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Creative Readings Night ‘What’s Lost, What Lingers?’

Wheatsheaf Hotel, 39 George Street, Thebarton – Wednesday 29 November 2017, 6:30pm

When you come to our conference in November, you will have the chance to attend the Creative Readings Night presented by The Hearth collective.

Catch the tram a couple of stops out of the city to Thebarton and then it’s a short stroll to the Wheaty on George Street (adventure map to guide you coming soon), for a creative readings night curated by a Flinders University creative writing collective: The Hearth.

Listen to readings on the theme of ‘What’s Lost, What Lingers?’ from your fellow conference delegates while you sip on a craft beer or whisky, the specialties of this beautiful old no-pokies pub that’s a favourite with the locals, or sample one of South Australia’s many delicious wines. Nibble on a cheese platter or some chips from the bar, get a tasty meal from a food truck out the front of the pub, or order in a wood oven pizza delivery from the menu behind the bar.

If you’ve been accepted for the creative stream of the conference, you are welcome to present at The Hearth instead of the daytime sessions – just let us know. Otherwise, if you would like to read your creative work, head over to the Call For Presenters and submit your proposal.

You can find more details here

Winner Announcement AAWP/ASSF Emerging Writers’ Prize

It is our very great pleasure to announce the winner of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs / Australian Short Story Festival Emerging Writers’ Prize. The winner is Ruth Armstrong for ‘Paper Cranes’. AAWP/ASSF are proud to support emerging writers in offering this opportunity for emerging writers.

AAWP/ASSF would like to thank all authors who submitted to the prize. The judges were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of entries. This made the judging process inordinately challenging.

Judges’ appraisal:

In a field where we could quite easily have awarded half a dozen first prizes, Paper Cranes distinguishes itself from the remainder of the shortlist through its unwavering focus and effective scene changes, its characters who seem to walk straight out of real life and onto the page, its subtle and mostly unspoken conflicts, and its intelligent imagery. The story is well-paced and restrained when it needs to be, yet never sags; its dialogue rings true, yet avoids the banalities of everyday chitchat; it demonstrates an understanding of classic plot structure, yet remains lively and intriguing. In other words, it does its job. And in doing so, reminds us once again why short stories matter. Congratulations to the author.

About Ruth Armstrong:
Ruth is currently undertaking an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney, with a focus on short story writing. ‘Paper Cranes’ was short listed for the 2017 Overland Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize. Ruth works as an editor at the health website, www.croakey.org.

Australasian Association of Writing Programs / Australian Short Story Festival Short Story Prize.

We regret to inform authors that there has been a slight delay in the announcement of a winner for the inaugural AAWP/ASSF Short Story Prize.

The judges are very impressed by the diverse entries, as well as the thoughtful and poised handling of voice and subject matter. The judges are working diligently on the short list and we will be in touch with an outcome very soon. We understand delays are not easy for authors and we are thank you for your patience.

Chapter One Winner Announcement!

Chapter One is the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) publication pathway for emerging writers. The prize is open to authors who have written a poetry collection, literary novel, short story collection, or a hybrid work that crosses genre boundaries. The AAWP is delighted to partner with University of Western Australia Press (UWAP) to provide this publication pathway for emerging writers. Thank you to all authors for diverse and polished contributions. Thank you to the judges for donating precious time to support emerging writers.

The winner of the ‘Chapter One’ prize is Joshua Kemp for Boneyard. Joshua receives a $500 cash prize and fully subsidised conference fees to attend the annual conference of the AAWP (November 2017), where he is invited to read from his work. The University of Western Australia Press agrees to assess Joshua’s manuscript as a matter of priority. This year the judges awarded a highly commended entry: Melanie Pryor for Girl, Swimming. The University of Western Australia Press is also happy to assess Melanie’s manuscript, as a matter of priority.

As the competition was tightly contested, we encourage submission in consecutive years.
From the judges:

Boneyard impresses immediately with a style that is both simple and pared back, yet distinctive, ‘tactile’ and very forceful. The vocabulary is spare, but very vivid, and works by a careful selection of very telling images, presented with an impressive brevity and vividness.
The writing offers a special kind of intimacy – a closeness and responsiveness to the sights, sounds and scenes of the novel, which seems at times almost onomatopoeic – and offers the perfect, inviting medium for the story, the characters and the core concerns to follow, as set out in the synopsis. The language itself offers the feeling that the writer is somehow ‘down here’, with the characters, with the kind of closeness and intimacy you can usually only achieve with a first person narrative. The writer trusts the characters to speak in their own voice, and to define themselves through dialogue. Authorial intrusion or commentary is minimal, throughout. ‘Semi-autobiographical’ – as indicated in the synopsis – is usually a recipe for literary disaster. We see no sign of it, in this case.

Girl, Swimming is fearless, imaginative, ‘transformative’ and unusual. This is a familiar world—but not one that is seen in a familiar way.

About the author of Boneyard:
Joshua Kemp is an author of Australian Gothic and crime fiction. His short stories have appeared in Overland, Seizure and Tincture. He’s been shortlisted for the S. D. Harvey Award and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition. He is currently doing his PhD at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.

About the author of Girl, Swimming:
Melanie Pryor is a Creative Writing PhD candidate. Her research project, comprised of a travel memoir entitled Girl, Swimming and an accompanying critical exegesis, examines gender, walking, and landscape in contemporary memoir. Melanie teaches in Creative Writing and English Literature, and is a member of Flinders University’s Life Narrative Research Group.
Melanie is a Co-Founder of The Hearth, an Adelaide-based creative readings event. Her personal essays and literary fiction have been published in Overland, Southerly, and Lip, and her academic writing in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.

Winner Announcement


It is our very great pleasure to announce the winner of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs / Ubud Writers and Readers Festival Emerging Writers’ Prize. The winner is Andrew Drummond for ‘Song of Shadows’.

AAWP/UWRF would like to thank all authors who submitted to the prize. The judges were overwhelmed by the nuanced responses to the theme and the quality and diversity of entries. We are proud to support emerging writers in offering this opportunity for emerging writers.

The prize manager would like to express gratitude to all authors: the announcement of the winner was delayed due to technical difficulties outside of our control. We understand that delays are difficult for authors and we appreciate your understanding and support.

The winning story will be published by Meniscus journal.

Judges’ appraisal:

‘Song of Shadows’ is a quietly graceful and perceptive text that straddles genres and cultures. It explores the fragility of our connection to where we have come from and to where we will eventually return, a theme encapsulated in the Hindu philosophy ‘Sangkan Paraning Dumadi’. A  lyric story interspersed with traditional verses, ‘Song of Shadows’ offers the spiritual assuagement its title promises and shows Andrew Drummond emerging as a major talent. Each section of ‘Song of Shadows’ attunes us to a different aspect of ‘origin’ and gestures to what strange connections might be revealed when we properly attend to the ambiguous and ambivalent connotations lurking behind the word in its plural form.

About Andrew Drummond:

I work in education and community mental health, and write as often as possible. I lived in Bali for a while when I was younger, and met many wonderful people. I have been fascinated by Balinese culture ever since. In particular, I am drawn to traditional dance and gamelan music. This fascination inspired my story.

Delayed Winner Announcement

Thank you to all writers who entered the AAWP/UWRF Emerging Writers Prize. The judges were overwhelmed by the quality of submissions. Due to technical difficulties, the announcement of the winner has been delayed. The winner will be announced on 8 September 2017. AAWP/UWRF sincerely apologise for the delay.

Historical fiction celebration comes to Melbourne

8-10 September 2017

In a few days, readers and writers of one of the world’s most popular fiction genres come together in Melbourne.

Some of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest name in publishing will appear at this weekend’s celebration of historical fiction. Kerry Greenwood, Kate Forsyth, Deborah Challinor and Sulari Gentill are among the many authors who will share their thoughts on writing, research and history.

The Historical Novel conference showcases over 60 speakers on history, craft, research, inspiration, and publishing pathways. You can hear from acclaimed writers such as Lucy Treloar, Sophie Masson, , Robert Gott, Arnold Zable, Gary Crew, Melissa Ashley, Kate Mildenhall, Juliet Marillier, Pamela Hart, Kelly Gardiner and Libby Hathorn.

The conference, with a theme of ‘Identity: Origins and Diaspora’, opens this Friday with a cocktail party, followed by a lively round table discussion. Arnold Zable, Gary Crew, Hanifa Deen and Ngahuia te Awekotuku will discuss portrayals of early colonial encounters and migrant experiences.

Some places are still available for skills-based super sessions on everything from armour to romance to research skills and writing software; and for academic panels featuring academics, writers and postgraduates from a wide range of universities.

The conference is organised by the Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA), and will be held over the weekend of 8-10 September 2017, at Swinburne University of Technology. More information at www.hnsa.org.au


Note: For details contact Elisabeth Storrs, HNSA programme director at contact@hnsa.org.au

Special Issue of Axon: Materiality, creativity, material poetics

Call for papers: Special Issue of Axon: Creative Explorations, Edited by Caren Florance, Jen Webb, Jordan Williams

There has been a great deal of thinking and publishing on the topic of image-and-text. Do they fit together? And if so, how? Reid and Turner, in their introduction to the 1994 issue of Yale French Studies, titled Boundaries: Writing & Drawing, write:

We are all aware of the narrative history of the disjunction which, from the very beginning, heralds the relation between writing and drawing.

Many scholars and creative practitioners have tested out the boundaries between writing and drawing, text and image, abstract thought and material actuality, finding instances where those apparently divided by form have found ways to converse, or even to cohabit. Wallace Stevens, for instance, urges poets (and other artists) to aim for: “Not ideas about the thing, but the thing itself” (1983: 565). Francis Ponge uses abstract language to remind us about the thingliness of things, saying: “there is in the orange a yearning to recover its content after having been subjected to the ordeal of squeezing” (1972: 36–37). Stevens, the poet of ideas, and Ponge, the poet of things, both prompt us to construct bridges capable of traversing the boundaries between word and object, ideas about the thing and the thing itself.

We are interested in receiving papers, photo essays, interviews, and creative works that address both the breach, and the connections, between text and image: between the material and the poetic. We are interested too in submissions that consider how material poetics might go beyond mere quotidian meaning to achieve a deepened, kinaesthetic experience of the world, one that brings into the poetic present the worlds of objects and emotions.

We invite writers, artists, philosophers and fellow travelers to present papers (visual, verbal, or both; poetical, theoretical, or both) that explore, examine and elucidate the concept of materiality.

The Special Issue will be published in October 2018 in the open access journal Axon: Creative Explorations (http://axonjournal.com.au/)

Queries, EOIs et al to jen.webb@canberra.edu.au


24 December 2017: Papers submitted for peer review process

28 February 2018: Peer review reports returned to contributors

31 May 2018: Final papers submitted to Axon for editing

31 October 2018: Publication goes live

Creative Writing/Literature PhD project available at Curtin

A creative writing/literature PhD position is now open for application at Curtin University for an innovative collaborative PhD program with the University of Aberdeen commencing early 2018.

The PhD candidate will be enrolled at both Curtin University and University of Aberdeen and will, on completion, receive a joint award. The first and third years will be spent based at Curtin (Bentley campus, Western Australia) with the second year based in Aberdeen, Scotland. The candidate will receive world-class supervision from staff at both universities. The position will be fee-waived (ie no fees payable) and with an APA scholarship for three years.

High calibre honours or Masters students or graduates are invited to contact Dr Rachel Robertson, Senior Lecturer at Curtin University on R.Robertson@curtin.edu.au or 08 9266 2615 to discuss this opportunity.

The proposed project, which is open to negotiation, is around travel writing.

Travel Writing Project

This project explores the literature of travel and travel writing through a literary and/or creative practice lens. Projects could include:

  • Writing a travel narrative (creative non-fiction)
  • Analysis of travel writing
  • Examination of tropes of travel in fiction, non-fiction or poetry
  • Comparison of Australian and Scottish literatures of travel
  • Historical travel writing
  • Newer forms of travel writing (eg blogging, multi-media or experimental writing about travel)
  • Contested issues in travel writing (eg the role of the tourist, new environmental perspectives, post-colonial perspectives)
  • Other aspects of creative writing and travel.

Curtin University contact person: Rachel Robertson (R.Robertson@curtin.edu.au).