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!

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”

American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery

As of this writing, the pandemic continues, killing record numbers of people. Moreover, countries that had enjoyed democratic governments are facing authoritarian attacks. Divisions run through the fabric of our homes, our families, our nations. At the same moment, there are wellsprings of hope, love, and connection.

‘Our 2021 Issue’, from American Writers Review website

A brand new edition of American Writers Review has just been released by San Fedele Press, and once again we’re excited to see the journal featuring original work from our own Elwood Writers Helen McDonald and Barry Lee Thompson.

American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery

Helen has three poems in the book: ‘Aftermath’, ‘Covid Lockdown (an Haibun)’, and ‘Restoration’.

From Barry, there are three short stories: ‘Glassy’, ‘Afterdark’, and ‘First Day Of Summer’.

For more information, including how to get hold of a copy of American Writers Review 2021: Turmoil and Recovery, follow the links found here.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this latest issue. We can’t wait to get our hands on it.

Happy reading and writing, as always.

Elwood Writers

New-Year Highs

While last year was taken up with the production and launch of our anthology Every Second Tuesday, each of us was also busy working on our individual projects. We all rounded off the year on personal highs.

Jennifer’s short story ‘The First Day’ was awarded a Highly Commended in the Port Stephens Literature Awards 2020.

Margaret’s story ‘Pastry Fever’ appeared in the Fall 2020 edition of Door Is A Jar literary magazine (Issue 16). Door Is A Jar is a US publication of poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, drama and artwork.

Helen was excited to have her poem ‘In deep blue’ selected for Democratic Poetic | Poetry Matters Issue 40 December 2020, a gathering of the journal’s finest poems from 2006 to 2019.

The successful launch of Barry’s first book Broken Rules and Other Stories in September was followed by the publication of Every Second Tuesday, and Barry is already planning and writing his next book.

The creative spirit surges. Watch this space throughout 2021 for more Elwood Writers news.

Now, Voyager

It’s one week since Every Second Tuesday was launched by Lee Kofman in a wonderful online event hosted by Readings. If you booked a ticket to the launch, you will have received a link to the recording. That link is still live, but will expire shortly. But you can save the video forever by clicking on the link and choosing the download options in the viewing window. Then you can watch it this year, next year, or whenever suits.

Now the book is sailing steadily on its journey. One of the best ways to support Elwood Writers is to read our work. For book lovers in Australia, we’d encourage getting hold of the anthology from Readings. Overseas readers might want to go here.

Or if you’d like to support a favourite bookstore but they don’t have the book in stock, why not ask if they can order it in for you. The ISBN is 978-0-6450041-0-6 and the publishing imprint is Rightword Enterprises.

The e-version is available from all the usual places.

If you have any issues or questions, do get in touch in the comments and replies box below this post.

Happy reading!

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!

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.

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.