Meet some of our members
Member Christopher Hardwick
Call me Chris. I write poetry, song lyrics, short stories and I think there might be a novel hiding inside me. I enjoy writing for adults and children. I like to surprise readers and I love the nonsensical and the fantastic. I joined HWC to become a writer and to write more often. and for the members' discount on the workshops. I joined with my heart in my throat and signed up for a beginner’s workshop. What if I couldn’t write? What if a man with paraprosdokian propensities would be too left of left of field to fit in? And, what if I could write? I completed the workshop, followed up with the advanced creative writing workshop. HWC allows anybody to join, including me. It’s OK to be working in the left field. I joined the Prose Group, the Children’s Writing Group and I go to the live readings and meet with other writers on a regular basis. The workshops have been excellent. I’ve learned a great deal from the presenters and from listening to other members' writing. It’s been worth the risk.
Member Anne Walsh
My life as a writer is a solitary one. I am completely alone. And my words, often unintelligible to most, most be run through the constant sieve of the temporary, to try to filter out some of the spate fast, infinite language I hear everywhere that defies form. Ergo, I am even more solitary. The greatest part of being a member of the Hunter Writers Centre, to me, is community. It is affirming to hear, and to be among, other writers at HWC readings, events and workshops. It allows for the miracle of intersecting with the parallel lines of other writers. Some of my dearest friends I've met through the HWC. I've been shortlisted for the NPP twice, for the Australian Catholic Uni Prize for Literature, my short story 'The Rickman Digression' was published in Glimmer Train in the USA, my book of poems called 'I Love Like a Drunk Does' was published by Ginninderra Press in 2009. I've had many individual poems published in Australia over the last three years, including via some of the country's best poetry blogs. The Canberra Times will be publishing my poem 'Obi Wan' in March, 2017, and my next book of poems, 'Intact', comes out through Flying Island Books shortly.
Member Graham Davidson: After forty years working in advertising, joining HWC has made me appreciate how much writing is the richest and most rewarding creative pursuit. The Children's Writers group gives me exposure to great work from other writers. I have also written a small anthology of short stories, “The Night of a Thousand Years and Other Stories”, published through the Kindle store.
Involvement in HWC has taught me how to be more critical, how to better define characters and keep a story alive. There is much to be gained from the wide variety of workshops, writing competitions and resources that the HWC makes available to its members. Anyone within the Hunter region who wishes to engage in any form of writing has much to gain from the resources of HWC. Joining has been a truly transformative experience.
Member Jean Kent
HWC has been important to my writing life: its newsletters and resources regarding publishing opportunities, workshops and a lively website and inviting Facebook page. The Newcastle Poetry Prize, co-ordinated by Hunter Writers Centre and awarded by the University of Newcastle is on the literary map of Australia and, through this prize, Newcastle is now known worldwide for its championing of poetry. The Newcastle Poetry Prize is the jewel every poet would love to claim. Jean has won major awards for her writing including the National Library Poetry Prize, the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize and the Dorothy Porter Prize. Her first book 'Verandahs' won the Anne Elder Prize and the Dame Mary Gilmore Award. Jean received a six months residency from the Literature Board at the Keesing Studio in the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris.
Member Anthony Wood: Writing is often a solitary pursuit and the Hunter Writers Centre provides contact with other writers and also offers a diverse range of opportunities to further my writing journey. I like to write short stories and screenplays. I write at this point of life to find more out about myself. The best writing comes through having experiences that then distill down into your writing and make your writing richer.
Member Lucy Woollard: I have received valuable assistance in developing my writing skills which has helped me progress towards my goal of becoming a published author. Hunter Writers Centre is an invaluable community resource, providing learning, information and networking opportunities that strengthen the art of creative and other forms of written communication within the Hunter Region.
Member Willie Southgate: I liked the writing group gatherings and having to write short, short stories of 500 words, something I haven’t done before. It was a challenge and I very much enjoyed it, also the company of other writers. I look forward to other writing adventures with the Hunter Writers Centre.
Member Katrina McKelvey
Facilitating the HWC Children’s Writing Group has made me make time in my busy life to focus on my writing and continue to develop my writing, editing and critiquing skills in a supportive, honest and rewarding environment. I have made so many new friends along the way. We are now on this journey together. Katrina’s first picture book titled, ‘Dandelions’ is published. You can follow her writing journey via her website, personal blog or author Facebook page.
Member Zeny Giles Zeny won The Age Short Story Competition in 1981 and her story collection, Miracle of the Waters, was published by Penguin in 1989. Her celebration of Newcastle, Caught in the Light, was published by Catchfire Press in 2002. Her most recent novels, Wedding Dance and Daughters of Castellorizo were published by Koel Koel in 2009 and 2013. They examine the marriage customs in the immigrant Greek community in Australia and on the island of Castellorizo while it was still part of the Ottoman Empire.
HWC member Magdalena Ball
Magdalena is a long time member of Hunter Writers Centre and runs the well respected review site The Compulsive Reader. Her short stories, editorials, poetry, reviews and articles have appeared in a wide number of printed anthologies and journals and have won local and international awards for poetry and fiction. She is the author of the poetry book Quark Soup, the novels Black Cow, and Sleep Before Evening, and a nonfiction book The Art of Assessment. She also runs a radio show, The Compulsive Reader Talks.
HWC member Jan Dean
Jan has a tanka published in Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4 edited by M. Kei (USA). They read over eighteen thousand to select the best for this final volume in his series. The book is available at Amazon.com
The 7th International Tanka Festival Competition, 2012 by Japan Tanka Poets' Society received 589 entries from all over the world. The judges are Jane Reichhold (U. S. A.), Beverley George (Australia), Aya Yuhki (Japan) and Yasuhiro Kawamura (Japan). Jan Dean's tanka were judged "excellent" and "fine".
Enjoy a tanka by Jan:
HWC Member Catherine Moffat
Member Catherine Moffat, won the Katharine Susannah Pritchard speculative fiction award 2013. The judges wrote that her story 'Siren' "stood out because of its consistent voice." Congratulations, Catherine. She also won 3rd prize in the 2012 Newcastle Short Story Award.
Member Dael Allison
Writers are a tribe. For me joining Hunter Writers Centre over a decade ago offered the vision, boldness and creativity of that tribe, and encouragement. My first HWC workshop was in poetry with Judy Beveridge. I was persuaded to tag along afterwards to Poetry At The Pub and once there Judy convinced me to read. As a first-timer my memory of that reading is blank, but I recall driving home to our farm north of Taree that night on a high. I’ve been a PATP member ever since and I belong to the HWC poetry group and I enjoy being a HWC board member.
Over the years, my writing tribe has expanded with poetry bootcamps and online groups, editing individual works and journals, residencies in Tasmania and at Varuna, and the workshops I’ve run. It is all about creative juice. I thrive on feedback, positive or negative: so good for sorting out thoughts and directions.
Member Bill Pascoe
I wrote my first book before I could read and started taking literature seriously at age 13. I've several boxes of old manuscripts in the cupboard, drafts of about 6 or 7 books in all, that I wrote last century, most of which didn't see the light of day, and for good reason. Most recently, after 6 years of research and rewriting, I've written and produced 'Ordinary Things' - finally, a book worth reading - and am working on a few new pieces. I grew up in Brisbane except for 3 years as a teenager, when I was a traveller with my father across 5 continents. After moving to Sydney I lived in Newcastle for 16 years or so. I have a PhD in English and work in Digital Humanities. I gave a workshop on literary style for HWC last year and hope to give more on various topics. I'm looking forward to being more involved than I've been able to be until recently.
Member Eva Harris
Why do I write? I'm terrible at almost everything I try: I play piano very badly ('but with great passion' as Oscar Wilde once said of himself!), my singing is somewhat worse, my drawing and painting quite dismal, and even my mosaics look like they're done by someone who really couldn't give a toss. But the best thing about someone reading my stuff is that they can stop if they hate it - immediately . . . you can't always do that when someone brings out the accordion or sings. I write to amuse myself and others . . . a need to express myself because I can; because I fancy I have a different take on things; because I'm twisted; because I'm sardonic; because I want to whinge.
Member Kathryn Fry
Hunter Writers Centre provides company that is congenial, and the feedback raises the bar.
Kathryn has published poems in a number of anthologies: Famous Reporter 44 and Australian Love Poems 2013. She won the Newcastle Poetry Prize Local Award 2014 and won the Henry Lawson Verse prize 2013. She co-ordinates the HWC Poetry group
Member Robert Watson
Six years back I joined Hunter Writers Centre, confident with my draft travel memoir. Then I attended a HWC workshop and discovered – shock, horror – that my writing needed improvement. I am pleased to have advanced to a stage where I am now helping other new writers to get their start.
Member Holly Bruce:
Becoming a member of HWC has provided me with a real sense of having a ‘writing life’. Prior to being a member my writing was a solitary pursuit but Hunter Writers Centre has become the inspiration and the anchor for all my writing ideas and projects. I am part of a writing community where I feel both creative and comfortable.
I have been shortlisted in a number of projects - Grieve, the Newcastle Short Story Award, the Newcastle Herald writing competition and Stringybark. I still write alone—that’s the nature of writing—but I now have the option to share and discuss my work, whether in a workshop, a regular group, at a Live Read or with a mentor. If you’re a writer, it’s the best $49.50 you’ll ever spend.
Member Clark Gormley:
I started writing shortly after arriving in Newcastle in 1995, inspired largely by Poetry at the Pub. For the last nine years I’ve been president. I seem to be regarded as a benign dictator.
As well as writing a blog, I’ve written two one-man shows: 'Up the Nerdsville Track' and 'Dial N for Nerder', which I’ve performed at various fringe festivals. I also perform in a duo called Nerds & Music (can you see a theme emerging?). We play original songs. I’ve published one book of poems, songs and short stories and recorded three CDs of original songs.
Through the HWC I’ve met good writers and interesting people, often at the same time. And I’ve attended some terrific workshops over the years. Both HWC and PATP are gardens in which budding writers can blossom, if that’s not too flowery. I really believe that without these groups many writers, myself included, simply would not have come out. They are essential cultural services.
Member Kathy: I've really enjoyed being part of the writers' group, even though my stories aren't perfect. I've wanted to attend for such a long time and it's helped me be more creative. My mind doesn't stop thinking of stories or phrases and I have to stop my mind before I go to bed so I can sleep.
Member Ted Bassingthwaighte
Hunter Writers Centre has opened a number of doors to my creativity. I felt a level of apprehension joining the HWC wondering how my male perspective on writing and creativity would fit. I was at once very surprised and pleased at the warmth and encouragement I received. I now have some genuine friendships and mentors, both male and female, who willingly offer support and guidance for my current writing efforts.
Member Brenda Proudfoot:
Belonging to Hunter Writers Centre is an essential part of my writing life. HWC provides information about upcoming competitions and other opportunities for writing. I enjoy meeting others who share my passion for writing and enjoy listening to their work. At workshops I have learnt new skills such as ePub and ways to vary and hone my writing. The HWC's partnership with the Newcastle Writers Festival allowed me to listen to a variety of authors and gain new perspectives on several writing genres.
Member Bev Henwood:
Having the Hunter Writers Centre based at the Library makes so much sense. The location is perfect. I can now comfortably access it. Karen's leadership has the place thriving. We are spoilt for choice in terms of activities. The atmosphere is welcoming and encouraging. I particularly enjoy the writers' days, where we read a story and explore the way in which the author has developed theme, then perhaps try out that style of writing ourselves.
Member Mark Maclean
Mark's book A Year Down the Drain: Walking in Styx Creek topped the 2012 Independent Booksellers' charts for several weeks in 2012 and was Maclean's Booksellers No. 4 bestseller in 2012. See Mark's website
Member Judy Johnson is an Australian writer who has won numerous awards for her poetry over the past decade. Her verse novel, JACK, won the prestigious CJ Dennis Award in 2007 and the Victorian Premier's Award for Poetry. Recently Judy launched 'Exhibit' in conjunction with Jean Kent's launch of 'The Language of Light'. Click here for Judy's recent collection
Kerri Lane / Kaz Delaney
Kerri is a prolific children's writer. Her titles give away something of her personality: Pincesses Don't Sweat, My Life As A Snow Bunny, Dead Actually, Hannah's Hiccups, The Cereal Spies.
Kerri conducts our Children's Writing courses www.kazdelaney.com, www.kerrilane.com and she blogs at Running With Pens
Romance Writer Reeze Dryden
Reeze is a multi-published author who writes for Harlequin
Mills and Boon under the pen-name of Michelle Douglas. She has a BA (Hons) and MPhil (Creative Writing) from the University of Newcastle. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of Australia, the Varuna Alumni, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance. She has run writing workshops and appeared on numerous author panels. www.michelle-douglas.com
Member Margaret Young
1968 - Margaret Young provides a transistor radio to PTE Colin McLeod at 8th Field Ambulance, Nui Dat 1968. Read the story behind the picture
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