ZineWest 2016 Judge’s Comments

Luke Carman ZW16ZineWest 2016
It was not an easy task to cast judgment on the submissions for this year’s ZineWest. The standard was higher than ever, and each entry offered a unique voice and vision.

The first submission I read was the hot stabbing words of a wounded lover in the sharply written poem, ‘Years Ago’.

The next, ‘Parental Rights’, a story about a new father of sorts, is one that leaves a stomach-knotting twist in the reader.

‘Hash Tag’ by contrast, is a poem displaying considerable formal ingenuity – presenting as a series of tweets on love, beauty, crime and the knife edge of history.

‘Lacrimosa’ is a portrait that thrums forward with a melancholy rage at unkind fate, in which the hauntings of the past revise and reoccur like the whirling of the fan in the hallway.

‘A Homecoming’ takes us atop its mountains for a vivid view of terra cotta tiles and metallic blue rooftops surrounding a slender spire of an old church. From there we drink in the undulating hills that bound the valley of our narrator’s memories.

‘Getting On’ brings us, by turns both grim and despairing, down laneways in the backstreets of Westmead, where we come face to face with the grotesque lust of a pig-eyed dealer, and the distant voice of a father.

In ‘A Journey’, a bus carries us lazily through a graveyard, and we peek for a moment into the memories of an old woman and her daydreams of youth, the cool fresh breezes and smiling faces beneath coconut trees, before breaking back into the present by way of a tattooed skin-head with a heartless claim on the country.

Death shows its face in ‘The Place Where Things Aren’t Just Ready Yet’: Not the grinning death-mask of the Jolly Roger, or the Grim Reaper draped in black, but a cyphered saint of sorts, who holds the frail petals of a newborn’s hand, and takes a last lingering look at a mother and father in mourning.

‘Signs’ is another work that celebrates the literal, in this case, a poem of found words, an ingenious rereading of the symbolic landscape that we encounter every day of our lives, bringing the posted signs of life to poetic effect.

The art that is celebrated in ‘The roots of my future daughter’ is the exquisite comfort of home a mother sees in the petite figure of her daughter as she tugs meticulously at the kinks in her Afro – grinding with teary eyes at the blackness that seems, for a moment at least, to be weighing her glowing girl down.

‘The Great Tinder Escape’ meanwhile, tells a very different story about parenting, one in which a single-dad shares a salacious story on the sidelines of a kids’ soccer game while a mother battles with a screaming brat on the opposite side of the oval.

‘Running’ is a story about a date too, but this one is between a girl who can make fire with the snap of her fingers and a man whose ice kisses and fleeting touches leave her breathless.

In ‘The Black, Red and White Door’ our narrator has a date with the majestic cedars of Lebanon. The trees stretch out their branches and welcome her home and her mind floods with memories of a grandmother peeling potatoes: two beautiful white curls hanging out from under the scarf on either side of her face.

Jack, the narrator of ‘Where do you live?’ has a date to keep too, and a journey to take. He travels to the inner-west for a girl named Natalie, whose subcontinental blouse, Norwegian leggings, African beads, Argentine beret, and long blonde hair leave Jack afraid to admit that he lives in the Western Suburbs.

‘Unit 101’ is a spare story of opening locked doors and standing with your neighbours in a solidarity of broken English. There’s a scream, swearing, glass breaking and a man yells ‘I didn’t kill her!’ as the police drag him from a house and a child wails in the middle of the street.

‘The morning after’ is a poem that puts us in the mind of a man whose lawyer calls to tell him that he’s stuffed up big time, as if he didn’t know it himself, standing by the letter box, checking for mail, for no good reason at all.

The poetry of ‘The door and the glasses’ is an enigmatic affair, by contrast, and at its centre is the favoured moment when ‘she’ read under the bed light, her eyes on a story written in small letters with flashy illustrations on metal, before the poem turns, like a lock, in one drop of wine.

‘Propane Lullabies’ is likewise a poetic effort that is hard to pin down to a single interpretation: it sweeps across the highways and cottages of Black Town with an ecstatic abandon close to apocalyptic in its revelatory witnessing of life in our unique suburban lot.

‘Grandma Violet’ however, is unmistakable in its intentions: giving us a portrait of a strong, proud woman with her secret mementos and silver dollars.

The hero of ‘Tabbouleh for thought’ gives us a different lesson in pride, and strength. The great task here being to put aside the self, to see the chaos of family in a different, more forgiving light.

In ‘Lincoln’s Rock’, the family we meet is in the chill wind sweeping around the bowl of Jamison Valley collecting the Eucalyptus scent of summer’s last breath. A wooden sign beside them warns them to beware, to brace for the loss that they, and the reader, feel coming.

‘Pemulwuy’s Plains’ is a poetic address to local histories – with ripe lillipilli and rallying mist mingling with the whispering of Bennelong’s smoke in the humid air.

‘Light it all up’ is a poetic address of another kind – a heart beating ride through the heat and the nowhere lights that lead to blue-glassed office blocks. There we catch the reflection of our train as we pass by, and the poet dreams of a fire being lit that might bring it all down.

At another station, in another world of sorts, ‘The grey man’ grants us a synasthesiastic portrait of a homeless man cocooned in colourlessness outside Central station.

The subject of ‘Diana’, meanwhile, is a woman with coarse black skin and frizzy hair who digs in the white clay soil with an AK 47 by her side and a suicide pill round her neck.

In ‘Odes to New Zealand’ the lost birds say good bye to poplars tall and golden, and the poet wonders what the land will be like once the kiwi follow them, sheep like, into the jaws of wolves disguised as friends.

The times are changing in ‘The Healing’ too: the poem begins with a loss of light, words losing their lyricism, love its poetry. The poet dwells anxiously in the arid desert of former dreams, sees beauty through the lens of sorrow.

In ‘The Waiting’, steam rises from the drains and dances like fragmented sentences – as if to remind you of the arrival you have missed, and the way your soul itself has become a fragment of discrete symbols.

‘Wildfire’ is a poem set between the music of angels who watch with black-hole eyes, and the rapturous fire dance they sing into existence flows through scarred veins, and leaves a man lost in a maze of craving.

There are no angels in the poem ‘Shooting’, but there are some minor miracles: a shooting star, nervous love budding between a guy who buffs floors and an Aldi checkout girl, the blossoming of a poet’s hope in the grand majesty of life.

‘Dripping with Honey’ is itself a minor miracle: an early breakfast in the Empire room on the Loyalty islands, the brilliant sun adding its own sparkle to the flower gardens and the empty beaches by electric blue waters that fill this lovely story.

The waters in the poem ‘When’ are bodies of disparity, the colours are of running paint, the weather is a maelstrom of poison that seizes the heart of the poet. It ends on a question, the same question every one of us must face, the one frozen on the poet’s lips, in the icy waters of eternity.

Competition results ZineWest 2016

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From Left: Carol Amos, Anne Benjamin, Sue Chamoun, Julie Owens MP, Yummna Kassab and judge Luke Carman

Competition results announced 8th October, for ZineWest 2016

Writing Judge, Luke Carman: First place – Yumna Kassab (Unit 101), Second Place – Anne Benjamin (The Morning After), Third Place – Mihaela Cristescu (The Door and the Glasses).  Highly Commended: Sue Chamoun (The Black, Red and White Door), Oliver Jacques (Where do you Live?)  and Majidi Warda (Propane Lullabies)

Editor’s Award – Kerryn Coombs-Valeontis (Pemulwuy’s Plains)

 

Julie Owens congratulates Geoff Sellman on Best Image Award ZW16

Julie Owens congratulates Geoff Sellman on Best Image Award ZW16

Art Judge,  Sophia Kouyoumdjian: Best Image Award – Geoff Sellman (Abstract in Trees #4)  Runner-up – fayroze (South Parade, Auburn)

More photos are posted on New Writers Group’s FB Group or ZineWest FB Page and later on this site….

 

 

 

ZineWest WORD:

Spoken Word for ZW16 Entrants was won by Kayote and runner-up was Akshay Chougaonkar. Everyone scored well.

Open Mic was won by Robert Dunn, with Peter Cartwright as runner-up. This one was an even closer contest and the judges sought a third opinion from MC Adam Marsden.

Judges were Carol Amos (NWG Pres) and Sue Crawford (Ed. ZW)

Thank you writers and artists and thank you judges, sponsors  and volunteers for making this a memorable tenth edition of ZineWest at the wonderful venue provided by UNE FutureCampus, Parramatta.

 

ZineWest 2016 Launch 8th October

une-logoLAUNCH REMINDER!
Saturday, 8th October, 2016
UNE FutureCampus
232 Church Street Parramatta (opposite Campus reception)

Below is a draft program but other things you need to know :

“Perfect” binding costs have greatly increased, doubling our unit price. We have reverted to saddle-stitch, but price of zines remains $10 and readers and artists with a work included in the zine still get their first copy free. (Please buy one or more copies too though, for your favourite auntie, neighbour etc. The more we spread copies of the zine around the more people see everyone’s work.)

Entry to the launch is $10 for adults and all the volunteers, even our Lebanese chef, pay too. Writing Prizes are co-sponsored by the Writing and Society Research Centre WSU

DRAFT PROGRAM

11:30 am: or a bit earlier for food and drink
12 Noon: Rob Fields (campus director) and Julie Owens MP get us started
12:15 pm First Reading Bracket (with long poems and stories we’ll do extracts this year)
12:25 pm Writing Awards with Luke Carman (judge)
12:40 pm Second Reading Bracket
12:55 pm Art Prize with Sophia Kouyoumdjian (judge)
1:05 pm Last two readings
1:10 pm Editor’s award
1:15 pm Door Prize and Raffle (we have a super pile of books for you)
1:30 pm close, photos, last coffees/teas

2:15 pm ZW WORD begins with spoken word  for invited ZW writers plus an Open Mic

ZW WORD is free entry if you’ve already paid for the Launch; otherwise it’s a gold coin donation.

Regarding ZW WORD – please feel free to sign on even if you read at the launch. We give preference to people who haven’t read anything yet, but there’s usually time for everyone. Your friends or family might like to give it a go. A small prize plus lots of applause to be won. You have a max though of TWO MINUTES.

NWG Inc Anthology 2016

After a great day of workshopping for ZineWest, it’s time to start work on our in-house anthology for financial members. The rules are similar, free entry, up to three pieces, 800 words max for prose, 60 lines (including empty lines) for poetry. If you use pieces originally submitted to ZW we still need a new entry form:) Julieann Wrightson is editing this year with help from NWG committee. If you want to workshop your piece please email us. Workshop or no, light editing will be given. Looking forward to an interesting collection!

NWGIncAnth2016_EntryFormandGuidelines

ZineWest 2016 Publication List

Congratulations to the thirty-two writers listed below. But also many thanks to other entrants who also wrote interesting works we hope they will share at ZW WORD, the spoken word gig that follows the ZW Launch. We’ll post more details on the Launch and ZW WORD (8th October at UNE FutureCampus) but meanwhile, here’s the list: (sorry, the format has wiped out the given name intitials! Will restore later.)

PUBLICATION LIST for ZineWest 2016

  1. Bah – The Roots of my future Daughter
  2. Benjamin – The Morning After
  3. Broadribb – Grandma Violet
  4. Cartwright – Getting On
  5. Chamoun – The Black, Red and White Door
  6. Coombs-Valeontis – Pemulwuy’s Plains
  7. Cristescu – The Door and the Glasses
  8. Crocker – Shooting
  9. Davis – Running
  10. Draper – Hash Tag/The Chat
  11. Dunn – Signs
  12. Fairbairn – When
  13. Garwood – A Journey
  14. Catherine – Tabbouleh for Thought
  15. Haiek – The Great Tinder Escape
  16. Herrmann – A Homecoming
  17. Humbert – Wildfire
  18. Jacques – Where do you Live?
  19. Kassab – Unit 101
  20. Koparan – The Healing
  21. Fayroze – Light it all Up
  22. Miller – Odes to NZ
  23. Mills – Years Ago
  24. Myers – The Waiting
  25. Nguyen – Lacrimosa
  26. Prakash – Diana
  27. Radovich – Lincoln’s Rock
  28. See – Parental Rights
  29. Sutton – Dripping with Honey
  30. Warda – Propane Lullabies
  31. Zhang – The Place Where things
  32. Zuglias – The Grey Man

June ’16 News

DIALOGUE:Saturday, 25th June, Carol Amos will lead us in a discussion and exercise on how we manage dialogue. If you want to read your work to the group, and attended our 11th June sessions, try to put into practice what Narelle Adams taught us!. Our work will differ, so will our style of delivery, but the basics of remembering our audience and reaching the back row, of phrasing and pace, the different tones of a narrator and a character, can all be used in our individual ways.@FutureCampus, 211 Church Street Parramatta, 3-5pm. 

Narelle Adams

Narelle Adams

Charlotte Woods in Thirroul

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Charlotte Woods Award-winning novel

Thanks to a kind offer from Wollongong Writers Festival you can win two free tickets to hear the highly praised novelist Charlotte Wood in conversation with Caroline Baum on her Stella Award winning, ‘The Natural Way of Things’ at Thirroul Saturday 18th June.The book will be on sale and Charlotte will sign copies.
For a chance to win you need to
a)share our FB post with some of your friends and
b)post to NEW Writers Group Inc FB your two line thought bubble on why we create with words.
Be quick! You have til noon on Friday 10th June.

DATE: Saturday, June 18
TIME: 3-4:30 pm
VENUE: Excelsior Hall, Thirroul Community Centre
Tickets: $20, Bookings required. 

Art Award ZineWest ’16

ZW15 Image N.Oliver

ZW15 Image N.Oliver

NEW DUE DATE: 10TH JULY.

We are calling upon visual artists 16 years and over, with a connection to Western Sydney, to enter their original art for the tenth edition of the A5 annual journal, ZineWest. ZineWest is published by NEW Writers’ Group inc and presents around thirty short works by new Western Sydney Writers.

We love to include images and seek local visual artists who enjoy collaborative projects.

All images selected for the zine will be eligible for the Best Image award of $100. We are interested in traditional and contemporary styles.The judge Sophia Kouyoumdjian (co-ordinator of Parramatta Artists Studios) sees all entries.

ZW15 Art Judge Sophia Kouyoumdjian

ZW16 Art Judge Sophia Kouyoumdjian

Past winners have been Naomi Oliver, Robert Frost and Paul Azize. Contributors receive one free copy of the zine and retain individual copyright.

The ZineWest project is supported by the Writing and Society Research Centre of WSU and the launch will be held at UNE FutureCampus, Parramatta on 8th October 2016.

Entries due 10th July, 2016. ENTRY FORM
We ask for entries to be emailed as jpg files (300 dpi). Up to three entries are welcome. Entries should be the original work of the submitting artist and created in the last 18 months and not previously won an award. There is no theme, however we ask for a few lines about the significance of each image entered. Some colour images selected will appear on the cover or in two centre pages. Other images will be printed in grayscale. There are more details about the zine and competition rules in the entry form.

ZineWest 16 Writing due 14th May

Sahtein Spread ZW15

Sahtein Spread ZW15

As at 1st May, only 13 more days to go to share those great short stories, poems and anything word-based we can reproduce in the zine!  Check WritingEntryFormZW16 for conditions.

Julie Owens, Luke Carman

Julie Owens, Luke Carman ZW15

Also we love art! Entries for images are due 26th June. See ArtEntryFormZW16 for details.

 

Cash prizes and book awards. Read more about ZineWest.

April May ’16 News

Bill

23rd April – in honour of Shakespeare we are having a workshop on sonnets – a bit of information/history plus a writing exercise that anyone, including non-poets, could attempt. And then it’s open mic to perform your sonnets or other short pieces.

Thinking of Anzac Day, you’re most welcome to also bring your work on themes we associate with war: strife and misery, those at the front, those left behind…. so many thoughts and associations to choose from. If you have a piece that runs for more than around 3 minutes, highlight a section you can read to us if we don’t have time for the whole. Excerpts can be intriguing.

We had an enjoyable editors’ workshop on 2nd April, and we thank the writers who allowed us to use their work. The teams made different decisions, which tells us a bit about how editors and judges choose – differently!

ZINEWEST – due 14th May, not many weeks to go. Get those terrific short pieces together and send to our editors’ address. The details you need are on the Writing Entry Form.

Collaborative Space – upstairs
FutureCampus, 211 Church Street Parramatta
3-5 pm and after at Jamie Olivers if you have the inclination