June Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends,

June has arrived and winter is well and truly upon us. We hope everyone survived the storms, which provided a welcome drink for our gardens and the bush!

Over the last few weeks, some groups such as the Indian Ocean Writers have successfully trialed small gatherings at Mattie Furphy House. We have developed social-distancing and cleaning protocols, including regular hand-sanitiser and disinfecting surfaces after use (Methylated Spirits), so we feel that FAWWA will be able to take advantage of the further easing of restrictions due on 6th June.

This will allow us to increase the number of people able to meet at Mattie Furphy House to 14, which will comply with the new 2m/person rule. This will allow more activities to to ahead, such as the Book Length Project Group, which is planning to meet on Sunday June 21st. Andrew Levett's Creative Writing Classes will continue on-line for the remainder of Term 2, but he will reveiw the format for Term 3 in July.

Your FAWWA Committee will be able to meet in person this month on June 12th, and we will hold a small Friday@Furphy's gathering, as a round-table discussion on the theme Refections on the Pandemic, where members can read out their pearls of wisdom. If you would like to attend, email or phone the office to book, as numbers are limited to 14.

To comply with the HealthyWA Guidelines, we will be asking everyone to hand-sanitise at the door, maintain 2m of social distance, and of course stay home if they have any flu-like symptoms. We will also ask participants to leave their mobile phone number and email address, for contact tracing if needed.

Information about current FAWWA activities is on the Website: www.fawwa.org

On to other initiatives. The Quotations of the Week have been extended into a friendly competition, to be judged at the end of June. Prizes include a copy of Storyfire and a coffee/cake at a local cafe. So, email your favourite quotations to the office or pop them in the specially-marked tin near the Little Library on the verandah of Mattie Furphy House.

Stuart Hadow Short Story Competition

A reminder that the Stuart Hadow Competition closes on 1st July. We have been able to secure a national judge this year, with details announced after the closing date. If you haven't already done so, please send us your entries to ensure a strong WA contingent.

Membership Renewal

This is a timely reminder that your FAWWA membership will be due for renewal on 1st July. We thank you all for your support of FAWWA through your membership, which allows us to continue operating and bring you and the best program we can. We will be keeping membership costs steady, as follows: General $65, Concession $50, Student $40. Stay tuned for an email reminder mid-month (Special Promotion members no need to renew until 2021).

Reconciliation Week

FAWWA would like to acknowledge the current Reconciliation Week, also marking 20 years since the Walk for Reconciliation across Sydney Harbour Bridge. We would like to acknowledge and applaud the contribution of West Australian publishers Magabala Books, Fremantle Press, Westerley and the University of WA Press for inspiring and courageous leadership in bringing out Indigenous titles over many years. Together with the publishers, we celebrate past and present West Australian writers who have contributed to shedding light on the story of Australia's indigenous heritage.

Increasingly these include indigenous authors, including Jack Davis (No Sugar and other plays), Sally Morgan (My Place) Jimmy Pike (Jilji), Bill Neidgie (Story About Feeling), David Mowaljarlai (Yorro Yorro), John Watson et al (Raparapa), Glenys Ward (Wandering Girl), Alf Taylor (Long Time Now). Worth a special mention are indigenous authors pioneering indigenous children's literature, including Gracie Greene et al (Tjarany: Roughtail), Helen Milroy (Willy-Willy Wagtail), Aunty Fay Muir et al (Respect), Kamsani Bin Salleh (What do you call a baby) and the ongoing series of Sally Morgan's children's books.

This journey started with non-indigenous writers of conscience last century, such as John K Ewers (With the Sun on my Back, Written in Sand), Mary and Elizabeth Durack (Way of the Whirlwind, Keep Him My Country), Katherine Suzanna Pritchard (Coonardoo), Donald Stuart (Maloonkai, Ilbarana, Prince of my Country), Xavier Herbert (Poor Fellow My Country) Nene Gare, (The Fringe Dwellers), Colin Johnson (Mudrooroo) (Wild Cat Falling). There are more contemporary contributions, including Nicholas Hasluck's (The Bradshaw Case) and Sarah Drummond (The Sound). Poetry collections and individual poems have all said much in this cause. The poets are too many to list but include John Kinsella, Andrew Burke, Glen Phillips, Dorothy Hewett (an example is her poignant Clancy and Dooley and Don McLeod on the famous Pilbara Station Strike. FAWWA is proud of West Australia's indigenous heritage and joins in it's celebration.

Vale Joyce Parkes

FAWWA was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Joyce Parkes. Joyce was a valued Committee Member and leading light of the Fellowship during the 1980's and 1990's. She was a spirited and strong person, therefore perhaps the most fitting tribute is to quote a couple of her wonderful poems:

Papyrus’ Sail

Dialogues could be semantic

steps. Whether slender or

glad, render spells to valley’s

rung; a compass, attaining a

course, going beyond agility.

Now a sage - then a fool,

deeper than a shadow passing

on the ceiling. Anchoring onyx

company, saying, Rowena’s wing

may be perennial gales. On the

bridge we sat, sketching phre-

nology’s arch. Crossing the

litmus of memory, we were ancient

before dawn, knowing an arcadia

in spans of emerald terrains.

Good Evening

The air is still, the people in Broome

decidedly cheering. A band played in

sweat and sweet rhythm - children laughed,

mothers strolled, the tallest father there,

moved his chin; another half, reader,

walked towards home for a break. Hallo,

my name is April - yours? Mine’s August.

As in months? As in years.

Many of the words were, do you like films.

Did you see a motion picture, in which

the mainstay was called Noble? The story,

vaguely forgotten, began a journey’s latent

last. The band played for long at the

Shinju Matsuri, the Festival of the Pearl.

Food stalls representing neighboring

lands, helped to make aromas dance. 

Cable Beach, a riveting find, speeches

made, sculpture trade. A lugger race,

arts and crafts, paintings sold, parties

towed millennia. Processions moved -

dragons need no wagons, they roll

on valorous feet - while twenty-two

nationalities present at the food fair

provided thoroughly tangible feasts.

FAWWA extends our condolences to Joyce's family and friends. We will hold a reading to commemorate Joyce when Covid-19 restrictions are further lifted.

Writing Competitions

Stuart Hadow Short Story Competition 2020

Open theme, up to 3000 words

$15/entry, up to 3 entries/author

1st Prize = $1000 plus unpaid residency at Mattie Furphy House

2nd Prize = $300

3rd Prize = $100

New Closing Date: Wednesday 1st July 2020.


2020 Ros Spencer Poetry Prize (WA Poets Inc)

Submissions close: 26th June 2020


KSP Writing Competitions

Entry deadlines in September and October

KSP is offering two writing competitions in the categories of Short Fiction and Poetry.

Entry costs for adults start at $10; youth can enter for free thanks to sponsorship from the Shire of Mundaring.

Cash prizes and certificates on offer.

For more details on any of these activities please visit the KSP website www.kspwriterscentre.com or email us on office@kspwriterscentre.com

Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award

Nominations open for Waverley Council’s annual celebration of the best in Australian literature. Nominations close Monday 22 June 2020. The award categories include:

  • Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize- six prizes of $1,000 each

  • Mark & Evette Moran Nib Literary Award- $20,000

  • Nib People’s Choice Prize- $1,000  

Titles first published between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020 are eligible for this year’s award program. Full nomination guidelines and submission details: www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/nib.

Maureen Freer (FAWQ) Literary Competition