Thursday, November 27, 2008

More 20th Anniversary Photos

As promised, here are some more photos from our 20th anniversary party and anthology launch. The first five photos are from Maggie.

Musicians brought to us by Lisa Milner.

Please note second from the right, legs and high heels: a very rare sight.

See Sue, we did get a photo of you and your cleavage.

What a great party!

Monday, November 24, 2008

NVWG celebrates 20 years

On November 15, Nambucca Valley Writers Group had a party at the Bowraville Theatre. This was no ordinary party. This was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Nambucca Valley Writers Group and to launch the group's third anthology 'The Fourth Saturday'.

All good parties need alcohol, so Jennifer greeted guests in the foyer of the theatre with a glass of sparkly.

Inside the theatre, there was more alcohol flowing with Roby, Michelle and Elizabeth making sophisticated and gorgeous barmaids.

There was also musical entertainment:

Noel looked all dapper in his white tuxedo and Marilyn had flown all the way from Adelaide for the launch.

Maggie, Gill, Roby and Robbie claim their seats in the front row, waiting for the launch to begin.

Noel & Caz before the launch:

The night included readings from the anthology, and film screenings from Verandah Post Films, a fellow sub-committee of the Bowraville Arts Council. These included Sue McKinley's scripted Dear Old Dad, Carrolline Rhode's scripted Outsided the Square, and a history of the Nambucca Valley Writers Group 'The Fourth Saturday' produced and edited by Lisa Milner.

Noel escorts Robbie down the stairs following the reading of one of her stories from the anthology.

Gill looks as if she's sent a message to the Enterprise asking them to "Beam me up Scotty!" Was the reading that terrifying?

All the members of the Nambucca Valley Writers Group are invited on stage for a special announcement:

And our wonderful President Carrolline Rhodes (Prez Caz) is honoured with a Life Membership.

Gillian Helfgott launches 'The Fourth Saturday'

and is presented with a thank you present from Caz's cute grandson Reece.

Diane in glamorous check-out chick mode, flogging the anthology.

Gill in famous author mode, signing the anthology, watched by Robbie, and a 'fan'.

That's not it all, folks. I have more shots on my camera (hopefully not featuring any more attempted abductions by aliens) and I have some shots taken by Maggie. So stay tuned....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Anthology and filming update

The submissions for The Fourth Saturday - The Nambucca Valley Writers' Group Anthology -have closed, the layout has been done by our wonderful Prez, Carrolline Rhodes, and the pages are now in the hands of our proofreaders.

The Anthology, celebrating the group's 20th year, will be launched at the Bowraville Theatre on Saturday 15 November.

Lisa Milner (below) has been directing and filming (with Tony above) a documentary about the Nambucca Valley Writers Group and we took the opportunity of ex-Prez, Jennifer Gordon's prescence in Nambucca to film a few final scenes.

Sue McKinley (right) interviewed Jennifer (left) for the documentary about her experiences with the group.

The documentary will be screened as part of the launch proceedings.

In other news, my short story Beyond Happily Ever After is now available in the latest edition of Wet Ink magazine. To find out what happened to Cinderella after she married her Prince 'Charming', you can buy a copy of the magazine from Borders or from the Wet Ink website.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Byron Bay Writers Festival Day 2

Day 2 and we were relieved to wake up to blue sky and sunshine.

I began the day by dropping into the Kids Tent and watched Danny Katz and Mitch Vane in action. Danny read from their new book 'The Little Lunch Games' while Mitch illustrated the story on butcher paper. Kids in the audience were then invited to draw their own characters.

Next I noticed the line-up for a fix, as the caffeine addicts stood patiently waiting to get their morning hit. (I'm a reformed caffeine addict although my poison was Coca-Cola)

I attended a session called First Writes: the Path to Publication. In this session Annette Hughes said 'the hardest thing about memoir is there's no end, you're not dead yet' which is how I felt when I was writing the pizza delivery girl tales - trying to work out where it should end! (these publicaion sessions always get me in because I'm still on that first path).

Afterwards I talked to Lollie Barr, who wrote the young adult novel The Mag Hags. and whose by-line I see every week in the paper.

And I couldn't resist asking Aussie Idol Damien Leith for a photo opportunity as I'm a sucker for an Irish accent.
Morris Gleitzman always draws a crowd and the queue in the background of this photo are his young fans eager for an autograph. Perhaps you don't have to be an Aussie Idol after all?

Next session I attended was 'Talking the Talk: Getting the dialogue right' with Max Barry, Virginia Duigan, Michael Gow and Judy Nunn. Max said 'You are writing a story that is taking place in the mind of the readers' summing up that we need to give our readers space to bring their own experiences to the story.

I bought Max's book Company following the session and told him I was nominated him for Foxy Author of the Week on my friend Natalie's blog. So - of course, had to get a photo with Foxy Max!

Next, I dropped by the kids tents again to see the talented and very young William Kostakis exercising excellent crowd control on the youngsters.

It seems that William has been writing about the same character (Courtney) since 6th grade. That's a long long obsession. You can read the results in his young adult novel Loathing Lola.

The next session was We'll Always Have Paris: celebrity versus literary publishing with the heads of Penguin Australia, Pan MacMillan along with the editor of Wet Ink magazine. I introduced myself to Phillip Edmunds as my story Beyond Happily Ever After will be published in Wet Ink next month.

Back at the cabin after a long and full day, we debated a mystery. How did our cabin key end up on our doormat? Well, it seems that the bush turkey was the culprit.

Saturday night dinner options were difficult and after much searching we ended up with two tables at opposite ends of the balcony at Hogs Breath Cafe. After a group near one vacated, we managed to make it one large table and ended up having an interesting conversation about men. But mostly we were exhausted...ready to retire and prepare for another exciting day at the Byron Bay Writers Festival.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Byron Bay Writers Festival pt 1

We set off on our annual pilgrimage to Byron Bay Writers Festival on Thursday at noon. I didn't envy Roby's task of driving through the relentless rain, but we stayed optimistic that the weather would be on our side and the sky would clear.

It was not to be...

We burrowed in the cabin for the rest of the afternoon, and as soon as we stepped out of the car in the main drag of Byron, the rain poured down once more. So we stepped into the nearest eatery Fresh and were pleased with our dining experience.

Jen and I tackled the collage poetry on our first evening in the cabin, and we all tried to chase the rain away with the power of our minds.
Not powerful enough...

The next morning after we'd showered and breakfasted and filled ourselves with caffeine, Lyn turned up on the doorstep as we were about to leave the cabin and walk over to the Festival site and told us that the Festival had been cancelled. We reacted with despair and gloom. How dare the gods be so unkind!
Roby and Caz drove over to the site to assess the damage and check out the water-logging, while Jen and I stayed in the cabin to wallow in collage.

When the troops returned, we debated what we were going to do to fill in the day. We rejected the possibility of getting cabin fever while surrouned by pouring rain, and opted for a quick lunch, followed by op-shopping and a trip to the cinema to see Mama Mia.

In town, we almost walked past Vinnies before we realised that it was Vinnies. As Jen had infected me with the collage bug again, I was itching to get my hands on more magazines and more glossy raw words to recycle and transform. The magazine shelf held the usual suspects - the Who Weeklys, the New Weeklys: all the glossy gossip garbage. New Scientist attracts my eye but there is no decent size text, and I finally settle on a couple of New Women magazines and a 'Real Living' magazine.

I scanned the bookshelf - I cannot resist checking out second hand books. The typical tired and wretched paberbacks toppled over each other but nestled amongst them was a copy of Gregory Maguire's 'Mirror Mirror' (the retelling of Snow White). Score! I grabbed it - it's meant to be mine.
The second op shop is too tiny to have a book section but I buy a purple scarf to keep my neck warm for the rest of the weekend.

It seems that many of the misplaced festival attendees have decided to spend the rainy afternoon at Mama Mia -- the foyer is filled with patrons waiting for the cinema to open. This is my second time seeing the musical after seeing it on Cheap Tuesday in Coffs Harbour with a group of work colleagues. The second time is different - perhaps they're more reverential in Byron Bay. The Coffs audience was in hysterics every time James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) opened his mouth to sing but Byron Bay accepts his singing without a titter.

We decide to eat at the Curry House that evening, and are given the room upstairs, all to ourselves except the couple who are stuck in the room next door (it seems more like a store room than an eating area). Thrilled by the tiny enclave to ourselves we dance and talk and chat and feast.

And hope that the rain will go away....