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

February 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 coordinators: 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 24th February – Ross House
12pm–4pm (committee meeting 3pm–4pm)
Members share summer reading or writing. Please bring along a book to talk about, or a story/poem to read. Limit of 4 minutes per person.

 
Friday 31 March – Library at the Dock
(map included in next newsletter)
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 who have not been to the Library at the Dock, meet at Ross House at 11.30am to travel as a group to the library.


 
President's Letter
 
Dear Members,

Happy New Year to our members! I hope that you’ve all had a lovely break over the summer and that you have managed to fit in a lot of writing and reading.


I’m sad at the passing of member and past president Tricia Veale (tributes to follow), who we last saw at the Christmas meeting. She seemed in high spirits and looking forward to spending time with her family over Christmas. I hope she managed to do that.

Over the break, the committee has been working hard to plan for the coming year and to look at our options going forward in terms of a venue. This year we will have a mix of venues with Ross House and Library at the Dock. We are quite excited by the program that we are presenting and by the prospect of working with the library to enhance our offerings through the society. We are confident that we will also gain more exposure and new members to our group.

Apart from trying out a new venue and working on a great program, we will be launching our first journal in April. I’m really looking forward to seeing that evolve. It will be a very powerful marketing tool for the society, not to mention a satisfying project for all involved. This is after all our intention, to see our work in print.
 
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
2017
All sessions 12noon–2.45pm
Committee meeting 2.45–4pm
 
January: Saturday 21st
Fitzroy
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
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 29th
Library at the Dock
Member meeting, followed by session: Polishing Prose – facilitator TBC
August: Friday 26th
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 28th
Library at the Dock
Member meeting followed by session: Finding Your Voice – facilitator Joan Nestle (TBC)
November: Friday 25th
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 now closed for the journal but we would like members to think about what we might call the journal. If you have any ideas, please email them to receiving officer, Paula Wilson at paulawilson1@optusnet.com.au
 
We would also like to put to members a call out for images that could be used for the cover or for inside the journal. Please note that the cover will be in colour but internals only in black and white. If you have anything that you think would work well for the cover, please also send it to Paula. Only original works by members please.
 
VALE, TRICIA VEALE

 
VEALE (nee Thomas). Patricia Irene 02.03.1939 - 13.01.2017 Late of Benalla. Passed away at North East Health, Wangaratta, after a brave battle. Loved and loving wife of Eric (dec.) and special friend of John Davies. Much loved mother and mother- in-law of Lesley, Neil and Trish. Loved and adored Granny to Brad, Sam, Mikey; Charley and Oscar. A wonderful life built with strength and resilience
 
 
Published in Herald Sun on 17/01/2017
 
Bio
Tricia Veale received a Diploma of Education in 1960 and worked in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. After arriving in Australia, she taught in Benalla, then worked in a veterinary laboratory, eventually completing a degree in Veterinary Science which she had earlier commenced at the University of Bath (Somerset). Veale subsequently developed an interest in Parasitology, having received a Master of Science degree in 1997.
http://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/5961891
 
Tricia was an active member of the Society of Women Writer’s VIC from 2003 and served as president 2009–2011. Tricia will be greatly missed.
 
Members’ Tributes to Tricia
Finn, Razmi:  
I have always admired Tric and her writing and in the last few years I learned a bit about her life through short conversations we had. I said to her a couple of times how I admire her commitment in travelling all the way from Benalla to attend the meetings.
I am sorry I did not get a chance to chat with her at the last meeting.
 
Howie, Janet:
I have just read the sad news on Tricia. So pleased to have been with her at our last meeting. 

Tricia was a committed member of the Society taking her turn at being President and always keen to write and to share her work. We will miss her. 
 
Nightingale, Del:
Tricia fought her last battle so well, living her life and keeping in touch.

She played her part in the society too, holding the position of President at a time when the society needed that same, strong, no-fuss way of managing the detail.

Yes, I shall miss Tric’s performance poetry and the fun she had in getting the humour across to the listeners.

I’ll also miss her at our meetings, for Tric came to our monthly meetings and contributed right to the end of the year.

Thanks Jenny for making arrangements to attend the funeral, it‘s really appreciated. Thank Lloyd too. It means a lot to us all that there’s someone to represent us and to pass on our condolences to the family.
 
Silver, Maree: I took this photo of Tric at the last meeting. She had been busy taking photos of all the other ‘winners’ and I thought I would take one of her for her own interest. To me it captures the Tric I knew, always smiling, never complaining and always ready to help if the need arose. She was an excellent poet with a wonderful, clever sense of fun. I will miss her quiet presence sitting up at the back of our meetings.
 
What a marvellous tribute you have written about Tricia, Veronica. There were things mentioned that I knew about, but many that I didn’t know about her full and interesting life. Thanks for taking the time to write this piece – as you say she won’t be forgotten by those of us who knew her.
 
Smailes, Lynn, former President of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Vic) and former Editor of its magazine The Australian Writer: Tricia was a great supporter of the Fellowship [one who contributed articles and poems to the magazine] and I had a sense of her as such a warm and friendly person from her emails. When I met her for the first time at a SWWV meeting, she was as warm and lovely as her emails.

 
Lynn lists Tric’s entry in The Australian Writer Achievements, January 2012:
Tricia Veale has had two poems published in Tamba magazine and two poems in Free XpresSion magazine.

In the National Water Week 2011 River Yarns Writing Competition, she was Highly Commended for the poem Reflections.

Tricia's review of the new UK textbook "Essentials of Veterinary Parasitology" was published in the Australian Veterinary Journal. Volume 89 No 11.

An article on Barbers Pole Worms appeared in the Weekly Times. Issue # 7262.
Monthly articles are submitted to the Wormboss website.

 
Her poem Nature's Wilderness was Commended in the Society of Women Writers Vic Christmas Competition.
 
Sput Stern, Anna, fellow member of the Deakin Literary Society: I have just read the sad news about our Tricia. She was a valuable member of DLS [Deakin Literary Society]. Her poems, her sense of humour and her lovely way of expressing herself during our discussions has been very much appreciated by all of us.
 
Stone, Dulcie: From the beautiful photo and all the messages it's obvious that Tricia was a very special person. I wish I'd had the benefit of knowing her.

I'm sending this to you personally because I've been deeply moved by the Society's response to her passing. It's very impressive.

You're such a wonderful caring group of women. I feel privileged to be one of you, even though the only one I've met is Veronica––and that was years ago.
 
Tobin, Meryl:  Tricia was a warm vibrant people person who loved coming to the SWWV. When I first heard her read one of her poems, I was blown away her unique poet’s voice and by the power of her presentation. Not only did she choose something different to write about––parasites were a favourite topic—but she also had an outstanding speaking voice. With her veterinary scientist mind, she could write about unusual creatures with knowledge, and, with her creative mind, she could put them in poetical language, usually with a quirky twist. Though few members knew of her battle with cancer, Tric turned up to our Christmas Break-Up Party at the end of November, even winning a prize and reading her prizewinning entertaining and humorous poem. Not only a keen general member, Tric was also a valuable office bearer serving as President of the Society from 2009-2011,
 
van Hecke, Blaise, Publisher, Busybird Publishing: I'm so sad to hear of Tricia's passing. I loved her cheeky smile and quiet way of interacting with people. I published a funny poem by Tricia in our second issue of [untitled] in 2010, all about demented writers. It's too long for the newsletter but I might find a way to share it with you all.
 

Collated by Meryl Brown Tobin

Tricia collecting her prize at the 2016 Christmas writing competition.
Postal Workshop Picnic
January 21st 2017

 Photo credit: Meryl Tobin & cafe staff

It was great to gather together again, but the bright sunshine was a stark contrast to the dark events of the previous day in the CBD.  It added a sombre tone to a day known more for its laughter.
 
A private function meant the public could not access the facilities inside the Pavilion Cafe, but staff served patrons and passersby, including two policewomen on their well-trained horses, with lunch and/or coffees in the outdoor seating area. 
 
With ten SWWV members present I wasn’t a participant in all conversations, but I heard several: ‘I’m going to write more’ this year, ‘be more organised with my writing’, ‘submit more regularly to my Postal Workshop’ and ‘send my work out into the world’.  Other members shared advice on editing and publishing, particularly digital publishing that some wish to explore.  A highlight for me, as Co-ordinator of the Postal Workshops, was to hear a member say they wouldn’t be writing in the way they were, if it wasn’t for the advice and support they receive from their Postal Workshop.  Others agreed.
 
While the Picnic is a social gathering, I urge each of you to remind yourselves, throughout the year, of these intentions.  When we gather again on 20th January 2018, rather than talking of what we intend to do, I hope we are all excited about the fulfilment of our 2017 intentions.    
 
Judith Green
Postal Workshop Coordinator
Writing and Your Body
 
A Writers Victoria all day workshop with Leah Kaminsky.
 
When in pain our words are often sounds – OW, OUCH or URRRRGH.  A ‘sore throat’ tells the reader the place of pain, ‘my throat strewn with shattered glass’ paints a vivid picture.
 
Through a series of writing exercises, punctuated with suggestions, theoretical and practical background information and poetry written about bodies, an enthusiastic Leah Kaminsky encouraged and supported us to find our individual way of writing about our bodies.  Put ‘you’ on the page, she advised, the more uncomfortable the writer is, the more the writer exposes of themselves for the reader to connect with.
 
It was challenging, taking many of us beyond our comfort zones, but it was, nevertheless, a safe environment to write in.  ‘Automatic writing’ was Leah’s mantra: put pen to paper and write for five minutes without lifting the pen.  Even if the mind is blank on the topic, write about whatever comes into your head.  The very act of writing gets the creative juices flowing. 
 
Leah emphasised repeatedly that what we were writing were first drafts;  raw, rough, possibly drivel, but we needed to be fearless and get it down.  We were stirring up language in its rawness.  Let the words flow from deep within.  Later on would be the time to discern and decipher, and to edit, edit, edit and edit again.  ‘Just do it!  Be fearless!’ Leah constantly advised. 
 
In the days following the workshop I’ve written the first two chapters of a book I’ve been struggling to start for a long time.  The next three chapters are pounding within, demanding to be given voice.
 
Judith Green
Member News & Launches

On Wednesday February 8th, VALID, in partnership with Writers Victoria, will be launching the inaugural Dulcie Stone Writers Award at the opening of their Having a Say Conference in Geelong. The Award Ceremony will be held later in the year at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne.
 
It’s very exciting news. A writer’s award for people with intellectual disability!
Opportunities and Competitions
 
Picture Book workshop.
Melbourne, Saturday 25th February 10am to 4pm. Two tutors, artist Jo Thompson for the illustrations, Dr Virginia Lowe for the words. Assessment provided on work you bring along. Make and use a storyboard, how to submit to publishers, character and plot development – and any other picture book queries.
Bookings: virginia@createakidsbook.com.au.
 
 
Calling Playwrights, Circus Performers, Choreographers and Creative Producers!
Do you have a play that you've just finished writing? Do you have a new script that's just waiting for an audience to appreciate it? Perhaps you're a dancer or a circus performer with a show that's ready to go.
 
If so, then apply to Gasworks Arts Park's Small Gems program.
 
Small Gems commissions independent works that are of professional quality and contemporary interest. Preference is given to work that's had a development period and/or comes from artists with a track record of high quality.
 
Apply now and tell us all about your new art work. Through Small Gems we promote and develop work that's right for small to medium sized venues in Melbourne and beyond. Small Gems facilitates tours so that audiences see your show. The program also offers access to rehearsal space, payment for performances and marketing.
 
We work with four other performing arts venues to get Small Gems' applicants work in for(?) cosmopolitan audiences. We work with Hobsons Bay City Council, Burrinja Cultural Centre, Kingston Arts Centre and The Melba Spiegeltent to get your works in front of appreciative people.
 
Applying couldn't be simpler. Our form is easy to fill in. The deadline is Tuesday 28th February 2017.
 
http://www.gasworks.org.au/small-gems/
 
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 cabbook-23@yahoo.com.au 

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 cabbook-23@yahoo.com.au 
Competition website: Wild Thoughts from C. A. Broadribb
 
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
If you like the idea of retreating away from the world while working on your writing, this retreat will really hit the mark. Located in the beautiful Kinglake in luxury accommodation, you will unlock your writing potential. All accommodation, food and workshops are included. Early bird ends 20th March. Please see website for more details:
http://www.busybird.com.au/events/karma/
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