Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Thank you Adelaide: my gratefuls
Thanks to Writing Australia I am currently touring and delivering workshops on the craft of writing ‘chick lit’. I have already been to Melbourne (Wheeler Centre) and will be presenting in Canberra, Hobart and Sydney shortly. Last Friday however, I flew to Adelaide to deliver a workshop and to be part of the Spirit Festival. Below are my gratefuls for that most inspiring 48 hours.
1. South Australian Writers’ Centre: I can’t remember the last time I was at the SAWC but it felt good to return, especially to be in a room with twelve enthusiastic and talented local writers, all keen to make their mark in the chick lit genre. The SAWC also hosted the launch of Ali Cobby Eckermann’s memoir Too Afraid to Cry (my speech notes are here).
2. Talented local writers: I follow and am followed by some wonderful Australian authors based in cities and towns around the country. I didn’t realise that two of my faves – Bianca Wordley (above) and Katrina Germein (below) - were actually based in Adelaide, so what a bonus to meet them. I must admit I was a little nervous to have blogger Bianca in my workshop, after all, she already knows how to write! And what a bonus to connect with Katrina at Al Cobby Ackermann’s launch at the writers’ centre.
3. Alexis West: My heart smiles with gratitude for the lovely Alexis West, who coordinated the writers program of the Spirit Festival. Alexis looked after me in the lead up to the event, hosted me on arrival, gave me fantastic shopping tips and added her own groovy chick lit ideas to my workshop. Keep an eye out for this multi-talented woman she is going places. I’d be grateful if she took me with her!
4. Spirit Festival
a. Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Grenfell Street is a wonderful venue for art, books, dance, and storytelling. I was thrilled to return to Tandanya and be part of the writers’ forum with Dr Jared Thomas, Dr Dylan Coleman and Natalie Harkin. All members of the SA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Storytellers and Writers Group, the locals are also part. of the Speaking Wave (Wangkanthi Wingkura) exhibition, adding their words to artwork from the Institutes’ permanent collection. Speaking Wave goes until 21st April so be sure and check it out.
b. New connections: I’m grateful to all those who came along to the writers’ forum on Saturday afternoon, including the women from Wanna Munda pictured above. Also to catch up with roving photographer Wayne Quilliam and Twitter sister Azra Rochester (below).
c. AaronFa’aoso – yes the big spunk (pictured below) from the TV series R.A.N. and more recently The Straits. It was lovely to meet him and do my best groupie impersonation.
5. Della Rowley: Sometimes the death of a loved-one can bring people together in ways that may never have happened otherwise. In March 2011, my dear friend Hazel Rowley passed away unexpectedly in New York. It was a tragedy no-one could every have imagined would happen. Since then, her loving sister Della – whom I spent a little time with on Saturday - has been working hard to keep the legacy of Hazel alive through the Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship and the Hazel Rowley Memorial lecture , which will be delivered at Adelaide Writers’ Week this year by Alex Miller.