Autumn News 2020
No public meetings. So how did Wyong Writers manage?
28th March 2020 Writing prompt: If only he/she had a bike
We got inventive. We got creative. That’s what writers do! On the morning of what would have been our meeting day, every member was sent a writing prompt. Those who wished to take part set their timers and wrote for 10 minutes. We allowed ourselves a further 10 minutes for tidying up but not to finish the story. Some people managed whole stories, some just the beginning. The point is that a few members had 10 minutes of their day which felt normal; 10 minutes in which what they were doing was exactly what they would have been doing had life been ‘normal.’ Well done, Elizabeth, Pat, Shari, Johan and Mei-Ling. These people have given me their permission to post. Our responses to the prompt are here. I will post more as people send me their offerings.
On 7th March 2020
Johan launched his book, Ship of the Week at the Green Point Community Centre.
On March 6th the Central Coast Council hosted the Love Lanes Festival. Wyong Writers were proud to have a market stall to showcase our collection of short stories. the stall was attended by Veronica, Elizabeth and Mei-Ling. We thank Toowoon Bay SLSC for the borrowed gazebo. Possible inclement weather and a weekday night saw numbers down on previous years, but we were pleased to have the opportunity for some publicity for Wyong Writers and as a bonus sold 10 copies of our anthology.
On February 20th, Pat, Anne, Siobhan and Mei-Ling attended a talk by Jason Foster entitled ‘The Writers Mix’ run by Erina Library. Jason writes for the YA Adult crossover readership and gave much useful information about the processes around marketing a published book.
Summer News 2019/ 2020
Margaret Young launched her book of poems Round Eye in Vietnam on 22nd September at the Doyalson RSL club. Margaret read three poems and signed copies for those wishing to purchase. She was introduced by Louise Berry, convenor for the Blue Room Poets. The poems reflect Margaret’s experiences during her service in Malaya in 1967 and Vietnam in 1968.
Wyong Writers Book Launch
The news we’ve all been waiting for!
On Saturday 16th November Wyong Writers Launched our 2019 Anthology. We are grateful to the Central Coast Council for the grant which enabled us to print enough copies to sell. Thank you to Trevar Langlands, president of FAW, to councillor Lousie Greenaway and to member of parliament Emma McBride for helping us launch the anthology.
Trevar Langlands president FAWNSW Treasurer Elizabeth selling books Members of Wyong Writers
Louise Greenaway, councillor Central Coast
Emma McBride, MP for Dobell
Anne Neilsen attended the awards ceremony for the FAW/Seniors Card story competition at Parliament House on 18th November. Both Anne Neilsen and Pat Webb were successful in the FAW/Seniors card competition.
Spring News 2019
On 2nd November 2019, Anne, Carolyn, Elizabeth, Mei-Ling and Yvonne attended the FAWNSW annual lunch in Sydney. Anne and Pat were given certificates marking their successes in the FAW/Seniors competition. Anne collected on Pat’s behalf. Me-Ling received a Distinguished Service Award.
At the AGM in October the following were elected.
President: Mei-Ling Venning, Vice-President: Yvonne Sorensen, Treasurer: Elizabeth McVie, Secretary: Mavis Gunter, Publicity Officer: Pat Webb, Returning Officer: Johan Luidens.
A single inspection copy of the anthology has been received, and a further 300 copies have been ordered!
And the winner of the in-house prose competition is Pat Webb.
Mei-Ling’s new novel, Grace, was launched at the Toowoon Bay Surf Life Saving club on 28th September. She was introduced by Emma McBride, the federal Member for Parliament for Dobell.
Winter News 2019
July – news just in
Wyong Writers’ bid for a council grant has been successful. We will therefore be able to publish our anthology for sale to the public. Reminder– oru launch is November 16th at the Tuggerah Library in Westfield Shopping Centre.
Both Anne and Pat’s story submissions for the FAW/Seniors card competition have been successful and their stories will be published in the anthology later in the year. Congratulations to Anne and Pat.
Mei-Ling and Derek took part in the 5 Lands Art Collective festival At Avoca Surf Life Saving Club. Derek read his poem, Swell, and Mei-Ling read the opening pages from her forthcoming novel Grace.
Shari gave a presentation on Show not Tell, including a breakdown of sentence level, paragraph level and scene level.
Autumn News 2019
Mei-Ling won the in-house Poetry Competition with her poem Waking.
Paul’s play Old Harry was one of the plays featured in the Gosford Uniting Church’s play readings. (Calling all playwrights–Gosford Untiting Productions are always on the lookout for promising plays. Check out their website.)
The newspaper Seniors Central Coast have an article on Barbara and her new book, Tracking Mr Sharpe. You can read the article here: https://www.seniorsnews.com.au/news/reverend-made-his-mark-along-historic-trail/3733149
Elizabeth, Yvonne and Mandy read from their own fiction and memoirs at the Tuesday Discussion Group at the Wyong Neighbourhood Centre.
At the April meeting Pat talked about writing for children. She included “story time” with audience participation.
Congratulations to Barbara Appleton whose book Tracking Mr Sharp was launched on April 13th.
It was lovely to see and listen to past Wyong Writers junior members Emma, Hannah and Luke playing at the book launch.
Many congratulations to Margaret Key — who writes under the pen name of Chelsea Locke.
Summer News 2018/2019
Very exciting news: We have a date, time and venue for the book launch of our 2019 anthology. It is:
***Saturday 16th November 10.00am at the Tuggerah /Library in Westfield.***
On 5th February Anne, Elizabeth and Mei-Ling attended a Council information afternoon regarding the application of grants for community projects. We are in the process of information gathering with a view to applying for a grant for our 2019 anthology which will be fictional short stories of community and belonging set on the Central Coast.
On 16th January 2019, Barbara and Mei-Ling participated in an Arts and Cultural Stakeholders workshop at the Art House, Wyong. Attendees were asked to contribute ideas regarding their opinions on: the strengths of the arts on the Central Coast, the opportunities and challenges and some possible solutions. This is part of an ongoing development of the Central Coast strategic development plan. There are more workshops planned. If interested please contact Rebecca Cardy. Rebecca.Cardy@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au
Spring News 2018
At the November meeting, Shari brought boxes full of our long awaited anthology. She has led the team of people compiling this and has been responsible for pulling it all together. This anthology is the result of many month’s hard work. All members are pleased with the result and feel it will provide the inspiration for another one this time next year.
Paul has had a play shortlisted for the Theatre Script Prize in the Lane Cove Literary Awards. He was very impressed with the council’s website which contained full details of its writing-friendly project. He feels the council deserves praise for such a professional presentation which is a benchmark for similar council cultural exercises. Well done, Paul.
Sadly, we have learned of the death of past-member, Karl Pleins. Karl was at one time a member of both Central Coast FAW and Wyong Writers.
At the beginning of November eight members of Wyong Writers attended the FAW luncheon in Sydney. Three members of Wyong Writers (and one past member) received Awards of Distinguished Service.
Barbara received a grant (a Create NSW Cultural Grant 2018) on behalf of the Dharug & Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society towards the publication of her coming biography of Thomas Sharpe.
Don Harwin, the NSW Minister for the Arts, came to the annual conference of the Royal Australian Historical Society at Port Macquarie and handed out the certificates himself.
Elizabeth, Mandy and Mei-Ling visited the Tuesday Discussion Group at The Wyong Neighbourhood Centre at Rankens Court. We talked about Wyong Writers and read out some of our own stories. The group enjoyed our visit and have requested another one next year.
Also — the winner of the in-house prose competition is Jan Forrester.
Congratulations, Jan. Jan’s winning story will be in the, soon to be released, Wyong Writers Anthology. Release date will be published very soon.
We bid a sad goodbye to Mark Peterson, who will be moving to Bulahdelah next month. We hope he will keep in touch, and once settled, will join North Arm Cove FAW.
Competition entries by Anne Nielson, Mavis Gunter and Mandy Byrne have all been successful in the short story competition run jointly by the Fellowship of Australian Writers and by the Seniors Card. All three have had their stories accepted as one of the 100 to be published in the competition anthology. Congratulations.
Winter News 2018
In the June meeting, writing coach, Kathryn Coughran, facilitated an excellent workshop on ‘Writing from Photographs’. This was well attended by members and visitors and encouraged a deeper understanding of the power of the photograph and the ability of the writer to find the story behind the story.
Autumn News 2018
Results of the In House poetry competition are in: Elizabeth McVie won with “Once a Soldier”.
Pat Webb attended a talk, “Love between the Pages” at Belmont Library on Wednesday 18th April 2018. This is her report.
As part of the ongoing event calendar for the Lake Macquarie Libraries, I attended an informal chat with three contemporary romance novelists, facilitated by Kaz Delaney.
Fiona McCarthur’s latest novel is “Mother’s Day”. Set in a small country town in NSW, Fiona called upon her considerable obstetric knowledge to write about the coming together of Noni and Iain, and his pregnant daughter, Jacinta.
Janette Paul’s book is called “Amber and Alice”. The back cover tells us to ‘take a hilarious road trip into the Australian outback in this witty romantic comedy, with an enticing family mystery thrown in’.
Sandie Docker’s story, ‘The Kookaburra Creek Café’, interweaves the lives of ‘three women in a small town with a lifetime of secrets’. This is Sandie’s first novel.
These ladies were a delightful mix of laughter and warmth. They all spoke highly of love, families and children, and all three admitted to always being romantics at heart.
They talked of being able to draw from deep within themselves for the emotion in their stories, and chatted about the different settings – small towns and the outback.
Janette spoke of being able to use snappy dialogue, and quick comebacks, and that she could take ‘quirky people a long way’, but coincidentally, the main characters in each book didn’t have a mother!
Despite each author writing a different story with different characters in a different setting, overall they talked of love, a sense of belonging, and home, and like to have a woman as the hero in her own story.
All in all, a delightful evening, with book signings afterward.
Pat also attended the Newcastle Writers Festival. This is her report.
On Saturday 7th April, 2018, I attended a talk called ‘Beyond the Headlines’. Held in the Newcastle City Hall, and part of the overall Newcastle Writer’s Festival, it was facilitated by Jane Hutcheon, who hosts the ABC TV programme “One Plus One”.
Her guests were investigative journalists Nick Toscano and Louise Milligan.
Nick works for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald newspapers. Multi-award winning, he has received the Grant Hattam Quill for investigative journalism and has been the recipient of the prestigious Walkley award.
Nick proceded to tell the audience about the book he has co-written with Beau Donnelly. Titled, “The Woman Who Fooled The World”, it is about the exposure of Belle Gibson, who recently had the world at her feet with the pretence of fighting off her brain cancer with a change of diet.
He told of how he and Beau had a tip-off that Ms. Gibson wasn’t what she claimed to be. At this stage, she already had a book published through Penguin, had appeared on various shows across America, and been interviewed by most major magazines and American talk-show hosts. She had been paid tens of thousands of dollars, bought a new home near the beaches and a new car. However, promises to donate to charities never eventuated and most of what she earned couldn’t be accounted for.
The tip-off (on which so many investigative journalists rely), was from one of her inner circle of friends, and Nick and Beau began to unravel her scam from there. They marvelled that there were so many inconsistencies in the story and a complete lack of scrutiny before her book was published. They kept digging until the lady and her lies were exposed.
Their book was published in November, 2017.
Summer News 2017/2018
Cate Plink, Vice President of FAWNSW (from Lake Macquarie FAW) introduced the FAW/Seniors Card competition. This was followed by a brief facilitation on memoir writing by Mavis Gunter and one on writing family history by Pat Webb.
Elizabeth McVie’s short story won 2nd place in the Lambing Flats competition.
The dedicated Scribblers critiquing group kept going until the Monday before Christmas. We look forward to a fruitful, creative and productive new year.
Autumn News 2017
The results are here for the in house competition with the theme of ‘ a room’.
Elizabeth McVie was placed first with, ‘New Life’.
Jan Forrester was placed second with, ‘Will to survive’.
Yvonne Sorenson was placed third with, ‘Grandad’s Room’.
Congratulations to all.
We say ‘goodbye’ to Shirley Goodbar, who has been a long standing member and who has contributed much to Wyong Writers over the fifteen years of her membership. We wish her well with her new membership of Isolated Writers.
Wyong Writers AGM has returned the following:
President: Mei-Ling Venning, Vice President: Yvonne Sorensen, Secretary: Mavis Gunter, Assistant Secretary: Margaret Young, Treasurer: Elizabeth McVie, Publicity Officer: Jan Forrester, Returning Officer: Shirley Goodbar, and Webmaster: Derek Recei.
Pat and Mei-Ling both attended a SCBWI (Society for Childrens’ Book Writers and Illustrators) conference in the Brahama Kumaris centre. Authors and publishers were at hand to advise on specific projects undertaken during the weekend. Peer-group critiquing furthered the project’s completion.
Mei-Ling attended a weekend workshop “Spinning Straw into Story Gold” run by the Society of Women Writers NSW. This took place in the beautiful Brahama Kumaris centre in Wilton, with an impressive lineup of authors, editors and publishers.
The Scribblers group have had another successful ‘brainstorming’ afternoon.ideas flowed in regarding (1) adding layers to the basic plan of a new novel (2) sorting out a time line for a multi-generational novel (3) revisiting a short story with a view to using the main character in a stronger and longer and very different short story.
Shirley’s poem ‘A Cautionary Tale’ has been awarded Highly Commended in the recent Scribes Traditional Verse Poetry Competition.
Kathryn Coughran to facilitated an excellent workshop on ‘Writers’ Block’.
Wyong writers welcomes new member Shari Whittick.
Barbara’s poem ‘Barriers’ was published in Writers Voice.
Wyong Writers welcomes three new members: Jonn Christie, Holly Jones and Ray Myers.
Mei-Ling’s play ‘The Germophobe’ was given a staged reading by Gosford Uniting Productions on 23rd June.
Jan won the in house Poetry Competition.
Elizabeth, Yvonne and Mei-Ling went to the opening night of the Tuggerah Lakes Arts Society exhibition at the Wyong Art House. Writing by Wyong Writers was displayed along with pictures by Karen Williams.
Margaret has had a poetry “Chat Book” published by Ginninderra Press.
Margaret and Shirley both took part in the Australian Spirit exhibition.
Service No. 2950000
Memories do not grow old
as bodies grow old;
they live forever
with the clarity of their creation
in the mind of their creator.
a young woman
called like young men to
an unsuspecting adventure.
From Malaysia she still sees
armies of ants
parading their cockroach captives
through her sleeping quarters;
feels the hypnotic stares
of black cobras
at her entry door.
In Viet Nam her heart clenches
and cries dry tears.
She reads letters from home
for eyes that cannot see…
writes letters to loved ones
for arms that cannot move…
listens to the hopes of souls
scarred by terror…
She marvels at the bravery
born of Fear
and lives the courage
born of Caring
She is Red Cross Volunteer
Army No. 2950000
© Shirley Goodbar
Jan’s poem “Blue Ocean” was published in the March edition of “Your Coast Local Magazine”. We have also had one more ad hoc “Fix-it” session. Writing problems addressed included a back-story for a major character towards the beginning of a novel and a possible change of direction at the end of another novel.
Summer News 2016 – 2017
Mei-Ling, Yvonne and Elizabeth were invited to talk to the Physical Disability Council of New South Wales on 7th February 2017. The focus of the meeting was poetry. Many members were not able to be there but we met Melanie Schlaeger who runs the group, Jonn Christie whose first book of poems was published in August of 2016 and a new member, Terri Lyn.
We are hoping Jonn will come to our February meeting and bring along some of his poetry books to sell to us.
*NEW* Wyong Writers now has an occasional “Writing Clinic” or “Fix-It” session. This will be run on an ad hoc basis, whenever a group of people feels it would be helpful. At present, we think this will be about once a month. The first one was held on 1st February 2017. Four people brought their current “writing problems” all of which were related to current pieces of work. One person’s quandary regarded the possible structure of a novella about a deceased relative. The second person brought a partly written children’s novel with a problematic character. The third person brought a barely begun but planned novel with a tricky stumbling block near the beginning. The fourth person brought a plan of a memoir started many years previously. Throughout the afternoon, the group provided help in the form of brainstorming. Since each of the four writers has specific strengths, the group was also able to draw on those strengths for helpful and positive suggestions in order to assist one other.
Margaret Young has five poems published in the Blue Room Poets Anthology
Mei-Ling’ short story “Keeping Track” was awarded commended in Lambing Flats FAW competition.
Spring News 2016
Mavis’s story “Cobwebs” was published in FreeXpressions.
Wyong Writers in-house competition results are in: 1st place: “Keeping Track” by Mei-Ling.
2nd place: “Modern Day Epiphany” by Elizabeth.
A staged reading of Elizabeth’s play “The Bequest” was read/performed at Gosford Uniting Church by the Untiting Productions company on Friday 25th November.
Elizabeth has been awarded Highly Commended, in the Central Coast Libraries competition. The story for this was “Firey Dances”. Congratulations Elizabeth.
Other news of Elizabeth’s achievements– her story “Fractured Love” was published in Positive Words.
Wyong Writers have had another productive meeting with Tuggerah Lakes Arts Society, but have now decided that a joint venture is not feasible just yet. We will meet again in another six months time.
Mavis had two short stories published in FreeXpressions, “The Breakfast Egg” and “The Wet Frog”. They were in a section called “Krazy Korner”.
Margaret had five poems published in an anthology of poetry published by the Blue Room Poets.
Winter News 2016
STOP PRESS: Wyong Writers will be getting together with Tuggerah Lakes Arts Society for a joint project.
Mei-Ling and Yvonne attended the Central Coast Authors’ Expo
at Erina Library on 20th July. About twelve Central Coast
authors were able to bring books and meet other local writers
for networking and selling. The Central Coast libraries also
facilitated an interesting talk by Cathie Tasker, local author and editor.
Mei-Ling’s play The Germophobe was performed at
The Woy Woy Peninsula Theatre in July.
Shirley won the in-house poetry competition.
Autumn News 2016
May: Kathryn Coughran facilitated an excellent workshop entitled Tips and Techniques to give your Writing the Edge. She used the novel as a model for this presentation.
Mei-Ling’s play The Germophobe has been accepted by Woy Woy Little Theatre for their Flash Festival and will be performed on July 1st, July 2nd and July 3rd. Tickets available from the theatre online.
Summer News 2016
Mei-Ling published Pelican Bay. Michelle has Down Syndrome.Her city childhood is protected by her parents … until when 18 years old, the family relocate to the Central Coast. Michelle is miserable until she glimpses fresh possibilities. New activities and friendships beckon, but many hurdles, including her loving family, obstruct the road to independence.
Buy here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C4FP4E0
14th February 2016: Mei-Ling participated in a day for play writing at the Peninsular Theatre Woy Woy. This was an excellent mix of presentation and mentoring and was facilitated by Suzanne Hauser.
Stop Press: 19th January 2016: Mavis Gunter has just been inteviewed by Caroline Perryman on ABC Radio, Central Coast.
The Monday afternoon Scribblers group now have a closed facebook group.This is specifically for sharing information regarding critiquing. It is also a valuable tool for establishing who is coming to each meeting.
SPRING News 2016
Shirley Goodbar has published a collection of her poetry called Kaleidoscope – Poetry for People.
“Life is, indeed, a kaleidoscope. Each day Fate twists the tube and we never know what pattern will fall; we cannot guess the colours or shapes that will form our experiences as we move through each day.”
Wyong Writers Prose competition results:
1st place Rose Fox — The Halyard Thread
2nd Place Shirley Goodbar — The Pawnbroker
3rd Place Margaret Young — Going to Grandma’s
Mavis Gunter has published “One and One Makes Five”, a book of stories and anecdotes based on the experiences of a family living in a wattle and daub house on a small farm in the bush between the years of 1932 to 1942.
It illustrates the challenges of living without water or electricity and the hardships encountered due to a ten year drought and The Depression. Many animals lived and died during this period and their antics were adored by the five children.
Shirley published her book of poems Kaleidoscope. See Shirley if you’d like to buy a copy of it.
Mei-Ling’s play Grey Skies was performed at the Woy Woy Flash Festival. It gained 3rd place in the production category.
Winter News 2015
Mandy’s play “Telephones” was read by Gosford Untiing Productions on Friday 26th June.
Autumn News 2015
A play reading of Mavis’s newest plays. “The Homecoming” and “In the Beginning” were read by Uniting Productions at the Gosford Uniting Church on Friday 22nd May.
April 2015: Mandy’s play ‘The Op Shop Ladies’ had a staged reading at the Gosford Uniting Church, performed by the Uniting Players. This took place at the end of April, despite horrible weather conditions.
Mandy, Yvonne and Mei-Ling took part in the Woy Woy Little Theatre Flash Festival Play Writing weekend.
This was hosted by Alex Broun and was an excellently run weekend in which all participating writers
* learned much about the skills of writing for the theatre.
* actually wrote a short complete play
* got to see it performed by actors
Twelve participating writers were given an easily accessible visit to the land of make-believe together with a tool box of goodies to help create authentic characters and believable plots within credible worlds.
Some writers managed to write more than one play and an incredible sixteen plays were performed on the Sunday.
This is an amazing opportunity run by the Woy Woy Little theatre, made possible by Gosford Council not to mention the in-depth knowledge, expertise and experience of Alex Broun.
Summer News 2014/15
Conditions for the in-house poetry competition are as follows:
1 To be short: Approx 16 lines
2 To focus on small things in daily life
3 If possible include people and animals in natural surroundings
4 Rural setting can most definitely be in Australia
5 There are no constraints regarding rhyme or metre
February 2015: Elizabeth has had a staged play reading of one of her scripts, Special Bond, along with two other scripts, by Uniting Productions at the Gosford Uniting Church, with a possibility of later fully staged performance.
January 2015: The in-house prose competition results are as follows
1st place: Beyond Last Rites by Mei-Ling
2nd place: The Jardiniere by Yvonne Sorenson
3rd place: The Right Place by Derek
The requirements for the poetry competition (due in November) will be announced during the February meeting.
December 2014:Mei-Ling has completed a short course on Cognitive Poetics, run by Futurelearn UK. Cognitive poetics considers the ways in which readers of fiction texts read the minds of fictional characters therein. Futurelearn is a MOOC (massive open online course) Futurelearn operates under the Open University umbrella. It is free to participate, easy to access and excellent quality. Keep looking, they may run this course again!
December 2014: Derek has had a short story, Icarus, long-listed in the Margaret River Press short story competition.