Mars Hill Cafe on Anzac Day 2015


L.Marsden_The Cafe_ZW13small

Image: Linda Marsden

We hope this was not our last gathering at our wonderful home, Mars Hill cafe. Despite our anxiety it was a good day with 20 or more attending. There were nine entrants in our little in-house competition for the best short piece on Anzac – open interpretation. Winners were Brett Campbell and Linda Marsden. Brett wrote about the swiftly changing emotions and escalating danger in a beach attack from a soldier’s pov. Linda wrote about the unbearable waiting at home for news. Danny Draper won a runner’s up award for a sustained denunciation of the powers that turn war and remembrance into profit. All the poems and stories were heartfelt and insightful. Congratulations everyone and thanks to Robyne Young for organising this project. Judges were NWG inc President Carol Amos and ZW editor, Sue Crawford.

There is a group photo on our Face Book page taken by Sue Chamoun. The photos below were taken by Mihaela Cristescu. The top image is by Linda Marsden.


Linda Marsden, left, Brett Campbell, centre, and Danny Draper


Steps to remember


Judges Carol Amos, Sue Crawford


Juliann Wrightson read for Belinda Curby who is on the sick list


Robyne Young


Life member Helen Dalrymple


Susan read about precious young lives


Leonie Le’ Vano at the open mic

Art for ZineWest 2015

ZW15 Art Judge Sophia Kouyoumdjian

ZW15 Art Judge Sophia Kouyoumdjian

Visual artists! Do you have some affinity with Western Sydney and would like your art included in this year’s ZineWest? Because we’d love to hear from you. No entry fee and the award for Best Image is $100. We publish around 30 short pieces of writing (all genre) and four or more colour images on the covers and around six grayscale plus several colour in the inside pages. Unlike writing entries, an art entry can be previously published (however not already won an award). The theme is very open to interpretation “At Home in Western Sydney” – we love to be surprised by what you think that means:) Our wonderful judge is Sophia Kouyoumdjian of Parramatta Artists Studios and she’ll be looking for quality and relevance to the theme. If you’re also a writer, note the due date for writing is 25th May, Art entries are due on 25th June.



Luke Carman Creative Writing Workshop 9th May

Meet writer  LUKE CARMAN judge of  ZineWest, 2015
Author of An Elegant Young Man

Saturday, 9th May, 3-5 pm
MARS HILL CAFÉ UPSTAIRS – NB This venue will probably be changed. Please check in later for details!!!!
ENTRY: free

Luke will talk about his writing experience and comment on pieces read by attendees.

If you’d like a chance to hear Luke’s feedback on your work here’s the drill!
Participants: Bring 3 copies of your piece (one for yourself, two for us) and mark an amount that takes no more than 2 minutes to read aloud.
Choose unpublished work you’re happy to revisit.
Don’t share a piece that you plan to submit to this year’s ZineWest competition. (Luke is the writing judge. It would make the entry ineligible.)

 Please submit your name and two of the entry copies by 2:45 pm

We may have more entries than can all be heard, but the discussion should be fun and thought provoking. There may be time for an Open Mic where you can have another 2 minutes!


ZineWest 2015 open for entries

Judge: Luke Carman

ZineWest 2015 Writers Entry Form

ZineWest is open again for all you wonderful Western Sydney scribblers who haven’t yet scored a trade publication. Genre and theme open. Free Entry.Lots more info and our guidelines on the entry form. Due 25th May   First Prize $400. Western Sydney author Luke Carman who wrote the acclaimed An Elegant Young Mais our writing judge this year. For some info on Luke see his bio in SEIZURE and SWEATSHOP

Art entries We love art entries to ZineWest and invite artists to enter up to three images referencing Western Sydney – current theme is At Home in Western Sydney which you can interpret your own way! Art entries due a month later than writing on 25th June. First prize is $100. Art entry form. 


Alice Grundy visits NWG

Alice Grundy

Alice Grundy

MEET Alice Grundy, managing editor of Giramondo Publishing and co-founder of the on-line mag SEIZURE.
AT: Mars Hill Cafe, 331 Church St Parramatta, upstairs, 3-5 pm,
Saturday 28th February.
$5 entry unless you’re a current fin mem of NWG.

Giramondo publishes established literary writers and the best up and coming authors, many from Western Sydney.
Staffed by volunteers, the ever inventive team at SEIZURE runs multiple projects, introducing new writing weekly on-line and engaging in many collaborations and creative events.
(Giramondo provides book prizes for the annual ZineWest competition run by NWG)

February ’15 News


Saturday 14th Feb Mars Hill Cafe (upstairs) 331 Church Street, Parramatta

First gathering of NWGinc for 2015 coincides with Valentine’s Day. We’ll pass round the calendar,line up some in-house workshops, hear your news and run two open mics:
1) Open Mic/Open theme (3 mins max) Rosesmall
2)Valentine’s Day Open Mic Competition– your POV (3 mins max.) Judges Sue Chamoun and Peter Masonwells will award a box of chocolates:)



Saturday 28th Feb TWO EVENTS 
Connected Stories
1) Felicity Castagna invites you to “a little reading party in The Prospector Store in The Connection Arcade, Parramatta on Saturday, February 28th, 1-3 pm. Come along for some readings, drinks and food after you check out the Market. Be sure to bring something to read if you want to join in.

2) NEW Writers Group inc invites you to meet Alice Grundy, managing editor of prestigious Giramondo Publishing and co-founder of the literary on-line sensation SEIZURE. $5 entry, Financial Members free. Time 3-5 pm upstairs at Mars Hill Cafe, 331 Church St Parramatta.

Parramatta Artists Studios

The Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr Scott Lloyd addressed the launch of the Studio Artists for 2015. Congratulations to all the artists:

Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr. Scott Lloyd

Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr. Scott Lloyd

Marian Abboud, Tarik Ahlip, Linda Brescia, Felicity Castagna, Ella Condon Hayley Megan French, Hossein Ghaemi, Mason Kimber, Colin Kinchela,  Carla Liesch, Catherine O’Donnell, Elena Papanikolakis, Juliette Pastorok, Abdullah M.I. Syed, Paul Williams, James Nguyen and Gavin Walters.

Mihaela Cristescu attended on behalf of New Writers Group. Parramatta writer Felicity Castagna read from her book set in Parramatta The Incredible Here and Now which won the Prime Minsters’ Award for YA fiction. Read more about the studios HERE

Mihaela Cristescu (NWG);Sophia Kouyoumdjian, Co-ordinator Parramatta Artists Studios.

Mihaela Cristescu (NWG);Sophia Kouyoumdjian, Co-ordinator Parramatta Artists Studios.

Felicity Castagna wins Prime Minister’s Literary Award for YA


Congratulations to Parramatta writer Felicity Castagna on her deserved win of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult: The Incredible Here and Now.

Felicity has long been a supporter of other local writers and New Writers’ Group is delighted to see her work so well recognised.

More on the awards at SMH today.


NWG’s 2014 Anthology

Antho2014NWG’s anthology for 2014 has just landed on the editor’s desk. Always a relief when received before the launch: Saturday, 22nd November, Mars Hill Cafe, 3-5 pm, upstairs. AGM is included. Followed with buy-your-own early dinner. All welcome. (Cover uses photo by Sue Chamoun – illustrates her FaceBook piece inside the covers… This is not a good photo of it!)

ZineWest 2014 Prize Winners

Julie Owens MP launching ZW14

Julie Owens MP launching ZW14

Congratulations to all the writers who contributed to this year’s ZineWest print zine and spoken word competitions.

PHOTOS BY FELICITY AMOS   and there are more on FaceBook by Sue Chamoun

WRITING AWARDS: Judge – Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Director of Sweatshop


Jason Gray, L.E. Armbruster, Shirley Le, Michael Mohammed Ahmad (judge)

1st Place and Best Prose: Shirley Le for Failed Gangas
2nd Place: Stephen Pham for Home
3rd Place and Best Poem: Louise Carter for The IKEA Squids of the Apocalypse
Highly commended: Jason Gray for Boys and L.E. Armbruster for Trying to Describe You

C.A. Broadribb for Email from Azbekhistan and J. Anne deStaic for Treasure

C.A. Broadribb and J. Anne deStaic

C.A. Broadribb and J. Anne deStaic

BEST IMAGE Judge – Sophia Kouyoumdjian, Co-ordinator of the Parramatta Artists Studios
Winner: Robert Frost for Edie at the Window
Highly Commended: Laurie Garcia for Parramatta Atmospherics

Laurie Garcia and Robert Frost

Laurie Garcia and Robert Frost








ZineWest WORD Cr Andrew Wilson launched ZineWest at Mars Hill Cafe; guest musicians from SSA were Loretta D’Urso and Collin Gosper; judges were Carol Amos (NWG Pres) and Collin Gosper. MC was Adam Marsden.

Danny Draper, Cr. Andrew Wilson, Julieann Wrightson, Dylan Quirke

Danny Draper, Cr. Andrew Wilson, Julieann Wrightson, Dylan Quirke


ZineWest Writers Spoken Word:
First Place: Julieann Wrightson for 213 Cornelia Road
Highly Commended: Danny Draper for War Museum and Dylan Quirke for Poem for my Nanna



Carol Amos and Collin Gosper (judges) Peter Cartwright, Belinda Curby and Helen McNab

Carol Amos and Collin Gosper (judges) Peter Cartwright, Belinda Curby and Helen McNab

First Place: Peter Cartwright for Hard Times Come Again No More
Highly Commended: Helen McNab  ( memoir) and Belinda Curby