Update: Special winter edition of Cover To Cover | Friday 12 & Sunday 14 July 2019

Tonight on Vision Australia Radio, hear Elwood Writers performing their stories and poetry on the theme of winter. Cover To Cover airs at 8.00pm, or you can catch the repeat on Sunday afternoon. More details and links below.

Elwood Writers

There was a problem with our calendar and we initially gave the wrong dates for the special upcoming winter-themed edition of the weekly literary program Cover To Cover on Vision Australia Radio. The program will be broadcast on Friday 12 July at 8.00pm, repeated Sunday 14 July at 1.30pm and will feature the members of Elwood Writers performing their own work. There’s poetry, including haiku, from Helen, and stories by Jennifer, Margaret, and Barry.

Cover To Cover can be heard on the radio in Australia or online from anywhere in the world. For frequency and other information and to access online listening visit the station’s website below:

https://radio.visionaustralia.org

A podcast will be available shortly after the broadcast, and we’ll add it to our podcast page here on the Elwood Writers website, so if you don’t get a chance to tune in on the day you can…

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Launch: The Sky Falls Down | An Anthology of Loss

A quick reminder about Saturday afternoon’s launch of The Sky Falls Down at Readings in Hawthorn, Victoria. Details in the post below.

Elwood Writers

Carrie Tiffany will launch The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss at Readings Bookstore, Hawthorn on Saturday 13 July at 2:00pm. The book features ‘Benjamin’ by Jennifer Bryce of Elwood Writers.

For more on the launch, visit the link below:

https://www.readings.com.au/event/book-launch-the-sky-falls-down

“This beautiful collection of writings explores the landscape of loss. It will meet you where you are. You’ll find yourself reaching for particular pieces that somehow articulate how you’re feeling, even before you’ve found the words to express it yourself … May this book become both a friend and a warm companion.” Petrea King, Quest for Life Centre.

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American Writers Review 2019 (San Fedele Press)

While parts of the northern hemisphere are currently experiencing very high temperatures, it’s midwinter here in the lower reaches of the southern hemisphere. This afternoon may not be too cold (16C), but it’s gloomy and wet and windy. Ideal conditions for being bookish. And there’s something especially soothing about finding a book that becomes a friend to accompany you through the long wintry nights.

And we’ve found such a book in the brand new American Writers Review (San Fedele Press). We’ve been excitedly dipping into this year’s edition and stumbling across numerous treasures. The bar was set high with last year’s AWR, and the team have done it again. Prepare to be unexpectedly distracted – this is certainly a book to lose yourself in.

We’re very pleased that three members of Elwood Writers have their work included in this year’s edition. You’ll find memoir from Margaret (The Poultry Farm; Yin and Yang), poetry by Helen (In Retreat; Stark against the Sky), and short fiction from Barry (The Birthday). A trifecta of Elwood Writers!

So whatever the season where you are, get hold of a copy of this book, cancel your plans for the evening, plump up your cushions and put your favourite beverage at your side, take your phone off the hook (we’re old school), and prepare to be delighted and moved for hours on end. There really is something in this pleasingly hefty volume for readers everywhere to enjoy. Open its pages and allow yourself to become lost in the many wonderful stories.

Happy reading, everyone.

My book launch

Elwood Writers’ Jennifer Bryce celebrated the official launch of her novel “Lily Campbell’s Secret” at Readings Books in Carlton earlier this week. Here’s her report on the event, from her website:

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For me, the most exciting part of publishing my book was to see it there, bound, in a cover — a real book, rather than a word file or a heap of pages spewing all over the floor from my printer.

Sorrowing woman leaning on table in front of photo of her husband

But the next most exciting experience was last night, at Readings Bookshop, Carlton, where Toni Jordan launched it. Toni has a huge deadline to meet in a couple of weeks’ time, yet she had spent time thoroughly reading Lily Campbell’s Secret and looking back to her notes, to the time, in 2015, when I took her workshop, Refining Your Novel. I had naively thought that my carefully drafted novel was ready for refining! No way. It went through several iterations, but after the workshop with Toni it gained direction and purpose.

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Toni Jordan launching Lily Campbell’s Secret

Barry Lee Thompson, from my writing group, Elwood Writers Elwoodwriters.com gave a…

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Release of Jennifer Bryce’s novel, Lily Campbell’s Secret.

Congratulations to Elwood Writer Jennifer Bryce on the publication of her first novel, Lily Campbell’s Secret. Jennifer’s book will be launched by Toni Jordan at Readings Bookshop in Carlton, details below. We’re looking forward to celebrating!

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Sorrowing woman leaning on table in front of photo of her husband

It’s 1913, and Lily’s comfortable middle-class Melbourne life is completely upended when she falls in love. As she sits in the hall of her private school, portraits of past headmistresses frowning at her, she realises the ‘glaring, unalterable fact’ that she is pregnant, the father a young stablehand called Bert. Her parents disown her: the first of many wrenching challenges she must face. She marries Bert and they have a few happy months together in rural Woodend, where their daughter is born. When the war starts, Bert volunteers and Lily is thrown very much on her own resources. After Bert returns home, Lily has to face the most momentous decision of her life.

Lily’s role as mother, musician, wife and lover, leads her to confront issues of patriarchy, nationalism, love… and the value of a human life.

In Jennifer Bryce’s ‘Australian Gothic’ novel, the suppressed grand passions of her long-suffering…

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French Film Festival: Non Fiction

“This film, directed by Olivier Assayas will have special appeal to writers. There are animated discussions about the nature of fiction, the future of print media — everyone huddled over wine and finger food. I felt very much at home!”
A recent film review from Little Smackerel, Elwood Writer Jennifer’s website:

littlesmackerel

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This film, directed by Olivier Assayas will have special appeal to writers. There are animated discussions about the nature of fiction, the future of print media — everyone huddled over wine and finger food. I felt very much at home!

Near the end of the film there is a reference to words from Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard: Everything must change so that everything can stay the same. And indeed, this can be seen as the main premise of the film — most significantly as a response to discussions about the future of literature, but also as an underpinning to the lives of the main characters in the film. Should the publishing company focus on E-Books and audiobooks? There is an amusing suggestion that Juliette Binoche would be a good person to read a particular audiobook: Binoche plays the part of Selena in the film.

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Leonard , played by…

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Adelaide Festival Writers’ Week 2019 | Guest post by Tony Thomas

Many thanks to Tony Thomas for sharing his experience with us — Jennifer.

Sat 2 March 2019     Esi Edugyan interviewed by Geordie Williamson

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Esi Edugyan (pronounced Ed-oó-jun) is a Canadian writer of Ghanaian descent whose third novel, Washington Black, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year – and deservedly so I thought when I read it last year. She read to us the impressive opening pages where the protagonist, the child George Washington Black, a slave on a sugar plantation in 1830s Barbados, describes the arrival of his new master, the evil (it turns out) Erasmus Wilde, but here passing by dressed in splendid white, together with his brother Titch, a scientific experimenter, who becomes Wash’s mentor and protector.

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The first part of the book deals with the horrors of slavery, and these scenes are suitably horrific, but it’s the little details which strike us as absolutely real, such as the large mysterious covered object which Titch brings with him (it turns out to be an early airship) “bigger than the whipping stone” in the field. Esi said her idea for the novel started with an interest in the Tichborne Claimant. [Historical aside: Lady Tichborne refused to believe that her son and heir Roger had been lost at sea, and instead credited stories that he had been rescued and come to Australia. She advertised widely in Australian newspapers for news of him. A Wagga butcher eventually put up his hand as Roger, and Lady Tichborne asked her retired black servant, living in Sydney, to interview the claimant. The interview was inconclusive, but “Roger” was accepted as the heir, went to England and lived the good life for a while, until he was tried for perjury and imprisoned. Patrick White was also influenced by this story in his late novel, The Twyborn Affair, which however takes off on a very different tack.] Esi instead was fascinated by the life story of the interviewing servant, a former butler, who had been taken from the West Indies as a slave, had worked as a freeman for years as chief of a household, and whose life thus had been totally turned around in wholly unexpected circumstances. This then also became the core of Wash’s story in Washington Black.

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The Tichborne Affair

Esi said that in writing she always starts with character, that this is what fascinates her in the first place – but then of course, around the third draft she told us, the need for shape arises, a story has to take place as well, and in Wash’s case it was the story of a life being turned around completely. And not just one of being (eventually) released from slavery, but also a life of science, because Wash is endowed with a natural talent, a genius, for scientific drawing, especially of marine life, which comes naturally to him without training, and which becomes the most important part of his life. Science, she says, “was a way of engaging with the world without the need for solid relationships”. “Wash sees it as a benign equaliser”. And she wanted to focus on the idea of slavery not just as an unjust deprivation of freedom, not just lost bodies, but as something which causes a vast amount of lost potential, of which Wash’s genius can stand as example. Where are the great black scientists of the past, she asked: they hardly exist. So then her story developed into one of a restlessness of narrative, with many shifting locales after the slavery section at the opening, to the US, the far north in Nova Scotia, eventually to England, where Wash and his colleagues create the first aquarium and where in a shed in the gardens of a house, Wash has the first place that he can call home – very much a picaresque, she said in conclusion.

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The House In The Sky | Vision Australia Radio

Barry has asked us to reblog a post about his short story The House In The Sky being read on Vision Australia Radio’s Cover To Cover program this Friday, repeated Sunday. All details are in the original post, here:

Barry Lee Thompson

My short story The House In The Sky will be read by Tim McQueen on Cover To Cover and broadcast on Vision Australia Radio this Friday, 2 November, at 8 PM (AEST), repeated Sunday 4 November at 1.30 PM (AEST).

Cover To Cover is produced and presented by Tim McQueen, and can be heard on the radio in Australia, or streamed online from anywhere in the world.

Radio frequency and other details and an online listening link can be found here:

https://radio.visionaustralia.org

The program will be available as a podcast shortly after broadcast.

Happy listening.

Barry

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The Birthday | Vision Australia Radio

Here’s the podcast of the 5 October edition of Cover To Cover from Vision Australia Radio, featuring Mike Cannon reading Barry’s story The Birthday:

Barry Lee Thompson

My short story The Birthday was read recently on Vision Australia Radio’s weekly Cover To Cover literary program. The podcast of that week’s program is available here:

https://varadio.podbean.com/e/cover-to-cover-episode-232-5th-october-2018/

Cover To Cover is produced and presented by Tim McQueen. The Birthday was read by Mike Cannon.

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