The Hobart Bookshop
12.06.12 6:11 am
What: The launch, by the ABC’s Chris Wisbey, of Chris Gaul’s adventure book, The Roads I Have Travelled: One Man’s Journey through the Australian Outback and the Islands of New Guinea, 1954-1970.
When: Thursday June 21, 5.30pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop
Free event, all welcome.
The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
P 03 6223 1803 . F 03 6223 1804
11.06.12 6:42 am
Tony Brown and Gillian Winter’s new book ‘First views of Lake St Clair’ is a wonderful collection of art work, articles, photos, scientific notes, a little mystery and even the utilisation of some detective work, all about the artists that first gave their impressions of this beautiful part of Australia. What makes it more interesting is that this art book is written by authors coming from very different disciplines. Tony is from a geologist background and Gillian, from that of an historian. The presence of these disciplines in writing about artists gives additional substance to what is a wonderful story of the artist as explorer.
There is a Lake St Clair in North America lying between Ontario and Michigan, it is named after Clare of Assisi, the saint of poverty. Its ironic that a lake bearing the name of the saint of poverty is full of the most wonderful riches of the natural world, of course our own lake is in fact named after a Scottish family so does not have the connection or reference to the Italian saint but it’s a nice allusion to make anyway!
Like a wonderful fairy tale this book about Lake St Clair itself has elements of horror and beauty. For the horror read about the explorers being told ghost stories of the escaped convicts who were caught and remained in the wilderness traps. For a mixture of horror and beauty read about the so called dead forest of Marlborough that in one night was reduced to a forest of ghost trees. Tony’s geologist background can tell us that it became so through the amazing phenomena of a single night’s severe frost but maybe we would prefer to think it was magic.
The book centres around the story of two protagonists, artists of different mediums, John Skinner Prout and Morton Allport. Although they were not literally the first Europeans to see the lake (Jorgen Jorgenson the Danish explorer, one time identifying himself as the king of Iceland was said to be the first European to see the lake but it was later deemed he took the route to Lake Barbara and not Lake St Clair after all) . Prout and Allport’s recording of it in sketching and photography respectively are the the first telling depictions of the area. Perhaps the amazing thing about it is these men of civilised manners were so keen and eager to experience what was an uncivilised area at that time and did so making light of their difficulties. In essence they were explorers as well as artists.
It is generally agreed that the first record still in existence of the area was provided by Prout and his watercolours and Alllport and his dry plate photography.
It was surveyor general George Frankland who named Lake St Clair in 1835 and its surrounds using classical names, an example of which is Mount Olympus. It was Frankland’s visit and influence that convinced Prout to visit Lake St Clair.
Prout was born in England to a father who was a musical instrument maker. Prout’s uncle was an artist. Prout emigrated to Australia and became a drawing instructor working at the Sydney Mechanics Institute and doing a variety of things including making sets for theatre.
The reasons behind his settling in Australia were bought on by the recession in England. he adored the wilderness ,yet his time here was was touched by sadness when his son Frederick was killed by boulders while playing at the Hobart rivulet.
There is a connection between these two men who were so instrumental in recording images of lake St Clair. Drawing instructor Prout would be asked by Morton’s mum to train her son in art. Mary also Morton’s art teacher was an accomplished artist herself, in fact Australia’s first professional artist who specialised in miniatures. Morton and Prout would continue to keep in contact throughout their lives and it was Prout’s trip to lake St Clair that encouraged Morton to also visit the area.
Morton was never satisfied or confident in his abilities in sketching so he turned to photography which he believed equivalent to sketching. As well as being an artist Morton was also a scientist and so offered observation and close analysis of the things he saw in his travels as well as representing them artistically. Morton was instrumental in forming the salmon ponds and introducing English flora and fauna to the colony as well as being supportive of the botanical gardens.
The detective story in this piece comes about in the mysterious figure of Paul Richolet, an Englishman who also claimed to have taken the first photographs of theLake St Clair area in 1862. Yet his name is surrounded in cloak of mist thicker than that on a Tasmanian winter day, no record of his visit or arrival on ship has ever been found.
Many believe Richolet was a non de plume for Morton as their writing styles are very similar. It may be a case of horses for courses with Morton’s other reporting being a more family friendly description of events of the expedition while the reporting of Richolet with it’s technological slant is more geared towards a photographic journal.
This book is a wonderful presentation and multidisciplinary approach in the study of an area which reinforces to us the beauty of Tasmania.
11.06.12 4:46 am
Raymond Crowe is Australia’s only unusualist. The term basically means he deals with the unusual, perhaps a step further along than the usual magician.
You may know Raymond best for his hands shadows YouTube performance accompanied by Louis Armstrong’s ‘It’s a Wonderful world’. This display has enthralled people the world over. One image that particularly resonates is the adult hand grasping the 3 month old baby hand (based on Raymond’s son). A testament to the awe and admiration Raymond’s take on the song has created, is that Raymond was sent an original sheet music of ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ signed by Louis Armstrong Himself. The hand shadows, although they have brought Raymond fame, are not the only magical experience in his act, he also is a ventriloquist without dolls, and makes jackets among other illusions.
The images Ray creates with his hands demonstrate an incredible knowledge of how the body moves and shapes itself, befitting someone who studied mime. His mime teacher an imposing Czech lady who has almost a hundred years of wisdom.‘Madam’ as he calls her, told Ray if he could harness that essential humanity in his work he would travel the world.
It seems Ray has found that quintessential humanity in his hand shadows and true to his teachers prophecy it has enabled him to travel the world, including appearing in Las Vegas at an NBC recording of a magic special featuring the world’s 20 best magicians . Ray’s also appeared on the David Letterman show demonstrating the universally loved ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ routine.
Its been sometime since Ray been here in Tassie, possibly in 1985 when he toured as magical support to Ross Skivington and then again about 15 years ago when he did a school tour of Hobart and Launceston. Ray also does frequent corporate performances. This visit to Tasmania Ray hopes to show his son some snow!
Most of Ray’s magic tricks are self taught and both his now famous YouTube hit with the hand shadows and his knowledge of general magic have a connection to Tasmania!
It’s a lovely little irony that it was during a visit to Tasmania that Ray was introduced to some of the magic he now incorporates into his act. On one occasion he had been performing at the casino and found in his pigeon hole there a magicians book from Don Poulson, a Tasmanian magician. It was also in Tasmania he was given the suggestion that his hand shadows routine would work well accompanied by ‘It’s a Wonderful world’, so the connections with Tasmania are strong.
As to the recent number of ‘spoiler’ TV specials demystifying magic secrets it doesn’t really worry Raymond. He believes people don’t retain all the information they get and even if they do they can only be amazed at the ability of the magician to hold the audience spellbound with their performance skills.
Raymond also has no qualms about his show being called ‘charming’ in fact he loves that it is a show the whole family can enjoy.
Raymond will be touring Turkey and the Ukraine among other places in the near future and of course his promise to his mime teacher ‘Madam’ as she approaches her centenary to be part of her birthday party back in Czechoslovakia.
Raymond says this may be the last time the show will be in this format it is and that he hopes to evolve a simpler show for subsequent tours.
All the more reason to get out and see Raymond on his upcoming tour of Tasmania.
You can see Raymond at the Wrest Point Casino on Friday 6 July and at The Launceston Country Club on Saturday 7 July.
Michael McLaughlin Community Cultural Development Officer Glenorchy City Council
07.06.12 7:16 am
Moonah Arts Centre’s Friday Night Concert Series
Friday June 15
Come and enjoy the hauntingly beautiful music of Riversong.
Featuring the rich and unique voice of Georgina Richmond, the intricate and rolling piano of Allan Badalassi and Rachel Walter gracefully playing violin.
They will be performing original and classic folk songs, such as ‘She Moves Through the Fair’ and Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’.
Enjoy a cosy intimate one hour winter concert and be swept away by Riversong’s unique sound.
Entrance by gold coin donation.
Where: Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins St. Moonah
When: Friday 15 June
Times: Doors open from 7pm for a 7:30pm start
Entry by Gold Coin Donation
05.06.12 8:46 am
$250M campaign launched in Shanghai, features Tasmanian singer-songwriter.
Tasmanian singer/songwriter, Dewayne Everettsmith, received a major boost to his career yesterday, when Tourism Australia launched the next phase of its “There’s nothing Like Australia” campaign in Shanghai.
The new $250M campaign is built around an advertisement which is to begin airing in the USA, UK, China and Australia in coming days and will be rolled out to a further eighteen countries over several months.
Everettsmith co-wrote and sings the ad’s soundtrack, “It’s Like Love”.
On being part of the campaign, Everettsmith said, “Naturally, I’m really excited, and proud, to be a part of this marketing campaign. The ads are beautiful, with very high-quality production, and to have co-written and be singing the soundtrack is awesome.”
“But what’s really special for me is the idea that here am I - a guy from just about the bottom of the planet, still to get my first album out - and my voice has gone out there, around the world, singing to people about my country. I like that!”
Despite his debut album being some months from hitting the shelves, Everettsmith has already achieved things many performers only dream about - , G’Day USA, played the Opera House, toured Europe, supported John Farnham and GeoffreyGurrumul Yunupingu and even performed a private show for Oprah Winfrey’s best friend, Gayle King.
Dewayne’s biography is attached.
For interviews with Dewayne or further media inquiries - Martine Delaney, 0417 530 621
Two versions of the Tourism Australia ad can be found on YouTube at
180 sec - http://youtu.be/3pOVfJwBd5s
90 sec - http://youtu.be/afQNJjuWxQs
All about Dewayne Everettsmith
“ … as a support act on this tour, a Tasmanian, Dewayne Everettsmith, a uniquely gifted singer with hints of the soul of Marvin Gaye and the sunny beauty of Johnny Nash. His short opening set, full of memorable songs and glorious harmonies, was spellbinding”.
Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald, 31 August 2011
High praise, indeed, from Australia’s pre-eminent music critic. But, typical of the praise heaped on Dewayne around Australia during a recent national tour with Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.
And audiences were even more enthusiastic when Dewayne repeated this support role for eight shows across Europe during October – with the promoter, Dramatico Entertainment’s managing director Andrew Bowles, saying, “We’ve never before had such an amazing audience response to a support act.”
You can’t buy his debut album, it won’t be completed until mid-2012. He’s not backed by a major label or pushed by a big-league promoter. And yet - on his stage presence, song writing and the beauty of his voice – he’s spoken of as a rising star, a future great, of the Australian music industry.
Even without the album, or serious industry support, Dewayne has been places and done things most Australian performers only dream of …
• Supported Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu nationally and in Europe;
• Performed a private show for Oprah Winfrey’s girlfriend, Gayle King, and Oprah’s famous “Road Trippers”;
• Starred in a Tourism Australia video, receiving over 560,000 hits on Youtube;
• Supported artists of the calibre of Archie Roach, John Farnham and Guy Sebastian;
• Wowed audiences in two shows with the prestigious Black Arm Band – including a duet with Paul Kelly during the Melbourne International Arts Festival;
• Performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York as part of G’Day USA; and
• Been appointed national ambassador for the official Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal.
Most recently, he’s been signed to be the voice of Tourism Australia’s international marketing campaign.
None of this is surprising, though. From his childhood appearances within his own Tasmanian Aboriginal community, through many festival stages around Australia and across the Pacific, his audition for Australian Idol, one thing has become very clear – Dewayne’s a very special performer.
One of those rare performers with a gift, a presence. Dewayne simply tells his story, sings to a crowded room, and most individuals listening feel he’s singing just for them. He can’t explain it and he’s not consciously trying to use it; it’s just there, it’s just him.
He’s an Aboriginal man, descended from both the Aboriginal community of Cape Barren Island and the Gunai/Kurnai people of Victoria, but his music can’t be neatly pigeonholed as Indigenous. It’s been influenced by his heritage, then shaped by his tough early years and his love of so many musical styles and great singers.
Never doubt it – Dewayne Everettsmith, a name and a voice you’ll be hearing much from for years to come.
Label – Skinnyfish Music – http://www.skinnyfishmusic.com.au
05.06.12 7:25 am
Simon Tait is an example of the boy, or rather, young man who ran away to the circus. Unusual as it may sound, a chance meeting with a clown when he was 21 years old demonstrated to Simon that the circus was the only life for him. Simon briefly diverted into managing a fast food shop but returned to the circus and now can boast a good number of years with one of the ten best circuses in the world ‘Silvers Circus.’
Silvers Circus will be touring Hobart in the coming weeks after a break of almost 5 years and there are many new acts to catch up with, including the daredevils riding motor bikes that chase each other in a huge globe without seeing where the others are and only knowing the other is there by the sound of the individual ‘revs’.
Simon says the circus is more than an occupation, it is a family, a city with in a city. Circus folk are renowned for taking care of each other and that takes on a more serious meaning when you realise that due to the dangerous component of many acts such as the trapeze and illusionists means these people are putting their lives in other’s hands and a strong element of trust is required between members.
Simon has a duel role in the circus. He is a ringmaster, blessed with a God given voice of tone and agility, skills which are equally utilised in is other role of illusionist. The moustache and airs and graces he commands with his voice and presence suit both roles perfectly.
Simon will be involved in sawing a lady in half and then be part of the so called ‘revenge’ act when he receives his comeuppance by being elongated on a stretching apparatus.
Simon’s education for this world of circus was a degree in dramatic arts from Queensland university and learning from the best in his apprentice with the famed Tommy Hanlon Jr.
This circus is distinctly modern,. You won’t see any exotic animals although there are some very clever boxer dogs to enjoy.
Silvers circus performs in Hobart on 15th and 16th June at the Derwent Entertainment Centre.
05.06.12 7:14 am
I had the pleasure of speaking to the delightful Ms Jesse Scales of the Sydney Dance Company about ‘The Land of Yes and The Land of No’, set to tour Tasmania next week.
Jesse Scales is true to her name. This is one young lady who has scaled the heights of world dance. Newly graduated in 2011 with a qualification in classical ballet. Jesse is Tassie born and her Mum worked in Tasmania as professional dance, gymnastics and drama teacher, teaching at a North Hobart school . Jesse’ s Mum is looking forward to accompanying Jesse on this tour of the Sydney Dance Company’s production of ‘The Land of Yes and The Land of No’. And is eager to help Jess become become familiar with Tassie’s weatherboard houses and Mt Wellington, and of course Jess wants to see what everyone is talking about i.e. MONA!
The family moved from Tasmania when Jesse was too young to appreciate these things. Jesse studied classical dance in New Zealand and later The Netherlands before eventually applying and winning a position in the Sydney Dance Company. This production has toured the UK and Europe to wonderful reviews.
What is’ the Land of Yes and The Land of No’ about?
Abstract and so difficult to define, it takes it’s starting point from the interest of its choreographer who has been collecting ‘signs’ (the humble street signs) for many years. It explores the situation of us following what the signs tell us to do and how following a request on a sign can impact on our lives. The dance further explores what would happen if we were to consider and question those signs. Its ultimately a sensuous story with an ambience and a reflection of mood of walls of colour and neon tubes created by art director Rafael Bonchela .
Its a gruelling life for a dancer with soreness and tiredness part of the side effects of preparing and performing and being perfectionists. Jesse tells me that the floor of the rehearsal stage at the Sydney Dance Company has the markings of the/layout of The Theatre Royal so as to prepare the dancers for performing on the Theatre’s stage.
The ‘The Land of Yes and The Land of No’ can be seen at the Princess Theatre Launceston from 1-16 June and in Hobart at the Theatre Royal from 8-9 June.
04.06.12 7:24 pm
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Music by ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
Lyrics by CHARLES HART, Additional Lyrics by RICHARD STILGOE,
Book by RICHARD STILGOE and ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
Licensed by Origin Theatrical (Sydney) on Behalf of The Really Useful Group (London)
All Rights Reserved, International Copyright Secured
In late 2013, Craig Wellington Productions (CWP) and the Tasmanian Theatre Unit Trust (TTUT) will present the world’s longest running musical The Phantom of the Opera at Hobart’s Theatre Royal.
Shortly thereafter, Encore Theatre Company will present The Phantom of the Opera at Launceston’s Princess Theatre.
Joint statement: “This is the biggest regional rights release of a show since Les Miserables some eighteen years ago. To be successfully granted the performance licenses for our respective regions of Tasmania is an honour. This will be the largest theatrical undertaking in memory at both the Theatre Royal and the Princess Theatre. After rigorous application procedures and many months of waiting we are over the moon with this news. At last Tasmanians will be able to see The Phantom of the Opera in Tasmania.”
- Craig Wellington (CWP/TTUT) / B. J. King (Encore Theatre)
Each production will be a separate undertaking in Hobart and Launceston, as required by the license to perform the work. Theatre communities around the Tasmania have a long history of friendship, support and cooperation, this joint announcement being a shining example of the statewide camaraderie of the theatre scene.
Ticket sales announcements and further details will be forthcoming in due course.
Craig Wellington Productions and The Tasmanian Theatre Trust have previously presented landmark productions of Les Miserables (March 2008), Miss Saigon (October 2009) and Monty Python’s Spamalot (October 2010) at the Theatre Royal. The latter two productions were Tasmanian-premieres.
“Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is a brilliant opportunity,” said Craig Wellington. “Our team is assembling and the hard work starts now. Audition notices will follow shortly.”
Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
04.06.12 6:29 pm
John Biggs is a prolific author and has recently written an insightful history of Tasmania told through the filter of five generations of the Biggs family since Van Diemonian times, Tasmania over Five Generations.
He will be in conversation with the delightful raconteur and editor of Tasmanian Times, Lindsay Tuffin at Fullers Bookshop on Thursday, June 21 at 5.30pm.
John Biggs was born and educated in Hobart then travelled the world as an academic, ending up in Hong Kong.
Returning to Tasmania many years later he embarked on a second career as a writer. He has published four novels, a collection of short stories and Tasmania Over Five Generations.
Lindsay Tuffin has been a journalist/youth worker/theology student/journalist since the age of 16, working throughout Australia and the UK.
Junction Arts Festival
04.06.12 12:36 pm
On Thursday June 7, Tasmania’s young and ambitious Junction Arts Festival (JAF) will launch its 2012 Festival and Program at an official event to be held in a vacant store in Launceston’s CBD. The annual five day contemporary arts festival will launch its second incarnation amongst government dignitaries, corporate partners and VIPs, and the local arts community. The Festival will launch its newly redesigned 2012 Festival website live to the public the following day on Friday, June 8 at junctionartsfestival.com.au.
State and Local Government representatives including Minister Michelle O’Byrne MP and Launceston Deputy Mayor Alderman Jeremy Ball will make official remarks at the event. Chair Ron Layne, Festival Director Natalie De Vito, and Artistic Director Ian Pidd will reveal their vision for this year’s Festival and announce the program of artistic works. The evening will be filled with a few surprises, including a performance by local band The Old Lyric Theatre that fuses indie rock, traditional music and folk. They form part of JAF’s 2012 line-up at the Festival’s Club, The Junc Room, a big-top circus tent and pop-up live music venue that transforms Launceston’s Civic Square.
The launch, to be held in the former Jessup’s RetraVision store, currently empty in the heart of Launceston’s CBD, exemplifies the Festival’s vision for reframing and reactivating Launceston’s public spaces and city streets. Works included in the 2012 Festival Program will explore often-overlooked and disused spaces and present performances and events that engage local residents and visitors alike.
The 2012 Junction Arts Festival Program is a diverse and carefully curated selection of participatory and site-specific works from local, national and international artists in the form of theatre, live performance, visual and media art, music, dance, and installation. This year’s Festival is held August 22-26, 2012 and is mostly free and suitable for all ages.
The 2012 Junction Arts Festival is supported by the Government of Tasmania through Events Tasmania and Arts Tasmania, the Office of the Arts through Festivals Australia, Launceston City Council and local partners and sponsors.
Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
04.06.12 12:27 pm
Meet the cast of ‘Me and My Shadow’ from award winning theatre company Patch at Fullers Bookshop on Tuesday, June 12 at 3.30pm
Fullers Bookshop is hosting some of the cast from the Theatre Royal’s production of ‘Me and My Shadow’ in their café at 3.30pm on Tuesday, June 12.
This is a rare opportunity to meet those involved with the production of this exciting piece of theatre for children and hear from them about the production and performance.
‘Me and My Shadow’ is stunning theatre for children, telling its story using paper, light, shadow, colour, water, music, sound and words.
With fantastical imagery, quirky physical performances and a beautiful score, ‘Me and My Shadow’ will ignite the imaginations of all children, and is a magical experience exploring the frustrations and joys of friendship.
The performances are on June 12 and 13 at 10am and 1pm at the Theatre Royal.
All are welcome to attend this free event.
03.06.12 6:19 am
the only way to heal ourselves and our lives is to confront
the hurts of the past head on . . .
The Longest Journey
Finding the True Self
By Amanda Stuart
Invariably when clients seek counselling, it is apparent that old
wounds — neglect, hurt and anger — are at the heart of the
presenting problem, sometimes decades later.
In The Longest Journey: finding the true self Amanda Stuart, a
respected and sought-after Melbourne counsellor, draws on 13
years of experience to highlight the effect of buried pain, and
how it relates to anxiety and depression in adults.
In these inspiring true stories Amanda Stuart describes how,
with the help of professional counselling, her clients have
triumphed over a range of obstacles and difficulties — covering
such taboo topics as a parent’s suicide and physical and sexual
Including well-written, honest contributions from the clients
themselves, this ‘important’ and ‘profound’ book will provide
an invaluable tool for counsellors, students, parents, and
anyone wanting to understand and heal issues from their past.
About the Author
Since training as a counsellor and psychotherapist, Amanda Stuart has
worked with individuals, couples and families. The main focus of her work
with clients is to develop their sense of self, to improve their relationships
(particularly with partners), and to enable both men and women to
change negative patterns in their lives. Amanda Stuart encourages her
clients to use their creativity as a means to heal emotional pain, through
writing, drawing, painting or music. Exploring clients’ dreams is a
significant part of her work, leading clients to a richer understanding of
their emotional life.
Reviews for The Longest Journey
I read this book with surprise and delight. It is written in clear elegant prose without the heaviness
of professional jargon and psychological concepts. And its great centerpiece is the author’s clients,
describing in their own words the experience of counselling and the changes they were empowered
to make in their troubled lives. It will be especially helpful to beginning therapists and the general
public, particularly those wondering how therapy works and “Is it for me?” — Bob Sharples,
Amanda Stuart has done a superb job conveying the issues that bring people to therapy. She has
highlighted themes that are central to many people who suffer for too long, and presents the stories
of real clients in a way that is easy for others to relate to. Amanda is a gifted therapist who has
conveyed the therapy process in a way that is inspirational. This is a ‘must-read’ for anyone who is
debating whether or not to make that first phone call. — Judith Siegel, Associate Professor, School of
Social Work, New York University
This is a very important book that demonstrates the devastating long-term effects and feelings
of shame associated with child abuse. Confronting buried pain is pivotal to reclaiming life after
abuse and for many of the survivors in this book, sharing their stories has been a powerful tool
in overcoming feelings of shame, anger and sadness. — Bernadette McMenamin AO, CEO and
Founder of Child Wise
Stuart doesn’t leave any stone unturned – physical, sexual and emotional abuse; alcoholism; absent
parents; bullying; sibling rivalry. How we ‘survived’ our childhood has a huge bearing on how
we cope as adults in a complex and demanding world. Stuart’s book draws heavily on clients she
has helped immensely over the years. I warn you, though, these chapters really hit raw nerves. Be
brave, read this book (to help yourself, family or friends) and take a good grasp of life – and live!
— Wendy O’Hanlon, Acres Australia
The Longest Journey: finding the true self takes the reader into the intimate space of counselling and
psychotherapy. Clients of the author, Amanda Stuart, describe how their lives were explored, pain
experienced, insights gained and the way new and more positive pathways became possible in their
lives. Anyone considering therapy and those who have embarked on the process will find this book
beneficial, as will psychologists, psychotherapists and social workers. — Dr Coral Brown, Fellow of
the Australian Psychological Society, Assistant Director, The Cairnmillar Institute, Melbourne
The Longest Journey: finding the true self is a profound book. It shares a powerful message that so
many of us have intentionally tried to hide from. Blissful ignorance is no longer an excuse. Our
children and future generations need us to learn from the lessons that are so eloquently shared by
the author, Amanda Stuart. — Dr Angus Pyke, Pyke Family Wellbeing
Paperback, 346 pages
ISBN: 978 1921829857
Publisher: Sid Harta
Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
01.06.12 1:19 pm
Internationally best selling children’s author Christopher Paolini at Fullers Bookshop
Tuesday, June 19 at 5.30pm
Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle will be at Fullers Bookshop on Tuesday, June 19th at 5.30 as part of his international tour.
Paolini, who is inspired and influenced by old myth and folk tales, has provided welcome relief for many parents by re-awakening their children’s love of reading.
Paolini, who was homeschooled for the duration of his education, had the first book in the series Eragon published when he was just 19.
Inheritance, the fourth and final book in the series achieved the highest first-day sale of a fiction, non fiction, children or adult title published in the USA in 2011.
All four of his titles have been New York Times number one best sellers.
Fullers expects an audience of around 300 people to attend this ticketed event.
Tickets are $5 each and available now at Fullers.
01.06.12 1:07 pm
It’s a very special year this year for Agatha Christie’s classic play ‘The Mousetrap’. The play is famous for holding the record for the longest running piece of theatre in history. The Hobart Rep Company are putting the play on in this a very special year and I spoke to director Ingrid Ganley about the longevity of the play and celebrating its 60th anniversary.
So, why is the play so well patronised even after so long?
Ingrid says because the book is not so readily available and the only way for a wider public to experience the mystery it is by going to see the play, and of course there is a certain status acquired in being part of this historical drama and record holding play.
There is a tradition of telling the audience at the end of the performance not to divulge the ending to anyone so as not to spoil the mystique around the play. A spoiler is that Wikipedia much to the chagrin of Ms Christie’s descendants have spilt the beans as to the ending.
There is a story Ingrid told me that once London cabbies who don’t get tips, would threaten their patrons with telling them the ending of the celebrated whodunit!
The play does not boast one of Agatha’s great detectives like Poirot or Miss Marple yet it is full of classic twists that we are so familiar with in Agatha Christie.
This production has many of the usual rep players you know as well as an exciting young new comer in Eleanor Morgan a third year Uni student in Fine Arts. To cap it off Eleanor is from England so the production keeps some of that authentic English feel, as it should be in this year of honouring the British literary classic.
The play may be special but so is Ingrid the director. Ingrid got her start with the Old Nick Company and has worked with John Clarke from NIDA and has acted as an assistant director to Robert Jarman. Last year Ingrid directed ‘Noises off’. Being an Agatha Christie fan and having worked on ’Black coffee’ another Agatha production last year it’s a real treat for Ingrid this year to direct ‘The Mousetrap’. Ingrid is also a talented director of Shakespeare and each year she is involved with producing the Shakespeare in the park productions.
Ingrid is still able to fit in a day job but she calls her foray into theatre, which includes familiarisation with all aspects, including sewing costumes as a ‘serious hobby’ she loves theatre because it gives instant feedback. The play is ready and all we need now, Ingrid says, the missing ingredient… the audience!
With the film version rights to ‘The Mousetrap’ not up for grabs until the West End production has been closed for six months and with only one other production outside the West End to be produced annually as well as all the fanfare of it being in its 6oth year it’s probably a good idea to get along to this production.
The mouse trap will be performed at the Playhouse from the 25th of May to the 9th of June.
And if you are wondering how The Mousetrap got its name it was named by Anthony Hicks, Agatha Christie’s son in law. Its derivation comes from Hamlet when Hamlet is asked by Claudius the name of the play they have just seen. Hamlet incorrectly tells him it is called ‘The Mousetrap’ because he aims to ‘catch the king’ in its performance.
01.06.12 11:22 am
Tasmanians have the opportunity to nominate the State’s ‘best new building’ from 27 inspiring projects vying for top honours in the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2012 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.
At the launch of the awards exhibition at the IXL Atrium in Hobart last night, Tasmanian President of the Institute, Karen Davis, encouraged all to support their favourite new Tasmanian building.
‘The People’s Choice voting will be open until 5pm on Wednesday 13 June, with the most popular project announced at an awards ceremony in the Century Room at Blundstone Arena on Saturday 16 June,’ Mrs Davis said.
Projects competing in the awards range from interesting and unique new houses at Sandy Bay, South and East Launceston, Low Head, Mountain River, Eagle Hawk Neck and Bruny Island to affordable social housing complexes at Moonah and Berriedale and several residential projects involving sensitive alterations and additions.
Major public buildings in contention include the Kingston High School, St Mary’s Cathedral Centre, Ulverstone Sports & Leisure Complex and MONA - the much lauded Museum of Old & New Art.
Pirates Bay Pavilions by Stuart Tanner Architects. Image by Brett Boardman
Commercial projects range from the Bisdee Tier Optical Astronomy Observatory at Spring Hill, to an Aboriginal Children’s Centre at Risdon Cove and the Devonport Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment to interior fit-outs including Tony Hill Dental and Garagistes. Some of the smaller projects include a tiny basement in Macquarie Street and St Virgil’s Centenary History Centre.
Devonport Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment by Jawsarchitects. Image by Brett Boardman
‘Architects operating in Tasmania often have to work on difficult and remote sites or within extremely tight budgets,’ added Mrs Davis.
‘Many of the projects in this year’s awards demonstrate a high level of ingenuity and collaboration with clients and builders to produce great buildings,’ she said.
MONA by Fender Katsalidis. Image by Leigh Carmichael
To vote, log on to http://www.architecture.com.au/tas or visit the 2012 Tasmanian Architecture Awards Exhibition at the IXL Atrium from Friday June 1.
The Awards exhibition will run until Sunday 1 July in Hobart, before showing at the Makers’ Workshop in Burnie from Monday 23 July to Sunday 5 August and the Design Centre Launceston from Friday 10 to Sunday 19 August.
Projects in the running for this year’s awards are:
Architectural Project Architectural Practice Architectural Category Location
42 Goulburn St Hobart Circa Morris-Nunn Residential – Alterations + Additions Hobart
Aboriginal Children’s Centre Tim Penny Architecture + Interiors Commercial Architecture Risdon Cove
Basement Preston Lane Architects Small Project Architecture Hobart
Bisdee Tier Optical Astronomy Observatory Philp Lighton Architects Commercial Architecture Spring Hill
California Dreaming Bild Architecture Residential – Multiple Housing South Launceston
Devonport Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment Jawsarchitects Commercial Architecture Devonport
Drift Bar and Café Jawsarchitects/Jaws2 Commercial Architecture Devonport
Grandy & Roberts Interia Design & Architecture Interior Architecture Hobart
Garagistes Paul Johnston Architects Interior Architecture Hobart
Hopkins Street Affordable Housing Xsquared Architects Residential – Multiple Housing Moonah
Integrated Care Service Building Launceston General Hospital Architects Designhaus, Philp Lighton & Health Science Planning Architects in Association Public Architecture Launceston
Kingston High School Hassell in collaboration with Jawsarchitects Public Architecture Kingston
Lagoon Beach House Birrelli Architects Residential – New Houses Low Head
Maroni Close Housing Unit Development Architects Designhaus Residential – Multiple Housing Berriedale
MONA – Museum of Old & New Art Fender Katsalidis Public Architecture Berriedale
Patrick Street Residence Liminal Spaces Residential – Alterations + Additions West Hobart
Pirates Bay Pavilions Stuart Tanner Architects Small Project Architecture Eagle Hawk Neck
Princes Wharf Shed 1 Circa Morris-Nunn Public Architecture Hobart
Somerset Alexander Ashley-Jones Architect Residential – Alterations + Additions East Launceston
St Mary’s Cathedral Upgrade Stage 1: Cathedral Centre Circa Morris-Nunn Public Architecture Hobart
St Virgil’s Centenary History Centre Tim Penny Architecture + Interiors Small Project Architecture Hobart
Swanwick Beach House Philp Lighton Architects Residential – Alterations + Additions Swanwick
‘The house is so easy to live with’ IKA Ian Kirk Architecture Residential – New Houses Sandy Bay
The Shearer’s Quarters John Wardle Architects Residential – New Houses Bruny Island
Tony Hill Dental Liminal Spaces Interior Architecture Hobart
Ulverstone Sports and Leisure Complex Philp Lighton Architects Public Architecture Ulverstone
Rachel Edwards Managing Editor Island Magazine
01.06.12 10:05 am
20 writers will gather at the Salamanca Arts Centre this weekend to slam out 30 000 words each as they compete with teams in Brisbane, Melbourne and online as part of the Emerging Writers Festival.
The writers are from a wide range of backgrounds and come with very different writing experience and goals.
This event is a fantastic, free opportunity for enthusiastic writers from all works of life and writing backgrounds to come together and indulge in a weekend of dedicated writing in a supportive environment.
It is an exercise in getting the writing juices flowing and not in the refining or editing process.
Island provides the space (the Meeting Room at the Salamanca Arts Centre), inspirational resources and a friendly and supportive host.
Island is delighted to be working with the Emerging Writers’ Festival and The Queensland Writers’ Centre to bring this event to fruition.
Dave Groves, A Digital Photographer, http://adigitalphotographer.wordpress.com/ May 27, 2012
29.05.12 8:01 am
I’m at Launceston’s best kept secret, the Tramway Museum at Inveresk.
I’m here to shoot a wicked event, the so-called “Murder on the Dis-Orient Express”.
I describe it as interactive period costume theatre.
Without giving too much away, it is involves tram rides to places of deep imagination, a crime and merry mayhem.
All this a mere stroll from the Launceston CBD!
To gain an insight into what is possible at this awesome venue, take a sneak peek at some selected photos and speak to the coves at the Tramway Museum on 6334 8334 or visit them on the web at Launceston Tramway Museum: here
Steven Joyce Despard Gallery
28.05.12 5:37 pm
Inviting one and all Art Lovers to the Despard Gallery 25th Anniversary Directors Choice opening.
This Saturday night, the 2nd of June from 5.30 pm
This will be a very special event over two levels with music, nibbles and the customary beverage amid the celebration of life through art. The exhibition will feature a large array of lovingly selected and diverse range of works from artists both local and from abroad.
This is one celebration not to be missed!
15 Castray Esplanade
Hobart Tasmania Australia 7000
ph +61 3 62238266
fax +61 3 62236496
Michael McLaughlin Community Cultural Development Officer Glenorchy City Council
25.05.12 1:48 pm
The Works Festival, Glenorchy’s biennial riverside festival of arts and culture is proud to announce it has just been awarded $34,700 in Commonwealth Government, Festival’s Australia funding, for its Flotilla project.
Flotilla is the centrepiece project of the November 2012 Festival, which will be concentrated on parkland around Elwick Bay, one of Tasmania’s most exciting new cultural precincts.
“The grant will support five talented Tasmanian visual artists, realise five large scale temporary installations in our new Festival site on Elwick Bay” said Works Festival Producer, Michael McLaughlin.
“Festival Patrons will have the opportunity to view the quirky and original works installed on both land and water, via the award winning Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) boardwalk, which is itself such a feature of the site”.
“And like all Works Festival projects”, he explained “Flotilla will be inviting significant involvement by the local community to get hands on with artists in the making of the final artworks.”
Flotilla will be open to the public from November the 8th and will feature a dedicated arts education stream for primary and secondary school students visiting the trail across the Festival period.
“This will be a fantastic opportunity for students to experience how art can relate to a sense of place, through two days of artists talks, mini workshops and other practical activities” said Mr McLaughlin.
The Works Festival is a project of Glenorchy City Council.
For more information or media inquiries regarding Flotilla or the 2012 Works Festival, please contact
The Works Festival
Festival Office: Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins Street Moonah
Postal: PO Box 103 Glenorchy TAS 7010
phone 03 6216 6312
Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
24.05.12 1:16 pm
Join author John Biggs in conversation with Tasmanian Times editor Lindsay Tuffin, Thursday 21st June, 5 for 5.30pm
John’s book Tasmania Over Five Generations: Return to Van Diemen’s Land traces the political intricacies of our unique state crystallised through the story of fivegenerations of John Biggs’ own family.
please note the Afterword Café ceases trading at 5.30pm
Fullers, 131 Collins Street Hobart TAS 7000
p (03) 6234 3800
http://www.fullersbookshop.H O B A R T com.au
Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
24.05.12 12:05 pm
Janine Shepherd at Fullers Bookshop
Thursday, May 31st 5.30pm
Janine Shepherd was a champion cross-country skier in training for the Winter Olympics when her life was irrevocably altered when she was hit by a truck on a bike ride.
She will be at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart talking about her experience and her new book The Gift of Acceptance on Thursday, May 31st at 5.30pm.
Today, Janine Shepherd is a best-selling author and internationally renowned speaker who travels extensively in Australia and all over the world sharing her story with others.
Deepak Chopra has described Janine as having “an extraordinary ability to ignite people’s spirits and move them to find the real potential of their lives; her story inspires people around the world.”
This is a free event organised in conjunction with Hank Petrusma.
Michael McLaughlin, Community Cultural Development Officer, Glenorchy City Council
24.05.12 7:22 am
Moonah Arts Centre’s Friday Night Concert Series
Friday June 1
This is a rare chance to hear one of Tasmania’s premier folk bands and one of the most exciting young folk bands in Australia today, live at the Moonah Arts Centre as part of the Friday Concert series.
With a sound that sits somewhere between the Pogues and the Cranberries, the Blue Mosquitoes were lauded on their recent tour of UK and Ireland as a hugely energetic, talented and original young band.
Playing a wide range of music, from original songs to traditional tunes their music is contemporary with a Celtic undercurrent, taking the audience on an emotional journey - from aching ballads, through soulful reflections, to frenetic foot-stomping jigs. With exquisitely versatile vocals, instrumental alacrity and an infectious passion for music, this is a band not to be missed.
Where: Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins St. Moonah
When: Friday 1st June
Times: Doors open from 7pm for a 7:30pm start
Entry by Gold Coin Donation
23.05.12 7:54 am
‘Syncopation’ is the title of the Theatre Royal’s soon to be visiting production of dance and drama. ‘Syncopation’ is defined as ‘a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make an off-beat tune or piece of music. More simply, syncopation is a general term for a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm: a placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn’t normally occur.’
Perhaps that also describes the storyline behind the title, the offbeat relationship between a Jewish meat packer and an Italian seamstress that are brought together to partner each other in ballroom dancing. I spoke to one half of the cast, the lovely Emma Palmer last week prior to her visit to Tasmania. Emma says her character, Anna Bianchi is ultimately searching and this partnership in the play may see her find what she is looking for.
Syncopation by Allan Knee is like nothing that has been done before as Emma and her co-star Justin Stewart Cotta who plays Henry Ribolow are the only actors on stage and must be able to deliver dialogue while performing dance moves.
With the surge of interest in ballroom dancing due to television programs like ‘Dancing with the Stars’, ironically the plays choreographer once worked for the program, the play seems timely.
Emma is a NIDA trained double threat of actor and dancer as opposed to the triple threat of singer, dancer and actor. Emma is classically trained in ballet but believes that with training in any discipline of dance it makes it much easier to dip your toe (pardon the pun) into many other dancing styles with ease.
When Emma isn’t acting in a play like this one, or maybe one less strenuous as she agrees this is one of the most challenging things she has done, you can see Emma as a befriender of Big Ted on playschool as well as making appearances in other quality Australian dramas.
With minimal staging the play must evoke images through the magnificent work of the actors who make us believe they are at Coney Island, on a boat, in a rehearsal room or on a street location.
Emma will be touring with Syncopation until the end of July and tells me then it will be back to Big Ted. Emma also tells me she will be show fit and ready to dance when she arrives in Tasmania, a place she has never been before. Emma hopes to do some walks on Cradle Mountain and visit Port Arthur when she is in Tassie.
Syncopation can be seen at the Theatre Royal on 29th and 30th of May.
Tim Coronel, Island Magazine
23.05.12 6:31 am
The Australian book industry – both publishing and bookselling – has been in a pretty healthy state for most of the past twenty years. The figures might not have been huge – usually only single-digit percentage increases year on year – but growth in both the quantity of books sold and the revenue they generate has remained consistent.
In the past two years, however, the tide has turned. Book sales have fallen off a cliff. From growth of about 5% in 2009, sales dipped into negative territory in 2010 and in 2011 the results were horrendous: down 13% in volume and 18% in value. Early indications for 2012 show that revenue across the trade has dropped by as much as 20%. So what has caused this dramatic change in fortunes, and what does the future look like for the book industry in Australia?
In 1991, the Copyright Act was amended to enshrine parallel import regulations (PIR) and the 30- and 90-day rules were introduced. These rules have been widely discussed and debated ever since – most recently in 2009 when a Productivity Commission report recommended they be dropped, though the government decided against it. In short, the 30-day rule works as follows: if a book is first published overseas, an Australian publisher has 30 days to obtain Australian territorial rights and to publish their own edition. If the Australian edition is made available within 30 days that edition is the only one that booksellers may stock and sell. Even if an overseas edition is cheaper, booksellers cannot import it in ‘commercial quantities’. (As an important aside, it’s always been the case that ‘orders of one’ are exempt from PIR, as are all library orders. An individual has always been able to ask their local bookseller to order in any edition of any book, or to import a copy themselves from an overseas bookseller.)
One of the positive upshots of PIR was that it fostered the growth of Australian publishers using a ‘portfolio’ model that combined local publishing with ‘buy-ins’ of international titles for which they would have exclusive rights. Locally owned independent companies such as Allen & Unwin, Text, Scribe, Hardie Grant, Black Inc. and many others have grown and prospered, and the Australian lists of large international firms such as Penguin, Macmillan, Random House and Hachette have also grown.
This strong local publishing industry employs editors, typesetters, cover designers, sales and marketing teams, and prints locally (at least for black-and-white books: almost all colour printing has gone offshore due to price pressures). A large book distribution infrastructure has also developed, employing warehouse staff, truck drivers, couriers, etc. In all, the book publishing industry in Australia is estimated to generate about $2 billion in revenue each year and to employ – directly or indirectly – many thousands of people.
Of course, once these books are published they need to be sold, and the retail bookselling industry also grew and prospered for much of the 1990s and 2000s. National chains such as Angus & Robertson, Dymocks and Collins Booksellers expanded, often by adding franchising to a core of company-owned stores. The independent bookselling sector also grew, largely free of the deep discounting experienced in the UK and the encroachment of mass-market retailers such as Walmart in the US. (That’s not to say there weren’t some hiccoughs: the introduction of the GST in 2000 hit all retail sectors hard but the book industry particularly, A&R underwent numerous changes of ownership before ending up as part of RedGroup, and the original family-owned Collins Booksellers business went under in 2005, only to recover under the leadership of a group of franchisees into a 60-store chain concentrating on suburban and regional locations). Home-grown online booksellers including Booktopia, Boomerang Books, The Nile, Fishpond and others all started out within the last ten years as very small endeavours but have grown quickly – for example, Booktopia, originally a part-time project for three men in a garage, is now a multi-million dollar business that is regularly included in ‘fastest growing’ lists in business magazines.
Along with this buoyant domestic market, Australian publishers and literary agents have had increasing success selling rights to Australian-authored books into international territories. Given the comparatively small size of the domestic market, the opportunity for Australian authors to be published not only in English-language territories such as the US and UK but also in translation in many languages and countries is enormous. Marcus Zusak, Shaun Tan, Peter Temple and many others first published in Australia now have large global audiences. Australian publishers and agents also regularly travel to book fairs such as those held annually in Frankfurt, London, Bologna (for children’s books) and increasingly to Beijing, Taipei, Guadalajara, Abu Dhabi and other ‘emerging’ markets in order to promote Australian writing to the world; and international publishers and agents visit Australia each year thanks to the Australia Council-sponsored Visiting International Publisher (VIP) program.
All this sounds very positive, yet all we’ve heard about the book industry in the past few years has been doom and gloom. So what’s changed?
First of all, the internet. Until quite recently (time-consuming and clumsy international mail order aside) local bookshops pretty much had a monopoly on selling books to Australian readers. Then along came the world wide web. Never before have consumers had so much choice of where to buy, or so much access to international price comparison. Amazon moved very quickly to dominate, and since the mid 1990s have grown phenomenally from being a book, CD and DVD retailer based in Seattle to now being one of the world’s largest retailers of just about everything. Apple and Google have now entered the market, meaning that the global internet’s biggest and most recognised names all offer book content. Consumer behaviour for all sorts of consumption is changing rapidly, as more and more transactions of every sort are conducted online, and in-store retail is suffering accordingly.
The way people read is also changing rapidly. Ebooks have been around in one primitive form or another since the 1990s, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that momentum really started to build. Among Australian book retailers, Dymocks moved first, offering ebooks and an e-ink reader device in 2007, but the range of titles was comparatively narrow and the e-reader expensive. Amazon’s Kindle ereader was the first real mass-market device to take off, and Amazon surprised everyone in the Australian book trade by releasing Kindle internationally in October 2009 with much fanfare. As a result there was an immediate association in consumers’ minds between ebooks and Kindle. Other Australian ebook providers were pretty slow to catch up (although the Canadian-founded Kobo partnered with A&R and Borders in 2010 with a good range and well-priced reader devices), and local publishers took some time to get their heads around offering ebook editions of their titles alongside print. When it comes to ebooks, Australian-based players may never retain this lost market share.
The Australian dollar’s current record high exchange rate (the long-term average to the US Dollar is about 75 cents, compared to the current $1.05 or higher) also makes painfully obvious that book prices in Australia are higher than elsewhere in the world. Moreover, it is now easier, cheaper and often quicker for consumers to source books directly from overseas. Exact figures are hard to come by, but estimates are that Australian readers are spending something like $150 million per year offshore buying print books and a completely unmeasured amount on top of that on ebooks.
But there are some positive signs: the independent bookshop sector has long been stronger in Australia than in other markets (independent bookshops are almost unheard of in the UK now, and only survive in small numbers in the US). Recent figures show that ‘the indies’ have actually increased their market share after the demise of RedGroup and now have about 30% of the market (albeit a larger slice of a smaller pie).
While medium-sized independent publishers prospered and grew, it has always been a struggle to be a very small or niche publisher, but since its establishment in 2006 SPUNC (the Small Press Network) has been growing rapidly – to the point where it now has a membership of approximately 100 publishers. SPUNC offers support with distribution, marketing and promotions – long the bugbear of small publishers – and has recently announced an ebook conversion service.
The broader ‘culture of books’ is very strong in Australia. There are now writers festivals in every capital city and many regional ones, attracting audiences in the tens of thousands to see local and international writers. Melbourne is now a UNESCO City of Literature, with the well-funded Wheeler Centre organising close on 1000 book-related events every year. Literary magazines, while they always struggle with funding, seem to be in a period of resurgence, with new entrants (Kill Your Darlings et al) joining the established roster of Meanjin, Overland, ABR, Island et al. While pundits worry about shrinking book review coverage in newspapers, TV coverage of books is doing well with the ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club and the recently announced SBS pay TV show For the Love of Books. On radio ABC Radio National may have lost its dedicated book show, but book coverage continues as part of the arts programs on RN, supplemented by numerous book shows on community radio in many areas. Online, all manner of bookish types – publishers, booksellers, reviewers, bloggers, authors and readers – have new ways to form and grow communities of mutual interest and broader dialogues.
Technical developments assist small publishers and self-published authors to gain a potential international audience with very small outlay (although they may well just get lost in the ‘noise’ of literally millions of new titles entering the space each year). And not only with ebooks: digital printing and print-on-demand publishing are now an affordable reality both locally and internationally.
But at an industry-wide level, there are worrying developments. There aren’t actually that many books that are ‘bestsellers’, but publishers rely on having a few big successes each year to create sufficient cash-flow to support their less-commercial titles; however, the sales volume of most of the top-selling books has been declining for some time. Books from those few authors that used to sell 200,000+ are only selling 100,000-and-something; those that might previously have been expected to sell 50,000 now only sell 30,000 and so on. The last six months have also seen cuts in RRP of print books and there is continuing price pressure on ebooks. This is good news for consumers, but it is hurting retailers (who have to sell more units to make equivalent revenue) and is hitting publishers especially hard. We have already seen a number of ‘restructures’, which have made many employees of local publishers redundant (particularly in sales teams, and in a few cases senior executives), and most publishers are talking about reducing the number of titles they publish each year.
From an authors’ perspective, getting published has always been difficult, but it is getting harder and harder as publishers take an even harder-edged commercial approach to what they take on, and pay smaller advances. Once a book is published, there is little money for promotion and authors are asked to do more and more publicity work themselves. Australia has developed an enviable calendar of writers’ festivals featuring local and international guests, in-store author events, school and library visits, etc, but the scope of all these will almost certainly be challenged if local publishers’ budgets continue to suffer (a US- or UK-based publisher is extremely unlikely to pay for even a bestselling author to do a promotional tour of far-flung Australia).
There is also a desperate need for supply-chain efficiencies to make the largely hidden back-office part of the book business much more responsive to customer needs – but where does the money come from? If there is 20% less money in the local industry, finding investment for faster turnaround of orders, digital distribution, etc, is going to get harder and harder (although the recent long-overdue upgrades to TitlePage – the book industry’s price and availability service – are to be welcomed). The market power of international behemoths such as Amazon, Apple and Google is of concern. And as is almost an annual occurrence, there has been speculation lately that Amazon will open a local .com.au site and supporting warehouse, sending shivers throughout the trade (personally, I’m not at all sure they need to do this to continue to gain market share among Australian customers).
So, we’re at that point where we have to look into the chicken gizzards and make some predictions about what will happen to the world of books, publishing and bookselling in the coming years. A few things are certain: authors will continue to write, readers will continue to read. But what has been thrown into disarray, not just in Australia but globally, are the ways writers and readers connect and the role of commercial/transactional players. Will ‘publishers’ still be central to the process of getting authors’ words out there? Will ‘booksellers’, in bricks-and-mortar stores or online, continue to be the main place to buy books?
It’s quite clear there will be continuing pressure on the survival of dedicated bricks-and-mortar bookshops. Bookselling chains in particular are under strong threat. While the demise of RedGroup (A&R/Borders) was largely due to mismanagement, the very idea of large, broadly stocked shops in expensive malls and inner-city shopping strips is getting harder and harder to sustain. Mass-market book buying is moving to discounters (such as Big W and Target) and online; specialist book buying is increasingly becoming an almost entirely online market. Some – hopefully many – independent bookshops, especially those that put extra effort into connecting with their communities and doing more than merely selling books, will continue to prosper, but can the market support them all? I suspect not.
If their revenue continues to contract, local publishers will have to cut staff even further, and local lists will inevitably suffer, as will rights sales and support for mid-list authors. Author advances are falling. The larger publishers will be even more risk-averse and less likely to take on new writers. More than ever, smaller publishers need to be nimble and tech-savvy, going after every opportunity they can, experimenting with new formats and fresh ways to engage audiences.
More authors will opt for self-publishing, but there will continue to be a massive challenge for them to stand out from the ever-growing crowd. Direct engagement with peers and audiences will be key. While there are more opportunities than ever for authors to get their work out there, it will still be just as hard, if not harder, to make it pay.
Distribution infrastructure for both physical and digital books will continue to change: in Australia, many of the large international publishers own their own distribution businesses (Penguin/Pearson, Random, Macmillan, HarperCollins and Hachette all run separate, large distribution arms) and also gain extra warehouse volume and revenue by contracting distribution services to smaller publishers who have come to rely on their large scale. Some consolidation of these multiple distributors will be almost inevitable, and the entry into the Australian market of book wholesalers that carry stock from a wide range of publishers, such as Ingram, Baker & Taylor and Gardners, seems likely.
Local and national barriers have already been smashed and consumers are increasingly likely to research and buy online and be ‘blind’ to the location of the vendor. In book-world, this will mean that the traditional territorial divides for books will come under increasing pressure and a single, globally available edition of a book becomes much more viable.
The power to make (or break) mass-market titles will consolidate even further with very large, global players – and ones not necessarily from the word of ‘publishing’ as we’ve known it; yet at the other end of the spectrum operating from a very small, niche area will become easier (if not necessarily lucrative) and the potential for a ‘left-field’ book to first find a local, then international niche audience, then break out into wider success, is certainly there.
The advent of digital reading is profoundly altering the ways authors, readers, publishers and retailers think about their roles. At their most basic, ebooks are simply a print book converted into an electronic file, which is then read on a dedicated e-reader, tablet computer (i.e iPad), laptop or desktop computer. Australia has been a little slow off the mark in embracing ebooks, but the market is growing steadily to the point where best estimates are that around 5% of books sold here last year were digital. In the US, where ebook sales growth has been enormous over the past few years, this figure is more like 20%, and in genres such as blockbuster fiction, romance, sci-fi and fantasy, the proportion of e-reading is much, much higher. Ebooks don’t have to just replicate the structure and forms of their print counterparts: ‘enhanced’ ebooks can incorporate multimedia elements; collaborative and open-ended narratives are possible, with multiple authors and/or reader participation in steering the direction/s of the story; and forms that may struggle in print – short stories, for example, or long-form journalism – are finding many readers electronically.
For the book industry, though, ebooks throw up a number of challenges: contrary to many readers’ assertions, the physical print and distribution of a book only makes up a small percentage of its cost. Fixed costs around acquiring, editing, producing and promoting a book still need to be recouped, and for now ebooks are an additional format to place into workflows (with associated human and IT costs) still geared primarily to print. Consumer expectations that ebooks will be instantly available at the same time as print editions, and at a lower cost, upset long-held business practices that are geared to selling a book at a high price on its first release in order to recoup its costs, then only releasing a cheaper edition at a later date once it starts to become profitable. Book retailers, too, have had to change their ways of thinking, adding ebook availability and ramping up their online presence.
Ebooks will continue to grow in importance and market share in coming years, but not even the most techno-boosterish of commentators believe that the print book will disappear. So the future of the book is a diverse one, where printed books, physical bookshops, ebooks and online retail will co-exist; as will major commercial players, nimble independents and entrepreneurial self-publishers.
We continue to live in interesting times.
Republished with the permission of Island Magazine
Visit Island Magazine HERE: or get the latest edition from a bookshop or newsagent!
23.05.12 1:16 am
The name Flavin originates in the Irish name ‘Flaith’ meaning ‘prince’ or ‘ruler’ and not a more perfect name could there be for the man they call in Ireland the king of country music, Mick Flavin.
Irish country artist Mick Flavin is making his first visit to Australia, a fact he can’t believe has finally arrived and it seems the word is definitely out about this much admired artist as he enjoyed a standing ovation at his concert in Ipswich last week.
Promoter Terry Gordon is the one who was instrumental in bringing Mick to Australia having been a fan for many years. Popular Irish entertainer Daniel O’Donnell when he was in Australia on tour earlier this year also endorsed Mick, as did Daniel’s singing partner, Mary Duff and encouraged those who love Irish country music to go along and see him.
In spite of the headline to this story ‘Flavin’ is pronounced to rhyme with ‘travellin’ and indeed it seems Australian audiences are taking up the call to travel with Mick as he continues his musical journey across the country. A journey that began on a farm in Longford stretched its way to the Grand old Oprey in Nashville and now to Australia.
Mick hails from Longford the midland or heartland of Ireland and it wouldn’t be a great stretch to say Mick is indeed the heart of country music in Ireland. Mick’s been involved in music for over 25 years and started out with a band of 4 lads, and lass as he would put it. While this band eventually broke up Mick was always going to make a career of music even taking up a trade, in this case carpentry as a day job while he continued in his quest for a full time musical career.
In a story befitting a musician’s movie bio with the attendant fairy-tale elements, Mick remembers working on the farm and his trips to the well to fetch water. He would sometimes place the bucket on his head on his way to the well so he could hear the reverberations of sound as he sang. Mick went on to release his first album ‘I’m going to make it after’ which was discovered by the pirate radio stations of that time and quickly became a favourite. One of the songs out of some 12 albums and 3 videos that mean the most to Mick is ‘The Old School Yard’, a song about the very school he attended and ‘When I lay me down’.
Like so many of the Irish artists Mick has no airs and graces and will be travelling by road from gig to gig over most parts of Australia. Whereas in Ireland it’s usually 4 to 5 hours between gig venues here in Australia that time is extended to 7 or 8 hours travelling. It’s a gruelling schedule with very few days off in an almost month long tour here. Mick will be making the most of his first visit to Australia and seeing quite a bit of it along the way!
Mick is also the only Irish artist to be nominated for the Country Music Association Global Artist Award, an award which seeks to promote arts among the eight participating countries. Mick didn’t win that award, it went to a Canadian artist but for all those that admire his music and for all those that will get to his concerts during his time in Australia he is already a winner.
Mick will be performing on Wednesday 30 May at the Country Club Show Room Launceston and on Thursday 31 May at Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Hobart.
Rachel Edwards Managing Editor Island Magazine
22.05.12 1:29 pm
Island magazine and the Festival of Voices are calling for submissions for short stories on the theme of angels.
Three stories will be chosen to be performed by professional actors in the Nolan room at Mona as part of the Festival of Voices which runs between 6-15 July this year.
The winning three authors will receive $250 words each and the stories will be published by Island.
Island magazine is one of Australia’s oldest and most respected literary magazines. Island 128: Digitalism was launched in early May and examines what the digital means for today’s readers, writers and publishers.
Festival of Voices has become part of Tasmania’s cultural landscape since its inception seven years ago.
Stories should be 2000 words in length and they will be performed on Wednesday, July 11 at 8pm.
t: + 61 (0) 3 6226 2325
a: PO Box 210 Sandy Bay Tasmania 7006 Australia
The Tasmanian Writers' Centre
18.05.12 10:10 am
The Hobart Bookshop
17.05.12 8:18 pm
The Hobart Bookshop and Walleah Press are pleased to invite you to the launch of the latest issue of Famous Reporter, containing works including poetry, essays, launch speeches, and fiction from writers including Geoff Goodfellow, John Kinsella, Sharyn Munro. Rodney Croome, and Mark O’Flynn. For more details of the work contained in the issue, see this page at the Walleah Press website.
What: Launch of Famous Reporter 43
When: 5:30pm Wednesday May 30
Where: The Hobart Bookshop
Free event, all welcome.
The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
P 03 6223 1803 . F 03 6223 1804
The Tasmanian Writers' Centre
16.05.12 6:51 pm
Send your picture books, story books, novels and non-fiction
This is a big, BIG opportunity! Publisher Penguin Books Australia is calling for manuscripts - picture books, story books, novels and non-fiction - for children and young adult readers, from now until 31 July.
If you have a draft, or just the seed of a children’s book in you, you can get it written during the Centre’s course with one of Australia’s most successful children’s authors, Sally Odgers, starting THIS SATURDAY afternoon 19 May; then Saturday afternoons 2 June and 16 June.
She’s extraordinarily smart and it’s a practical course to develop YOUR next - or first - book for kids. Remember the Centre is not-for-profit so you get the course at cost. Click here to read about Sally’s course, and register with us before 4pm Thursday or just attend on the day.
From the Penguin Books Australia website, 16 May 2012
BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS DIVISION
“The Books for Children and Young Adults (BCYA) division of Penguin Group (Australia) is the leading publisher of books for young people in this country. We produce picture books, story books, novels and some non-fiction works. We publish over 100 titles every year, ranging from books for very young children to publications for adolescents and beyond.
We are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts from now until the end of July 2012.
We receive many thousands of manuscripts each year and only a very small percentage do get published. With that said, some of the names we know and love started out in the unsolicited pile and we understand that hidden gems can be discovered there…”
Click here to read the full submission information.(please note that you will need to scroll down to the Books for Children Division.)
And go! Write! :-)
16.05.12 8:21 am
MATERIAL GIRL EXHIBITION 2012 “Speak to Me!”
Tasmanian Regional Arts is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Bendigo Bank Material Girl art award.
This year’s Material Girl theme of “Speak to Me” gave artists an opportunity to ponder contemporary communication.
Since 2002 Material Girl has been building the profile of women artists in Tasmania and focuses attention on the issues which influence their work. A regular fixture on the arts calendar it is an instigator of inspirational new work. The amazing talent and diversity of Tasmanian works this award attracts has always been one of its strengths. Although it began as a showcase for textile based works, artworks in any medium are now accepted and demonstrate the range of outstanding creativity of Tasmanian women artists.
The exhibition was opened by the Premier at the Moonah Arts Centre on Friday 11 May. This was a return to a familiar space for Material Girl.
Gallery visitors have the opportunity to select their favourite work and enter the People’s Choice Award before the end of exhibition period Wednesday 30 May 2012.
Selected works will then tour the state through the Tasmanian Regional Arts touring program hosted by regional communities: St Mary’s in July, Burnie in August, New Norfolk in September, Sidmouth in October, Wynyard in November, and Smithton in December. In 2013, the show will tour to Deloraine and George Town
The Winners of the following awards were announced on opening night:
Bell Bay Aluminium Award for Overall Excellence $1,500 - Burnie Artist Susan McArthur for ‘Engagement’ a digital photograph
Premier’s Award $750 – Burnie artist Pam Thorne for ‘Just by Reaching Out’ a papier mache sculpture
Zonta Award for Highly Commended $500 – Launceston Artist Joyce de Ruyter for ‘Silent Communication’ a coloured pencil drawing.
Zonta Award for Young Artist $500 – South Hobart artist Emily Blom for ‘A Stitch in Time’ a mixed media piece.
Tasmanian Regional Arts acknowledges the generous support by Bendigo Bank, Zonta International, Bell Bay Aluminium, The Department of Premier and Cabinet, Community Development Division and Moonah Arts Centre.
Further information can be found on the Tasmanian Regional Arts website: http://www.tasregionalarts.org.au or by contacting the TRA office on 6426 2344. The finalists for the show can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/material_girl_2012/