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January Newsletter 2022

Welcome back!

Hot temperatures are sending humans and beasts alike in search of water today. Three kookaburras came down to perch on the ‘Tom Collins House’ sign just now and while they were enjoying the cool air from the sprinklers a group of human visitors made their way up and over the hill to the beach.

Despite the heat and the exigencies of mask wearing indoors, FAWWA’s writers are out and about in force. All regular classes are back and we’re looking forward to enjoying many fabulous sessions at the Perth Festival of Literature and Ideas at the end of February. You will see many familiar WA names in the program this year, including (drumroll) Tim Winton!

Over the summer two FAWWA writers have had full-length books published. Congratulations to Patsy Millett whose daughter’s perspective on Dame Mary Durack was published by Fremantle Press as ‘Inseparable Elements’ and to Margaret Cameron whose debut novel, ‘Under a Venice Moon’ is to be released by Hachette on 23 February. You can read more about these two books below.

Congratulations too to the poets shortlisted for the Tom Collins Poetry prize 2021 and thanks to Scott-Patrick Mitchell for judging the award. The short list is published below. Everyone’s welcome to the Tom Collins Poetry Prize Awards evening to be held at Voicebox on 28 February. See the events listing for details.

On Monday 14 February at 7pm, WA Poets Inc will again host an evening of Love Poetry Under the Stars in celebration of Valentine’s Day in the Hollow outside Mattie Furphy House. Featuring Danijela Kambaskovic-Schwartz (with Serbian choir Izvor), Avalon Jack, SoulReserve and Jesse Gordon plus Open Mic it should be a glorious night.

Behind the scenes The Four Centres Emerging Writers program continues with writers and mentors meeting regularly; writers attending workshops; and writers spending lots of time at the desk. Please note that ‘The Business of Being a Writer’ session scheduled for Friday 25 February (just prior to Perth Festival Writers Weekend) is open to everyone, as is ‘From Booktubers to Bookcasters: Social Media for Writers’ and ‘The Ethics of Representation’. While these sessions were designed to meet the needs of EWP participants all writers are able to purchase tickets online if they would like to attend.

Copies of the Perth Festival Writers Weekend program are available now at Tom Collins and Mattie Furphy House. Please drop in and collect one or connect with the Festival online at:

I look forward to seeing you at FAWWA or at The Festival of Words and Ideas soon,

Karen Whittle-Herbert.

P.S: The Fremantle Press T. A. G. Hungerford Award for an unpublished manuscript is open now. For more details go to:


Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2021

The Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2021 shortlist is out! Please come along to Voicebox at Fremantle on Monday 28 February to celebrate with the 2021 shortlistees, winners, their families and friends. For more details see the website.

Need space for your group?

If you’ve yet to soak up the atmosphere of Mattie's at Allen Park in Swanbourne, now is the perfect time! Many writing and community groups have benefited from the quiet, conducive environment of Mattie Furphy House for fellowship and creative focus. If you can see yourself or a group of people meeting at Mattie's for workshops, we would be glad to host you! These beautiful houses are open to anyone who needs a space to write, talk, socialise and pursue creative endeavours. Currently, there is some space available at Mattie Furphy House on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please contact the office at for more information about costs and booking.

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