Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
CONTENTS : Click on the item you wish to read.
|Karen signing her
Hartley Tobin ©
|Karen & Liliana
with Liliana's painting used on the cover
|Karen's husband Stuart & Karen|
What better way to celebrate hard work completed than with a room full of
friends, family and associates! Our SWWV Vice President, Karen Turner’s book
of short stories All That & Everything was launched in great style to an
enthusiastic gathering of over thirty, at The Tower Hotel in Hawthorn East on
the 11th of October.
It was wonderful to see so many SWWV members at the launch to support and congratulate Karen. MC, Sandy Vitulic, a close friend of Karen’s, launched the book and gave us a rare glimpse into Karen’s many talents. This list of achievements includes an impressive collection of awards she has won in a relatively short career as a creative writer, stories of which are included in her book. Audience members got to meet the artist who painted the beautiful picture on the front cover of Karen’s book, Liliana Vacus, as well as a close look at the original painting which was on display at the launch.
Karen thanked those close friends and family (and members of the Society of
Women Writers) who had encouraged and supported her through the writing and
publication process. She said the completion of the book was a labour of love, a
dedication to her father, Robert, who recently passed away. Her father’s
illustrations are placed throughout Karen’s book; a genetic passion for
creation, no doubt, Karen inherits from her father.
All That & Everything is a fantastic demonstration of Karen’s tight story telling style, strong character depiction and interesting diversity in topics, well worth reading. Congratulations Karen!
For more information about Karen’s book you can contact Palmer Higgs at: http://www.palmerhiggsbooks.com.au/ and search the online catalogue for All That & Everything.
Karen Turner (front) at her launch with SWWV members (L to R) Nalini De Sielvie, Dorothea Lavery, Judy Bartosy, Marissa Byatt, Shirley Whiteway, Janet Howie, Alice Landau and Meryl Tobin
[Photo: Hartley Tobin © 2009]
A Visit with Ruth Starke
by Rebecca Maxwell
By a quirk of clashing engagements and geography, the Nance Donkin Award was presented twice this year! In Melbourne, it was handed to Helen Chamberlin (erstwhile editor at Lothian-Hachette) in the absence of the Adelaide-based author who won it, Dr. Ruth Starke. This ceremony took place at the SWW Vic. meeting on the 26th of June, in the presence of the Judge, librarian Ms. Pia Butcher, members of Nance's family, our literary patron Errol Broome, and about 25 other members and friends of the Society.
As I was soon travelling to Adelaide to visit my mother, I carried the strong box containing the bronze statuette, and the framed certificate, in the car with us.
On Tuesday June 30, we went to the office of Ruth Starke's publisher, Omnibus (a division of Scholastic), housed in a comfortable old cottage on Unley Road, Malvern, a leafy old suburb of Adelaide. In the presence of two staff, and my trusty photographer Robert, Ruth Starke received her beautiful award and certificate from my hands. We were photographed amidst hugely full bookshelves and large piled up desks; a cosy atmosphere of books and beavering over papers.
Ruth showed me over the three small rooms of the cottage, all full of bookshelves, and a solid desk each, with sunshine through stained glass or the humbler windows of a now enclosed veranda - the modern extension of the small old house. We talked about the throngs of us who have been rejected by the same editor, with some pride. In the renovated little kitchen, we had good strong coffee and biscuits in the presence of jaunty posters and signs, and a Leunig cartoon which shows a writer consulting a medical doctor. He complains that he has a book in him. When the doctor suggests the writer should find a publisher, the writer rejects the suggestions, and begs to have the book surgically removed! (doubtless it's a quicker way to get that book out!)
Ruth Starke works half-time at Flinders University, supervises several doctoral candidates in children's literature, reviews books, and is a visiting speaker to schools. So I asked her when does she manage to write? She says she has found two writer's residencies very helpful in freeing her up to write solidly, and that she can sometimes set one or two days or so a week for writing.
I feel privileged to have spent some time with Ruth Starke. I enjoyed our conversation, and will enjoy imagining her participation in the story whenever I read her books.
Book Launch - Blind and Busy
Our SWWV President, Rebecca Maxwell’s book “Blind and Busy” was written to honor the inventor of the braille language - a language created specifically for the blind and vision impaired - and celebrates two hundred years since the birth of Louis Braille.
The book was launched on the 18th of June at Guide Dogs Victoria in Kew to an audience of approximately seventy; family, friends and colleagues. The audience was treated to readings and songs by students and adults who read (and sang) their material by braille.
Christopher Elmore, who is an author in a variety of prose genres, bibliographer, and teacher of literature, launched the book with an impressive speech about the quality of its content. He says he thoroughly recommends the book as; “It is the outcome of detailed research and well executed prose writing. The author has great clarity of style and an excellent turn of phrase, as for example, when she describes the process of learning to read, (for both sighted and unsighted children), as one of "shapes making words, and words making meaning". This is precisely what all of us do when we start to recognise and use written language, a process that she describes in another memorable phrase as one where, for blind people, "dots become stories".
Comprised of over 200 short articles focused on life issues faced by the blind and vision impaired, the book is an important twenty first century snap-shot of how ordinary but inspired people use braille to gain empowerment and independence in today’s society.
A very enjoyable celebration of the completion and publication of Rebecca’s new book “Blind and Busy”.
“Blind and Busy” is available from Palmer Higgs publishers :
Address: 975 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill, Victoria Australia 3128
Ph: 613 8892 4410 Online: http://www.palmerhiggsbooks.com.au/