Monthly newsletter for the Society of Women Writers Victoria Inc
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Write Away

March 2017
The Society of Women Writers VIC
Committee 2017
President: Blaise van Hecke
Vice-president: Del Nightingale
Treasurer: Del Nightingale
Membership Secretary: Shirley Whiteway
Newsletter editor: Lynne Santos
Website coordinators: Mary Jones
Minutes Secretary: Judith Green
Postal workshop coordinator: Judith Green
Outreach coordinator: Jenny Hearn
The SWWVic is all about the love of the written word. Through mentorship, we strive for women to attain confidence and skills in their writing.
Upcoming Meetings
Friday 31 March – Library at the Dock
12pm–4pm (committee meeting 3pm–4pm)
Excursion from Ross House to Library at the Dock followed by workshop on micro fiction to be facilitated by Blaise van Hecke. For members wishing to go together from Ross House, please meet at Ross House reception at 11am.

Library at the Dock
107 Victoria Harbour Promenade
Docklands VIC 3008
Tram numbers 11 or 48 along Collins

Friday 28th April – Ross House
12pm–4pm (committee meeting 3pm–4pm)
Launch of first issue of SWW Vic Journal at 1pm. Will include official launch by author Hazel Edwards and readings by members.

President's Letter
Dear Members,
I hope that you’re enjoying this lovely Autumn weather. I may have harped on about the importance of being bibliophiles but I will continue regardless!

I live and breathe books. I beg, borrow and buy books. I buy new and second hand, go to the library, borrow off friends. It’s essential that we do this to foster a love of reading, to keep the book alive (although I have no fear of it dying).

There are writers out there who don’t understand this and it makes me sad. I’ve even heard of an author who complained about his books being in libraries because he doesn’t get the same amount of money as when they are sold. And this man makes serious money because his books for children sell exceptionally well.
There is still value in a book being in a library. I’ve often borrowed a book then bought a copy for myself or for a gift. Then there’s public lending rights too. But I won’t get off topic. Libraries help to foster a love of books, especially for children when their experience of them is limited or for parents who may not have much money to buy them. It’s a place to try them out, fall in love with them.
How do you share the love? Do you visit bookshops or libraries? Buy books? Share books? Attend writers’ festivals? The only way to make sure that books are part of our collective mindset is to make sure we actively pursue and read them, not just be the writers of them.
Besides, you can’t be a good writer without being a good reader. That’s a whole new topic but one I strongly advocate when I facilitate anything around writing and publishing.
This week I’ve been hanging out at bookshops and visiting Adelaide Writers Week. In Port Fairy, I visited Blarney Books and Art and spoke to owner, Jo, about the book-selling world. I hadn’t really thought about it too much but it seems that it’s equally hard for a little indie bookseller as it is for a little indie publisher in terms of being taken seriously. I also hadn’t thought about this in terms of book distribution but it’s something I’ll be thinking about as I look at different ways to distribute books in the future. In the meantime, we all need to hang out at our local bookshop and make sure it feels loved and helps us keep the book alive. If you’re ever passing through Port Fairy, be sure to pop in and check out Blarney Books. Is has an awesome space for author events and a mix of new and second hand books, as well as exhibition space.
If you’re an author and worry about your books not selling, have a think about your own reading habits. Are you sharing the love around?

We had 22 members attend out February meeting to share their summer writing and reading. I now have a few new books to add to my reading list, such as The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel.

We also heard some great pieces of writing. It was such a vibrant collection of poetry, prose and books. Thank you to Razmi Finn for taking photos.

Until next month, keep writing!
Blaise van Hecke
Statement of Purposes
1.  To draw together practicing women writers.
2.  To encourage women writers to achieve professional status by the regular conduct of:
      a.  workshops, poetry and prose readings, seminars, conferences, book launches
      b.  literary competitions with  prizes, awards, distinctions
      c.  postal workshops designed for members who are unable to attend meetings and available to other members
     d.  other activities  the Committee considers appropriate such as public readings
3.  To promote the knowledge of literature among women writers and the wider community.
4.  To strengthen the ties of interest between Australian women writers and writers overseas.
5.  To co-operate with other associations or organizations, whose purposes are similar to those of our Society, by subscription, membership or joint seminar.
6.  To enter into agreement with government or council authorities to obtain rights,    privileges or concessions to further the purposes of the Society.
7.  To print and publish newsletters, anthologies, magazines, books or leaflets that the Society considers desirable for its purposes and for the benefit of its members and the wider community.

Calendar of Events 2017
*Please note that there are some changes since last month
All sessions 12noon–2.45pm
Committee meeting 2.45–4pm
January: Saturday 21st
Annual picnic at Fitzroy Gardens (unless over 38°C)
February: Friday 24th
Ross House
Member meeting followed by members sharing Summer reading & writing
March: Friday 31st
Library at the Dock
Introduction to Library at the Dock, member meeting, followed by session: Micro Fiction – facilitated by Blaise van Hecke
April: Friday 28th
Ross House
Member meeting followed by launch of the inaugural SWWV Journal by Hazel Edwards.
May: Friday 26th
Library at the Dock
Member meeting followed by session: Presentation Skills – facilitated by Stephen Costain (TBC)
June: Friday 30th
Ross House
Member meeting, followed by session: Writing Poetry – facilitated by Alice White (TBC)
July: Friday 28th
Library at the Dock
Member meeting, followed by session: Polishing Prose – facilitator TBC
August: Friday 25th
Ross House
AGM, followed by Katherine Purnell Prize
September: Friday 22nd
Library at the Dock
*Note this is not last Fri of month due to public holiday
**No committee meeting to allow full session for seminar. Each session 45 mins each
Member meeting, followed by
Writing Seminar:
12.15–1.00pm: Editing,
1.10–1.55pm: Print Publishing,
2.05–2.50pm: Digital Publishing,
3.00–3.45pm: Marketing
– facilitators TBC
October: Friday 27th
Library at the Dock
Member meeting followed by session: Finding Your Voice – facilitator Joan Nestle (TBC)
November: Friday 24th
Library at the Dock
*no committee meeting to allow for full program
11.30–1.30pm: Christmas lunch
1.30–2.30pm: Launch of issue 2 of Journal
2.30–4.00pm: Christmas writing competition
SWWV Journal
Submissions are closed but we would still like ideas for the cover from members. Do you have a piece of artwork or a photograph that might suit? If you have any ideas, please email them to receiving officer, Paula Wilson at Only original works by members please. When submitting, think about the portrait orientation of a book and how the image might suit the titles.

Dorothy contributed years of help, ideas and talented writing to SWWV and several poetry groups. She spent much of her time fundraising for hospitals and visiting patients to read and share poetry with them. Her lively personality, funny anecdotes and generous hospitality were notable. She and husband Eric, a devoted couple, attended meetings and often welcomed friends who visited them at their Balwyn home.   
Dorothy and Eric were born in England, Dorothy in Manchester. She came to Australia in 1949. Her experiences in the World War II years had shown her that people everywhere needed help, and she was determined to do as much as she could to bring enjoyment and hope into their lives. One of the writing groups she belonged to was The Friday Poets, and from 1999 to 2000 she collected poems to be published in an anthology, ‘Each Our Own Star’ edited by Kathryn Purnell.         
She had poems in Kathryn’s series of Golden Wattle anthologies. Dorothy’s many friends can continue to remember her and enjoy her wide range of writings – the limericks and jingles, the amusing anecdotes and the deeply understanding, insightful poetry.
SWWV Tribute from Marguerite Kisvardai [Varday], with contributions from Errol Broome, E.E [Betty] Caldwell, Janet Howie, Lorraine McGuigan. Meryl Tobin.
Book hunt
Some books were used as a display at Ross House some time back and a few of them have gone astray. If anyone knows where the following books may be, or if there are some spare copies to be obtained, please contact Janet Howie:
‘My Story: Life in Alexandria’ by Rita Caramia
‘Women by Themselves’ and ‘Equal to the Occasion’ both SWW publications.
Opportunities and Competitions
Lip Magazine: Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction for 2017
Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction is accepting entries of creative, insightful fiction up to 2000 words that engage with the theme Rebirth. Closes 5pm Friday 21st April.
As a feminist magazine, Lip aims to nurture women’s writing and provide a platform for feminist voices and stories. As such, the competition is open to all women, female-identifying and non-binary writers.
This year’s judging panel includes Sarah Kanake, Gabrielle Tozer  and Lucy Adams .
The winner of the 2017 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction will take home a $1500 cash prize and will be officially announced as part of the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne. Please visit
The Sheila Malady Short Story Competition
The annual SHAKESPEARE ON THE RIVER FESTIVAL for 2017 will run between Saturday April 22 and Sunday May 7 at Stratford, Victoria.
The festival has grown to include over twenty different events being performed over a two-and-a-half week period. The people of Stratford, the festival management team, the best artists from around the region and guest Melbourne and Sydney-based professional companies will take you on a culturally engaging journey back in time.
Of interest to SWWVic members, and writers in general, is The Sheila Malady Short Story Competition. 
Shakespeare is renowned for his inventive use of language, creation of new words and blatant use of time-honoured tales of love, hope, murder and revenge. He has created some of the world's most beloved tales and characters and gifted the English language with words we still use everyday. His works have been adapted, reinterpreted and extended as writers have wondered what if, what now and what next. Now it's your turn.
At its heart, this competition is about celebrating and breathing new life into the works of Shakespeare by inviting writers to send their own creations. In 2017 the theme is Light/Dark. So sharpen your quills and send your best original short story of 2000 words.
Winners will be announced at the opening night of the Festival on Saturday 22 April, 2017.  The opening of the Stratford on Avon Shakespeare Festival will be celebrated at The Courthouse Theatre, Stratford (66 Princes Highway), with the 2017 Arts Exhibition Opening at 6pm and the official Festival Opening to follow at 6.30pm. 
For full details of the competition, and to download the entry form, click here.
Karma Kinglake Writing Retreat 5–7 May 2017
What is the key to transforming your ideas and experiences into compelling and engaging stories?
If your vision is to write a novel, your memoir, a Hollywood blockbuster, a children’s book, or business manifesto, this weekend will help you move beyond self-doubt and procrastination to fully express your writer’s voice.
⟣ Write prose that is magnetically engaging
⟣ Learn good writing practice
⟣ Learn about structure in story
⟣ Learn how to polish your work, ready to publish
⟣ Gain tools needed to write your story
⟣ Beautiful, single rooms
⟣ All meals included.
Unlock your writing potential and join this small group at the gorgeous Karma Kinglake, facilitated by Blaise van Hecke and Les Zigomanis.
Early Bird $995 (includes GST). Contact Blaise for more details:
T: 03 9434 6365 or 0416 157 281 E:
website has full details:
The Best of Times short story competition #23
For humorous short stories (any theme) up to 2500 words. 
First prize: $300-$500 (depending on number of entries), second prize: $100. 
Closes 31 May 2017.
No entry form is required. Include a cover sheet with your name and address, story title and word count, and where you heard about the competition. 
Entry fee is $10 per story. Send a cheque or money order made out to Chris Broadribb or use Paypal to pay 
Post your entry to PO Box 55, Blaxcell NSW 2142 (including a large SSAE if you want the story returned and a results sheet, or a small SSAE for results only) or email it to 
Competition website: Wild Thoughts from C. A. Broadribb

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Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000

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