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October Newsletter

Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Here we are at the beginning of October. The Stuart Hadow Short Story Award is behind us, the Tom Collins Poetry Prize has just opened and we’re due to meet at Mattie Furphy’s on Sunday 24 October at 2pm for the FAWWA AGM.

This year Sisonke Msimang, acclaimed author of The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela (2018) and Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home (2017) will join us as the AGM’s guest speaker. Sisonke has just won the WA Writer’s Fellowship in the 2021 WA Premier’s Book Awards and has published many articles with The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Here in Perth she enjoys a vibrant relationship with The Centre for Stories and is the curator of the Day of Ideas which is part of the Perth Festival’s Literature and Ideas program.

I hope you will join us to hear Sisonke’s presentation and to participate in the AGM. There

will be door prizes! Remember that you need to be a financially current member to vote, nominate or stand for committee. If you cannot make it in person to the AGM you can nominate a proxy. Forms have been emailed out to members already for this purpose. If you have not received yours please contact the office.

Best wishes,

Karen Whittle-Herbert

FAWWA President.

Tom Collins Poetry Prize Now Open

“Poetry is, at heart, the art of the line.” (Caitlin Maling, TCPP Judge of 2020).

A quick turn-over from the Stuart Hadow and EWP, it’s our pleasure to announce that the TCPP is now open! We’re proud that this prestigious competition has it’s home at FAWWA, and look forward to the excellent poems flying in from all around Australia. Please consider entering your do you practice the ‘art of the line’? Entries are $12 for non-members and $10 for members for each poem entered. For more terms and conditions please visit the webpage, where you can also read previous winning works and Judge’s Reports.

Emerging Writers’ Program 2021

We have announced this year’s cohort of Emerging Writers, and are very excited to present them to you:

Congratulations! The EWP is designed to help writers develop their unpublished manuscripts, and provide practical knowledge to navigating the writing and publishing industry. The Four Centres Emerging Writers’ Program is funded by DLGSC and auspiced by Fremantle Press. We thank all applicants to this year’s program - it was a difficult deliberation process owing to the quality and diversity of manuscripts submitted.

If you would like to read more about this year’s EWP cohort, visit the webpage here.

The selected participants are pictured below at the first EWP workshop, facilitated by Terri-ann White. Left to right: Jen Rewell, Karen Whittle-Herbert (FAWWA President), Megan Anderson, Leigh-Michel Hobbs (FAWWA volunteer), Annie Wilson, Emma Bladen. Back row: Richard Grant, Kim Aikman, Jane Laugharne.

Stuart Hadow Short Story Competition

It was our pleasure to host the Stuart Hadow award ceremony last month at Mattie Furphy House. Julie Woodland took first place with ‘The Astrophysics of Love,’ a short which opens a pocket just to the left of time, into contemplation of death, memory and quantum connections. Judge Susan Midalia said this story ‘is a stunning example of what the writer Barbara Kingsolver sees as the defining characteristic of the best short stories... “the execution of large truths in small spaces.”’ Attendees of the ceremony were treated to readings of the WA shortlisted stories: ‘The Astrophysics of Love,’ ‘Green Thumbs’ (Michael Burrows, 3rd place, read by Susan Midalia), and ‘Espalier’ (Kerry Greer, Highly Commended), as well as Susan’s presentation of her Judge’s Report. FAWWA sincerely thanks Susan for her work in bringing these stories to light. We also congratulate all the place winners, especially Julie, who was a previous participant in the FAWWA Emerging Writers’ Program!


1st Place: Julie Woodland, ‘The Astrophysics of Love’

2nd Place: Paulette Gittins, ‘Only Joking’

3rd Place: Michael Burrows, ‘Green Thumbs’

Highly Commended: Kerry Greer, ‘Espalier’

Highly Commended: Karen Hollands, ‘Unravelling’

Highly Commended: Jean Flynn, ‘Someone Like You’

If you would like to read the Judge’s Report, or ‘The Astrophysics of Love,’ please visit our website.

Life Story-telling with Helena Studdert

Initiated by the increasing interest people are showing in recording their stories or compiling family histories, FAWWA is running a Life Story-telling Workshop on 6-7 November. One of our members, Helena Studdert, published her father’s memories: No bed of roses: Teo’s Story in October last year, and has been approached by readers who also want to preserve family stories. She has joined with Machiel van der Stelt, FAWWA Vice President, to offer a one-and-a-half-day workshop that is designed to provide participants with the confidence, tools, techniques and encouragement so they can begin writing their life-story (autobiography, memoir) or a family history. Cost of the workshop is $75.00, which can be paid on the day. Program details and timings are available by contacting FAWWA at

Isla Rising Book Launch

It is 1833, and fiery Edinburgh widow Isla is dying. Ready to meet her maker and eager to reunite with the love of her life, she is not afraid of passing, but Isla’s death is only the beginning of a series of otherworldly

adventures that she must undertake on her quest to find her husband.

All are welcome to the launch of Isla Rising, first novel by P.J. Johnson. The book will be launched by Liana Joy Christensen, author of Deadly Beautiful, 3-5pm on Saturday 13 November at Mattie Furphy House. Wine and nibbles, and tea and coffee available.

Isla Rising is P.J. Johnson’s first book, but she has a long association with literary circles through editing, publishing and writing poetry. With undeniable flair, and a mind for humour, P.J.’s style of alternating the voices of Isla and her cat Belle allows us to see the unreal, fathom the arcane and laugh and cry at the habits of the living and the dead.

‘A glittering and sensitive work of speculative fiction.’ – Iris Lavell, author of Somewhere in Success.

Upcoming Events

  • Sunday 17 Oct - Book Length Project Group 10am-12pm, Mattie Furphy House. $5 members / $10 non-members.

  • Tuesday 19 Oct - Indian Ocean Write Night 6pm, Mattie Furphy House. $5 members / $10 non-members

  • Friday 22 Oct - OOTA poetry Class with Rose van Son 10am-12noon, Mattie Furphy House. $25 for OOTA members / $30 non members. Rose van Son is a WA-based poet and writer published in many journals. Her collections include Cloak of Letters, Nature’s Warehouse, (2019), and Three Owls and a Crescent Moon (haiku). She was Guest Poet at the Perth Poetry Festival (2015), New Norcia Writers Festival (2018) and appeared at the York Writers’ Festival 2021. Her passions include nature, art, history, philosophy, and language. - OOTA Prose Class with Dr. Ashleigh Angus 1-3pm, Mattie Furphy House. $25 for OOTA members / $30 non-members.

  • Sunday 24 Oct - FAWWA AGM. 2pm, Mattie Furphy House.

  • November 6-7. Life Story-telling Workshop. Weekend workshop with Helena Studdert and Machiel van der Stelt at Mattie Furphy House. $75, pay on the day. Contact for program and details.

  • Sat 13 Nov - Isla Rising Book Launch 3-5pm, Mattie Furphy House. Wine and nibbles provided, all welcome.

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