A PIECE OF GOOD LAND – A Memoir by Val Carter

Val's bookA PIECE OF GOOD LAND – A Memoir by Val Carter
Published by Vivid Publishing, September 2016
Four Corners is a 3600-acre farm nestled away in the Shire of Dandaragan in Western Australia. When Ron and Val Carter first acquired it in 1955, it was virgin scrub land — no communication, no electricity, just acres of bush. They envisioned
a viable farm where cattle grazed and crops flourished; a place where they could raise their growing family. Over twenty-five years, they developed that land one small piece at a time, fighting against many struggles: droughts that almost wiped out their flocks of sheep and out-of-control bushfires that threatened to burn away everything they were working towards. This inspirational story is about family, community and hard work; but most of all, about never giving up on their dreams, no matter how many obstacles they faced, including snooty bank managers who told them, ‘You’ll never make it.’ (Anon Author)
For more details and to order a copy – $33 http://valcarter.com.au/



Member’s Achievement

 Congratulations to Hannah van Didden who was a finalist in the Iceland Writers’ Retreat Alumni Award which provides recipients with a fully funded or partially funded residency at the Iceland Writers’ Retreat. Hannah was one of 30 finalists selected from over 600 applications from around the globe. The residencies are merit-based and the selection of the four alumni is highly competitive. Well done, Hannah for your selection as a finalist.


Why Conflict Should Drive the Story with David Whish-Wilson, Saturday July 30, 1:30pm – 4:30pm

DavidNext Saturday the 30th July at 1:30-4:30pm PCWC will be hosting a inspirational new workshop called “Why Conflict Should Drive the Story” facilitated by David Whish-Wilson.

For those who are unfamiliar with David, he began his creative writing career writing short stories, which were anthologised in Pascoe Publishing’s Best Fifty Stories Collection. His first novel, The Summons, was published in 2006, which was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly award that same year. David’s most recent book, Perth, was published in December 2013 as part of the NewSouth Books city series. David has also established and taught writing workshops in prisons within WA and Fiji. He is currently teaching creative writing at Curtin University.

For those who’s interest has definitely been piqued you can find the details as well as the synopsis of this workshop in the attached flyer.

This workshop is next week, so if anyone is interested then please get in touch with PCWC as soon as possible to ensure a place. We’re sorry for the late notice in promoting this workshop.

You can register at our website, Online Registration Form.
If you have any questions you can email us at cowan05@bigpond.com or phone us at (08) 9301 2282 – for those who are interested but live in the Eastern States or in rural areas please ask about our Skype participation option.

Memoir Writing Made Simple with Maureen Helen (MMS169) Sunday June 12th 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm

This weekend is Maureen-Helen’s Memoir Writing Made Simple workshop. On Sunday, 12th June Maureen-Helen will be hosting a workshops on the best and simple ways of writing your memoir.
The workshops will help you to combine ways to shape an incident from real life, into the form of a short memoir for publication, or for your own enjoyment, making this workshop suitable for any writing level and any writing goal.
For those who are unfamiliar with the work of Maureen-Helen she is an experienced writer and has facilitated many writing groups. She is the author of Other People’s Country and Elopement: a Memoir. She also has a PhD in Writing.
If you’re still not sure whether this workshop is for you, take a look at the testimonials written by participants of Maureen-Helen’s last workshop “Kickstart Your Writing”:
“The “How to get started” practical tips were inspiring and refreshingly honest”
“3 hours was not long enough….!”
“It was great. Best I’ve been to”
“Very glad I chose to attend, got so much out of it (motivation) and will be back again!”
“A very supportive and informative environment, delivered casually and in an approachable way, ideal for those starting out.”
If you like the sound of these comments and want to register you can find the application page in the link provided, you can also find more information on times, what to bring and how to get to PCWC.
There are discounted prices for members as well, so if you think you might be interested in all that PCWC has to offer then take the time to apply for membership.

Are you in the process or about to start a piece of work?

Are you in the process or about to start a piece of work?   Perhaps a one act play, a screenplay, a novella, memoir, book or book of poetry?   First Draft Writers Group is a safe environment to share your work with other writers and receive feedback if you so desire.   A place to discuss problems you may be experiencing with your writing and a place to find out how others cope with the very same problems. Please bring a synopsis of your work to the first session you attend so that we will all get a sense of where you are heading in your writing.  If you would like group members to give feedback on your work, please bring copies of your work to the session.

Cost $5 for Members and $10 for Non Members.
The group welcome new participants.   Enjoy a complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits and cake in a relaxed atmosphere.

Convenor: Gayle Malloy      Time: 1-4pm       Venue: ECU Joondalup Campus, Edith Cowan House, Building 20, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup
For further information contact PCWC on (08) 9301 2282 or email cowan05@bigpond.com with the subject “First Draft Writers Group”



Congratulations to PCWC Playwright, Gayle Malloy, and congratulations also to PCWC facilitator, playwright and poet, Vivienne Glance.

• Congratulations to PCWC Playwright, Gayle Malloy, on her 10 minute play Red-backed Spiders being selected for a Wildcard performance at the Short and Sweet play festival in Dubai. Gayle’s play will be performed on Saturday, 6 February 2016. Red-backed Spiders was initially developed by Gayle as an interpretation from a Peter Cowan short story, and as part of the 2015 PCWC-StagesWA Playwright Project. Well done, Gayle!

• Congratulations also to PCWC facilitator, playwright and poet, Vivienne Glance. Vivienne’s play Underground will be performed during the Perth Fringe Festival at the Blue Room Theatre from 16-20 February, 2016. Tickets are available from Fringe World Congratulations, Vivienne!

The West Australian – Summary of Writing Events in 2015 an article by William Yeoman

By William Yeoman, The West Australian – Summary of Writing Events in 2015

2015 saw the best of times and the worst of times for the books industry. An annus mirabilis and annus horribilis combo. Especially here in Australia. While we were blessed with fine new novels from some of our greatest writers, Geraldine Brooks and Gail Jones amongst them, we also witnessed the death of Colleen McCullough at the age of 77, the Book Council of Australia debacle and the announcement of the removal of parallel import restrictions on books.

Locally, this year’s WA Premier’s Book Awards was cancelled — it is now a biennial award — and writing organisations such as writingWA and The Literature Centre lost their DCA funding. But the 2015 Perth Writers Festival was one of the most successful ever, featuring a lineup including Elizabeth Gilbert and DBC Pierre. Peter Cowan Writers Centre celebrated its 20th anniversary; Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre its 30th. Northbridge’s Centre for Stories opened its doors, while UWA Publishing turned 80 (incidentally, Fremantle Press turns 40 next year).

And the local bricks-and-mortar bookstore scene continued to thrive, despite Dymocks Hay Street store closing down briefly after its long-term franchisee decided to call it quits. Boffins Bookshop moved to William Street and expanded into fiction and children’s books. New Edition in Fremantle and Northbridge’s Northside Books also moved and prospered. New bookstore Diabolik Books & Records is now a funky and much-needed complement to Mt Hawthorn’s spirituality-oriented Bodhi Tree bookshop and cafe.

But arguably the two biggest events in international publishing this year were David Lagercrantz’s follow-up to Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, The Girl in the Spider’s Web; and Harper Lee’s “sequel” to To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman.

While not set to match the astronomical sales of the original Millenium Trilogy (80 million copies worldwide), Lagercrantz’s reboot novel proved popular with fans and was on the whole critically well-received — not least because it marked the return of one of recent literature’s most intriguing heroines, Lisbeth Salander.

“Every century a couple of characters are created that really live — and Lisbeth Salander is one of them, ” Lagerkrantz told The West in an interview. “She was such a brilliant invention of Stieg Larsson — and not only Lisbeth but Mikael Blomkvist, the passionate reporter who I could easily identify with and who, in one way, is Lisbeth’s Dr Watson.”

Speaking of reboots, 2015 also found Anthony Horowitz penning the latest Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, and, kicking off a new series of “reinvented” Shakespeare plays for next year’s Shakespeare 400 celebrations, Jeanett Winterson tackling The Winter’s Tale.

But nothing could compete with the controversy and media frenzy surrounding Harper Lee’s “lost sequel” to her 1961 Pulitzer Prize-winning, Bible-outselling classic To Kill a Mockingbird, the most anticipated follow-up of any in recent publishing history.

Now 89, the famously reclusive Lee actually completed Go Set A Watchman in 1957 — before writing her until-now only published novel To Kill a Mockingbird. But her agent, Maurice Crain, convinced Lee to revise it, shifting the focus from Scout, Jem and Atticus to the latter alone. Lee duly produced a new version, Atticus. Crain and his wife Annie Laurie Williams then suggested another rewrite, this time from the six-year-old Scout’s point of view. The rest is history. Almost.

In February news broke, a mere two months after Alice, a lawyer and Lee’s sister and primary caregiver, died, that Go Set a Watchman would be published. Lee’s fragile health and her being adamant for decades that she would never publish another novel immediately raised suspicions of coercion on the part of various parties with an obvious interest in seeing another Lee novel through the press. These suspicions have since proved unfounded, and Lee has issued a statement through her lawyer saying “I’m alive and kicking and happy as hell with the reactions to Watchman”.

Of course, it’s not as though the rest of the books published in this 125th anniversary year of Agatha Christie’s birth, this year in which much-loved British fantasy author Terry Pratchett died at age of 66, were merely insects buzzing around the two legs of some literary Collosus.

Locally, there were novels such as Stephen Daisley’s haunting Coming Rain, non-fiction titles such as Liz Byrski’s landmark In Love and War: Nursing Heroes, short story collections such as Susan Midalia’s lapidary Feet to the Stars and poetry collections such as Lucy Dougan’s extraordinary Guardians.

Nationally there were the aforementioned novels by Brooks and Jones, as well as “eco-novels” like James Bradley’s Clade and Mireille Juchau’s The World Without Us and Text’s welcome reissuing of a number of Randolph Stow titles. Sophie Laguna won the Miles Franklin for her 2014 novel, The Eye of the Sheep, while Fremantle author Joan London won the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards fiction category for her 2014 novel, The Golden Age. On a personal level, it was with some pleasure that I welcomed back Barry Maitland’s fictional detective Harry Belltree for the second in the Belltree Trilogy, Ash Island; I also enjoyed Magda Szubanski’s brilliant memoir, Reckoning and am currently enjoying Martin Harrison’s beautiful posthumous collection of poetry, Happiness (UWA Publishing)

Internationally, this year’s Man Book prize winner A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James caused a sensation, as did the shortlisted A Little Life by Hanya Yanahigara – and this in a year which saw new novels from Ishiguro Kazuo (The Buried Giant), Isabel Allende (The Japanese Lover), Milan Kundera (The Festival of Insignificance), Jonathan Franzen (Purity) and Louis de Bernieres (The Dust that Falls from Dreams).

In 2015 other books in translation continued to prove popular, such as those by Elena Ferrante, Karl Ove Knausgard and Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai, whose Man Booker International Prize-winning Seiobo There Below is easily my book of the year. However it was left to rock stars to provide us with experiences both sublime and the ridiculous: witness Patti Smith’s surpassingly brilliant memoir M Train and Morrissey’s debut novel The List of the Lost, a lurid passage of which earned him this year’s Bad Sex award.
The West Australian