrey

Why I Write my Blog

I set up the Writings and Musings blog because I wanted to have an online presence without being tied to the imperatives of the more ‘instantaneous’ or immediate social media platforms.

The focus of my blog is primarily the craft of memoir. I am fascinated by how people write in general, whether it be fiction, poetry, screenwriting or song. My musings are personal reflections, such as ‘Putting the Me in Memoir’ or ‘The Interface between Memoir and Fiction’. I mix these thoughts with other items of interest. ‘Where do you Write?’, ‘Writing in Bed’, and ‘The Car Park’ all touch on where and how one writes (the latter being about working outdoors during an interminable Melbourne lockdown).  

When my group Elwood Writers (EW) has a shared activity, such as a book launch, a soiree, or a radio presentation, I like to notify people of that.

The blog is intended for anyone who likes to write, and for people drawn to such themes as veterans of war, the relationship between fathers and daughters, and how to write about the ‘self’ – not always an easy task. Occasionally I have military folk visit my site. I am never sure if my point of view coincides with theirs. But no matter their views, I’d like to think that the posts are occasionally helpful to them.

More than anything, the blog is helpful to me. We are all surviving something, and writers are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to build worlds and stories from their experiences and imagination. Cunningly, as Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) has it – this is especially true for the memoirist – ‘life never works except in retrospect’. For me, discussing ideas on writing allows discourse with the wider world – which in turn helps me collect my own thoughts as I go.

Besides, it’s fun.

Ice Cream Social

Who likes ice cream? We do! Who loves an ice-cream social? We certainly do! So imagine our delight when we heard that American Writers Review is throwing one on Saturday October 30. And to add to the joy, Helen and Barry will be among contributors reading a selection of their pieces from the latest issue of AWR, Turmoil and Recovery. There’ll also be readings from Art in the Time of COVID-19. Both books are published by San Fedele Press.

Our Ice Cream Social at Wilkes University was a delight. While we can’t hand out the ice cream this year, we can share some of the wonderful work of our latest two books with you virtually.

San Fedele Press

Now, because this event is being hosted from the Jersey Shore in the US, we have to adjust the time to our location here in Australia. And it turns out that we’ll be enjoying ice-cream over an early breakfast on the Sunday morning. Even die-hard ice-cream fans Jennifer and Barry would struggle to eat any at that hour. It’ll more likely be a strong-coffee-and-Danish-pastry social for us.

San Fedele Press say that this event is of particular interest to ‘those who are interested in writing for our publication, new writers, and seasoned writers’. If you’d like to learn more about the publications and the event, go here. You’ll find the Zoom link at the top of the page you land on.

We might see you there. With ice cream, Danish, or otherwise!

‘How to Maintain a Thriving Writers Group’, by Barry Lee Thompson

Barry has written the October guest post on Lee Kofman’s blog The Writing Life, over on Lee’s website.

‘How to Maintain a Thriving Writers Group’ offers practical tips to anyone thinking of starting a group, or for those who want to inject momentum into an existing group, or shore up their solidarity, or what have you. Maybe you’re curious about how we work. Or you might want to compare the group to your own experiences. There’s plenty in the post to think about. While you’re there, it’s worth checking out the rest of Lee’s website. Have a wander, linger a while.

Thanks to Barry for writing about Elwood Writers. And thanks to Lee for welcoming us to her blog.

Happy reading and writing to everyone!

‘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.