July Newsletter 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

Welcome to the July Newsletter. Thank you to all those who have joined us, practicing good hygiene and social distancing, as activities re-start at FAWWA. Book Length Project Group has resumed, as has Write Night and the monthly Friday@Furphy's. A. Levett's Creative Writing Classes will re-commence at Mattie's on 24th July, streaming Zoom as well.

A number of interesting groups and workshops have been scheduled at FAWWA over the coming months. Details can be found below.

I will take this opportunity to thank the Committee and Volunteers for their support during my time as Acting President these last months. I will be handing over to Pat Johnson, who will be Acting President for July and August, followed by Colin Young for September and October. This will take us through to the AGM on October 25th.

I invite all Members to consider joining the Committee for 2021; it is a great opportunity to give your input into the future of our organisation. New Vice-President Machiel van der Stelt has been a welcome participant in 2020, provided a valuable contribution to the leadership. I'm sure he has found his time on the Committee rewarding. There will likely be the roles of President and Treasurer to fill this year, so any one with leadership aspirations, or an accounting background, please step forward!

Keep reading for more detail of the exciting event ahead.

Yeeda Topham

Acting President

Stuart Hadow Short Story Competition

Thank you to all those who entered the Stuart Hadow Short Story Competition. With the extended closing, we have a broad field, with over 200 entries including many interstate.

FAWWA is delighted to announce that Nigel Featherstone will judge this year’s Stuart Haddow Short Story Competition. Nigel came to national attention with the publication of his short story collection Joy (Ginninderra Press, 2000).  Now based in Canberra, he is the founder and editor of the online journal Verity La, and has a suite of critically acclaimed novels to his name, including Bodies of Men (Hatchett, 2019).

Nigel will no doubt enjoy reading the plethora of good writing in your Stuart Hadow entries, and is likely to have his judges report and shortlist ready in 6 weeks or so, when we will post it on the Website. We will announce the Date, Time and Location of the Prize Ceremony as soon as it has been determined, most likely in late August, so stay tuned to the Website for details.

Quotations of the Week

Thank you all those who have contributed quotations for the Website during the months of lock-down. Competition organiser Lynne Deperas and Committee Member Peter Bibby have concurred to chosen the winner and runner-up:

Winner: Jackie Donald, Post Newspaper reader with "Hope is our greatest commodity.".

The Runner-Up: Carol Millner supplied the Marquess of Queensbury's famous quote...

"All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

There are two prizes on offer: A copy of the Storyfire short story anthology and a Coffee and Cake voucher from our local Kirkwood Deli. As some may already have a copy of Storyfire, we'll let the prize choice be first-in-best-dressed, so we invite Jackie and Carol to contact the FAWWA Office on 9384 4771 to claim the prize of their choice.

A special thank you to Kirkwood Deli. Please support this great local shop for gourmet snacks, hearty meals, deli-items and of course coffee and cake!

Also a big thank you to The Western Suburbs Post Newspaper for our printing our article promoting the competition.

Membership Renewal

Thank you to all those who have already renewed their membership, and to those of you who added a donation. Your support of FAWWA allows us to thrive and provide a vibrant program of events. The link to the Membership Page is below, where it is easy to renew on-line if you haven't already done so: https://www.fawwa.org/become-a-member

Call-out for a Mobile Phone (Smartphone) donation...

We have realised that FAWWA needs it's own designated Mobile Phone, for Volunteers to use when operating the Square Reader (allowing Credit Card payments) and also to link to our Facebook and other social media accounts. So, we are putting a call out to Members for anyone who has a spare Smartphone. It does not need to be the latest and greatest. If you've got a spare superseded model, please consider donating it to FAWWA. Phone the office on 9384 4771 if you can help.

...following on from Reconciliation Week

Like many of us, the FAWWA Committee members were confronted during Reconciliation Week by pictures of the Juukan Gorge rock shelter destruction in the Pilbara, by mining company Rio Tinto.

This is likely to be an inexcusable loss for the present descendants and custodians, all the more inconsiderate happening on the eve of Reconciliation Weak. We send our support to the Puuti Kunti Kurrama and Pinikurra (PKKP) traditional owners, now living in Roebourne.

We were saddened by the the loss of internationally significant anthropological heritage. An archaeological dig in 2014 found evidence of 46,000 years of continual occupation, including throughout the last glacial maxima when people had retreated from other areas of the Western Desert. In excess of 7,000 artifacts were found, including a 26,000 yr-old kangaroo bone-point and a 20,000 yr-old human-hair belt. In addition, the surrounding rock faces contained unique petroglyphs, artwork created by chipping into a rock with hammer-stones.

We are fortunate to have among our members an author whose recent novel draws inspiration from the history of some unusual Aboriginal rock art. Nicholas Hasluck's

'The Bradshaw Case' is based loosely around the story of the Bradshaw Figures in the Kimberley.  And so we present...

Nicholas Hasluck on 'The Bradshaw Case'

Friday @ Furphy's, Matty Furphy House, July 10th, 5-8pm

Nicholas will address our July 10th Friday@Furphys to talk about his book and the insights he has gained, in the light of the recent heritage destruction in the north.

With 2m physical distancing requirements still in place, we can accommodate 14 people at this function. Please email the office to book your place as we need to keep a register.

We realise that many more Members may be interested in Nicholas's talk, so we plan set up a Zoom option for those who would like to join if the event becomes full. Email the office and we will send you the Zoom link details.

It's been a Big Ugly Year for Australian Journalism.

In March The Australian Associated Press (AAP), Australia’s 85 year old wire service and national news agency looked set to close with an accompanying 200+ job losses. While new backers have been found, 145 journalists and editorial staff are likely to lose their jobs.

In May News Corp confirmed that it will close 100 community and regional print newspapers in favour of digital-only models. It is estimated that only 375 journalists will be required, reduced from the 1200 to 1300 currently employed.

Meantime the ABC is scrambling to reconfigure following an $84 million dollar budget cut. Likely changes include: cutting the flagship news bulletin at 7.45 am and replacing it with a five minute bulletin at 8 am; restructuring and rebranding ABC Life; and reducing the spend on external and independent Australian-made television content. It is predicted that up to 250 jobs will be lost across the ABC, many of them in journalism.

All of these changes concern those interested in the well being of writers in Australia. Please find the time to support our journalists by writing to your MP in opposition to the ABC cuts.

Thank you and fond farewell to Terry-Anne White

FAWWA and it's members have had a long relationship with UWA Press, particularly co-operation in the production of distinguished anthologies of WA writers, promoting their work in the community. FAWWA is sorry to hear of the resignation of Professor Terry-Anne White from her role as the Director of UWA Press. Terry-Anne's presence at the Press will be missed by both readers and writers; she put her great skill, heart and soul into her work and made the Press a force. It is a loss at a time when a new philistinism is on the rise, as evident in the government price increase on Arts degrees, adding a greater financial burden to the students pursuing them. We all hope Terry-Anne's departure is not a result of the drastic changes to UWA Press foreshadowed by University governors earlier this year. We are grateful for the existence of this vital organisation and hope that it can continue to support the WA writing community into the future.

We wish Terry-Anne well in any new role and future writing endeavours.

More FAWWA Events...

A. Levett, Creative Writing Course 2.

Our popular presenter Andrew Levett is commencing an on-line version of his Creative Writing Course, for those who would like to start mid-year. See flier below:


Join Rhuwina Griffiths, ghostwriter and life story mentor, for a five-week course looking at techniques that writers use to make their stories interesting. Each week you will learn what these techniques are, read and analyse how published authors have used them, and have an opportunity to practice each technique using memory prompts.

Where: Mattie Furphy House

When: Tuesday 14, 21, 28 July + 4, 11 August

Time: 10:00 – 11:30

Cost: $150

The Work that Reconnects in WA

Mattie Furphy House, Sunday 19th July, 1-5pm.

The Work that Reconnects actively engages us in connecting with what matters most to life on Earth: It supports people to vulnerably face the challenges of our time with an open heart. Through engagement in deep listening, ceremony, movement and exercises which awaken our imagination and creativity, we uncover valuable insights into our deep belonging and our interdependence. This steadies us in ways “more real than our fears and even our hopes” (Macy, Joanna: Coming Back to Life p. xxiii).