Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Paige Turner November

 Edging towards the end of the year and towards summer, towards Christmas and all it allows us to manifest. Good luck and good sleeps to all those booksellers (and other retail workers) who face up to what Christmas means every day for about six weeks before the actual day itself.. And I wish you ALL a fine reading season. Tonnes of things still happening….
Seasonal Poets: The Spring Reading is on 12th November, 6pm at the lovely Hadleys in Hobart. Anne Morgan, Ross Donlon and  Edith Speers are reading. Edith was a Poet in Residence when I was at school and the introduction to her poetry was gently seismic. I plan to go along to hear her again, so many years later.
Poet Gina Mercer is involved in a collaboration taking place later in the month, with three musicians in the form of Rubato Express, and the Derwent River, their muse and inspiration. Imagine it. The Derwent from Lake St Clair to Storm Bay. They have composed music in response to her poems, and, in her words, “at a recent rehearsal they played a piece they'd just composed to interweave with one of my poems about stingrays. And oh, I just about swooned with delight. It was the loveliest most stingray-ey music I could imagine... all ripply and sinuous and just brilliant.”
Diving Into The Derwent: music, poetry, images is happening at MAC on 25th November at 2.30 pm. Tickets: $25/$20, with a homebaked afternoon tea included.

On 21 November, journalist Kerry O'Brien's Launceston launch of his recent memoir, Kerry O’Brien, a memoir ( I had to) is happening at St John Craft Bar, Launceston, co -hosted by Petrarchs Bookshop & UTAS. He will also be in conversation with Professor Richard Eccleston, of the Institute for Social Change, at the Stanley Burbury Theatre, UTas on November 22 at 6pm.

Josh Santospirito is pouring his generous energy into comics and zones again, with
November 16th starring the launch party for the Small Press Zine Fair.  This will feature Read To Me: a night of audio-visual storytelling with seven storytellers including our very special guest from Sydney Meg O’Shea who is a 2018 Ignatz nominee for “outstanding online comic”. This event is from 7pm at 65 Murray street. $5 entry with a bar and music. More details and full lineup here -

Pay heed too, the 2018 Small Press Zine Fair is on November 17, from 1pm at the Battery Point Community Hall, All welcome! Young and old. This is the sixth annual zine fair.

Tasmanian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer’s debut short story won the Hope Prize, of which the winning short stories are being launched in book form on 8 November at 6:30pm at Readings in Hawthorn, Melbs. The Hope Prize is the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s national short-story competition, judged by famous people and it encourages writers to explore resilience in the face of adversity.

Tasmanian writer Ben Walter, whose short form is mighty fine and has been most recently recognised in this year’s Best Australian Science Writing, for an essay about the bushfires in the Tarkine region, and also with a story included in Best Summer Stories from Black Inc should be picked up by a publisher who will be able to respectfully bring his longer form to a wider audience. Sorry if this is embarrassing Benny, but seriously!

On November 20 at 5.30, Tasmanian of the year, Scott Rankin from Big hArt is launching his platform paper for the Quarterly Essay,  Cultural Justice and the Right to Thrive.

 Bright Thinking is on 8 November, topic is Death. Hosted by Island magazineWomankind magazineNew Philosopher magazineSalamanca Arts Centre and poet store at the Salamanca Arts Centre. This is a good event to get some brain muscles philosophically churning, and to meet randoms.
The Society of Women Writers Tasmania Poetry Prize is open for entries and concludes on the 30th November 2018.  Information about entering is on the SWWT website:, or from the Competition Coordinator on 

A Published Event has just launched the latest 'seam' of Lost Rocks at The Unconformity, along with walks and talks by three of the authors. Copper by Jerry de Gryse, Shale by Julie Gough, Copper by Raymond Arnold, Mudstone by Rory Wray-McCann and Lead Sulphide by Tine Melzer and Markus Kummer. All the details for purchasing are on our website or they are also available from Fullers Bookshop.

Let me finish with something mercenary. For a couple of hussles, I sell books. New ones, and second hand ones that you can find on my website I select the very best books, completely subjectively and tell you exactly why I think the 1988 David Foster autobiography, the 19XX Booker Prize winner, the El Salvadorean Nobel Laureate, the trashy-ness of Blue Lagoon (with the movie cover) are the books I would love you to read. Happy Christmas, top of the season to you.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Paige Turner - October

The first Saturday of the month sees the Claremont Community Library (which was opened by volunteers when the Claremont Library was closed) is holding a book fair between 10-3. This is a fully volunteer run community library and you’ll find it in the Claremont Hall. The Hobart Bookshop, along with Astrolabe, are also hosting a book fair, this one at the Battery Point Hall, on October 6 (possibly soon to be consecrated International Book Fair Day).

Jane Williams’ collection of poems for children My Nan Speaks Nanish, and her picture book Oskar Saves The Day World, are being launched by Anne Morgan at Hobart Bookshop, on October 4th at 5.30 pm. 

Also at the Hobart Bookshop, you will find the wonderful children's author Lian Tanner signing her new book Secret Guardians on Saturday, OCtober 13 between 10.30-11.30am.

On October 2 I’ll be in conversation with Krissy Kneen about her new novel, Wintering a thriller set in the deep south of Tasmania. Krissy’s one of Australia’s most transgressive and exhilarating writers and thinkers, and this foray into thriller (she has written memoir, erotica, spec fic and poetry) has me on the edge of my seat. Fullers Bookshop, 5.30.

The night after, you can hear Krissy in conversation with author of Flames, Robbie Arnott, with Island editor Vern Field guiding the conversation, umpiring a possible arm wrestle. This is organised by Island mag, and will incorporate the monthly Silent Reading Party – from 6pm in the
Crystal Room at Institut Polaire. Check Island’s Facebook page, this is filling fast. This event is run in conjunction with Text Publishing.

Novelist and academic, Dr Rosie Dub, along with Neil Cameron, founder of the Festival Of Voices are taking bookings now for their writing workshop, The Heroic Journey. In this workshop you will take a close look at the stages in the Heroic Journey, their purposes and how they can be implemented in your stories in ways that are exciting and original. Salamanca Arts Centre on Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th November. ($250 or $230).
For further information, visit Rosie's website.

Katherine Johnson's new novel, Matryoshka will be launched at Fullers Bookshop on October 18. This is Katherine's third novel and it covers territory of intergenerational trauma, migration, love and Tasmania.
Hobart Fringe Festival? Last I heard of this when I was crying on the Fringe secretary’s door step C2007, stepping away from all involvement, burnt burnt burnt out, like it did to so many of us – so I rejoice at the redux of a Hobart Fringe Festival. All power, and good night sleeps to the new Fringe heads.
 You can submit your expression of interest now – it is open and accepting of everyone and everything – though I do wonder if the Polish Club will be as um, avant-garde as we were – eg will there be a poetry show with wads of offal thrown around the stage. That said, the Hobart Fringes of yore featured some bloody amazing stuff, from here, from abroad, some of the absolute crazy gems that inform a lot of the current arts scene in Hobart (alongside that museum of course, of course).

Speaking of festivals, the Tasmanian Poetry Festival runs over the first weekend of the month, in and around Launceston. This year will feature, among other events, a night of Slamduggery, Tasmania’s pre-eminent slam poetry competition, and Arielle Cottington. More information can be found on their website -  

Alison Alexander’s new book, Duck and Green Peas Forever, finding Utopia in Tasmania is being launched by Professor Henry Reynolds at the Town Hall on October 12 at 4pm. It looks like another ripper of Tasmanian history from Fullers Publishing.

The Tasmanian branch of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators are holding a conference and professional development opportunity on Saturday 27th of October. They are also offering manuscript assessments, and the opportunity to meet agents face to face. This is a wonderful opportunity for those on the ground in Tasmania, who are brewing books for children. More information contact Anne Morgan –

Arts Tasmania have announced which organisations they are funding for 2018/2019. They had just over $700 000 available for all the arts organisations in the state for this period, and it is good to see that the Sydney Review of Books will be commissioning essays on the Tasmanian Writing Life, though no other support for literature orgs made it past the dollar sign – and nor do I know if others applied. The Tasmanian Writers Centre, which was not awarded funding from Arts Tasmania last year, has recently had Jill Eddington, formerly of the Australia Council looking in to their situation as well as the literature ‘scene’ more generally in Tasmania, and it is understood the centre did not apply in the latest funding round.

The twelfth Bushcare Walking Book Club, organised by scientist and writer Nicole Gill of the Hobart City Council will see a group of walkers strolling along the Sandy Bay Foreshore and discussing George Monbiot's Feral. This book is a "search for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding", and a very readable call to arms by Monbiot, for us to consider returning some of our human landscapes to the natural world, and to enliven ourselves in the process. Monbiot is perhaps best known as a journalist covering social justice and environmental issues for The Guardian. He also hates sheep. During the stroll, Nicole will also explain­ a little about a rewilding program taking place beneath the waters of our own river.
Meet at the Sandy Bay Sailing Club car park, Long Point Road, Sandy Bay, at 2PM on Sunday 7th October. RSVP to

If you have any books or writing news, I’d love to hear it – drop me a line

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Paige Turner - September

Many times have I begun this column with a breathy incitement to get some bookish events into you. This month you’ll be struggling not to – what, with ingenious and lovely People’s Library, the Tamar Valley Writers’ Festival and a resounding swathe of other events, both north and south, I challenge you to stay by the hearth with a cat on your lap.

As well as the above two celebrations of the word, which you can read more about in these pages, I am really looking forward to hearing Sholeh Wolpe (Iran/US) discuss her translation of The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar. Originally written in Persian in the twelfth century it is considered one of Persian literature’s most celebrated masterpieces. Rumi (who is the number one bestselling poet in the United States today, all these centuries after he first penned his earthy and ethereal beauty) believed Attar to be “the Master” of Sufi mystic poetry. Sholeh will read from her translation and discuss the process of bringing this luminous, allegorical tale to a contemporary English translation. All this, at Fullers on September 19, 5.30pm. Make sure you drop Fullers a line to rsvp (

You’ll also find her performing some of her own poetry – and a performance to behold it will be- (I’ve had the fortune to see her perform twice before, once in Guangzhou, China and once in Singharaja, Bali, I travel for beautiful words, I really do)– at The People’s Library on September 18 at 7pm. I hope she will also be delivering a workshop – check out for more details (Transportation Press is sponsoring her visit to our island, and yep, that’s me).

Ray Glickman is in the state for the Tamar Valley Writers’ Festival and after the festival he’s travelling south to deliver, with Ian Andrew, a special workshop on democratic publishing called Publishing Power to the People. This will take place on the afternoon of September 20. This workshop will cost $30, run for three hours and cover subjects such as they lay of the land in independent (self) publishing, what the merits of independent publishing actually are, especially compared to the traditional publishing space, and it will also include a panel discussion, as well as a Q & A opportunity for participants. Drop me a line for more details. 

Let’s jump ahead a little to October 2 at Fullers Bookshop, when I’ll be chatting withKrissy Kneen about her new novel, Wintering. This novel takes Queensland author Kneen, who has in the past delved deep into some transgressive erotica, pushed boundaries with futuristic imaginings and smashed paradigms with sexy blue goo to the deep south of Tasmania. Krissy makes for a generous interview subject – and this book is rich pickings for an entertaining conversation.

Margaretta Pos has edited Among the Willows and Wild Things: The Fingal Valley Nature Diary of a Young Girl in the 1930s. This was written by Ann Page, Margaretta’s mother and will be launched at the Tamar ValleyWriters Festival at the Tamar Valley Resort at Grindelwald, on Saturday, September 15th at 1.15pm. It is a free public event and legendary raconteur and editor of the Tasmanian Times, Lindsay Tuffin, will be doing the launching honours. He will be in conversation with Margaretta Pos about the book. The Governor, Professor Kate Warner, has written a foreword, the preface is by Margaretta Pos, with illustrations by Sabina Gillett, who lives in Perth (Tasmania). The Hobart launch will be at the Hobart Bookshop, Salamanca Square, on Friday, September 21st at 6pm. It will be launched by Don Knowler. Knowler writes the weekly column, On the Wing, for the Mercury. He is the author of The Shy Mountain, a year in the life of kunanyi/Mount Wellington and other books.
Among the Willows and Wild Things is a limited edition of 300 copies published by Forty South. It retails for $35. 

Poet Jane Williams will be bringing her work to an appreciative audience alongside Susan Austin at the next Republic Readings, on Sunday, 2nd September at 3pm. This will happen at the Republic Hotel in North Hobart. It’s a free event, with a welcoming open mic.

I’m super stoked to see Robbie Arnott’s book Flames shortlisted for The Readings Prize, and it is equally lovely to see playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer win the Brotherhood of St Lawrence’s national Hope Prizefor his short story ‘Like Dresses in a Tree’.
Robbie has also been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards' University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Silent Reading returns in September. In September it is coinciding Australian Reading Hour (some days I have a few of those) and is happening as part of the soon to be fabled People’s Library. For more details, check out the Island Facebook page.

You’ve read here about the progressive monthly gathering Reading For the Revolution, organised by Millie Rooney. These are now a regular instalment at 0730 on the second Tuesday of the month at the Food Store in South Hobart.

As always Fullers Bookshop is providing a buzzing space of culture, hosting book launches including Andrew L Urban’s Murder by the Prosecution on the 6th of the month, and Clementine Ford discussing her new book Boys Will Be Boys on September 27.

If you’ve got any book news or interesting word related elements, drop me a line

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Paige Turner - August hope you’re having a good winter, whatever your version of good may be. I ate pizza in the bath the other day and that helped in the good-winter stakes. And I’ve been reading Yuri Herrera, a Mexican writer, via his translator Lisa Dillman – who somehow brings Mexican street slang to a sharp gnarliness in English. Ooof! The proscriptive lawlessness of the drugking pin’s court in Kingdom Cons and the young artist, creator of corridos, -smugglers tunes- has knocked me sideways. It’s partly a language thing, as is the preoccupation by the narrator in Susanna Moore’s 1990s dark erotic In The Cut, which I’m reading, alongside pre-reading for the Tamar Valley Writers Festival in September. I saw the movie of Into the Cut years ago so the some of the suspense is gone in the read – but the narrator studies street slang of New York, and often makes asides in the text about the joy or strangeness of a word.
Slam Poetry’s a buzz all around the state in August. In the south, SilverWords' slam night, WhamBamSilverSlam returns after a fantastic first event in June. Poets will have a strict 2 minute time limit and there are cashmoneyprizes for the 1st and 2nd place-getters. Judges are selected at random from the audience. Classic slam set up with some ripper poets. 16 August 6.30pm at Irish Murphys, Salamanca.

And up north, Slamduggery’s dropping in on The Cardinels and friends, as they launch their debut album, Sick Fiction. August 18, Greenwood Bar, Launceston.
And pretty much everywhere else are heats for the Australian Poetry Slam, a national literary performance program and comp. In Tasmania these are coordinated and hosted by Tasmanian writer, poet, thrice National Slam Finalist and twice winner of the Launceston Poetry Cup, Yvonne Gluyas, and award winning writer and poet, Joy Elizabeth. The first and second Tasmanian Finals place-getters will receive flights to Sydney, tickets to the Performing Writers Festival and will compete in the Australian Poetry Slam National Final at the Sydney Opera House. Heats - 2nd August in Launceston, 7th August in Hobart, 12th August in Latrobe, 21st August in Deloraine. Tasmanian Final - 25th August in Launceston. For further details, contact Yvonne Gluyas
The Tamar Valley Peace Festival is a program encouraging local groups to raise awareness of peace in our communities by hosting events in early August. Launceston Toastmasters is holding a public meeting and the theme of the evening is ‘Peace and Respect’. Discover how Toastmasters can help you achieve your confidence, leadership and speaking goals at this event on 8th August 2018, 7pm at Enterprize, Launceston. Free with a light supper.

Publisher Forty South’s Van Diemen History Prize is now open for entries. They are seeking excellent nonfiction articles of up to 3000 words on any aspect of Tasmania’s history prior to the 21st century.  This biennial prize is an initiative of Forty South Publishing and the stated aim is to foster quality writing about Tasmanian history. There is a cash prize and publication in Tasmania 40 South, with a selection of the best work published in The Van Diemen Anthology. Entries close on September 24th and an entry fee of $20 per article.  Click here for more details.

Reading for the Revolution #7: Pause, Reflect, Inspire! This month’s discussion will focus on topics covered so far, and how they relate to each other. Ponder the questions:  What are the links between racism and diversity and a universal basic income? Where does this link with notions of democracy or fair governance?
Millie Rooney, who founded this revolutionary conversation space, suggests going back to some of the big picture work of Naomi Klein and George Monbiot.
14th August, 7.30am, upstairs in the Food Store, South Hobart
For information contact

The Society of Women Writers short story competition closes on the 31st of August.  The theme is 'Life Changing'.  For information regarding rules contact Wendy Laing, the comp’s coordinator. or check their website.

I was recently interviewed about my thoughts on whether there an increase of fora and storytelling events in Tasmania. While acknowledging that ‘storytelling’ a la Moth and the magnificent Storytellers Cup at Huon Midwinter (as biased as I may be- I produce it) is quite the mode, there have been stories told on this land for tens of thousands of years, and organisations like the N
ational Book Council of Tasmania, a little known gem, has possibly been running for decades. Their August meeting to be held on August 15 at 1pm and features Dr Tom Dunning speaking about the new collaborative history The Kaleidoscope of Launceston. Second floor, Launceston Library.

Did you see THAT? Library! Not LINC – we’ve dropped the weasely acronym and returned to calling the library, the library. Little victories, my friends, little victories.

If you have some bookish news, I’d love to hear from you

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Paige Turner - July

July already! Two more months of darkness to go, but two months which offer opportunities for all of you wonderful writers and readers hidden in pockets around our obscure and beautiful island. These include:

1) Lots of reading time. The weather, the darkness calls us to refine our activity. Reading is the ultimate in refined.

2) Submitting to the Wheeler Centre’s wonderful initiative The Next Chapter. T
his is for ‘the stories that aren’t being told, the voices we’re not hearing, and the ideas that need patience, care and work to introduce to the world.’ Such a gorgeous premise I could weep. It translates as $15 000 and a mentor to help you develop your work, as well as easing your way towards being published. For more information, head to the Wheeler Centre’s website.

3) Are you a writer who identifies as from Tasmania, Iran or India? Transportation Press is lurching towards our third international collection. Submissions for original short stories close on July 8th. Check out Transportation Press for more details – or email me directly, I am part of the lurching machine that is Trans.

4) Hachette are offering the Richell Prize for an unpublished manuscript again, as well as the chance to apply for a 4 day residential intensive, for which they are partnering with the Queensland Writers Centre. Hachette or for more.

5) On the reading side of things, Silent Reading is in hiatus for July but we hope to be quietly back in August. But Reading for the Revolution’s happening again, this time discussing the notion of Universal Basic Income. 10th July, 7.30am, upstairs in the Food Store in South Hobart. This is organised by the irrepressible Millie Rooney (the world needs more Millies) Contact her for more details, and for a list of the readings.

6) I was disappointed to miss Greg Lehman’s discussion at Society of Editors (Tas) about writing with and about Aboriginal people, and while this roams some different territory, I hope to make it along to the discussion about cultural appropriation at Page and Cup in Hobart on July 18th. They will explore the fine line between cultural appropriation and appreciation, and how it can be navigated sensitively. More details are on their FB page, but get in quickly as places for this mediated discussion are limited.
 7) July 3 will see the launch of a collection of opinion pieces that were gathered as inspirational groundswell for the Communicating: The Heart of Literacy public dialogue, driven by Chatter Matters. Literacy is one of Tasmania’s biggest challenges, and as much as I can harp on about the beauty, challenges and transcendence offered by reading a good book, there are only half our us who have the skills to do this. Half of us Tasmanians do not have functional literacy folks. Ask your politicians what they are doing to address this. Her Excellency the Governor, Kate Warner is launching this collection at Fullers Bookshop.

8) On July 11th in Launceston there’s a great opportunity for authors and prospective authors at Stories Bookshop. This is a free event, starting at 5.15pm. It’s excellent to see Stories stepping into this place, and offering writers a chance to discuss their books, and talk about how the bookshop can help promote. It’ll also touch on traditional versus independent publishing, and some elements of marketing and distributing.

9) I hope to see you at Fullers on Friday, July 6 for the ‘in conversation’ I’m doing with Adam Courtenay about his book The Ship That Never Was, a rollicking history, about the convicts that fled by sea from Tasmania’s wild west coast.

10) Entries are open for Forty South’s new history writing prize, the Van Diemen History Prize. It’s a generous contribution to this space, offered by a prolific and necessary publisher. Check their website for more details.
11) Slamduggery will welcome Canadian spoken word artist and educator, Brandon Wint, to the stage for an exclusive Tasmanian performance. As a two time national poetry slam champion and published writer, it is safe to say Brandon knows a thing or two about poetry. July 24th at the Royal Oak in Launceston.
12) The Hobart/nipaluna launch of The Tension by Josh Santospirito, a comic he made to mark the 5th anniversary of the most difficultest graphic novel he'll probably ever make 'The Long Weekend in Alice Springs'. Happening on July 6th at Yambu and you can buy a comic there for $8. Performances from 8:30 or so. Supported by Island magazine.
13) Pop along to the launch of Tony Caplice’s memoir of love,loss, pain – those vital elements of life Just One Word, Just One Smile, Life and Love after an Aneurysm. Tony was in Bolivia with his long term partner when she suffered a massive aneurysm. It’s a story of resilience. I’ll be in conversation with Tony about the book, and in the esteemed launching company of Tony, Senator Carol Brown, Federal Shadow Minister for Disability and Carers, and Dr Jane Tolman, one the leading dementia care specialists in Australia. Saturday 7 July, 5.30 upstairs at the Republic.

14) Kate Gordon’s new book, Girl Running, Boy Falling are fresh off the press. You can pre-order your copy witha limited-edition pin here.

15) completely over my word count – but check out Stories in September, Slam Nationals and the Chocolate Poetry Comp.
16) And! I hope to see you all at the MACq01 Storytellers Cup on the Saturday evening of The Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival, I’m pretty excited to be MC’ing this high energy, delightful storytelling competition.

16) Seasonal Poets this Winter will take place on July 23rd in the George Cartwright Room (now just who was this George Cartwright?) at 6pm. This season's poets are Liz Winfield, Christiane Conesa-Bostock and Liz McQuilkin. Cost is $15 or if you are a member of the Tasmanian Writers Centre, $10. A light supper will be served. 

PS – this is in August, but it’s SARA MANSOUR speaking in Launceston. This amazing woman started the Bankstown Poetry Slam, which is now an essential component of the strong, diverse and exciting literary work happening in Western Sydney. Sher’s speaking on the future of feminism and diversity, as a guest of the Tamar Peace Festival and the Institute for the study of Social Change. Launceston, August 1.
Road trip anyone?

Paige Turner November

  Edging towards the end of the year and towards summer, towards Christmas and all it allows us to manifest. Good luck and good sleeps to ...