Moree, with a population of about 8,000, is situated in the north-west of NSW on the Mehi River and at the junction of the Gwydir and Newell Highways. It is famous for its Artesian Spa waters, which were discovered accidentally in 1895 when a bore was sunk in search of irrigation waters. Instead, mineral water heated naturally to 45 degrees spurted upwards flooding the area. For years I had wanted to return to this town, so loved by my father.
My Writer’s Voice: A Childhood Spent on the North Coast of NSW
The historical photograph of my hometown, with the Clarence River and Susan Island across the water, brings me back to long-forgotten memories of childhood evenings underneath a balmy, star-spangled sky in South Grafton next to the water’s edge. I wonder now whether this is the source of my writer’s voice? Are the places and storytellers from childhood that I carry within the true source of my writer’s voice?
Every year around this time, some lucky members of Waverley Library, and other interested parties, are invited to a special breakfast for The Nib Awards. The award, in its 16th year, recognises excellence in literary research, skill in creative writing, and relevance of literary works for the community.
Being a member of the Friends of Waverley Library (FOWL), I am happy to be included each year on the guest list for the Nib Awards. The Nib is an annual literary competition administered by the Waverley Council, already in its sixteenth year. It was held last Thursday morning, 23rd November, at 7.30am in a venue that overlooked Bondi Beach and the sea. Generously sponsored by Mark and Evette Moran this year, the prize money had increased to $30,000 with a first prize of $20,000.
THE NIB AWARD
The Waverley Library Award for Literature, established in 2002, is entitled ‘the Nib’. Organised and financed by Waverley Council, it is managed by Waverley Library, with the support of a committee, and a number of community establishments, including Friends of Waverley Library, Gertrude & Alice Bookshop, and local RSL Clubs. The Nib promotes research-based Australian literature, with a generous prize of $20,000.
Definitely the best book I have read this year, is one of the finalists for the 2017 Nib Award. It’s The Phoenix Years : Art, Resistance and the Making of Modern China by Madeleine O’Dea. Foreign correspondent Madeleine O’Dea has been an eyewitness for over thirty years to the economic success of China, the ongoing struggle for human rights and free expression there, and the rise of its contemporary art and cultural scene. Her book, The Phoenix Years is vital reading for anyone interested in China today.
A Seminar I Attended
In July I attended an excellent seminar held at the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) in Ultimo, Sydney, titled “Pitch Perfect”. The convenor, Emily Booth, an editor from Melbourne company, Text Publishing, led the workshop on how to pitch our manuscript to agents and publishers. One of the most helpful pieces of information, as well as the guidelines on synopsis writing and pitching, was a classification of principal publishing firms:
There are three main publishing streams in Australia:
Large Traditional Houses:
Interested mainly in already published authors, or those with a social presence, such as Bill Clinton, whose books will sell in the thousands: Not available to new authors, unless you have an agent: also called The Big Five: