Saturday, March 18, 2017

Paige Turner March

It will be almost impossible to avoid a book or story related event if you are in Tasmania during March. Non-stop reading and writing parties, it will be NONSTOP. Or at least a variety of word related events that will tickle your wordiest desires. Read on, dear devourer of symbols, read on.
Look out for newly minted, gorgeously devised and positive change creating local story telling organisation The Story Island Project. They want to hear your Stories of the Brooker Highway. If you have something to share about the currently chaotic arterial, they are gathering these stories as part of a larger project that will bring together the diverse communities that have lived, worked and travelled along the highway. You can share yours on March 5 at the Mona Market, the Showgrounds Market on Sunday 12 and 19 March and at the Moonah Taste of the World Festival on Sunday March 26. For more details about this, check their website
Local designer Jennifer Cossins has had her delightfully illustrated books, A-Z of Endangered Animals and 101 Collective Nouns snaffled by international publisher Hachette (Australia). This is a major achievement and I send a hearty round of applause, smattered with anticipation for Jennifer’s new audiences. These books are slated for June release and in the mean time you can check her work at Red Parka in Criterion Street, Hobart.

James Boyce, award winning historian and writer, is becoming increasingly recognized as an incisive social commentator. He has been particularly vocal about gambling in Tasmania and the destruction it causes individuals and communities, while a few people get very rich. His latest book Losing Streak, How Tasmania was Gamed by the Gambling Industry, (pictured) is impeccably researched, calm in execution and beautifully written – and an indictment of the nuances of Tasmanian power structures. This will be launched at the Republic on Tuesday, March 14 at 5.30pm

Kate Gordon, author of YA novels, including the amazing Thyla and Vulpi that tell of shapeshifting girls up kunanyi/Mount Welly, is working with multi-award-winning publisher, Twelfth Planet Press. She’s in charge of their children's imprint, and getting the word out about their YA anthology, Kaleidoscope. This anthology includes twenty original stories that are fun, edgy, meditative YA science fiction and fantasy with diverse leads. The stories tell of scary futures, magical adventures, and the joys and heartbreaks of teenage life. The book contains New York Times best-selling and award winning authors along with newer voices including Tasmanian locals Tansy Rayner Roberts, Holly Kench and Dirk Flinthart. More information here.

In Hobart, Blue Pollen Beautiful by Elizabeth Goodsir, with etchings by her daughter Madeleine Goodwolf (I love their complementary names) will be launched on March 21 at the Hobart Bookshop. It’s also World Poetry Day and what a way to honour poetry than celebrate the launch of a new collection.

The Writers’ Centre is hosting Maria Tumarkin in March. Tumarkin, who will host a workshop on long form creative non-fiction, has taken my breath away with her concise and beautiful essays. She faces the world unflinchingly and this comes across in her work. It’s a unique opportunity and one I wish I could attend. This is happening on March 12. They are also hosting children’s illustrator Christina Booth for a full day workshop on How to Create a Picture Book. This is happening, as with the Tumarkin one, at the Moonah Arts Centre, and it is on March 26th. For more information, and for other upcoming events see their website.

The State Cinema Bookstore is hosting local author Katherine Johnson for a Meet the Author event on Sunday March 26th at 2pm. She will be discussing her book The Better Son. This event will be held in the bookstore more information to follow on their website

Fullers Bookshop in Hobart is bursting at the proverbial seams in March. Starting on March 3, a play adaptation of the book The Shape of Water by Anne Blythe- Cooper, tells the heretofore untold story of Sophia Degraves, wife of the founder of Cascade brewery. On March 5 they are hosting, with the Theatre Royal “Meet the Cast” with Nathan Maynard about The Season.
The launches they are hosting in March include Flame Tip, by Karenlee Thompson, with an introduction by David Walsh and on March 28, Krissy Kneen will be there for the launch of her new book An Uncertain Grace. On March 30, Caroline Cochrane’s book A Changed and Uplifted Life will be launched and on the 31st Melanie Thompson will launch her book All the Birds in the Air. On March 24 and March 26 Damon Young and Ruth Quibell will be discussing The Art of Reading and The Promise of Things, and My Brother is a Beast, respectively. More information? Visit Fuller's website

If you have any book news or events please get in touch

Rachel Edwards

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Palestine Day

The Mercury asked me to write a few words about my favourite love stories. An edited version of the below was published in last weekend's TasWeekends -

I’m far from a capital R Romantic and generally don’t enjoy predictable love stories, though I’m not immune to having my breath taken away and the momentous madness of falling in love.
Lydia Davis’ forensic analysis of a relationship that has ended, The End of the Story, told in the first person is one of the best ‘love’ stories going around. The narrator, who had fallen in love with a younger man, and he with her, begins to recount the relationship years after it has finished. We, the reader are carefully carried through all stages; the pursuit, the delight of new love, the nascent doubt, the collapse. She tells it with a sharp, perspicacious honesty in which the narrator questions her own and other’s point of view in the re-telling.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier initially grabbed me as it was the story of pirates, and of Cornwall, a place which I have actually fallen in love with from a-far. The cover would have us believe that this is a trashy romance “beautiful Lady Dona…excitement….danger…passion” and it more or less is – though the one beautifully un-predictable part of this novel is its happy ending. I’ll reveal all! She sails off with her pirate lover. Woah! It still takes my breath away.
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos is a gorgeous, slow burn of a novel that is also a love song for Cuba and its music.. It’s the story of two musician brothers, Oscar and Nestor Castillo, who leave Cuba for New York in the fifties. It is told through Oscar’s eyes, who often talks of the lovesong that Nestor spends much of his life re-writing, the story of his lost love Maria, the woman he left behind, the woman who, in his memory, remains as passionately in love with him, as beautiful, and as young as he was when he left her behind Cuba, so many years before. La Bella Maria de mi Alma, ‘Beautiful Maria of my soul.’ I am so glad she remains beautiful in his soul, because real life brings such a different story.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Paige Turner, February, 2017

May your 2017 have begun with time for reading, clarity, creativity and inspiration.

February, as ever, is jam packed with books and writing related events, and two of the more curious ones are Lost Rocks, and the opening of a new gallery (that stocks books) called Private.

Lost Rocks is a slow publishing artwork. That already makes my heart ease. In 2015 Hobart-based artists Margaret Woodward and Justy Philips found a dilapidated Tasmanian Mineral Board at the Glenorchy Tip Shop, and over the next five years they are commissioning artists to choose from a missing rock and create a fictionella (from the Latin 'fictio', meaning to make-with, rather than to make up or invent – and 'novella', meaning news or a story that turns on a single event). These works, from A Published Event, will be released, eight a year, for the next five years. On February 2 they are launching a crowdfunding campaign that will run to March 13 – and this is your way of growing your Lost Rocks Library of experimental text-works, narrative prose and fictiō-critical writings grounded in lived experience. Each fictiōnella will be printed in a limited edition of 250 paperback copies, making Lost Rocks a highly collectable publishing artwork.
Private is a new art space in Moonah. Private is looking to show new art to new audiences and look into different understandings about art. They are also stocking new and old texts, graphic novels and interesting printed matter, a lot of which is second hand and highly collectible. They currently have in stock new works from veteran underground artist Michael Fikaris including a collaboration between Nicole Gunn and Fikaris called An Instruction Manual for Lonely Mountains. The future will bring small press delights from Leigh Rigozzi and some art publications from the fabulous art writing magazine Discipline.  @privatedlr on instagram.

Tasmania has a new bookshop, Scribe, which you can find at Au Bien Etre Cafe at 34a Main Street, Huonville (just next to the roundabout). The Scribe's collection has strong holdings in esoteric, science fiction and fantasy, history, philosophy, technology, and farming books. I’m looking forward to checking it out this summer.

Events are slow off the ground this year in bookshops, though Fullers in Hobart have a few coming up including the launch of Sally Wise (Queen of Preserves) and playwright and ABC producer and content maker, Paul McIntyre’s Little Book of Slow, a lovely book of recipes and suggestions of things you can do to slow down and take time to truly engage with the world around you. This is happening at 5.30 on Thursday February 2.
On Friday 3, editor of New Philosopher magazine, Zan Boag will be in conversation with writer and scientist Nicole Gill about climate change, aliens and the likelihood of human beings becoming obsolete.
Fullers are also hosting the launch of Rebe Taylor’s new book Into the Heart of Tasmania, a search for human antiquity. This will take place at 5.30 on February 10 . On February 24, also at 5.30 Forgetfulness Feelings and Farnarkling, Reflections on aged care and how you can make a difference will be launched. This book is by Anne Kelly and is a must read for anyone who is connected personally and professionally to dementia care.
I am, as writer in residence working  with younger onset clients at Alzheimer’s Tasmania, and this is a disease (or really many different diseases under one umbrella) that we should all learn how to be around wisely and supportively.
All these events are free, for more details and to RSVP click here.

The Tasmanian Writers Centre have morphed their events program (last year, A Novel Journey) into a series of workshops touching on many aspects of writing including essays with James Dryburgh, features with Maria Tumarkin and memoir with Benjamin Law. Kylie Dunn, author of an excellent guide book that will take you through the vicissitudes of self publishing, Write to Launch, is first off the rank, with a workshop on February 19.

The Shape of Water is a new novel by Anne Blythe-Cooper that tells the story of Sophia DeGraves, best known as the wife of the man who started Cascade Brewery and built the Theatre Royal, It is also performed as a play at the Cascade Visitor Cente every Friday, Saturday and Monday at 2pm.

And there's a new mag on the streets -Tasmanian Living, a magazine, (in their words) for 'Tasmanians.... and those who wish they were.' Two headed beasts. My words, Watch out Freycinet is already sinking (my words). I digress, It looks like a gorgeous lifestyle mag - food, wine, people.

In Launceston, on February 18 between 2-5pm at the Greenwood Bar, Poet Musing (aka Stephen Johnstone) is hosting an open mike, poetry and meet and greet to support local suicide prevention. Contact Poet via Facebook for more details. This is motivated by the importance of face to face meetings and a recognition of the power of art and poetry to make positive change to the health of individuals and community.

Speaking of health, I’m embarking on one of the many excellent free online university courses, this one Literature and Mental Health offered through Warwick University in the UK and am delighted to be speaking at an Arts and Mental Health Forum at Kickstart Arts on February 21. I’ll be talking about the power of books and stories, and about bibliotheraphy more generally. For more details and for information about the other speakers, contact

Let me know if you have any book or word related events – racheledwards488 at

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Paige Turner, December 2016

Blessed are the booksellers, especially at this dastardly time of year, where the Christmas retail spirit leaches every echo of goodwill from your shopping laden pores. Consider them, hauling tonnes of books, displaying them beautifully, finding your perfect gift and wrapping until their fingers are shredded and paper stained. And smiling throughout. Blessed are the booksellers.

2016 has been a devastating riot for many, with the death of a lot of pop stars, and Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. It has also been a year of fantastic new books and new reading discoveries. Some quick highlights from me include a baptism by fire into the world of comics and graphic novels, notably JW Clennett’s alt history of Tasmania, The Diemenois, Lydia Davis, a US writer and translator whose short stories and novels astound me with their simplicity and weirdness is a new favourite writer and Roberto Calasso’s gorgeous little book The Art of Publishing touched and inspired me.

Personally I’ve met some excellent writers both in Tasmania and around the region and I look forward to continuing my work with writers from Iran, India, Tasmania and Burma in particular. There is some astonishing contemporary work coming from these areas. At Transportation Press, Tasmania’s newest publisher (and close to my heart, as I am Editor in Chief) we will be announcing two excellent projects early in the new year, but as a teaser; Of Wine and Words will riff off the ancient Persian connection between wine and poetry, and Smoke, an international microfiction competition, generously sponsored by FullersBookshop will be launched.

Around Tasmania in December, as the darling booksellers cower under piles of your Christmas shopping lists, a number of events are still going ahead.
On December 6 at Fullers in Hobart, Musquito, Brutality and Exile by Michael Powell will be launched by eminent historian Henry Reynolds at 5.30. Musquito, a legendary Aboriginal man was transported first to Norfolk Island then Van Diemen’s Land and became well known for organising against white settlers. He was hanged in his part in the murders at Grindstone Bay in 1825. This book offers excellent insight into Aboriginal resistance in NSW and Van Diemen’s Land. (pictured).
On December 14 also at Fullers Bookshop, Francesca Haig will be chatting with me about the second novel in her Fire Sermon trilogy. These books are richly imagined and action packed post-apocalyptic thrillers. Kirkus Review said of the first two that they “poised to become the next must-read hit”. I’m looking forward to this, especially in the face of the burgeoning new genre ‘CliFi’ – climate change fiction, generally post apocalyptic. Other notables in this genre include Clade by James Bradley, The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau and Briohny Doyle’s wicked The Island Will Sink.

On December 15, again at Fullers, the 2nd edition of The Abels, Tasmania’s finest mountains, each over 1100m high. Hear from the crack team of bushwalkers that has bagged every peak as they give a studied portrayal of each mountain. Learn the best routes to take, how and when to take them, and find intricate notes on mountain nomenclature and history.
The Hobart Bookshop is hosting the launch of Hani Abdile’s I Will Rise on December 16 at 5.30pm. Hani is a Somali asylum seeker who came to Australia by boat when she was only 17 years old. She is an award winning slam poet and you can hear her at the Bankstown Slam here

Celebrate Tasmanian books another way this Christmas with Tassie Books on Facebook. It’s an excellent way to interact with local writers and to buy local. Thoughtfully managed by author Anne Morgan, this page offers direct links to writers andpublishers

Some excellent news from Island, one of Australia’s leading lit mags. Not only was their Poetry Editor, Sarah Holland-Batt, listed as a finalist for her poetry collection The Hazards (UQP 2015), she won. As well, David Ireland’s The World Repair Video Game, published in Island in serial form and subsequently published by Island as a limited-edition hardback, was short listed as a finalist in the Fiction category.

Tasmania’sbiggest and most recognised publisher, Forty South have some new books out, Shadows in Suriname by Margaretta Pos tells her family’s history in Suriname. Anne Blythe-Cooper was runner up in the Erica Bell Manuscript Prize and this has manifested as The Shape of Water, a fictionalised account of Sophia Degraves, the wife of the same Degraves who started Cascade Brewery and was responsible for Australia’s olden theatre, The Theatre Royal in Hobart. They have also just released a new book by Adele Ogier Jones called The Coffee Palace.

A new book, Big Stake by SJ Brown, the third in the DI Mahoney series is out. It is a cop drama set in Hobart. This book turns the spotlight on the damage inflicted by the prevalence of gambling in modern Australia.

Blessed are the booksellers and consider them, sweating under the stench of desperation and sticky tape. I wish you all beautiful summers of reading, learning and yarning.

If you have any book news contact me at

Monday, October 31, 2016

Paige Turner - November

Journalist Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year. She is a journalist from Belarus whose book, Secondhand Time, the Last of the Soviets, translated by Bela Shayevich, is a truly transformative read. For decades Alexievich had placed her tape recorder on the table and in the book she presents the devastating people’s history of the USSR. This year’s Nobel Laureate of Literature is, controversially, the mystical poet of the people, Bob Dylan. A film made from Alexievich's essay Voices from Chernobyl is featuring as part of the Tasmanian Eco Film Festival on November 20, in Hobart. 

Closer to home there is a great selection of events happening around Tasmania in November, wherever your noble affiliations lie. The Story Island Project is a new organisation that celebrates the power of a story, and the people of an island. They are having a public celebration at the Moonah Arts Centre on  24 November at 6pm. Australian of the Year Local Hero and Sydney Story Factory co-founder Cath Keenan will speak at the event. Wetlands are slimy and amazing places and to celebrate their unique habitat, Tasmanian students are invited to submit a poem into a poetry competition. For more information click here

Red Parka Designer Jennifer Cossins is releasing a gorgeously illustrated book called A-Z of Endangered Animals (pictured here). The launch will take place at the Red Parka Shop on Criterion St, Hobart in the afternoon of November 2. For further information click here. 10% of the profits will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

This year’s Sustainable Living Festival will feature a poetry slam and a story slam where you have a chance to get on stage and delight, astound or murder a poem or story. While I will not judge you, I am a judge for the story comp and the incomparable Storyteller Spinks is MC. For details click here. 

The Adam and Eve ABC Guide to the Art of Ageing Disgracefully is being launched at Petrarchs in Launceston on November 25, 6pm. This is a slightly risqué stocking filler about some of the challenges we face as we age. It’s a quick read that will give you a few laughs and some excellent food for thought about how you might like to age...disgracefully.

Also at Petrarchs in November are the following events:Country girl and bestselling Tasmanian Ruro (rural romance) writer extraordinaire, Rachael Treasure will be signing copies of her new book Down the Dirt Roads on November 5 at 11am. Photographer Owen Hughes will be signing copies of his latest book Love This Island Tasmania on November 12 at 11am. Owen successfully captures the diversity of our cities and regions, our strong sense of community and the pleasure we take in joining others to celebrate and play.

Two of my favourite things are flowers and books and I may head north for Woolmer’s Festival of Roses, especially as Petrarchs will be on site hosting the book side of this floral event. The following authors will be speaking; Janice Sutton on her book, Garlic Feast 11am, Karen Hall, about Wychwood, - Indira Naidoo will discuss The Edible Garden and The Edible City and Ben Milbourne will yarn about his book Tasmanian Trail. All of this on a single Sunday (the 13th) in November.

In Hobart, Fullers havesome good looking events including Robyn Williams from ABC’s The Science Show discussing his book In Love with Betty the Crow, on November 8, Melissa Ashby on November 10 discussing The Birdman’s Wife, and Briohny Doyle will be chatting about her dystopic fiction (is it dystofiction?) The Island Will Sink, on Friday 18th. Captain Blueberry strikes again – and The Journey of Admiral Bolognaise will be launched on November 12, the day after the launch of Margaretta Pos’ new book Shadows in Suriname. Make sure you RSVP!

The Hobart Bookshop is hosting the launch of Tony Brennan’s A Beauty That Catches, a collection of poetry on November 3. On November 9 Jen Gibson will launch Meanderings by Betty Mckenzie-Tubb and on November 24th, Dianne Coon, secretary of the Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association will launch Ro Evelyn’s first novel, The Volunteer.

Furious Penguins is looking for people to read their favourite Joseph Conrad passages at a special event in December. The tribute reading will be held on the Derwent bank adjacent to the scuttled remains of Conrad's ship, The Otago. Poets and writers who would like to read their own original work about or inspired by Conrad are also welcome to participate. Click here for details.

Matthew Evans and Nick Haddow will be having a hearty yarn about cheese and tucker and their array of books, including Nick’s new one, Milk Made, a book about cheese, at the State Cinema in Hobart on Monday, November 7. Click here for further informationand to book tickets.

Tony Fenton spent a lot of his childhood roaming around Melaleuca and Port Davey with his grandfather, the legendary Deny King. His book, Fleeting Hopes, an immaculately researched history of the area is complete and ready to go to print. He’s crowdfunding to make this happen. I’ve pledged and am busting to read it. You should pledge too. 

The Tasmanian Writers Centre are hosting a Twitch Celebration at the Centre’s Reading Lounge on Tuesday 22 November at 6pm. This will feature readings from some of the young writers involved in this excellent program. They have a workshop called Perfect your Non-Fiction Book Proposal with Mary Cunnane on November 20. The centre has also extended the deadline for Young Writers in the City, Devonport until November 7. Get on it.

If you have some book news or events you would like to share, email me at

A version of this column was published in Warp. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Good People by Hannah Kent, podcast

The Good People is Hannah Kent’s much anticipated second novel. Set in 19th century Ireland, it is the story of maiden, mother and crone; Mary, Nora and Nance and a changeling child, Michael. It’s the story of the "disagreeable relationship between the ancient traditions and Catholicism", of a world in “secret sympathy with itself” and human attempts to have agency and our preference for the rational. It’s also a novel both dark and enjoyable with an accessible narrative with some gorgeous turns of phrase. I sat down with Hannah when she was in town for the Tasmanian launch of The Good People. You can listen to the interview here.

Here is an interview (podcast) about Burial Rites, her first novel, which tells the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last woman executed in Iceland.

The Good People, Picador, 781743534908

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bruny Island Bird Festival

Dusky Woodswallow, photo Chris Tzaros
Bird nerds, birders, birdos, twitchers and all the rest of us have another welcome reason to visit Bruny Island over the weekend 14-17 of October, with the return of the Bruny Island Bird Festival.
The inaugural festival was set up in 2010 as the brainchild of three organizations; BrunyI sland Environmental Network, Inala Nature Tours and Birdlife Tasmania but the wellspring and motivation for the festival comes from the desire to have people look at how intact habitat really is and to celebrate the amazing island and its birdlife.

Tasmania is home to 12 endemic bird species all of which sometimes find themselves at home on Bruny Island, and importantly the island is sometimes the only place the critically endangered Swift Parrot is found. Logging was finally suspended on the island primarily to further protect the habitat of this beautiful parrot.

The festival is not just for those with a passion for bird and bird life, it offers a wide range of events from a family day on Saturday, a range of tours with Discovery Rangers, and Nick Mooney will be hosting a session called Claws, Beaks and Wings, the weaponry of birds, where the rare opportunity to dissect a Wedge Tail Eagle is offered. It is important to note that this specimen, was generously donated to the festival following its accidental death by electrocution.

The festival caters for adults and children, and there will be a Bird Ball Masquerade on the Saturday evening, a Poets Breakfast at Dennes Pt, MCd by Pete Hay, with poets Sarah Day, Jane Williams, Adrienne Eberhard, Karen Knight and Liz McQuilkin, and also a nature writers’ open mike MC’d by Pete Hay. Pete Hay will also be in conversation with Michael Leunig, though this is now sold out – but you can still hear Leunig launch the festival proper – and there is also the opening of the Bird Festival Art Exhibition again, by special festival guest, you guessed it, Michael Leunig, followed by the launch of the second edition of Birdsong: A Celebration of Bruny Island Birds.

Nicole Gill, is a scientist who has not only just had an essay included in the Best Australian Science Writing 2016, but has also been shortlisted for The Bragg UNSW Press Prize for ScienceWriting. She is hosting ‘Nature Writing: From Outdoor Adventures to Articles’ where she will explore how young people can earn money writing about birds and other wild creatures. This session will show you how to craft entertaining articles and include tips on how to pitch your story ideas to magazines and other non fiction markets.

It’s hard to find an excuse not to go to Bruny Island, half an hour out of Hobart, accessible by ferry, ringed by beaches and forests, and saturated with thousands and thousands of years of history. I hope to see you there.

The article was first published in Warp magazine, October 2016.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Paige Turner October - books and writing events in Tasmania in October

It’s not often a book prize increases sales of a book, the Man Booker Prize being a rare example, but since the 1980s I have paid heed to books which have been awarded the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards. The CBCA is a truly worthy body that pays wise attention and advocates for writing for young people and right now their Tasmanian branch is seeking new blood and energy to keep a presence on the ground. The branch not only celebrates writers, it organizes author tours, judges the CBCA awards, advises on literature for families and celebrates the importance of literacy in our state. The current committee is retiring and is recruiting. If you care about writing for young people please contact The next meeting is at 11am 22nd October at Zeps in Campbelltown. DO IT.

Reading groups have traditionally been the mainstay of middle aged, middle class women. That is not to say that there are some variations that smash that rule. One is launching in Launceston. It’s called the Tough Guy Book Club and they meet each month for a beer and a yarn. It sounds reasonable, especially in the greater context of men often lacking the ability to discuss thoughts and feelings and the affects this lack can have on their mental health. However, I wish their purview was to read a bit wider than simply ‘masculine’ books because it is essentially wiser to explore territory you don’t know, rather than bunkering down in your beliefs without seeking a broader understanding of the world. Here’s a link to a recent article that was published in The Examiner

On October 9, 
Vice Versa, new & selected poems by Arjun von Caemmerer is being launched at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music. This is poetry that uses language like plasticine. It engages the reader in the service of poetry, medicine, yoga, art, love, music, and friendship and creates a world that allows the reader to plunge into the very depths of poetry. The launch will take place at 3pm October 9th and tickets are available here 

New from Forty South, Tasmania’s biggest publisher is a children’s book not only making science fun but also celebrating auroras. It’s called 
There’s Magic in the Sky! The story of the Aurora by Shanna Rudov-Clark.

Up North at Burnie’s Not Just Books, loved Tasmanian Ruro writer (yep, try and say that out loud, it means Rural Romance), Rachael Treasure is celebrating the launch of her memoir Down the Dirt Roads. Rachael is a bloody good egg, if I can put it in rural parlance, and a rum’un to boot. She will speak at the Metro Cinema in Burnie on October27 and there will be a Q & A followed by a book signing, Bookings essential.

Tasmanian historical author and biographer, Stephen Dando-Collins will be at Petrarchs in Launceston to celebrate his new book The Hero Maker. This book explores the contradictions of one of Australia's most successful, but troubled, writers, Paul Brickhill and his extraordinary story; from youth with a debilitating stutter, to Sun journalist, to Spitfire pilot and POW, to feted author. 

Dando Collins will also be at Fullers on October 13 as part of their rich events calendar in October which also includes chef Philip Kuruvita with From the Menu, Hobart on October 6.

Hannah Kent, author of the fascinating novel that told the story of the last woman hanged in Iceland, is back with a follow up to Burial Rites and will be in conversation with my favourite effervescent Tasmanian, Posie Graeme-Evans about the long awaited The Good People (pictured). Here is a link I did with Hannah about her first book, the wonderful Burial Rites, the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, the last woman hanged in Iceland in 1829.  

I'm looking foward to chatting with Hannah later this week about her new book.

Editor and writer, Helen Hayward will be talking about her new book Homework on October 9. On October 14, Katherine Johnson will be celebrating the launch of The Better Son. 
October 19 will see a Tasmanian celebration of the excellent lit mag Going Down Swinging. The illustrious band, Heart Beach will be playing and Robbie Arnott will be reading from a piece of his in their latest issue. One not to be missed. Don’t miss, on October 25 poet Anne Kellas talking about her new collection White Room Poems. She will be in conversation with Ben Walter. 

Furious Penguins is looking for people to read their favourite Joseph Conrad passages at a special event in December. The tribute reading will be held on the Derwent bank adjacent to the scuttled remains of Conrad's ship, The Otago. Poets and writers who would like to read their own original work about or inspired by Conrad are also welcome to participate. Please see here for details.

Performance storyteller Bert Spinks will appear as roving correspondent “The Owl” throughout the Unconformity festival. He will be reporting on the story of Queenstown in poetry and prose, telling site-specific stories that blur the lines between past and the present. Blending everything from natural history to pub gossip, these performances will attempt to unravel how Queenstown came to be, from millions of years ago to now. The Unconformity will run in Queenstownfrom 14-16 October.

Got any book news, events or gossip you’d care to see in these pages?–Email me racheledwards488@gmail.comRachel Edwards