“A Sludge Buster” by Simon Patton

[When you live in a country area, and rely on tank water, you also have to rely on septic tanks. What you might not know, unless you’re told by a reliable worker, is that an enviro-tank – one that recycles the water – uses a lot of water. Simon Patton‘s poem recalls an encounter with a septic-tank servicer who wasn’t inclined to make things clear for city people recently moved to the country.] Continue reading

Book club discussions

Hazel Edwards

Book Clubs are booming, partly for the social contact but mainly to find new titles to share. Some readers choose their own titles, with each reader given one month’s titlechoice.

Either book clubbers buy their own copy of each book or rotate titles. Or multiple copies are provided from a subscribed list like the CAE who allocate the titles, & provide discussion notes but often these are older rather than recent publications.

What creates good discussion? Continue reading

Thinking ahead

This is the time of year when we finally pause in what is a kind of constant rummaging for names, books and ideas to put in place for the next Bendigo Writers Festival.

In the week before Christmas it seems both unnecessary and silly to keep speculating and planning; and the week between Christmas and New Year is one of the very few times it becomes impossible to contact people anyway. (It is also one of the times that something household often goes wrong, like a water leak or a broken pump, something that requires work from tradespeople … good luck with that one!)

But it’s dangerous for festival organisers to shut down completely; Continue reading

Choosing for others

Giving a book gift is a bit like running a writers festival: you’re anticipating the reader response, trying to find something that will suit but at the same time hoping you might surprise and delight the recipient.

When I judge prizes, I think to myself, is this a book I’d like everyone to read, that I think people will enjoy and benefit from? Continue reading