A Celebration of Peter Cowan’s Life

Peter Cowan taken by son Julian (3)

The Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre’s (PCWC) contribution to Edith Cowan University’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations is a photographic display of Peter Cowan in Office 2 at Edith Cowan House. Peter Cowan was the grandson of Edith Cowan, the namesake of the university.

In our photographic display, we have a digital display unit which shows pictures of Peter Cowan from a babe in arms through to an elderly man. We also have various large canvas prints and photographs of Peter and members of his family. There is a Cowan family tree and a folio book which shows Peter Cowan in the context of his times.

In addition, we have a listing of all the books and short stories written by Peter Cowan that are housed in our Members Library for anyone interested in researching his distinctive style of writing.

All are welcome to visit the display. The Centre’s opening hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am – 3pm.

If you would like more information about Peter Cowan and his work, copies of the PCWC book Homecoming are available for purchase.

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.

2016 Patron’s Prize for Poets

The results for the 2016 Patron’s Prize for Poets Competition are now available. At the Awards Celebration on 16 July 2016 the judge, Liana Joy Christensen, gave out some valuable feedback and we had the opportunity to hear the finalists’ work. Thank you to all who entered their poems and keep writing.

Link to Judge’s Report

PPPC 2016 Winners

From left to right: Shey Marque (Commended); Rita Tognini (Highly Commended); Madeleine Tingey (First Place); Shane McCauley (Commended); Competition Judge, Dr Liana Joy Christensen; Ross Jackson (Highly Commended & Third Place) and; Emily Siggs (Judge’s Encouragement Award for Youth)  


  • First Place was awarded to Madeleine Tingey for ‘In the Suburbs’
  • Second Place was awarded to Marjorie Lewis-Jones for ‘Paddle a Glass Lake’
  • Third Place was awarded to Ross Jackson for ‘Four Reflections in Plate Glass off King Street’
  • The Novice Poet Award went to Judy Winchester for ‘Root and Branch’
  • The Judge’s Encouragement Award for Youth went to Emily Siggs for ‘Tuesday Mornings’

Four Highly Commended Certificates went to:

  • Dave Drayton for ‘Fences’
  • Ross Jackson for ‘Humanless Places’
  • Christopher Ringrose for ‘The Road to Damascus’
  • Rita Tognini for ‘The Same’

Four Commended Certificates went to:

  • Shane McCauley for ‘Gabirol’s Golem’
  • Shey Marque for ‘A Geranium Grows in the Wall’
  • Shey Marque for ‘Chasing Cello Joe’
  • Damen O’Brien for ‘The Saturday Afternoon Football Call’

The Skills of a Bower Bird: Research for Writing (SB1612) with Maureen Helen – Sunday, 24 July 2016 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Maureen Helen will be facilitating a workshop titled The Skills of a Bower Bird: Research for Writing on Sunday, 24 July 2016. 

Maureen HelenThis is a basic research workshop for writers in all genres. The workshop will provide an introduction to the tools, methods and skills required for making writing authentic and honest. Attendees will also learn the skills necessary for blending research seamlessly into their stories.

Maureen Helen is an experienced writer and facilitator of writing groups. She is the author of Other People’s Country and Elopement: a Memoir. In addition, she has a Bachelors Degree in History and a PhD in Writing.

If this workshop interests you, you can register for this workshop using our Online Registration Form.

Radical Devotion: Landscape Poetry for the 21st Century with Liana Joy Christensen (RD1611)- Saturday 16th July 1:30pm- 4:30pm

Liana Joy Christensen will be facilitating a workshop based on landscaping your poetry you have created into the 21st Century. 0fa875_54a9f8afa17d466084d4abaf9e5e4c3f[1]

Like people, the world needs to be seen, loved and touched in order to thrive through the passages of life. Often indigenous people have a more clear awareness of their responsibilities-but the task can’t be handled by just one group of people and needs to be taken by all hands. This workshop will explore on playing and having fun with forming poetry for the 21st Century. We will then encourage participants to begin drafting their own landscape poem for the 21st Century.

Liana Joy Christensen is an award winning author with a variety of short stories, essays and poems have been published nationally and internationally literary journals. She is the author of Deadly Beautiful- Vanishing Killers of the Animal Kingdom.

If this workshop interests you, you can register for this workshop using our online registration form.

Writing Dramatic Dialogue with John Harman (WD1610) – Saturday June 25th 2016, 1:30pm-4:30pm

Next weekend, John Harman will be facilitating a workshop based around writing dramatic dialogue.

The dialogue in any piece of writing, is extremely important and must always serve a purpose. It needs to achieve things such as relaying information, advancing the plot, show characterisation and show the relationship between characters as well as many more aspects. Much of a narrative is propelled by dialogue and good dialogue shows and expresses rather than tells.John Harman It makes the story fly. If you struggle with doing this in your pieces of writing then John Harman will be able to help.

John Harman has worked in advertising and journalism in the UK and America. He was also a co-owner of a small film production company, where he wrote documentaries and film-scripts. He is now a full-time writer of crime thrillers including Called to Account, Dangerous Assets, Money for Nothing and The Bottom Line which have been published in the UK.

If this workshop is something you think you’re interested in, you can register using our online registration form.

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.

Kickstart your writing with Maureen Helen

On Sunday, 29th May (1:30-4:30 pm) Maureen Helen is back to host her popular workshop “Kickstart Your Writing”.

This workshop will help new writers as well as old hands to energise their writing and get it back on track. This workshop has been run many times at PCWC as it is a great way for writers to feel great about their writing style and to find their groove again. If you register for this workshop expect to be taught a number of techniques and tools to help you on your way.

Dr Maureen Helen is an experienced writer, teacher and published author. Her memoir, Other People’s Country (ABC Books, 2008) was long-listed for a Walkley Award and short-listed for the WA Premier’s history prize.

Cost is $38 for members and $48 for non members

Please remember to bring a pen and some paper!

If you would like to go to the registration page or see the flyer you can click on this link.

Read what applicants have said about past Maureen Helen’s workshops

Dr Maureen-Helen is a superlative facilitator and source of inspiration” (Kickstart Your Writing 2015)

“Very much enjoyed this session. Maureen obviously knows her stuff and is very supportive of us” (Memoirs/Biography – How to Research 2015)

“As a first timer, the experience was great” (Memoirs/Biography – How to Research 2015)

“This has been a very useful, clear and pleasant workshop that has given me direction and motivation to keep pen to paper in a short story project. Thank you!” (Memoirs/Biography: Writing Short Life Stories – 2000 Words 2015)

“It has been relaxed and friendly, not intimidating or scary in any way” (Memoirs/Biography: Writing Short Life Stories – 2000 Words 2015)

Places still available for Ken Spillman’s Writing Fiction for Children workshop!

This Saturday, 14th May 2014 Writer-in-Residence Ken Spillman will be returning to PCWC to facilitate a workshop titled “Writing Fiction for Children”.

If you have an interest in writing for children Ken is the perfect facilitator. 2/3 of the 60+ books he has written are aimed at children with many of them translated into several different languages.

This workshop is specifically for emerging writers who are interested in writing children’s fiction. Ken will provide with a practical introduction as well as motivation for turning ideas in books. He will do this by providing you with a series of writing exercises designed not only to build you understanding of the writing process but your confidence, abilities and ideas as well.

Discussions led by Ken will lead to greater clarity about structures, character and plot, editing, and the various market sectors. Above all, participants will be inspired to develop their stories and encouraged to keep the process simple.

You are welcome to bring a story you’re working on or an idea you’ve had suitable for young adults.

The workshop will taking place at 1:30-4:30pm on Saturday, 14th May at the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre.

A link to the online registration form can be found HERE. You may also email any enquiries to cowan05@bigpond.com. To see the flyer you can click HERE.

There are a few places still available so you must apply soon to make sure you reserve your place.

Watch out for further notices on whether we will start accepting walk-ins.

For those already attending, good luck and have fun!

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”