On postal votes and social prejudice

By Christy O’Brien

With the country poised to take part in a postal vote on marriage equality, one session at this weekend’s Bendigo Writers Festival couldn’t be more timely.

It Changed the World with La Trobe University writer and academic Dennis Altman and ABC’s Robyn Williams will discuss Dennis’ seminal work Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation (1972). Continue reading

Make like Banjo and name drop the Borough

The Mulga Bill Writing Award is once again searching the country for Eaglehawk’s next big literary mentions.

In a respectful nod to Banjo Paterson’s poem about Mulga Bill of Eaglehawk, the competition asks writers to make like Banjo and name-drop the borough to be in the running for cash prizes. 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

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

He has a point (but I disagree with Ivor Indyk …)

A cross article in the Guardian by Meredith Jaffe about the dismissive attitude of some writers and critics towards “middle-brow” fiction has alerted me, belatedly, to Ivor Indyk’s essay in the Sydney Review of Books berating not only literary prizes (and their move towards “middle-brow” winners) but also writers festivals.

Ivor, who is an untiring editor and publisher, Continue reading