I’ve been part of a writing group for a few years now and, despite being very creative with our writing, we’d struggled coming up with something to call our group.
Our writers group critiquing stories for an upcoming competition
Until now! Yes, we finally committed half an hour to brainstorm some ideas and after considering everything from the ‘Newcastle Writing Collective’ to the ‘Hunter’s Story Gatherers’ we have decided on a name:
The name represents our across-the-Hunter location (not just Newcastle, our members are from Lake Macquarie and the Upper Hunter too), the idea that we don’t write books we tell stories, and that over anything else, we create.
Along with our new name, we have launched a website, where we will re-blog posts from our own websites and let you know about upcoming events and presentations.
Our group has achieved a lot in the last few years – from published short stories, to competition wins and commendations, to live readings and presentations at the Newcastle Writers Festivals in 2014 and 2015. We have another big year coming up, with our presentation at the Newcastle Writers Festival 2016 called ‘Make your writing pop!‘, a writers retreat in the Hunter Valley, and (hopefully) a few more competition successes.
Below you will find links to online pages relating to the 2014 Newcastle Herald Short Story Competition.
This year’s Herald Short Story Comp published its first shortlisted story on Boxing Day (26th December 2014). I was thrilled to hear that my story ‘Yellow wool‘ has been shortlisted and will be printed in the newspaper (on Saturday 10th January 2015).
It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. ABC Open has been running the 500 word projects for a while now, and I’ve been contributing stories for the last year. ABC Open chooses inspirational topics each month and writers from all over Australia send their stories in. The range of contributors is fantastic: from young budding writers talking about their complicated lives to 90-somethings reminiscing about the old days. They are all true stories and all written in first person.
I’ve found you can learn a lot about someone in just 500 words.
Here’s some of last year’s topics that stood out for me:
An act of rebellion – I wrote about how every Friday night my parents would play loud music, drink beer and consider getting tattoos when I wanted to do was study for my HSC
Failure – I wrote about how I thought my partner would love a bright blue ukulele for Christmas
The things we do for love – I wrote about the pain of having to drink a litre of water before an ultrasound but how it was all worth it when I saw what was on the black and white screen
If you’re in the Newcastle area on Sunday make sure you come along. The short stories you’ll hear are quirky, funny, heart-warming, heart-wrenching and absolutely unique.
I was recently given the opportunity to appear on our local ABC radio station to talk about my blog and my writing. I have attached the sound file for your listening pleasure (select the play icon above)!
During the interview with Carol Duncan and Anthony Scully, I talk about this blog and also my travel novel about our 8 week journey across the USA (see https://jessieansons.com/my-projects/ for more information).
This interview was live and aired at approximately 1:15pm on Wednesday 10th July 2013.