podcast: all about Adelaide, on Cover to Cover

The podcast of last week’s special episode of Cover to Cover is now available. The program features Elwood Writers and our individual takes on the theme of ‘Adelaide’. If you’d like to listen to, download, or share the podcast, or browse previous episodes of Cover to Cover or other Vision Australia Radio programs, visit the following link:

https://omny.fm/shows/cover-to-cover/cover-to-cover-episode-416-15th-april-2022

If you don’t want to move away from this page, you can dive straight in and listen now, below:

Cover to Cover Episode 416 15th April 2022

Thanks as always to Tim McQueen and the team at Vision Australia Radio.

We hope you enjoy the show. Happy listening,

Elwood Writers

Let’s hear it for Adelaide

Barry first visited Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2008, when Elwood Writers wasn’t yet one year old. The event took place every two years back then, and he enjoyed it so much he went to the subsequent weeks in 2010 and 2012. Thereafter, Writers’ Week became an annual affair, and the other members of Elwood Writers began to attend. Since then, one or all of us has attended almost every year. We had a break in 2021 because of pandemic restrictions, and our only representative this year was Jennifer, but it’s fair to say that Adelaide has been and continues to be important to us, and not just because of its literary festival.

And so last year we suggested ‘Adelaide’ as the theme for a brand new Cover to Cover program for Vision Australia Radio. The program’s presenter Tim McQueen liked the idea, and we’ve been putting together our pieces, including selecting musical interludes, over the past few months. We were particularly excited to have the opportunity to record our work last week at Vision Australia Radio, as access to the studios had been restricted until recently.

5 April 2022: Helen reading her poetry at the Vision Australia Radio studios in Melbourne

The program is almost ready to air, and will be broadcast over the Easter weekend, on Friday 15 April at 8:00PM (AEST), repeated Sunday 17 April at 1:00PM . Listen on the radio in Australia (check the VAR website for state-by-state broadcast variations) or online via the ‘listen live’ option from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. A recording of the show will be available to download after broadcast, and we’ll be sharing that here on our website.

So whether you tune in or connect on the day, catch the repeat on the Sunday, or download the recording, we hope you enjoy the show.

Happy listening!

‘Adelaide’: an upcoming Cover to Cover presentation on Vision Australia Radio

The city of Adelaide in South Australia is very special to Elwood Writers. Over the last fifteen years, we’ve regularly attended Writers’ Week, part of the annual Adelaide Festival. Our last visit was in 2020, just before the world started to close down. None of us was able to go in 2021. But Jennifer is planning to be there this year, and we’re looking forward to her dispatches from the beating heart of the festival. No pressure, Jenny.

But right now we’re all excited to be creating and refining the material for a brand new edition of Cover to Cover on Vision Australia Radio, with Adelaide front and centre as the unifying theme. The program is taking shape, and broadcast has tentatively been scheduled for Friday 15 April (repeated Sunday 17 April).

This will be the eighth edition of Cover to Cover featuring Elwood Writers, and we’re grateful as ever to producer Tim McQueen and the entire team at Vision Australia Radio for their ongoing support of the group.

Stay tuned for more details over the next couple of months. If you’d like to be notified of new blog posts, click the ‘follow’ button near the top of this page. And don’t forget you can show your love for any of our posts by hitting the ‘like’ button or letting us know in the comments below.

Happy reading and writing,

Elwood Writers

A Farewell to 2021

As we reflect on this particularly challenging year, when it seemed we were stymied in many aspects of our lives, we’re surprised by how much we have in fact achieved, both individually and as Elwood Writers, without actually meeting face-to-face.

We’ve attended online seminars, and taken part in literary festivals, panel discussions and readings; we’ve worked on first drafts of manuscripts, achieved publication in a variety of journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas, contributed guest blog posts, judged short-story competitions, and formed relationships with other writers’ groups here and in the US. And throughout the year, our anthology Every Second Tuesday has been selling from a number of independent bookstores and online platforms.

In spite of all that life and the pandemic might have thrown at us, we’ve kept on writing. Putting one word in front of another. We think it’s important to celebrate this.

We look forward to continuing to share our news and progress throughout 2022. In the meantime, we’d like to wish everyone a safe and peaceful holiday season. Here’s to another new year filled with the joy of reading and writing.

Take good care,

Elwood Writers

San Fedele Press: The Second Ice Cream Social | reviewed by Jennifer Bryce

Most of us here in Australia were sipping coffee rather than eating ice cream when we logged into the Ice Cream Social at 7.30 am Eastern Australian Daylight Time on Sunday 31st October – it was 4.30 pm Saturday in New Jersey. Patricia A. Florio, the founding publisher of American Writers Review, was a most welcoming convenor.

Continue reading “San Fedele Press: The Second Ice Cream Social | reviewed by Jennifer Bryce”

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.

‘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!

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