The Hobart Bookshop: Bob Brown, James Boyce, August 7

The Hobart Bookshop
22.07.14 4:24 pm


The Hobart Bookshop is pleased to invite you to the following events.

Join Bob Brown in The Hobart Bookshop from 11.00am on Thursday 7th August.

This is your chance to purchase a copy of the book, have a chat, and have your book signed.

Free event, all welcome.

Former Senator and Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown is one of Australia’s most thoughtful and recognised public figures.  This book—the first time that Bob has spoken about his life since his retirement from public life in 2012—illustrates why he remains optimistic about the future. Optimism reflects on the simple things, the moments that are meaningful, and the big questions that have concerned Bob Brown. Inspirational, compassionate and outraged, the stories are rich with metaphor, entertaining and full of warmth. This memoir reveals a complex man with a quick wit, a passion for activism and a joy for life.


The Hobart Bookshop and Black Inc. Publishing present the launch, by Jo Flanagan, of James Boyce’s new book, Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World.

5.30pm, Thursday 7th August.

Free event, all welcome.

‘The purpose of this book is not to defend or condemn the Western creation story, but to challenge the assumption that its influence was ended by science and secularism.’ - James Boyce (author of the award-winning Van Diemen’s Land: A History and 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia)

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Books | What's On

ASA Bulletin: Can’t pay or won’t pay?

Australian Society of Authors
18.07.14 7:51 am


The major, commercial writers’ festivals are not always pulling their weight in the vital matter of remuneration to local authors. Participation in festivals is an important form of work for Australian authors, which we know from reports they perform with dedication and skill. Some smaller organisations do their best by local authors, while others are clearly falling behind.

Here are some figures:

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Hobart Bookshop: Pete Hay, Kathryn Lomer

The Hobart Bookshop
17.07.14 6:15 am


Pete Hay presents an event to celebrate the release of his chapbook Girl Reading Lorca.

Pete Hay is the author of two full-length poetry collections, with a third (Physick) currently in press. His work also includes essays and academic writing on topics ranging from island studies to environmental thought. He considers himself ‘fiercely Tasmanian’, and this collection features poems written ‘as a challenge to himself, to find out whether he is still able to write about other parts of the planet’.

When: 5.30pm, Thursday July 17
Where: The Hobart Bookshop
Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop and Walleah Press are pleased to invite you to the launch,  by Kathryn Lomer, of John Hale’s new book Ports of Call.

This collection includes fiction, poetry and memoir, demonstrating Hale’s versatility as a writer.

When: 5.30pm for 6pm, Thursday July 24
Where: The Hobart Bookshop
Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Books | What's On


Cam Klose
16.07.14 1:08 pm



Australia’s only environmental themed award for children’s literature has announced the shortlist for the 2014 award.

The Wilderness Society presents the Environment Award for Children’s Literature; this year awarding prizes in two categories; ‘picture book,’ and ‘young reader’.

For the past 20 years, the award has commemorated the very best environmental literature for kids in Australia.

Previous winners of the award include celebrated Australian writers Tim Winton, Colin Thiele, Paul Jennings, Jeannie Baker and Graeme Base.

This year’s judging panel consists of environmental educators, Children’s Book Council of Australia winner Michael Gerard Bauer, and the children’s book illustrator Ben Wood.

The Wilderness Society are pleased to host this award and believe that promoting a love of nature in children is one of the fundamental elements to building a society that respects and protects our unique landscapes.

Lyndon Schneiders, Wilderness Society National Director, said “We have not inherited this earth from our parents to do with it what we will. We have borrowed it from our children,” quoting former Australian Environment Minister Moss Cass in 1974.

“That message remains as true today as then. By recognising that the future protection of nature and our wild places rests in the hands of our children, for 20 years the Wilderness Society has sponsored this important award. As a father of two small children, my commitment to the protection of the natural world has only grown.

“The shortlisted books were selected for their ability to capture children’s imagination and inspire them, while encouraging them to treasure and protect Australia’s unique natural environment.”

The eight shortlisted books are as follows:

Young Readers’ Shortlist:
● Girl v the World: Sophie Bennett Saves the Planet by Meredith Badger (Hardie Grant Egmont)
● Bush Baby Rescue: Juliet Nearly a Vet, Book 4 by Rebecca Johnson Illustrated by Kyla may (Penguin Group Australia)
● The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land and other eco-tales by Anne Morgan Illustrated by Gay McKinnon (Interactive Publications)

Picture book shortlist
● Welcome Home by Christina Booth (Ford Street Publishing)
● The Twelve Days of Christmas Island by Teresa Lagrange (Allen & Unwin)
● Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Penguin Group Australia)
● The Curious Explorer’s Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals by Marc Martin (Penguin Group Australia)
● Rainforest Lullaby by Sally Odgers Illustrated by Lisa Stewart (Scholastic Press)

The announcement date of the award is yet to be confirmed.

The writers and illustrators of the eight shortlisted books are:

Girl v The World: Sophie Bennett Saves the Planet
by Meredith Badger (Hardie Grant Egmont)
Young Australians Best Book Awards (YABBA) winner Meredith Badger, who is based in Germany is nominated this year’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature for Girl v The World: Sophie Bennett Saves the Planet. Badger’s work with the popular Zac Power series has been recognised with a YABBA (Young Australian Best Book Awards) award. Her eponymous character, Sophie Bennett is known for being a bit quirky in school. She loves animals and the environment but sometimes finds it hard being the one who always speaks up. She feels like she’ll never fit in.

Juliet Nearly a Vet by Rebecca Johnson, illustrated by Kyla May (Penguin)
Robina based part time science teacher, Rebecca Johnson’s Juliet nearly a Vet series has captured the hearts of young Australians. Johnson’s past experience as a wildlife carer gives her fiction a sense of realism and extra insight into the behaviour of our native animals. In Bush Baby Rescue a bushfire has struck and more and more baby animals arrive into Juliet’s mum’s clinic. They may be super adorable, but Juliet and her friends find out how much work it is to take care of bush babies. Illustrator Kyla May (WA)  is the creative director of a team of illustrators, writers, designers and producers under the banner Kyla May Productions. Kyla May Productions writes, develops and illustrates children’s books including the original series ‘Kyla May Miss Behaves’ which is currently being developed into a TV series.

The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land & other Eco-Tales by Anne Morgan and Gay McKinnon (Interactive Publications)
Tasmanian author Anne Morgan has a PhD in Writing. She recently teamed up with former geneticist, glass artist children’s book illustrator Gay McKinnon to create The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land & other eco-tales a delightful collection of organically grown eco-tales. Anne has written 8 childrens books and a collection of poetry. She has worked in diverse roles including as a journalist, a public sector administrator and an actor. Gay is a former geneticist, glass artist as well as an illustrator. She has recently illustrated ‘When I was a girl in Sudan’ and ‘When I was a Boy in Sudan,’ published by Anzoa (Joy) Books, an imprint of the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre. Both Anne and Gay are based in Tasmania.

Welcome Home by Christina Booth
Christina Booth is a former teacher, landscape architect who currently lives in the bush just outside of Launceston with ducks, fish and a garden with fruit trees. Christina grew up in Launceston and spent most of her school holidays on the beach near St Helens on Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast. Welcome Home is illustrated and written by Booth and tells the story of a young boy and a whale as she swims into the river harbour seeking safety and a resolution to the violent past relationship between whales and man. This prosaic journey, accompanied with soft sketchy watercolour images, reveals how the past can impact our future.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Island by Teresa Lagrange (Allen & Unwin)
United States based graphic designer and illustrator, Teresa Lagrange illustrated and wrote a uniquely Australian version of the much-loved Christmas carol Twelve Days of Christmas. Her beautifully illustrated The Twelve Days of Christmas Island looks at native birds, plants and other wildlife. Christmas Island is home to hundreds of species of birds, native plants and wildlife, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world. This book is a celebration of the unique birds that live on this wild and remote island. Lagrange, who also illustrated this gorgeous book is based in the United States and has 20 years experience as a graphic designer and illustrator. She has worked for the Portland Museum of Art, University of Southern Maine, and University of Connecticut. Her combination of graphic design and illustration skills lead to unique designs utilising bold, bright colours and shapes.

Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Penguin)
One of Australia’s most popular childrens authors, Alison Lester is an Australian Children’s Laureate, and her nominated Kissed by the Moon is also on the 2014 CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Award Shortlist. Alison Lester, who lives in the Victorian countryside is adored by generations of children, many of whom are now adults, reading their favourites to their own children. Her books include Noni the Pony, Imagine and Magic Beach. Kissed by the Moon is part poem, part lullaby and it celebrates a baby’s wonder at our beautiful world.

The Curious Explorer’s Guide to Exotic Animals A-Z by Marc Martin (Penguin)
The Curious Explorer’s Guide to Exotic Animals A-Z is a colourful and beautifully illustrated book of amazing creatures. From armadillo to zebras, chameleons to quetzals, these exotic animals will surprise and delight. No curious explorer should be without Marc Martin’s stunning celebration of strange and beautiful creatures from all over the world. Here is a book of wonder, a unique and breathtaking treasure from one of Australia’s most outstanding new talents.

Melbourne based illustrator Marc Martin has worked for The Australian Centre for the Moving Image and The Australian Financial Review.

Rainforest Lullaby by Sally Odgers, illustrated by Lisa Stewart (Scholastic Press)
Rainforest Lullaby is the companion book to the much-loved Bushland Lullaby also written by Sally Odgers who runs a small manuscript assessment business.  Sally was born in Tasmania, where she still lives and published her first book in 1977.

Both books were also illustrated by Queenslander Lisa Stewart,  who considers her job creating illustrations for children’s books to be a dream come true.

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New book provides insider’s account of life in a major teaching hospital,

Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media W:
16.07.14 12:50 pm

New book provides insider’s account of life in a major teaching hospital, explores issues and ethics of life and death

What really happens behind the scenes at a hospital? In Riding a Crocodile (UWA Press, $26.99) Melbourne-based Professor & physician Paul Komesaroff AM that provides a fictionalised account into life in a major teaching hospital.

Told through a chilling detective story that explores issues and ethics of life and death with contemporary relevance, Riding a Crocodile follows a professor who becomes aware of disturbing changes taking place in the hospital. A series of suspicious deaths then throws his world into confusion and he has to confront the dangers that close in around him.

Riding a Crocodile is written by Professor Paul Komesaroff AM, a practising physician and philosopher at Monash University. His work is interdisciplinary: spanning clinical medicine, philosophy and ethical theory, clinical ethics and policy development. Paul’s international reputation in health care ethics and his major impact on the field of clinical ethics in Australia recently saw him become a State Finalist for the 2014 Australian of the Year. Riding a Crocodile is his first novel but he has previously published fourteen books, including Experiments in Love and Death, Objectivity, Troubled Bodies, and Pathways to Reconciliation.

Riding a Crocodile is a topical, thrilling and deeply thought-provoking novel.

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Transportation islands and cities: Submissions are open again

Transportation islands and cities
14.07.14 5:47 pm


Transportation islands and cities is a collection of new stories from Tasmania and London that will be published in late 2014.

Submissions are open again*

At the behest of our London team, we have reopened submissions ...

Read more here

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Books | What's On

‘The Skirmish’ - debut combat novel from SA writer Daniel Springham ...

Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
14.07.14 5:38 pm

... set for Sept release ...

The Skirmish (Bounce Books, $19.99) is an action-packed combat fiction from first time author, Daniel Springham. It follows the adventures of four friends who find themselves in the middle of a struggle between a retired Colonel and an elite militant faction, eager to seize the United States Marine Corps biggest arms shipment to date. Their action-packed journey takes them from the heart of Montana, across the Atlantic ocean, to the arid sands of Kirkuk, Iraq, where more than just a weapon snatch-and-grab is playing out… Perfect for book clubs and Father’s Day gift guides, The Skirmish is an action packed debut available in September. This also marks the first trade release for Melbourne-based publisher, Bounce Books.

Adelaide-based Daniel Springham, a qualified aerospace engineer, is now available for interview. The inspiration for the book came after Daniel’s first paintball skirmish, where he wondered about the potential impact if people used real guns.  In his free time Daniel is a motorcycle restorer, jazz drummer, and modern weapons enthusiast. The Skirmish is his first novel.

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Books | What's On

The night I met Jimbo, Donzo fell UP the stairs ...

Lindsay Tuffin
11.07.14 9:15 am


Speech for the launch of Essays from Near and Far

I first met this fine young man during a brief social encounter in the Lark Distillery sometime last decade.

I remember it vividly. I was with Donzo ‘The Birdman Knowler’ and – and, as sub-editors on Mercury newspaper - we were sneaking out for a hit of alcohol at supper break, a tradition of journalism which had fallen on hard times.

Hard times because journalism was becoming so debased that ancient traditions of oiling the profession with ale midway through a shift had become frowned upon; smart young incomers and older up-greasy-pole execs frowned upon beer breath and post-supper-break bravado (which often produced the very best headlines); so much so heaven forbid, that the Mercury workplace was, basically, dry; memos flowing from the MD and the Smart New Editor pronouncing that anyone caught with grog would be disciplined.

(I have to confess at this point to a terrible misdemeanour. In the Smart New Editor’s office frig lay a divine Tassie Riesling. It had been there for months (I know because i occasionally snuck a look). One night, parched, with other post-shift carousers, we re-entered Mercury in search of post-closing time grog. I recalled the wondrous Riesling in the Smart New Editor’s frig.

I thought to myself. Mmm a taste would be nice. It was divine and within seconds it had vanished. What to do? Well, obvious, fill it up with water, put the stellan screwcap back on and place it back in the frig, where true to form it would hopefully go unnoticed .... and it did!

I digress. I will be talking solely about James very shortly, honest!

Once, long ago, newspaper offices were not dry and parched.

Once, two decades ago, supper break – at 9.15pm on the dot – was heralded with the Bong.

Not the bong of youth (and one has to confess occasional later age) but the Bong, Bong, Bong.

Let me explain.

The Bong Bong Bong was issued in thunderous tones on the dot of 9.15pm by the gigantic part-Maori Rocky, an intelligent and creative sub from New Zealand, now long dead ... and greatly missed, as you miss all rich characters.

A little about Rocky ... Rocky was very good at his job. But, what one would term, a character ... and journalism used to be full of them. He was memorable for all sorts of reasons; not least for his institution of the bellowed 9.15pm Bong, Bong, Bong. Such was his love of beer that on Sunday nights – with the pubs closed – he would bring in his van in which he had installed a frig; invited guests would sit in the van in the Hobart City Council carpark and drink ale while listening on Rocky’s stereo to his selection of old gospel music ... it was after-all Sunday ...

Honestly I’ll get to James and his wonderful book, very shortly. Bear with me just a little longer.

Rocky’s Bong Bong Bong preceded a poetry reading from the classics by either me or journalism’s only Honours Graduate in Medieval German Literature Peter Hercus.

Then it was the Hope and Anchor, Maloneys/Montgomerys, The Red Lion (where once the much-loved Guy Parsons threw my book of verse by Gerard Manley Hopkins, brought in for supper-break readings, onto the roaring log fire).

Back to the Lark and the evening I met James. Donzo and I snuck out and installed ourselves in Lark for a quick Moo Brew. And who should I see but friend Paul with a tall young man with a smiling open face. Paul introduced James to Donzo and I ... we aled and chattered and James told me that in his life in Spain and Scotland (from where he had recently returned after several years away) he had become an avid reader, and contributor to, a little website I had started a few years before, Tassie Times.

Thus began our rich association.

But before more about that ... there is another reason the evening was memorable. Such was the richness of the conversation with Paul and James that Donzo and I ran overtime on supper break. There would be much frowning from our Masters on return.

In our haste to resume duty, we scrambled with some speed up the Lark steps; there was an almighty crash and the Donzo lay in a crumpled heap at the bottom of those three or four steps in the middle of Lark.

Never in my life have I seen a man fall up the stairs; I have seen many men – and the occasional woman – fall down the stairs. Donzo fortunately was uninjured and a little flushed we were able, successfully, to resume our shift. There were severe executive frowns ...

Let’s talk solely now about James:

James Dryburgh was born in Scotland in 1981 and moved to Tasmania in 1987. Since 2001, he has lived, worked and studied in Scotland, Spain, Tasmania and Latin America. He now lives in Hobart with his wife Anna and son Santiago.

I said to the Jimbo when he asked me to launch his book ... that I was not the best man to do this; I warned him that I would go off-topic and ramble narcissistically.

The best man to launch this book, I said to James, is Pete Hay, poet and academic.

So as punishment to James for choosing the wrong man I shall quote at length poet and academic, dear Mr Hay, because he best summarises this superb collection of writing,  in his Foreword to this book.

By the way, I am very familiar with much in this book ... as much has first run on over the years ...

In his forward to this wonderful book – dontcha love the cover - Pete writes:

“We live in cruel times, times in which rapacity is configured as a virtue, when endless, anything-goes personal accumulation is valorised, deemed the supreme goal of human endeavour. Greed is good. Compassion is passé. A refuge, this latter, for the weak of mind and the emotionally soft who can’t make it in the ruthless cut and thrust of the roaring market. A value for losers.

The hard-heartedness of our times manifests in contempt for appeals to social and environmental justice. ‘Fairness’, ‘dignity’, ‘sustainability’ are arcane words belonging to a time
past. An abstract economic engine is all that matters now; development uber alles, along with massive private wealth accrual for the small few in whose interest this works, and that is anything but abstract. The most prominent enthusiast of the ascendant hard-heartedness is the Liberal Party of Australia, and we have decisively elected it all over the country. Our new Liberal governments are led by men who feel little need to soften the expression of their shrivelled-up moral code in what they say and what they do.

I live in Australia’s small island state, a land of soaring natural beauty and wonderful knockabout people – yet it is mired within one of the most poisonous political cultures in the ‘democratic’ world. Its public realm is impoverished, its organs of cultural expression marginalised and declining, its mainstream media outlets (with one or two embattled individual exceptions) compliant, complacent, unreflective and unimaginative. The space for critique, for disinterested analysis, for negative feedback – the definitive qualities of democracy its very self – melts away, maintained only by a few people who stoutly insist that these things matter, but whose exclusion from the island’s closely policed avenues of influence renders them mere voices in the wilderness. Sometimes literally.

This is the context in which James Dryburgh lives, works and writes. The results are collected here. They amount to a visceral reminder that justice matters – that, indeed, it is
through our empathetic mergence in the stream of life, human and non-human, that our own species being is realised.

We should all read this book. To do so is to encounter a prose of power and a fearless critical intelligence. This book is what the beautiful island’s incongruously deformed public life so desperately needs. I wish it a deep and fruitful absorption into the hearts and minds of my island’s folk.”

I want to talk, briefly, about an essay which really moved me ... The Nature of Death, about the tragic early death of James’ friend Leon, while kayaking a river in California,

As i read this I remembered a Pink Floyd Song from so long ago: Shine On, You Crazy Diamond, about a loved early inspirational member of the Floyd, Syd Barratt:

The Lyric in my humble opinion is partly about Leon:

“Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.


You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.”

I think James’ summation of his own grief at the death of Leon is beautiful, and powerful:

“Nature is all about life. The very word comes from the Latin <i>nasci (to be born). Yet almost instantly, Leon’s death stirred in me sleeping notions of the natural world. A few long weeks after he disappeared underwater, the river still hadn’t given up his body. I was ill with grief. In the north of Peru - exiled from the solidarity of communal mourning – these words dripped into my diary:

It has been a strange and difficult few weeks dealing with the loss of my oldest friend Leon from afar. We’ve lost a special one, to a river, to nature. Fragile and pensive we made it to Peru, thankful for the warm welcome the country had given us. Another grieving friend, who watched Leon disappear, recommended I seek solace in the natural world. The following night I awoke from a dream in which I was writing the words: ‘Take time to sit with Mother Nature. Let her embrace you, converse with her. Let her family of millions surround you.’

“Many of the greatest times shared were in the midst of the natural world – hiking, mountain-biking, jumping off cliffs into the ocean – so it seemed fitting that my memories of Leon should arrive framed by natural scenes. But it was more than this. Like forest reclaiming a ruined village, my mind had been captured and entangled by nature.

“Then I wondered if, drifting about the Andes, the spirit of Pachamama was influencing me and that perhaps it was really something more specifically human going on. Maybe death and subsequent grief strips us of all we’ve created, all the clothes of progress, and returns us to our most fundamental – an intelligent animal in the wild. Jolted by the raw power of humanity, was it nothing more than a sharp reminder of the complexities of thought and feeling that make us human?”

... ‘within the natural world we find a reality less contaminated, manipulated, deluded – as pure as sadness or joy. Perhaps it is when we converse with nature that our memories are most able to awaken and return to the heart. Memory alive in leaf, stone and water – our story flowing like the river, shaping and shaped by all it touches’.”</i>

James ...

You can buy a copy of James’ book here:

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Writers | Don Knowler | Lindsay Tuffin | Books

The Hobart Bookshop: James Dryburgh’s Essays from Near and Far

The Hobart Bookshop. First pub: June 26
10.07.14 9:20 am


The Hobart Bookshop and Walleah Press invite you to the launch, by Lindsay Tuffin, of James Dryburgh’s Essays from Near and Far.

The collection includes a foreword by Pete Hay and artwork by Dane Chisholm.

‘Essays on the fullness of life from a writer who faces its wonder and pain with open eyes, a listening heart and a skilful pen. James Dryburgh’s raw honesty, keen mind and earthy compassion mean that his every journey, whether it be near or far, becomes a gift to us all.’
- James Boyce, author of Van Diemen’s Land

‘In Essays from Near and Far, James Dryburgh manages to contextualise and illuminate the human condition. From South America to Tasmania his collection of essays reveal the motivations and beliefs of those who struggle against economic, historical and political injustices. He also succeeds in articulating his own soul and the reasons why he is drawn to the subjects explored. A great collection by an author not afraid to immerse himself and, quite literally, get his hands dirty in pursuit of the essential story in the tradition of the finest literary non-fiction.’
John Martinkus, Journalist, Author and Academic

When: Thursday July 10, 5:30pm (for 6pm)
Where: The Hobart Bookshop

Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

• Listen to an interview by Ryk Goddard with James Dryburgh on ABC local radio:

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Books | What's On

Beyond Contempt

Peter Jukes
10.07.14 8:26 am


THE INSIDE STORY of the Phone Hacking Trial

Read here

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TWC Bulletin: Presenting your work to an audience with Lian Tanner

Tasmanian Writers' Centre
08.07.14 3:31 pm


A crucial part of being an author is presenting your work to a live audience. Many people find this daunting. But whether you are reading aloud in the pub, pitching a story to a panel of publishers, or entertaining a hall full of school children, there are skills and strategies that will make the whole thing easier and more effective. Come along and learn how to do your written work justice.

Lian is a children’s author and playwright. Her children’s series The Keepers has sold to great acclaim throughout the world. She has worked as a teacher, a tourist bus driver, a freelance journalist, a juggler, a community arts worker, an editor and a professional actor.

<b>Sunday 13 July, 10am - 4pm
Venue: Meeting Room, Salamanca Arts Centre, 77 Salamanca Place, Hobart


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Books | What's On

Flash Fiction - stories you can read in a matter of minutes! Angela Meyer workshop

Kylie Eastley, Tasmanian Writers' Centre
07.07.14 1:53 pm


Acclaimed author, Angela Meyer, is coming to Tasmania in July to celebrate the short, the sharp and the edgy.

Drawing on her recently published collection of flash fiction, Captives, Angela will ask her students to delight in brevity, and to experiment with notions of character, conflict and resolution, and evocation of place and mood, in just a few words.

Angela explains that, “the form has been around for a long time, and is usually less than 1000 words. Kafka, Woolf and Hemingway all have stories that can be read in a matter of minutes.”

Angela describes herself as a Melburnian, a reader, writer, editor, whisky-drinker, Bowie nut, movie-lover, vintage fan, absurdist and aesthete.  Her recent workshop at the Sydney Writers’ Festival sold out and her popularity is bound to attract attention for seasoned and emerging Tasmanian writers.

Brought to Tasmania through the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre for the Tours program, Angela will be teaching in Launceston and Hobart in mid July.

As an editor and literary journalist, Angela is published in: The Big Issue, The Lifted Brow, Wet Ink, Seizure and The Australian. Her books include: Captives (Inkerman & Blunt) and The Great Unknown (as editor, Spineless Wonders). She has recently completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts through the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney and her blog: comments on books and writing.

Angela will be delivering day workshops in Launceston and Hobart on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 July.

To participate in the workshops please contact Marion Stoneman on 6224 0029 or 0418 538 771 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

More details are available at

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Books | What's On

Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World

Imogen Kandel, Black Inc Books
07.07.14 1:30 pm


Born Bad
Original Sin and the Making of the Western World
James Boyce

A grand history of ideas in the tradition of Alain de Botton’s Religion for
Atheists and Simon Schama’s The Story of the Jews.

“The purpose of this book is not to defend or condemn the Western creation story,
but to challenge the assumption that its influence was ended by science and
secularism.” – James Boyce, Born Bad

How much of an influence does original sin have on our every-day lives?

Acclaimed author and historian James Boyce traces the origins and endurance
of original sin - from Adam and Eve, St Augustine and Martin Luther to Adam
Smith, Sigmund Freud and Richard Dawkins.

Original sin is based on the premise that humans are ‘born bad’ and only God’s
grace can bring salvation. Although Christianity is on the wane, Boyce explores
how these religious ideas of morality still underpin our modern society. Even in
these secular times, the creation story still grips our imaginations. If today the
specific doctrine has all but disappeared (even from the churches), what remains
is the distinctive discontent of Western people – the feelings of guilt and
inadequacy associated not with doing wrong, but with being wrong.

Not simply a book on religion, Born Bad is an analysis of western culture, the
modern human condition and our continuous search for the one thing that will
save us from ourselves.


James Boyce is the multi award-winning author of the
bestsellers 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the
Conquest of Australia (2011) and Van Diemen’s Land: A
History (2008). He has a PhD from the University of
Tasmania, where he is an honorary research associate of the
School of Geography and Environmental Studies.

ISBN: 978-1-86395-676-5 • RRP $34.99
August 2014 Release • 256 pages

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One Shot Kills

Sharon Evans, Big Sky Publishing - Marketing & Communications,
07.07.14 6:12 am


One Shot Kills reveals the secretive, complex and often impenetrable world of the military sniper where ‘one-shot kills’ are the key objective.

“Following World War II and Korea,  like their WW I counterparts, few snipers wanted to write about their terrible experiences, remembering in those days, sniping was regarded by even fellow soldiers as unsporting” or ... even worse “almost criminal”.  Attitudes have changed over time, and nowadays that perception has changed, and snipers are now rightly regarded as “force multipliers” who actually reduce the rate of casualties.”

Authors Glenn Wahlert and Russell Linwood’s new book One Shot Kills, A History of Australian Army Sniping (Big Sky Publishing, RRP $19.99) relates true stories from actual snipers who reached the peak of their profession in a deadly art. In an age of precision weapons and unmanned drones, this book is about professional soldiers who can clearly see the men they are about to kill, and witness, first-hand, the consequences of their actions. 

One sniper, discussing his most recent operational experience, observed, “It’s strange what went through my mind while viewing him [the enemy soldier] through my sight. I was very calm, you have to deliberately slow your breathing and your training sort of takes over … and I could see a slight greying at his temples. I thought that he never has to worry about going grey anymore.”

Including interviews from snipers in the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam and more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan this book is for many soldiers the first time their stories have been told.  The authors hope that this a collection of true stories melded with a wealth of research, will not only generate interest but also provide those men who have experience in this field to have the sense of being valued, and perhaps even come forward to tell their own story.

As Wahlert states, “When we were interviewing veteran snipers from past wars, we found these men were so appreciative that someone was interested in their stories after so many years. Most had rarely spoken of their Army experiences, their skills in battle, the risks they had taken, all hidden away from friends and family.”

It has been a long road from the South African veldt where the Australian soldier first encountered the sniper, to the modern battlefield of Afghanistan where today’s Army sniper has shown himself to be among the best trained in the world.

One Shot Kills is the second book in the Australian Army Combat Support Series - AAHU

About the Authors

Lieutenant Colonel Wahlert is a qualified Army marksman and the author of several books and journal articles on topics ranging from military history to high-technology crime.

Lieutenant Colonel Russell Linwood, ASM, a qualified Army marksman and sniper, is a graduate of the Royal Military College and an infantry officer with over forty-years’ experience. As an Officer Instructor at the Australian Army’s Infantry Centre during 1976-77,he was instrumental in resurrecting formal sniper training for the Australian Army after a gap of four decades.

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TWC Bulletin: Winning Pillow Talk Poems unveiled

Tasmanian Writers' Centre
30.06.14 5:29 pm


Join celebrated poet, Gina Mercer, the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and the Festival of Voices in unveiling the five winning PILLOW TALK poems, inspired by the theme, Sweet Voices, Sweet Dreams.  Hear the poems read by the winning poets, enjoy some homemade gluhwein and relax to the music of Ralph Forehead. This is a Festival of Voices event in partnership with the Tasmanian Writers Centre.

Read more here

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Books | What's On

Birds are singing as Evie Wyld wins the Miles Franklin

Jason Steger, Literary Editor, The Age
27.06.14 10:44 am


They say good things come in threes and for London-based Australian writer Evie Wyld that certainly seems to be the case.

On Thursday night she topped off a remarkable few days when she won the Miles Franklin, Australia’s most significant literary prize, worth $60,000 and a fillip to sales here and overseas.

Wyld, whose writing has been likened to a cross between novelists Nicola Barker and Christos Tsiolkas, will be able to keep a track on some of those sales as she runs an independent bookshop in south-east London.

The other writers shortlisted for the Miles were four-times winner Tim Winton (Eyrie), former winner Alexis Wright (The Swan Book), punters’ favourite Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North), second novelist Cory Taylor (My Beautiful Enemy), and debut novelist Fiona McFarlane (The Night Guest).

All the Birds, Singing has parallel stories set in different times with each chapter alternating between Britain and Australia. The main character, Jake Whyte, is a woman running a farm on a bleak island off the English coast. But something or someone is killing her sheep.

Read the full Jason Steger here

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William Cuffay’s Enduring Gift

Charlotte Crow, History Today
25.06.14 11:10 pm


The only surviving possession known to have belonged to the black Chartist leader, William Cuffay, has been acquired by the Labour History Archive and Study Centre at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. Romantic both in gesture and content, it is a volume of poems by Lord Byron given to Cuffay, the son of a former slave, by his Chartist comrades following his transportation to Hobart, Tasmania, in 1849.

After the famous Kennington rally in April 1848, the Chartists’ third petition demanding improved conditions for the working classes was rejected by Parliament. That August Cuffay and 11 other London activists were arrested and charged with sedition and for ‘levying war’ against the government. At the Old Bailey the 60-year-old tailor, who had supported - though not instigated - the planned uprising demanded ‘a fair trial by a jury of my peers in accord with Magna Carta’. On hearing his sentence to life in the antipodean penal colony he commented: ‘The press has strongly excited the middle class against me; therefore I did not expect anything else except the verdict of guilty, right or wrong’.

The voyage to Tasmania took 103 days and Cuffay arrived on November 29th 1849. During this time his friends in London sent the book to him. Its inscription reads:

Read what the inscription says - and the rest of the article - here

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Books | History

The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre has had a very busy time

Chris Gallagher, Director Tasmanian Writers’ Centre
25.06.14 1:08 pm


Welcome to This Writing Month, with news about our upcoming events and book launches and other writing-related events around the state during the rest of June and July.

Read more here

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Acorn Press Winter Catalogue

Karina Woolrich ACORN PRESS
24.06.14 9:26 am

Acorn Press Winter Catalogue

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The Hobart Bookshop: an evening with Philomena van Rijswijk and Andrew Burke

The Hobart Bookshop
20.06.14 7:18 pm

The Hobart Bookshop and Walleah Press invite you to join us for an evening with Philomena van Rijswijk and Andrew Burke.</b>

The evening will include readings with Philomena van Rijswijk and Andrew Burke, as well as Lyn Reeves’ launch of Andrew Burke’s One Hour Seeds Another.

When: Thursday July 3, 5:30pm (for 6pm) to 7:15pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop

Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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The Songs of Jesse Adams

Karina Woolrich ACORN PRESS
20.06.14 3:26 pm


Acorn Press Limited –

New Book Information

Title: The Songs of Jesse Adams
Author: Peter McKinnon
Edition: 1st edition
Formats: paperback and eBook
Publication date: 24 July 2014
Launch details: 6.00 pm
Thursday 24 July 2014
309 Lygon Street
Carlton VIC 3053

RRP:  $29.95 (paperback)
  $12.99 (eBook; will vary depending on retailer)

Acorn website quick link:


Set in the turmoil of social change and political unrest of Australia during the 1960s,The Songs of Jesse Adams traces the meteoric rise of a boy from the bush – a farmer’s son who breaks away to follow his heart, his dreams and his love of music. But, as Jesse travels with his band and the crowds gather, it becomes clear that something else is afoot. This rock singer captivates and transforms a host of fans who hear his songs and encounter his touch.

Lives are changed in unexpected ways and the enigmatic Jesse becomes a symbol of hope and freedom for those on society’s edge. But not all will celebrate the rising tide of influence of this charismatic figure whose words and actions challenge those in power – the media, the politicians, the church. In one tumultuous week this clash of ideals comes to a head – with profound consequences.

Awash in all the protest and collapse of conservative Australia, the colour and madness that was the sixties, The Songs of Jesse Adams is a tale of conflict, betrayal and tragedy, but ultimately the triumph of love.

Author biography

For seventeen years, Peter McKinnon held senior roles in the frenzied world of high finance, the last five sitting at the top executive table of Australia’s then largest financial organisation, NAB, reporting directly to the CEO. As a psychologist working inside large organisations, he had spent a lifetime studying human behaviour and the way big companies work. Life was fast, privileged, exhilarating.

Then, in one twenty-four-hour period, everything would change. The largest trading scandal in Australian financial services history would break and leave people, profits and reputations shattered in its wake.

Disillusioned by what he had experienced, Peter stayed a year then cast himself adrift of corporate life. Then, a surprise phone call from a friend since childhood, World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello, literally turned his world upside down once more, and he and his wife found themselves living and working on the other side of the world in Los Angeles and putting their hands to changing the lives of others around the world. Responsibility for forty thousand employees in over one hundred countries in the largest humanitarian NGO in the world, World Vision International, shifted his view of the world and underlined for Peter, once again, the importance living a life that made a difference to others.

When he returned to Australia in late 2009, he determined to pursue a more creative and purposeful life and began to write.

Decades earlier, with the help of his wife Julie (who had appeared for several years on the ABC television series Bellbird) he had written and produced an amateur musical on a similar theme to The Songs of Jesse Adams. Many thousands attended and celebrated what became an acclaimed local hit.

Thirty years later, Peter, now a full-time writer, has re-imagined this musical in book form, The Songs of Jesse Adams which gives readers an engaging fantasy on what can happen when the unexpected lands on your doorstep ...

Additional details
ISBN:  9780987428677 (paperback)
  9780987428684 (eBook)
Book details:
• Pages – 352
• Weight – 530 g (approx.)
• Dimensions – 210 x 135 mm (B+ format)
• Paperback can be purchased through Acorn’s website ( Wholesalers can contact Acorn’s distributor, Rainbow Book Agencies.
• EBook available for purchase through the following sites:
o Amazon Kindle
o Apple’s iBookstore
o Kobo
o Barnes & Noble
o Koorong

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Books | What's On

Tasmanian Literature reunites with its creative forebears, with a contemporary twist

Rachel Edwards,
19.06.14 8:31 am


Transportation: islands and cities, a project that has been gestating across many oceans, has launched its crowdfunding project and will celebrate tonight with an event at Fullers Bookshop between 5.30-6.30.

The project, which brings together writers from London and Tasmania will be published in book form in late 2014.

The event will feature readings from three of the invited authors, Ben Walter, Susie Greenhill and Adam Ouston and is generously sponsored by Pagan Cider.

These writers have been published in most of Australia’s top literary magazine and are generating a good deal of excitement among readers and the literary community as a whole.
Comedian (and writer) Suzy Cooper will MC the event.

Transportation editors are also pleased to announce that Tasmanian artist, Tony Thorne’s illustrations of the London Tube will grace the pages of the book.

The crowdfunding will raise $10 000, which will pay the authors, illustrators as well as pay for printing and postage costs.

The campaign runs until July 31, and there will be an event in London in late July.

The Transportation pozible site is here:

Further info:

<i>Transportation: islands and cities is a collection of short stories from Tasmanians and Londoners to be published in book form in late 2014

T: @transportlontas

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Books | What's On

The Art Of Observing: Enhance your creative writing

Mandy Jackson-Beverly
18.06.14 6:47 am


Workshop information:

DATE: Saturday, July 12th, 2014.
LOCATION: Peppers Seaport Hotel, 28 Seaport Boulevard, Launceston, TAS 7250, Australia.
TIME: Registration 9:30 – 10:00 AM & Workshop 10:00 – 4:00 PM
COST:  $195 AUD - includes morning and afternoon tea, lunch and supplies.  To reserve your place in this workshop email Mandy directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

~ Space is limited - please book early ~


Mandy Jackson-Beverly, above, was born and educated in Australia. She has worked couture fashion in London, and has been a successful costume designer in Los Angeles, working with artists such as Madonna, David Bowie, and Joel and Ethan Coen. She’s danced the tango Mandy with Robert Duvall and discussed the art of sobriety with Alice Cooper and Russell Brand. Mandy is currently a blog writer for The Huffington Post, USA. After twenty-three years of teaching, Mandy Jackson-Beverly is stepping out of the classroom and extending her passion for teaching creativity through the art of observation to a wider audience. Join her for a day of creativity and fun while learning to flex your observational muscles!

Please bring your iPad, laptop, or journal to write in.

To view Mandy’s bio and résumé click here:

Mandy’s website is here:

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Books | What's On


Chris Gallagher, Director Tasmanian Writers’ Centre
16.06.14 6:23 pm



The launch of three beautiful books depicting life as a child in Southern Sudan will be launched this Friday at 5.30pm Moonah Arts Centre. The books are part of a three-year collaborative project between the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, writers, an illustrator, a designer and the Southern Sudanese (Madi) community.

When I was a Boy in Sudan and When I was a Girl in Sudan will be launched this Friday, along with a personal memoir by Sarafino Enadio and Terry Whitebeach titled A Little Peace.

The children’s books capture the essence of childhood in a Sudanese village and are the stories from the memories of Paskalina Eiyo and Sarafino Enadio, written together with Terry Whitebeach and combine both Ma’di and English. Gay McKinnon has provided the exquisite illustrations for both books and Julie Hawkins donated her time to design the books. They represent hours of work; running workshops with Sudanese children living in Hobart, conversations with Madi elders, interviews and research by a team of passionate writers, illustrators and Sudanese storytellers. Ninna Milikin also produced a short film covering the early stages of the project.

Over the three years support has been received from The Australia Council for the Arts, The W.D Booth Charitable Trust, The Regional Arts Fund and the Tasmanian Community Fund.

It is hoped that every primary school in Tasmania and throughout Australia will purchase the books and for every book sold the funds will assist in paying for the freight for the books to reach children and schools in Southern Sudan.

Books are $15 and will be available for purchase at the launch, through all good bookshops and via the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre.

Online here

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Books | What's On

Charlie gets frocked

Lily Gunter*
16.06.14 6:28 am


What would happen if the Prime Minister of Australia banned girls from wearing trousers to school?

Would girls care?

What would they do?

What would YOU do?

Would a bunch of male students actually wear dresses for two months (or for any time at all) to support their female friends in their quest to have equality around school uniforms?

These are the questions raised in Diane Caney’s new novel, Charlie Gets Frocked.

I recently interviewed Caney about her book. She says that she felt compelled to write the story when the high school attended by her daughter would not listen seriously to the pleas of parents and their daughters for a decent pair of school trousers.

Caney says, ‘When the Primary School attended by my daughter did not have a summer time trouser option for girls, I simply bought two frocks and converted one into a top and the other into ‘skorts’. Soon other parents followed, and the school uniform was officially changed. People understand that girls at primary school like to be active. The school had relatively stylish winter trousers for the formal uniform, and trousers for winter and summer sports.’

Caney went on to say, ‘So, in the year before my daughter commenced high school I started lobbying for a stylish trouser option at that school - trousers that would suit summer and winter. But, the school’s “Parents and Friends Committee” wasn’t terribly interested. They held a group analysis with parents and students.’

People were heard actually asking girls if they were pleased that wearing their dresses to school had taught them to be ladies.

‘The tartan trousers my daughter was sold to wear were woollen and itchy. They were hideous and any girl who dared to wear them soon learned through peer pressure that … it wasn’t the done thing.’

Caney rang the Education Department’s ‘diversity officer’ or similar.

Apparently the Tasmanian Education Act devolves power over uniform decision making to principals.

Caney was told that the Principal at the high school was perfectly satisfied with the uniform. And, so, she was told, were the girls and the parents.

Caney went on to do some lobbying at the political level, but that didn’t get her very far. So, she decided to write a fun teen novel to hopefully inspire Australian teenagers to stick up for themselves and get school uniforms that are stylish, that include CHOICE, and that suit every body shape and size.

That was back in 2004.

It’s taken her a long while to build the story, which includes a male Prime Minister who bans girls from wearing trousers to school. Caney says that many people assume that girls have a ‘trouser option’ and they simply choose not to wear it. But, she assures me that this is not the case.

Caney says that she’s had a lot of encouragement from teen readers along the way.

She’s even met some students who have had their own struggles with their school’s uniform policy. For instance, when Tessa Knowles went to Deloraine High a few years ago, she chose not to wear a school uniform at all. Tessa’s primary school was very free and taught her to think for herself. Even though her primary school was in the public system, it was run on alternative principles, loosely based on the philosophies of Rudolf Steiner.

At Meander Primary School, students were taught to approach life as intelligent, individual beings.

But, when Tessa attended Deloraine High School, she was expected to leave that thinking behind, especially in regard to her decision not to wear the high school’s uniform. The school’s principal at the time was so in favour of the school uniform that he often wore the boys’ school uniform to schoolhimself!

Tessa was eventually given permission not to wear her uniform to school, but she was discriminated against when students went on school excursions, or when there were other ‘special events’. At such times, Tessa had a choice – to either ‘dress up’ or ‘not attend’.

Tessa took her fight against school uniforms to the Premier. Her battle was reported in the Mercury on 25 Jun 2008.

In addition, the Greens took her fight to Parliament. See the Hansard transcript here in which Nick McKim stands up for Tessa:

Oddly enough, however, when Nick McKim became Minister for Education, he forgot about Tessa’s woes and did nothing to solve the long-term dilemma of Tasmanian students who want to wear clothing that suits them to school.

Further afield, inWesternAustralia,in 2006 students were banned from wearing denim to school because of a decree by their Premier. At the time the Education Minister in WA said that because denim is associated with ‘having a good time’, it has no place in primary or secondary schools.

It seems odd that an informed person in such a position of power would not see the irony of trying to eliminate ‘having a good time’ from LEARNING.See more about the ban here:

Sadly, the Western Australian decree is still in place. See the fifth dot point on this link on the WA Education Department website which states, ‘Denim items must be excluded from all school dress codes and uniforms except where a school has been granted a general exemption for its senior students’:

In November 2013,Bathurst Public School angered parents when it banned primary schoolgirls from wearing shorts. The school’s uniform policy was amended, deleting the summer shorts option for girls and leaving only the tunic. This policy was implemented against the wishes of a number of students and their parents.

Charlie Gets Frocked skirts around the issues of sexism and isn’t heavy handed in its approach, but Caney says she does want to see students debate gender equality and how gender stereotypes are moulded both directly and indirectly. She feels that this debate is lacking in Australia.

In France, however the debate is alive and well.

As recently as May 2014, French schoolboys were invited to lose their trousers for the day in a stand against sexism. In Nantes, 27 public schools took part in the initiative which was dreamed up by the students themselves. The campaign was called, ‘Lift the Skirt’ and aimed to raise awareness about sexism against girls and women. Students who did not want to bare their legs were able to wear a sticker which said, ‘I am fighting against sexism, are you?’

Not everyone wants to ditch their school uniform. But, most of this generation of young women and young men want to wear clothes that suit them at high school. Clothing is an important part of their lives, and most of what is happening around clothing at school links back to the last century, if not the one before that!

Ideally, school students today would like to choose from a range of school colours in the style of uniform they’d like – whether it be shorts, trousers, dresses or skirts, blazers, polar fleeces or ... beanies.

And, why not add in hoodies? Are they necessarily ‘bad’? Or, are they simply warm, and practical?

Charlie Gets Frocked is a cry from one parent and her daughter for school uniforms to come into the Twenty First Century.

It’s a great read.

I recommend it to you.

Caney says the follow up book is about a student being bullied. It’s called, Alice Gets Mocked.

*Lily Gunter is a 22 year old student studying Journalism and Criminology at the University of Tasmania. She went to a school with strict rules around its uniform. Her main qualm was not being allowed to wear her sports uniform for a whole day, rather having to change out of her formal uniform for a one-hour sports class, and then get back into the formal uniform afterwards. Lily loves being at University where people wear whatever they like and no one bats an eyelid. She asks, ‘Who cares what you look like? Everyone is at University to learn, and that’s what it should be like at school as well.’

Charlie Gets Frocked is available on iBooks here:

Or, in hard copy at:

Charlie is also on Facebook:

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Being respectful at work is NOT optional

Dr Varuni Kulasekera
16.06.14 5:52 am


Dr Varuni Kulasekera interviews Diane Caney, Graham Gourlay and Alison Smith about their latest book, The Shocking Truth About Workplace Bullying.

Varuni: So, you’re an unlikely mix – Diane, you’re a poet by night with a PhD in English, and a health bureaucrat by day. You also have a background in Industrial Relations and have always been interested in workplace safety. And, you write books for teenagers about gender, bullying, and surviving trauma.Your PhD thesis is in the MONA Library?

Diane: I donated a copy to the MONA Libraryto assist scholars researching Sidney Nolan. And, also because I love MONA which is the epitome of the way I recommend reading art and literature. My thesis is aboutallowing meanings to float and mix, without worrying too much about contexts.

David Walsh has such a large collection of Sidney Nolan paintings, it’s astounding, and he loves Patrick White. My thesis focused on the art and literature of White and Nolan, so there’s a lovely symmetry in that too.

Graham – you’re a retired executive who’s doing a PhD onhow to prevent bullying. You have two Masters Degrees (in Public Administration, and Organisational Change and Human-Centred Consulting).  You run a coaching business, and you also lobby to ensure awareness is raised about the need for team-building in the workplace to promote respect.

And, Alison, you are a proud Palawa woman, descended from Fanny Cochrane-Smith. You love the AboriginalCommunity and strongly advocate for the continuation of your people’s culture. You’re a teacher who set up and ran a wonderfulAboriginal Children’s Centrefor Aboriginal children in Tasmania, and their families. You ran theCentre on evidence-based practice for almost two decades before the Tasmanian Government dreamed up theirChild and Family Centre model.

How did the three of you meet?
Diane: Alison and I met when we travelled together to the SNAICC conference in Alice Springs in 2010. I was the evil bureaucrat, and I’m sure Alison was not looking forward to the trip.

Alison: I wasn’t! From memory, the Department botched our accommodation, or something went wrong, and we ended up staying in a glorified caravan park when everyone else was in the lush casino. But, we clicked and have stayed in touch ever since.

Diane: It was a great conference. I don’t think I’d laughed so much in a very long time. Over the past few years, I found thatAlison was very interested in building respect in the workplace. I have postgraduate qualifications in industrial relations, and have worked as a union organiser, so workplace safety has always been very close to my heart.It was a logical step to invite Alison to join me when I started writing a book on bullying a few years ago, but we shelved the idea, waiting for the right time. Then, when we met Graham, through an event at MONA, wasn’t it?

Graham: The Think Tent, run by Natasha Cica. We started to brainstorm about all the stories we’d heard about bullying, and what could be done about it.

Alison: The ideas came thick and fast, and it wasn’t long before the plan to writethe book was taken off the shelf, and the idea to write more than one book was born.

Varuni: Are you writing a series?

Diane: We threw around a lot of concepts. In the end, we wanted to tell people’s stories in a way that wouldn’t identify them, but would be an engaging way to share the essence of what it’s like to be bullied.

Graham: There are so many definitions of bullying, a huge array of theories, and a lot of books out there, but we didn’t think any of them gave the sort of hands-on, practical help that people in crisis really need.

Alison: I agree – we’ve all seen people really struggling with being bullied, and they simply don’t know what to do. They’re in agony, crying out for help, but many of the available books seem to talk ‘about’ bullying, rather than explaining how to deal with ‘the bully’.

Diane: The definitions are confusing too. Who cares what the technical definition is? If a person is suffering, they’re suffering, and their health will be damaged too. Bullying can be a hundred tiny humiliations or a few big ones – it doesn’t matter which.

Graham: Having coached people for many years, I can vouch for that. Being disrespectful or ‘uncivil’ in the workplace is a really fast-track that almost always leads tofull scale bullying. That’s why we encourage people to learn how to speak up early about poor behaviour.

Varuni: Have any of you been bullied?

Diane: I think everyone has been bullied at some point in their life – but we’ve said in the book that we won’t disclose anything about anyone who’s told us their story – and that includes ourselves.

Varuni: Fair enough. It’s a difficult subject. Everyone’s experience is so personal, and what can be acceptable to one person is not to another. I notice that you want people to ‘nip in the bud’ any uncivil behaviour. Can you explain that a bit more?

Diane: This is Graham’s idea, and much of the theory in the book, and the handbook, is thanks to Graham. A good way to think about is this:imagine that you are snappy or offish with a colleague (perhaps someone you were managing), and rather than letting you know that he or she found your behaviour disrespectful, the person started keeping a diary, and noted down example after example of your poor behaviour. You have no idea that they are upset and have felt bullied by you. And then, one day, HR visits you to say, ‘Sorry, there’s been a formal complaint of bullying made against you.’

How would you feel?

Wouldn’t you prefer that the person had simply had the courage to say, ‘Look, I’m sorry but I found what you just said really disrespectful – could you please consider how it made me feel?’

Graham: Diane’s right there – a bully – no matter how awful they’re being – cannot know that their behaviour is causing offence if they’re never told. And, many an abrupt senior executive has used this fact as an excuse for their ongoingpoor treatment of a colleague.

Alison: I don’t tolerate disrespect from anyone any more – not even from shopkeepers or my children. I just calmly and respectfully let them know that I found their comment, or whatever, disrespectful. I’ve raised a few eyebrows over the past year.

Varuni: So, are you against reporting bullying?

Graham: Not at all – sometimes bullying must be reported. Especially in the case of the workplace sociopath or psychopath. Their ‘empathy levels’ are SO low that they are almost incapable of experiencing empathy at all, and studies have shown that they actually gain pleasure (or experience no conscience pangs at all) over harming workmates.

Alison: We’re going to be lobbying industrial watchdogs everywhere to provide workers withthe ‘attributes of workplace sociopaths’. We think people need to be made aware about how a sociopath or psychopath behaves. People like this can cause serious injury, especially if they are left unchecked.

Graham: John Clarke’s book, Working with Monsters, has a good checklist on the sociopathic bully. We also want recruitment strategies put in place to ensure that sociopaths are less likely to make it through into the workplace, especially into positions of power, which are the positions to which they most aspire, of course.

Varuni: And the title of your first book: The Shocking Truth About Workplace Bullying. Are you willing to let us in on the secret? What is the Truth?

Diane: Of course – The Truth is two-fold – bullying in the workplace can cause serious harm – we liken it to electrical shocks or asbestos – bullying is not ‘less harmful’ simplybecause it’s not a tangible hazard – a chemical or a slippery floor – victims shouldn’t feel like they need to harden up over bullying. And, the second part of the truth is that there IS something we can do about it. We need to educate people aboutspeaking up early. It’s not the best idea to simply store up endless examples of bullying and then report it – usually nothing is done after a report is made. And sometimes, the bullying gets worse after a report is made. It’s far better to have the courage to speak up immediately – to nip the bullying in the bud, so to speak.

Alison: We’ve developed a great handbook which teams can use to build respect in the workplace and rehearse how to nip bullying in the bud. Some people think that the word ‘bullying’ is over-used, but we think that any form of disrespect opens the doorway to bullying.

Diane: That’s what makes bullying so evil – it starts off in a way that’s barely detectable, but by the time it’s taken hold, it’s like an octopus – the victim feels trapped and, sometimes almost unable to explain what it is that the bully does to make them feel so damaged.

Alison: Some of the people I have spoken to over the years have had all their confidence robbed. We want to return their confidence to them – to empower people through insight and information.

Graham: The books will go a long way to doing that, but we will also be offering coaching and seminars. So as people can stay in touch with us, we have a website:

Diane: Actually, works as well.

Varuni: Seriously, two websites?

Diane: Two URLs and just the one website. We want those who lack courage to learn how to speak up early and often; and those who lack empathy to be required to build it. We want to make it unfashionable to be disrespectful in the workplace.

Alison: Being respectful is going to be ‘the new look’ – everyone’s going to want it.

Graham: We certainly want recruitment firms and interview panels to be very much on the lookout for people who have a track record of being respectful to their colleagues. It should be just as important as their qualifications and experience.

Alison: If not more so – the other things can be taught!

Varuni: What about laws to make bullying illegal? You’ve heard of Chloe’s Law?

Graham: We support everyone who’s working in the bullying sphere, to make people’s lives more bearable. But, we’re focusing on workplace bullying. Bullying in the workplace is already covered by Australian Legislation and it’s named up in Codes of Practice as a psychosocial hazard. What we want to see is people learning to be more courageous, as we said, so that they speak to the bully as soon disrespectful or uncivil behaviour happens. That way, we’ll see a major culture change in our workplaces.

Diane: Reporting may still be required, obviously – some cases are so far gone already that the victim has to report the behaviour – and some workplace psychopaths won’t listen to a person who tries to nip their behaviour in the bud.

Alison: But, over time, that will change.

Varuni: Sounds good. When’s the Launch?

Graham: The launch of the first book and the first handbook is at 11am on the Winter Solstice – Saturday 21 June at the Baha’i Centre.

Varuni: During Dark MOFO?

Diane: We’re not officially part of Dark MOFO? But, we think that bullying is a Dark Force, and the Winter Solstice is the time when we are the farthest away from the warmth and light of the sun – which is symbolic of how bullying victims feel – so cold and alone.

Alison: We’re hoping that our books will help create safe, nurturing workplaces. And that the many tips and insights we’ve provided will help individuals to find their way out of the dark maze of being bullied.

Varuni: If you could condense your message to one sentence what would it be?

Alison: Being respectful at work is not optional.

Graham: Actually, we want to see a world where being respectful anywhere is not thought to be optional.

Diane and Alison: Absolutely!

Varuni: And, you, Diane?

Diane: We want to make it seriously unfashionable to be disrespectful in the workplace.

Varuni: Sounds good.

The Launch is at 11am on the Winter Solstice – Saturday 21 June at the Baha’i Centre. More information can be found here:


Dr Varuni Kulasekera has a PhD in Entomology from the University of Maryland, USA, and is currently completing a Masters in Nutrition and Public Health at Deakin University. She has a keen interest in the complexity of conditions required to promote health and wellbeing.

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Politics | Books | Legal | Society

The Ardour of Alpacas

Paula Xiberras
14.06.14 6:52 am



Alpacas have association in their mythology with the earth mother. The story goes that alpacas were loaned to humans as long as they were treated with respect. This story about alpacas could be a metaphor for the ideal of love in ‘A Place of Her Own’  and is perhaps why Alpacas have such a presence in the novel.

I was lucky enough to have a chance to chat with Deborah O’Brien the author of ‘A Place of Her Own’ who tells me she had her honeymoon in Tasmania, exploring Cradle mountain and the Labyrinth. Since that time Deborah has visited Tasmania many times. and once could say in it she has found a place of her own. Deborah says that the title itself has several meanings and that her protagonist Angie is ‘all over the place’ and ‘is looking for her ‘place’ hence the title. In the novel Angie becomes the proprietor of the old manse B & B and is involved in saving aspects of the town’s heritage.  Demonstrating Angie’s respect for the past but desire to build into the future.

The novel is the final in a trilogy that began with ‘Mr Chen’s Emporium’ and ‘The Jade Widow’. The trilogy set in a country town was written at a time when Deborah wanted to express her own joy about country town life.

Deborah tells me that this novel actually has the happiest conclusion of any of her novels as she usually likes to leave her books with a level of ambivalence. Her belief is that a book is successful as long as it has a satisfying resolution. Its often the case that she herself doesn’t know the complete ending as her books have a way of writing themselves. Deborah doesn’t often plan her books out but has an initial premise that ‘liberates her characters to tell their own story’.

Something that has surprised Deborah is how readers have ‘fancied’  her hero Richard, who has even garnered his own fan club. Deborah is surprised because some of her other books have characters like the dashing ‘Liam O’Brien’.  Richard wasn’t deliberately cut in that mould to be a heartthrob but that is exactly what has happened with one reader even saying she ‘‘would give up her mortgage for him’. The adulation of Richard fits into one of Deborah‘s big themes that things are not always what they seem and this will be demonstrated to readers of ‘A Place of Her Own’ as the novel has many surprises, twists and turns before finally coming to its more than satisfying conclusion.

Deborah is happy if people come to the book with their own emotional agenda and also within it’s pages find a place of their own.

Deborah says if her book were to made into a movie she would have envisaged   Richard and Angie being played by Jack Thompson and the late Wendy Hughes.
The beauty of the cover art on Deborah’s book is another factor drawing us in to the world of Angie. The house depicted on the cover is Deborah‘s own dream house.

Other similarities between Deborah and Angie are that Angie, like Deborah, is a visual artist and like Deborah had a tree change but perhaps the most glaring similarity is Angie true to her name is angelically sweet (look for further name symbolism in the book) just like the delightful Deborah herself who made our interview like a chat between friends over a cup of Lapsang Souchong at the the old manse B&B.

‘A Place of Her Own’ is out now published by Random House.

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Hobart Bookshop: Please join us at the following launch ...

The Hobart Bookshop
13.06.14 8:19 am


The little book will be launched by John Williamson (Antarctic historian) and Gordon Bain (who has worked in Antarctica and has stories to tell of sledge-dogs).
The book is illustrated and will retail at $19.95.

Free event, all welcome.

It was a tough assignment:

to travel by ship from his Arctic home, through the tropics (no place for a Greenland Dog with thick fur), to unknown Antarctic regions,

to endure storms at sea, to face blizzards in the windiest place on earth, then to lead a team of dogs over treacherous ice fields;

but Basilisk was a tough, resilient dog, who could enjoy the moment.

He adored the beautiful Alexandra; he smelt the salt on the ocean wind and the strange odour of penguins; and he chased those penguins at every opportunity. He and his trainer, Dr Xavier Mertz, worked hard and had fun together, but the challenges they faced were huge, really huge – and then things got worse.

An outstanding little book! Stuffed full of facts ... a treasure trove of information.
– Stephen Scott-Fawcett FRGS, Polar historian, Cambridge University UK

A clever, compelling, and entertaining story that can be enjoyed greatly by adults and young readers alike.
– Beau Riffenburgh, author of “Aurora: Douglas Mawson and the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–1914”

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Books | What's On

Transportation: islands and cities: Crowdfunding launch

Rachel Edwards,
12.06.14 10:35 am


Tasmanian crowdfunding launch for international cultural project at Fullers Bookshop, Thursday June 19, 5.30.

Transportation:islands and cities will be launching their crowdfunding next Thursday, June 19 at 5.30 at Fullers Bookshop, Hobart. 

Transportation is a unique literary and cultural exchange; stories from London and Tasmania on the theme of islands and cities are being accepted until midnight (in both London and Tasmania) June 18.

The accepted stories will be published in book form late in 2014.

The event will feature reading from some of Tasmania’s best writers, Ben Walter, Susie Greenhill and Adam Ouston and is compered by Suzy Cooper, writer, designer and comedian.

Transportation draws on the long existing literary links between these distinct places and evokes connections of historic and cultural significance. The project includes wonderful stories, opportunities for Tasmanian writers and an international reading audience

The website, is already publishing thought provoking work from around the world.

Fullers Bookshop and Pagan Cider are generously sponsoring this event. This event is free and open to the public though RSVPs are requested .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

T: @transportlontas

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Arts | Books | What's On

Two Travel Writing Masterclasses with Claire Scobie

Tasmanian Writers' Centre
09.06.14 3:44 pm


Saturday 14 June, 10am-4pm - The Art of Writing in the 21st Century

This workshop will cover how to develop an idea and turn it into a polished piece of work for online or print; the use of eye candy; how to craft a story and evoke a sense of place; revising, structure and editing. Filled with plenty of practical exercises, Claire will give you the tools to stay ahead of the game.

Read more HERE

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Books | What's On