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Achievements in 2017

The Peter Cowan Writers Centre would like to congratulate the following members for their achievements in 2017:

 Glen Phillips – 24th March 2017

Life Member & ECU Liaison Glen Phillips launched two new books Crouching Tigers & Hidden Dragons (Glen’s collection of 148 Chinese poems in two volumes)and Over the Hills & Far Away (the final work in Glen’s Wheatbelt trilogy). Emeritus Professor Dennis Haskell, AM, officially launched the Chinese collection.

Glen was nominated to receive an award for his outstanding contribution to the Western community for providing 32 years of dedicated service to Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre. For his contribution and commitment as a long serving volunteer, Glen received a WA Volunteer Service Award commemorative service badge and certificate at the KSP open day on Sunday 7th May 2017.

Holden Sheppard won a national writing award in Sydney for his manuscript “Invisible Boys”.  This award is the 2017 Ray Koppe Residency Award and will give Holden a one-week residency at Varuna, the National Writers’ House, in the Blue Mountains in NSW.

Hannah van Didden

Hannah van Didden is 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.

 Christopher Konrad – 11th May 2017

The launch of Christopher Konrad’s book, a collection of poems “Argot” was officially launched by Shane McCauley.

John Dooley on his publication of his new book “Mayhem, Missionaries and Middle Aged Beach Bums”, as well as his recent successes with bush poetry in the Toodyay Bush Poets Bash.

Kim Scott – 26th July 2017

Curtin University, in association with Picador Australia, launched Taboo, an extraordinary new novel from Kim Scott, two-time winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Kim Scott is a multi-award winning novelist and Professor of Writing in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University. His novel, Benang (1999) was the first by an Indigenous writer to win the Miles Franklin Literary Award and That Deadman Dance (2010) also won Australia’s premier literary prize. Proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar, Kim is founder and chair of the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Story Project, which has published a number of bilingual picture books. He received an Australian Centenary Medal and was 2012 West Australian of the Year.

Martin Chambers on his book release, a collection of short stories being released on an iBook in late October 2017. Many of these stories have been inspired by the PCWC 600 Word competition, although there are some longer stories too. Pre orders at Apple, Kobo or Barnes and Noble are only 99c. For more information:



Josephine Taylor for being appointed as the new Associate Editor at Westerly magazine, and will work alongside Editor Catherine Noske and the Westerly team to continue to develop the magazine as a platform for lively and intelligent fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and scholarly offerings. Josephine is also a member of the editorial board at Margaret River Press, and reviews regularly for Australian Book Review.

Morgane Johnson achieved a Highly Commended award in the Tim Winton Young Writer’s Awards for her story, “New Beginnings”.

Morgane is a home educated student under the tutelage of Brooke Dunnell, the facilitator of the weekly home school writing group held at the Peter Cowan Writers Centre.

Tammy Johnson, mother of Morgane, says the writing group has helped her daughter to develop form and structure in her writing. This has been of enormous benefit to her writing style. Recently Morgane was encouraged to enter the Tim Winton writing competition. As a result of her growth within the writing group, she was pleased to receive a Highly Commended award for her story.

Hannah van Didden was announced the Writer-in-Residence for FAWWA this year, and was the Writer-in-Residence at Mattie Furphy House from 30th October 2017 to 10th November 2017. Hannah’s short fiction is published in: Southerly journal, Breach zine, the Grieve Anthology 2016, MoTHER zine, Paper Crown Magazine, The Ham (UK), Atticus Review (US), A Quiet Courage (US), Gravel Magazine (US), Southword Literary Journal (Ireland) and Quail Bell Magazine (US).

Hannah writes literary fiction, as well as crime and speculative fiction. She is currently writing Wilderlander, Book 2 of her dystopian YA/adult Orenda trilogy. She was a 2017 finalist for the Iceland Writer’s Retreat Alumni Award, finalist for the Scarlet Stiletto Awards 2014 for short crime fiction, and finalist for Shore Lines Writing for Performance Competition 2014.

Catharina Kitty Niemann – 25th November 2017

This day saw Catharina launch her book “Serenity”, a book launch of memoirs, ancestor stories, poetry, genealogy and family history.

Elizabeth Brennan on her new book, a short story “Autumn’s Secret”.

Susan Braghieri – November 2017

Susan’s memoir piece ‘Sword Dance’ has been awarded a Highly Commended in the Scribes Writers ‘Short Takes’ Prose Competition in the Memoir category.

Susan has also had three of her 8-word stories published on Queensland Writers Centre’s (QWC) website as part of QWC’s 8-word story challenge centred around the themes of ‘love’,  ‘home’, ‘change’ and ‘play’. You can read Susan’s 8 word stories at:



Martin Chambers – Rockingham Writers Centre Anthology ‘Ripples’

Martin had several short stories selected for the Rockingham Writers Centre anthology Ripples.

Liana Joy Christensen – 22 Pillars Performance Poetry event

On her participation in the recent performance poetry event, ‘22 Pillars’ as part of the Fremantle High Tide Festival. The performances on both nights were sold out! Twenty-two poets recited their poetry, in the style of Greek Theatre, for a series of archetypes representing Fremantle past and present, under the direction of Jennifer Kornberger. The project took 18 months to bring to fruition with archetypes including The Hitchhiker of Gage Roads, The Harbourmaster’s Daughter, The Curator, The Morning Swimmer, Mother of Three, John Boyle O’Reilly, The Refugee, The Green Lighthouse, and The Storyteller of Booyeembara to name a few.  The performance also included a number of past alumni from PCWC’s Advanced Poets workshop series and PCWC facilitators including: Kevin Gillam, Rashida Murphy, Jaya Penelope, and Sanna Peden. Congratulations to all.

Liana Joy Christensen and Gary De Piazzi – Poetry D’amour Anthology

For their inclusion in the 2017 Poetry d’amour anthology with their poems ‘Remembering’ (Gary) and ‘Countless’ (Liana). Gary has also been involved with the organisation of the anthology and launch event for a number of years. The anthology also includes poetry from a number of PCWC poetry workshop facilitators and past PCWC Advanced Poets Course and PCWC Mural Arts anthology alumni: Dick Alderson, Ross Jackson, Sanna Peden, Jaya Penelope, Shane McCauley, Annette Mullumby, and Julie Watts. The 2017 Poetry d’amour anthology can be purchased from the following link: https://wapoets.wordpress.com/shop/2017-poetry-damour-anthology/

Gary has another poetry achievement. One of his Haiku poems is features on the Australian Haiku Society’s webpage:


the first leaf fall


web: australianhaikusociety.org

Winners of the Trudy Graham-Julie Lewis Award for Prose Competition 2017

Highly Commended was awarded to Craig Van Waardenburg for ‘The Dump’

Commended was award to Antonina Bivona for ‘Listening to the Silence: Walkabout in the Goldfields Desert’