Pounding The Pavement – Romanian/Australian Anthology

NEW Writers’ Group Inc was honoured to hear some of our writers read their work at this Romanian event, part of the NSW State Library’s Multicultural March, on Saturday 25th March, 2017. Mihaela Cristescu presented her latest anthology, Pounding The Pavement which includes works by 22 guest writers from Romania and Australia.

The event was opened by the Ambassador for Romania and New Zealand, Her Excellency Mrs Nineta Barbulescu. A pro-active supporter of the arts, the Ambassador gave the project’s writers and artists strong encouragement. Mr. Dan Barbulescu and family also attended. We were delighted to meet the newly arrived Romanian Consul General – Sydney, Mr. Iulian Nitu, and Mrs.Florentina Nitu.

Author and film-maker Anamaria Beligan launched the anthology together with author and lecturer Luke Carman who made reference to the English works. The anthology was illustrated by Canadian Romanian artist Luminita Serbanescu. A short movie by Andrei Pora was shown and soprano Felicity Amos sang in English and Romanian. Carol and Felicity Amos mused upon connections between the published works, and Mihaela Cristescu introduced the writing of Alex Plescan. Preparations for the second such anthology, OnThe Wallaby Track, are well underway.

NWG Inc is very pleased to collaborate in these annual projects. Romanian and Australian writers alike, find a new readership. The anthology was introduced by Mihaela Cristescu in Romania in 2016 and some of the works will later appear in the on-line journal Confluente Literare .

As always, the assistance of Mrs Oriana Acevedo, Multicultural Consultant Public Libraries and Engagement Division, and other Library staff was wonderful.

Photos and videos can be found at Code-Mixing Poetry, here are a few:

 

Her Excellency, Mrs Nineta Barbulescu, Romanian Ambassador for Australia and New Zealand

Loredana Tudor-Tomescu with Anamaria Beligan

Luke Carman and Mihaela Cristescu

Soprano, Felicity Amos

Sime Knezevic reads “Recognition”

ZineWest 2017 open for entries

We are excited (it happens every March) to open our competition ZineWest for aspiring Western Sydney writers – many of whom write really great pieces we want to publish. You need to have an association with Western Sydney (due to council amalgamations, our sweep has broadened), be 16 years or over, and know how to work with the limits of a max 800 words in prose, or 60 lines (empty lines included) of poetry. We’d like to see comics and cartoons  again – a comic won second place in the first ZineWest. For information about Art entries please scroll down.

To enter, you need  to read and fill in the form below and email back to us with your entries. You can send us up to three works – previously unpublished please.  WritingEntryFormZW17  Entries close 28th May.

More Info: Editors select 30-34 written pieces to publish in the print zine and these are eligible for prizes. First prize is $400; there are also book awards (Giramondo) and commendations.Co-sponsor is the Writing and Society Research Centre, WSU. Judge is author Luke Carman. We also invite ten more writers to present at ZW WORD, a spoken word event following the print zine launch. Winner receives $100 – first year we’ve had a cash prize for ZW WORD. Some of our winning works have been re-published in Award Winning Australian Writing and more recently in a Romanian/ English anthology Pounding the Pavement.  

ART ENTRIES We cannot do without artwork! We’re looking for six images in full colour and six to eight in greyscale that have been created in last 18 months. Like writing entrants, you need to be 16 years or over and have a link to Western Sydney. However unlike with writing entries, we accept previously published images unless they have won a past award. No theme is set, however we ask for several lines about the work’s composition and inspiration. Published images are shortlisted for Best Image Award: $100  with a book prize for runner-up. Our judge, Sophia Kouyoumdjian, co-ordinator of the Parramatta Artists Studios, sees all entries. She assist editors select images for the zine and decides the Best Image award.

Entry is free. Submit up to three artworks. Due Date 25th June (NB writing due 28th May) For details of conditions please read ArtEntryFormZW17 

Want to read/view what has won before? For examples of past works published see our Ezine.

 

On the Wallaby Track… A writing competition

The iconic painting On the Wallaby Track by Frederick McCubbin has inspired the theme for bi-lingual poet Mihaela Cristescu’s second anthology of Romanian and Australian writers. The anthology will be printed and distributed in Romania and launched in Sydney March, 2018. A wide interpretation is expected from writers: journeys of memory, time and place. Most contributors writing in English are linked to Western Sydney and are approached directly for their work. However through this competition we are inviting any Australian citizen or resident, who is a NWG Inc financial member or member of our Facebook group, to submit short prose or poetry related to the theme – On the Wallaby Track – see submission form below. The editors will select a winner to include in the print publication. The winner, like other contributors, will receive a first copy free and retain individual copyright. Prose: up to 800 words; Poetry: up to 60 lines (including empty lines between stanzas). There are no submission fees. This is a not-for-profit project supported by NEW Writers’ Group inc. DEADLINE IS 25th FEBRUARY, 2017.

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