Anthology stories

The podcast of last week’s Cover to Cover is available by clicking through to the Vision Australia Radio website. You can also find the podcast on Spotify.

The program features readings by Alison Davies and producer Tim McQueen of stories by Elwood Writers from our new book Every Second Tuesday, including Jennifer’s ‘Teleférico’, a selection of Helen’s haiku inspired by Japan and Australia, Margaret’s ‘The White Woman’, and Barry’s ‘Tongue’.

Happy listening!

Tonight’s stories

Tonight on Cover to Cover:

Jennifer’s ‘Teleférico’;
Helen’s ‘The Lake’, poems ‘In deep blue’ and ‘New’, and haiku inspired by Japan and Australia;
Margaret’s ‘The White Woman’ and ‘Home and Away’;
Barry’s ‘The Longstanding Arrangement’ and ‘Tongue’.

Thanks again to Alison Davies and Tim McQueen for reading the pieces, and to Tim for producing the program.

For all the information you’ll need to listen to the stories, click here.

Turn on, tune in, but don’t drop out

This evening, Tim McQueen presents a special edition of Cover to Cover showcasing stories and poems from our brand new anthology Every Second Tuesday: 8:00PM Vision Australia Radio 1179 AM and VA Radio Digital, repeated Sunday 1:30PM.

Listen on the radio if you’re in Australia, or online from anywhere in the world. The times listed are Australian Eastern Standard, so make sure you do any necessary adjustments. Online listening links can be found by clicking here.

A podcast of the program will become available after this week’s broadcast. VAR podcasts are now available on Spotify.

Thank you to Alison Davies and Tim McQueen for reading our work on air. We can’t wait to hear the readings.

Learn more about the work of Vision Australia Radio at their website, here.

To find out how to get hold of a copy of Every Second Tuesday, go here.

FAQs for the online launch

As we look ahead excitedly to Wednesday evening’s online launch of Every Second Tuesday, here’s a few frequently asked questions pertaining to the event.

How much does it cost?
It’s completely free, though you need to register to ensure you’ll receive the special Zoom link on the day of the event. This link will be emailed by Readings about an hour before the event starts.

I love free things. Where do I get my ticket?
You can book your ticket here. For more info on the event, click here.

I booked a ticket weeks ago, but now realise I’ve got a diary clash on Wednesday night and can’t make it to the launch. Should I let Readings know?
Good news: because you’ve booked a ticket, you’ll also receive a recording of the event shortly afterwards, whether you attend on the day or not.

I live overseas and the time difference means I’ll be asleep while the launch is occurring. Help!
You don’t have to miss out. Register in the regular way, here, and shortly after the event is finished you’ll be emailed a link to a recording. You’ll receive the recording even if you didn’t attend the live event.

Will other people be able to see me at the event?
Only if you keep your video enabled. If you don’t want to be seen, you can easily turn off your video for the entire time. At Barry’s launch event for Broken Rules in September, attendees were invited to leave their video on if they wanted to. Many chose to do this, and it was fun to be able to see people. But at some events attendees are encouraged to turn their video off to conserve bandwidth and/or make the viewing experience easier for the participants. So it depends on the event. Summary: if you’re asked to turn off your video, please do; if you’re invited to leave it on, it’s entirely up to you.

Can I eat my dinner during the event?
Of course. You can do anything you want. But if you don’t want anyone to see you, remember to turn off your video. And you’ll be asked to mute your microphone, so we won’t hear you enjoying your food or doing whatever you’re doing. In fact, sometimes the microphones of everyone apart from the participants will be muted by the MC, Christine Gordon from Readings.

Is there a dress code?
No. Come as you are. But see the above answer.

What if I’m late arriving?
Don’t worry, you’ll still be admitted. Just click on the emailed link and wait for Readings to let you in from the waiting area.

What if my dog starts barking during the event?
You’ll be encouraged to mute your microphone during the event, so only the dulcet tones of the participants will be audible to the audience. So please bring your dog along. We’d love to see dogs at the launch. Especially Petula. Cats, too. In fact, all animals are very welcome.

Who’s Petula?
A dog who loves book launches. Mainly because there’s snacks involved. Though the snacks are virtual these days.

What if I have to leave early?
You can leave whenever you want. No one will judge you.

I’ve never used Zoom before. I’m not sure I’ll know what to do. What do I need to know?
It’s straightforward, and fairly intuitive. And anyway, Christine Gordon from Readings usually gives a quick run-through of Zoom and its etiquette right at the start of an event, just in case anyone is a bit unsure. One of the Elwood Writers was a trepid Zoom virgin back in March, and now they’re never off it. We won’t mention any names. Barry. Oops. Slipped out.

Do I have to download any apps or special software?
From the Readings event page: “You do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting, but mobile users will need to download the Zoom app for their device. Desktop and laptop users can either download the Zoom application or access the event via their web browser.”

I hate being on Zoom. But I’d like to see the launch.
We’d love you to attend on the night, but if you’d rather not, just register in the usual way. At some point shortly after the event has concluded, you’ll be emailed a recording which you’ll be able to watch at your own leisure. You’ll find the booking page here.

I’ve never been to a book launch before. I’m not sure how to frame this as a question, but it is a question.
Please come and join us. This is a great and easy opportunity to find out what happens at book launches, without having to leave the comfort of your own home, or wherever you are at the time. And you don’t have to do anything apart from watch. With your video turned off and your microphone muted, it’s quite close to being a voyeur or a fly on the wall. We guarantee it’ll be a fun and interesting night. And if in the unlikely event you don’t like it, you can just exit the session whenever you want without any fuss.

How long will the event last? I tend to drop off if I’m watching anything online for more than an hour.
We anticipate the event will run for about 45 minutes in total. After Lee Kofman has officially launched the book, she’ll conduct a Q&A session with the authors. Once it’s over, you can shut down your device or computer and go and do something else. Go to sleep, if you want. And you don’t have to travel to and from the venue, because the event comes to you. Accessibility is one of the many beauties of online events.

These questions are really interesting, but now I’ve forgotten what’s being launched on Wednesday night. This is a question, by the way.
We feel the question mark. The book is Every Second Tuesday, an anthology of work by Elwood Writers Jennifer Bryce, Margaret McCaffrey, Helen McDonald, and Barry Lee Thompson. It’s being launched online by Melbourne author Lee Kofman, and hosted by Readings.

Where?
Your place.

When?
Wednesday 9 December at 6:30PM.

Sorry, I’ve misplaced that link for booking. Can I have it again?
Elwood Writers | TryBooking Australia

My question isn’t listed here. What shall I do?
Pop your question in the comments and replies box below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we pick it up.

About ‘Down to the Sea’, by Margaret McCaffrey

In 2018, Tim McQueen from Vision Australia Radio commissioned Elwood Writers to create a series of pieces in celebration of the centenary of Armistice Day. They were to be read on his program Cover to Cover.

I scratched my head for a story.

‘I’ve got nothing to write,’ I told my partner. ‘I don’t know anything about World War I.’ 

‘Yes, you do,’ Tom replied. ‘Your two grandfathers were in that war, and your great uncle.’

To my surprise, I was reminded that my maternal grandfather, Dr John O’Brien, had been an army surgeon at Australia’s ill-fated campaign in Gallipoli. To me as a child his post-war life looked so prosperous and comfortable, I couldn’t imagine him ever having been at what became a godforsaken strip of Turkish beach.

With much research and a stretch of the imagination, I wrote ‘Down to the Sea’ as a mixture of fiction and memoir. It formed part of the group’s quadrilogy for the radio program, and is now included in our eclectic anthology, Every Second Tuesday.

The new Elwood Writers anthology to be launched 9 December 2020

If you haven’t already registered for a free, online ticket to the launch of Every Second Tuesday by Elwood Writers, you can do so at the following link:

https://www.readings.com.au/event/the-elwood-writers-in-conversation

About ‘Just Martin’, by Barry Lee Thompson

The woman brought him a bar of chocolate. He didn’t usually eat chocolate, but she’d loosened the wrapper for him and he didn’t want to hurt her feelings. He placed an oblong in his mouth and allowed it to melt into claggy sweetness upon his tongue. He ate the entire bar, piece by piece, and when he’d finished he folded the wrapper carefully and put it in his anorak pocket and fastened the flap.

From ‘Just Martin’

I wrote the short story ‘Just Martin’ some years ago, and have tried to place it in a variety of journals and competitions. I’m thrilled that it has found a home in the pages of Every Second Tuesday. I was discussing the story’s journey with another member of Elwood Writers recently. They suggested, and I’m paraphrasing, that perhaps for some readers a difficult aspect might be that they are not sure by the end if Martin is or will be okay. The story represents only a couple of hours at most in the young boy’s life; even if he is okay for now, there might be many such episodes ahead. Perhaps to some extent we are left troubled, wondering whether he has the resources to survive well in a difficult world. I feel that the moment where he places the folded chocolate-bar wrapper into his anorak pocket is important; that it tells us something significant about him and about the way he is in the world. I’d like to think he’s going to be just fine.

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.’