Recent Meetings 2013
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Last modified 11/10/2013
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A report of the meeting is not currently available. Below are some photos taken at the meeting.
Rebecca Maxwell and members in background
Maxine Clarke and Lynne Murphy
Blaise Van Hecke
|The Annual General Meeting was
held and a new Committee was elected.
See Contact Us for more details of the new Office Bearers.
PRESENTATION OF THE SWWV BIENNIAL LITERARY AWARDS
See the judge's comments and results and photos of the presentation.
Judge Molly Traverse announced the winners and presented the Awards.
Congratulations to all who won.
Standing: Blaise Van Hecke, Nina McPherson, Lynne Murphy, Shirley Whiteway, Judy Bartosy, Beth Wunderlic, Yvonne Sweeney, Agnes Chatfield. Seated: Rebecca Maxwell
|Judge Molly Travers|
Sue Braint speaking about Patrick White’s novel, The Tree of Man.
SUE BRAINT’S TALK ON PATRICK WHITE’S "TREE OF MAN"
by Lynne Murphy
Sue Braint is on a mission – to win over those who avoid reading books by Patrick White, claiming he is too difficult. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject make her a lively and persuasive speaker taking us on a journey through the positives in White’s writing.
In the opening chapter ofThe Tree of Man he uses a formal, plain, almost Biblical style to suit the measure of his characters’ lives. In near wilderness man is pitted against nature as his protagonist, Stan Parker, hews a tree to build a slab house. When it is finished he takes a wife, a child is born. Sue drew attention to White’s use of words to describe the scene in the clearing, the axe striking the stringybark tree, the cobby horse shaggy and stolid, the red dog creeping closer to the campfire, the man straining to lift the slabs of wood that look puny as matchsticks against the tall forest. She noted the writing is similar in texture and impact as the scenes painted by artist Frederick McCubbin during early years of the twentieth century.
The overarching theme of this novel is everyday life from birth to death, the rhythm of that life being a succession of mundane, insignificant events such as preparing food, milking cows, changing nappies. These archetypal male and female figures reminiscent of Adam and Eve, discover joy in their union and contend with life in the loneliness of an elemental wilderness.
soaring majesty of the tall trees in the bush can lift man’s spirit in
nature’s cathedral as well as terrify him for fear of losing his
children among their anonymity.
Other settlers arrive, become friends and neighbours. Droughts, floods, bushfires, birth, death, miscarriages are subsumed into the pattern of daily life. There is no patina of greatness or special-ness about it. Stan Parker feels a lifelong yearning to make his mark and achieves this by being a strong member of the community. As an old man he takes delight in the natural world, even in watching a snail leave a silvery trail and tracing his life’s journey in it. Finally he understands that the most obscure, most sickening incidents of his life held meaning. The implication of this is the significance of the insignificant. Amy Parker finds her delight in the white tobacco scented rose and in tilling the rows of young cabbages. Continuity and comfort are in the circular nature of the novel – the tree of life is continuity.
*When Patrick White returned to Australia after service in World War 2 he chose to live a subsist-ence farmer’s life with his partner Manoly Lascaris on the rural outskirts of Sydney. This allowed him to devote some hours of the day to writing. White’s keen powers of observation, perception and empathy for the community, plus his own growing faith, resulted inThe Tree of Man, written over two and a half years. It was published first in New York in 1955 to critical acclaim. Other works by Patrick White include The Solid Mandala, Voss, and Riders in the Chariot.
*Information from Patrick White’s Letters, edited by David Marr
Janet Howie spoke about her latest book Footprint which
is a combination of Haiku, poetry and memoir.
Margaret Campbell sums it up perfectly on the back of the book, "Footprint, tender, wise and loving, invites reflection on commitment, relationships with family and friends, the grace of nature, and is a celebratiion of womanhood.
Reading Janet's haiku and poetry reminded me of Mark Twain's great quote: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." Janet gets it right. It's a beautiful book and is available from Janet for $12. Contact Janet at email@example.com
President Shirley presented Janet with a bouquet of Meryl's
Following Lunch, Janet presented a very enjoyable and informative workshop on Haiku, its history and the writing of it. Members present tried their hand at writing some.
If members would like to send an example of their haiku
writing, I will include it on this page. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A section of the members enjoying Janet's workshop. Photo: Veronica Schwarz
SPOTLIGHT SPEAKER: Lisa Kordor
|Lisa Kordor||Lisa Kordor gave a most interesting account of her life in Zimbabwe and her adventures there which will feature in the historical fiction book she is writing. Lisa was invited back to relate more on this subject.|
THE PRESENTATION OF THE NANCE DONKIN AWARD
CHAIR: Rebecca Maxwell PRESENTATION: Errol Broome
SPECIAL GUESTS: Cassandra Golds, Winner of the Nance Donkin Award, was unable to be present. She was represented by Amy Thomas, an editor at Penguin Books; Judge of the Competition Robin Burns, Librarian and Manager of Youth Services at Whitehorse & Manningham Library and Nicola Williams, daughter of Nance Donkin. Rebecca spoke of the history of the Award and its importance in encouraging emerging children’s writers. She then introduced Robin Burns who gave her reasons for choosing the young writer she considered most worthy. Errol presented the charming statuette and the certificate to Amy Thomas who read the speech of thanks, gratitude and apology written by Cassandra Golds. Errol gave an account of Nance Donkin’s life and work and introduced her daughter Nicola Williams who gave delightful insights into her mother’s life and writing habits.
Robin Burns spoke about Cassandra Golds willingness to write stories with a depth that is rare for children and young adult’s fiction.
Cassandra Golds grew up reading the work of Hans Christian Anderson and C.S Lewis. They would heavily influence her creative writings as a child. Cassandra Golds’ first book,Michael and the Secret War, was published when she nineteen years old. She is a prolific and diverse writer. Her work contains whimsical fantasies, such as Clair-De-Lune, where the mute young heroine meets a brave talking dancer mouse who introduces her to a world of adventure. And supernatural thrillers like Pureheart, which is partially a re-telling of the romantic legend of Sir Galahad. Her other novels include The Museum of Mary Child and The Mostly True Story of Mathew and Trim. Her most recent novel The Three Loves of Persimmon won the 2011 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. It was also shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award and the WA Premier's Literary Award.
The Society of Women Writers VIC would like to extend its congratulations to Cassandra Golds and wishes her the best in the future of her writing career.
|Errol speaking about Nance Donkin whom she knew personally
as a friend.
L to R: Errol Broome, Robin Burns, Rrebecca Maxwell, Amy Thomas, and Nicola Williams.
The Nance Donkin Award
WORKSHOP ON WRITING FOR RADIO
Lynne Murphy spoke of her introduction to radio drama as a young actress. She also read from a paper which she had presented to the National Sound and Film Archive in Canberra describing the various techniques used by actors in reading radio scripts; the sensitivity of the microphone and its advantages and limitations; the immense popularity of radio drama as the theatre of the imagination before television took over. The workshop then became a practical reading of scripts to emphasise to members taking part that dialogue for radio had very special requirements. It must flow easily off the tongue; contain the special flavour of the characters so that aided by the actors, the listener can visualize them, etc. There was not time enough to cover this field so it was suggested that a further workshop be arranged.
Formal votes of thanks were offered to Lisa Kondor, Rebecca Maxwell, Errol Broome and Lynne Murphy. The meeting concluded at 2:30 pm.
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Shirley Whiteway launched her recent book
Our President has had a coup! Bob Whiteway, her husband, launched her intriguing e-book and it was on sale at the April meeting.
We were all interested to hear of her dealings with a Hong Kong
publisher, who has already done its best to promote the work. She paid
nearly $500 for its services.
Shirley is a strong person. Her writing shows that strength and that is
what the writing world wants. For example, here is the back cover –
Raped and pregnant at fifteen, knowing nothing of the facts of life, she is trapped in a world of ignorance. She loses her direction, sinking into depression when her daughter is taken away. Married off to a widower in a loveless and undesirable match, she avoids her husband’s bed by making hats. Only in middle-age does she find her true self in a way she could never have dreamed.
The hatmaker’s loves… a tale of tough men, tougher women, isolation and cruelty."
|Shirley signing her book.||Back to the top|
22 March 2013
Spotlight member of the day was Yvonne Sweeney
|March Spotlight speaker Yvonne Sweeney spoke of her love for the Argonauts radio program and her involvement in the International Toastmistresses organization. She completed a BA and learned aspects of publishing. Though she enjoys writing, she thinks she might lack the drive, tenacity and endurance to be published. Ita Buttrose once returned a submission with the comment, ‘Everyone loved it; I’m the problem.’|
Launch of Meryl Brown Tobin's "Puzzle Fun" Series and "Puzzle Australia"
Puzzle Fun Series:
Fun Years 1-2
Fun Years 3-4
Fun Years 5-6
Meryl Brown Tobin’s
latest books, her Puzzle Fun book series workbooks for primary school
pupils, Puzzle Fun Years 1-2, Puzzle Fun Years 3-4 and Puzzle Fun
Years5-6, and Puzzle Australia, a new and updated edition of Puzzle
Round Australia, a black line masters book with an Australiana theme for
upper primary and lower secondary school pupils, were launched at the March
meeting of the Society of Women Writers Victoria at Ross House, Melbourne.
MC, an SWWVic member
and long-time friend of the author, Rebecca Maxwell welcomed guests including
Wendy Eldridge, Sales Manager for Five Senses Education; Derek and Jarrod Tobin,
Meryl’s son and grandson from Sydney.
teacher consultant on the book, Faye Smith, Yasmine Parker, Graphic Designer and
Editor, and Stuart Matthew who designed the covers were unable to be present.
Meryl’s daughter launched the books. Her
children had trialled the Puzzle Fun series which is directly related to
the basics of schools’ curricula. By the time the books
were finished, the editor who had suggested Meryl write them in 1996 had moved
on and the books were not published at that time. Some years later when Meryl
offered them to Five Senses Education, publisher Roger Furness offered her a
contract for the series and for a fourth book, Puzzle Australia. After
Meryl updated and revamped the books, Yasmine Parker illustrated them with clip
art, choosing lively and colourful pictures to appeal to pupils.
presentation can be viewed here.
After the launch
Meryl gave a talk on A Puzzling Career, showing and talking about her
first four small puzzle books and six blackline masters books of educational
puzzles. Sold through Ashton
Scholastic book clubs, the four puzzle books sold mainly in Australia and New
Zealand but the first one was also sold in Canada. In total, almost 300,000
copies were sold.
representative and Sales Manager, Wendy Eldridge gave a talk on her role in
promoting and marketing Meryl’s books and spoke about Five Senses Education generally – how it operates, the sorts of books it publishes and is
currently looking for. A
writer herself, she said, ‘I am obsessed with genealogy and I met Roger when
he published my first book on genealogy.’
Wendy Eldridge then
answered questions from the audience.
The Launch was
followed with a launch party and Puzzle-Making Workshop with Meryl.
All books are
available from Meryl at email@example.com;
from Wendy Eldridge on 0411539182;
or Five Senses Education, ph (02) 9838 9265, fax (02) 9838 8982, firstname.lastname@example.org
RRP for each book is
Michele (Meryl's daughter who conducted the launch) and Meryl (Photo: Hartley Tobin)
Aster Creo (former SWWV member and co-editor of the SWWV anthology Climb the Mountain. (Photo: Hartley Tobin)
Meryl, Rebecca Maxwell (MC) and Wendy Eldridge, Sales Manager, Five Senses Education (Photo: Hartley Tobin)
Meryl with her family, husband Hartley, son Derek, Derek's son Jarrod, Meryl and her daughter Michele. Unfortunately, Meryl's elder son Michael was unable to be present. (Photo: Naine Sankey)
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Hazel Edwards presented her
Here is Hazel's introductory statement:
'Writing Competition' Entries.
any writing competition is always a challenge, but these are some of the
criteria which were applied to the entries in one competition:
Hazel, Linda and Blaise with a bouquet from Meryl's garden
In Shirley's absence, Linda chaired the meeting and Blaise read the winnning story.