In The Mail This Week 17 June 2016

In the mail this week I received some fantastic reads – a few by authors I have rad before, a few that are new to me. In this stack are a few works of crime fiction; some Australian crime fiction, a couple of true crime, some international crime writers, crime with a paranormal twist, crime written by local author (Ian Andrew)  and…some contemporary reads.   I have started reading “When the Music Is Over” by Peter Robinson – my first DCI Banks read and I am looking forward to reading the new offering from Australian author Fleur Ferris “Black”- I loved her first book “Risk“. So many great reads ahead of me.


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any favourites?

In the mail 17 June 2016

Highlights From Day 1 of The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival

Australian writers are awesome! Caring, genuine, generous, talented…I hope you get a chance to meet and listen to the personal stories of  some of these fabulous authors soon.   Though I didn’t have the stamina to sit it on every event I enjoyed the day immensely. Thank you all for making day one of the festival so memorable.




Spotlight On The Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival – Rosemary Sayer

Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

Welcome author Rosemary Sayer to my blog, to Margaret River and to the festival.

Rosemary Sayer is a former journalist, a business communications consultant and the biographer of Sir Gordon Wu, chairman of Hopewell Holdings, Hong Kong (The Man who Turned the Lights On) and Trevor Eastwood, former chairman and CEO of Wesfarmers Limited (The CEO, the Chairman and the Board). She teaches professional writing at Curtin University and is a board member of not-for-profit organisations supporting refugees (Edmund Rice Centre) and the arts (writingWA) in Western Australia. She has worked extensively throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific region, and currently lives in Perth with her husband, Terry Grose

Rosemary Sayer

Rosemary’s shares her journey of writing More to the Story in her session – Searching For a Home Friday 3rd of June  1.50-2.40pm.  I caught up with Rosemary during the week and this is what she had to say about this life changing writing experience:

Searching for Home – Rosemary Sayer at the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

Australia has a proud multicultural heritage and is greatly enriched by refugees from around the world so I am really looking forward to a discussion with Will Yeoman, Literary Editor  at the West Australian about my recent book More to the story –conversations with refugees.  It’s a chance for me to share the inspiring stories of refugees from Burma, Afghanistan and South Sudan who have made Western Australia home. 

More to the Story

As the negative and de-humanising comments about refugees in some parts of our media and by politicians continues, I hope our discussion will give people a better insight into the life of a person from a refugee background living in Australia.  I spent nearly three years researching and writing the book, even spending time in a refugee camp on the Thai Burmese border.  I know Will is also keen to explore my own journey in writing this book which combines history, commentary and personal memoir alongside deeply moving interviews and conversations. It has been a life changing experience for me which I hope people will find interesting. 


Publishing details: More to the story-conversations with refugees is published by Margaret River Press  RRP $27.95.

Short Story Writers: Save This Date 17th September

Free community event – All welcome


Thursday 17th September


ECU South West Library

Building 3, Bunbury

park free from 5pm

Sit back in our literary lounge and enjoy a free glass of wine and cheese as SouthWest writers Ali Jarvey, Leslie Thiele and Donna Mazza read from their stories in the anthology Lost Boy and Other Stories and Westerly

. Cover Lost Boy and Other Short Stories

Hear Margaret River Press publisher Caroline Wood talk about this year’s competition and meet Kate Noske, new editor of our state literary journal, Westerly.

Summer’s Gone – Charles Hall Book Tour

Author, musician and all round nice guy, Charles Hall, will be touring his book at a few venues including locations in the south west of WA soon. If you have read my review  of Summer’s Gone or read Charles Guest Post – Ten Things You Didn’t know About Charles Hall you know you are in for a treat!

You can catch Charles at a venue near you soon!

Charles Hall Book Tour

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Charles Hall


Today I welcome expatriate Perth author Charles Hall to my blog. Thanks for sharing with us and good luck on the launch of your book Summer’s Gone.  Over to you Charles 🙂


Charles Hall

I decided to try my hand at writing quite late in life: before that I had always been a musician, of sorts, and a songwriter. I first met my wife, who started out as a jazz singer in Melbourne, at a quite strange arts/music/poetry venue in Perth in 1967. After a spell in Melbourne we returned to Perth in ’69 and started a band, Gemini, and later that year we put out a record that was a big hit throughout WA. The song was called Sunshine River, written by Will Taylor, a folkie friend of ours, and for a short time we were pop royalty in Perth. It didn’t last; our next record stiffed and we went back to being pop commoners. We spent the next few decades in London, Perth and Melbourne, and have ended up in a peaceful and remote part of East Gippsland in Victoria. We don’t play gigs very often these days, the amps get heavier as you get older, and some years ago I decided to write a novel instead. ‘Write about what you know,’ they say, so I did. The result is my first novel, Summer’s Gone, set in the Australian music scene of the sixties.


Ten other things you’ve always wanted to know. Or not:


  • I hitch-hiked from Perth to Melbourne in 1967 when I was 19. With a girl.


  • My first car was a very old Austen A40 wagon, purchased in Melbourne for $29 in 1968. Its name was Roger.


  • My wife and I tried to drive back to Perth in Roger in 1969. With our little’un. We got as far as Port Pirie.


  • The owner of the Port Pirie caravan park gave us $20 for Roger. He planned to paint it up like a Noddy car for the kiddies’ playground. We finally got to Perth by train (them) and hitching lifts (me).


  • Two DJs from a Perth radio station heard us play Sunshine River at a restaurant in Araluen. They said, ‘We want you to record that song. It’s going to be a hit.’


  • We were going to call our band Genesis. (Pretentious nitwits? Us?) But Clarion Records boss Martin Clarke called to say a new band in Britain had that name, and they were going to be huge. (He was right.) So we became Gemini, for no very good reason.


  • I didn’t go to uni until I was 32.


  • I didn’t become a high school teacher until I was 59. (But I did a lot of other stuff in between.)


  • Summer’s Gone was launched in February 2015, three days after I turned 67.


  • I’m a late starter. (Except when it comes to getting married. I did that at 19.)


Your life so far sounds like it has been an adventure! Thanks for sharing Charles and good luck with your new writing career.

Annual Margaret River Press Short Story Writing Competition 2016 – Submissions Are Open




Annual Margaret River Press Short Story Writing Competition 2016

To be edited by Laurie Steed

The Margaret River Press Short Story Competition is open for entries with a closing date of October 14, 2015.  The competition is open to authors of any age and nationality.  Winning and shortlisted stories will be published in both print and eBook format.

First Prize sponsored by Margaret River Press: $500 cash prize, $500 contribution towards an airfare to attend the launch of the collection and 3 nights accommodation (provided by Margaret River Press) and a two week residency in Margaret River to be taken up at any time.  Expenses during this period and transportation to and from Margaret River will have to be met by the winner.

Second Prize sponsored by Margaret River Press: $250 in cash and two week residency in Margaret River River to be taken up at any time.  Expenses during this period and transportation to and from Margaret River will have to be met by the winner.

Southwest Prize sponsored by Edith Cowan University (Bunbury): $250 cash prize.  (Southwest Prize is open to residents of Bunbury to Augusta, including Dardanup, Boyanup, Donnybrook, Balingup, Greenbushes, Bridgetown, Nannup, Manjimup, Pemberton, Quinninup and Northcliffe).

All monies received from entry fees go towards fees for judges, publishing fees and administrative expenses.

Note: should the winner be from Western Australia then an airfare to attend the Sydney or Melbourne launch will form part of the prize.


Please read the above instructions carefully and avoid emailing or calling Margaret River Press.  However, if you do have a query please email:

Entries open Monday, August 3rd and close Friday, October 9th 2015.   All submissions received after the above date must be postmarked October 9th, 2015.  Please send three (3) copies of your story to: Margaret River Press, PO Box 47, Witchcliffe, 6286.   WE WILL NOT ACCEPT ELECTRONIC COPIES.

Entry Fee: AUD $12 per entry and $10 for additional entries.  Fees must be paid via direct deposit or by cheque made out to Margaret River Press.  Overseas cheques will not be accepted.  An entry cover page (see details below) must accompany each story.  Please do not staple your entry details to your story.

Entry Limit: There is no entry limit but a fee per entry applies.

Theme: Open.

Word Count: There is no minimum but a maximum of 3000 words applies.

Format: Page numbers must be shown on the bottom right hand corner of each page of the story,the title of the story is to appear on the top left hand corner of each page. The writer’s name is not to be shown on any of the pages of the story.

Stories must be typed on A4 paper, with 1.5 spacing and in 12pt Times New Roman typeface.  Entrants must submit three printed copies of each story. Entries will not be returned.

If your story is longlisted you will be required to send an electronic copy.

Copyright remains with the writer. Margaret River Press has first option to print the work in a publication of selected work from the competition.  Writers also consent to their work being published electronically in whole or in part by Margaret River Press.  Publication may also occur in a physical display or through the local media.  Entries must be an original story by the submitting writer and not previously published, shortlisted or a prizewinner in any other competition.

Acknowledgement of receipt: Due to the large number of entries, individual entries will not be acknowledged.  We provide updates of longlisting, shortlisting and winners on our social media pages (Facebook. Twitter and through our newsletter.  To  subscribe to our newsletter please visit our webstie :

and enter details on Join Our Newsletter.

Story selection: The judges’ decision is final.  No correspondence or discussion will be entered into.  Judges are not compelled to award a prize in any category.

Condition of Award: A condition of entry is that the general category winner (if resident in Australia) and the Southwest winner be available to participate in events in the promotion of the publication.

Editing: The editor of the collection reserves the right to undertake editing of the works selected in consultation with the writer. The collection will be edited by Laurie Steed.  Laurie is the Patricia Hackett Prize winning author of You Belong Here, and lives in Perth, Western Australia. His work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in Best Australian Stories, The Age, Meanjin, Westerly, Island, The Sleepers Almanac and elsewhere. He teaches Advanced Fiction for Writers Victoria, is a member of the Editorial Board of Margaret River Press, and in 2014 he became the first Australian writer granted fellowship in the history of the Sozopol Fiction Seminars.

Withdrawal of an entry from the competition is permitted upon notification in writing to Margaret River Press.  Entry fees will not be refunded.

Eligibility: Staff and representatives of Margaret River Press are not eligible to enter.

Announcement of winners: Due to the large number of entries only shortlisted writers and winners will be informed.


The longlist will be completed by end of January 2016.

The shortlist and winners will be selected and informed by the end of February 2016.




There is no entry form provided but an A4 page containing the entrant’s details must be sent with each entry.  Please provide a typed sheet with following details as set out below.  Fees must be paid by direct deposit or cheque.

  1. Fees
  1. Direct deposit transaction receipt number:
  1. Date of direct deposit and name of account holder.
  1. Or please find cheque attached.
  1. Entry
  1. Title of story.
  1. Word count.
  1. Entrant’s name.
  1. Entrant’s email contact .
  1. Entrant’s telephone no: (mobile if available)
  1. Entrant’s postal address (Street or PO Box number, Postcode and State) :
  1. Eligible for SW Writer Prize (please provide location).
  1. Agree to receive our newsletter and other email notices: Yes/No



I agree to comply with the Conditions of Entry and declare this story to be my original work.



Writer’s Signature _______________________________________


Deposit details:

Account Name: Helm Wood Publishing Pty Ltd

Bank: Bank West

Branch : Perth

Account No: 4881707

BSB: 306-089

BIC/Swift Code: BKWAAU6P

Description to be used:  MRSS2016 and initials of first name and surname

Cheques are to be made payable to: Margaret River Press



All entries to be mailed to: Margaret River Press, PO Box 47, Witchcliffe, WA 6286.

Please read the instructions carefully and do not send queries that are covered in the instructions as you will not receive a response.

Enquiries to