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STARGAZING LIVE 2018: It’s back this May on TV, Radio, iView and online #Stargazing! Broadcast over three nights from Tuesday, 22 May to Thursday, 24 May 2018 from Siding Spring Observatory in NSW, the series will immerse audiences in a celebration of the night sky, with a focus on features that are best experienced from Australian soil. Renowned physicist Professor Brian Cox and presenter of all things, Julia Zemiro, are seen here admiring the Milky Way model. Watch this space! (Photo by L.J. May S/S)

Watchwords

This is Brisbane! Queensland, Australia

Greetings and welcome to Watchwords. This site is about writers, readers, artists, filmmakers and our beautiful City of Brisbane.

   WHAT'S ON IN BRISBANE RIGHT NOW?

QUICKLISTS FOR 'WHAT'S ON AUTHORS?', WHICH COVERS AUTHOR, ILLUSTRATOR AND FILMMAKER EVENTS, AS WELL AS WRITING AND FILMMAKER COMPETITIONS FOR THE CURRENT UPDATE, ARE UNDER THE TAB ON THE MENU AT LEFT - OR CLICK HERE EVENT QUICKLISTS! 

DUE TO THE LARGE NUMBER OF GENERAL EVENTS, THERE IS A SECOND PAGE FOR 'WHAT'S ON NOW?' AT EVENT QUICKLISTS! P2.

THIS WEBSITE WAS UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 23 MAY 2018!

  WHAT'S THE NEWS? TELL US WHAT'S HAPPENING!

 STARGAZING LIVE IS BACK IN 2018! – ON NOW!

Yes, STARGAZING LIVE IS BACK IN 2018: on TV, Radio, iView and online #Stargazing. Renowned physicist PROFESSOR BRIAN COX, and rock quiz chick and TV presenter JULIA ZEMIRO, will be joined by a team of scientists and space enthusiasts as they explore the wonders of the night sky across three big nights from Tuesday, 22 May to Thursday, 24 May 2018

Broadcast over three nights from SIDING SPRING OBSERVATORY in NSW, the series will immerse audiences in a celebration of the night sky, with a focus on features that are best experienced from Australian soil. Siding Spring is Australia’s premier observatory, a UNESCO certified Dark Field site, and a world leader in the search for planets orbiting distant stars.

Brian and Julia will be joined by a team of celebrated scientists and space enthusiasts, including CSIRO's DR LISA HARVEY-SMITH who will be showcasing the capabilities of a different telescope each night, and 'Space Gandalf' GREG QUICKE, who will show ABC reporter KUMI TAGUCHI the best sights in the night sky, including live views of Jupiter and Saturn, while utilising low-light camera technology to capture live video for viewers.

Each episode will take a unique thematic focus, with episode one focusing on the solar system, episode two examining deep space and episode three looking at space exploration. Highlights include the return of the STARGAZING LIVE CITIZEN SCIENCE CHALLENGE. Off the back of the ground-breaking discovery of a new solar system by viewers in 2017, this year the program will attempt to identify new supernovae, potentially allowing us to refine the known age of the Universe.

Julia Zemiro will take viewers on a ‘road trip’ tour of NASA facilities across the United States, in which she witnesses a rocket launch, meets the voice of the countdown and enrols in Astronaut School at Johnson Space Centre. Stargazing Live will also take over the Parkes Dish in the Parkes Observatory in NSW, using it to listen live for signs of intelligent life from a newly discovered earth-like planet.

The ABC will air a comprehensive suite of astronomy-themed content to accompany Stargazing Live, including special episodes of Gardening Australia, Compass, Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery, rage and Giggle & Hoot, as well as podcast Cosmic Vertigo on ABC Listen, a dedicated iview series on the night sky by Greg Quicke, and a playlist of music to watch the stars by on Classic FM. 

ABC ME's Launchpad will countdown the 15 minutes ahead of Stargazing Live each night, taking on daily space-themed missions, stories from Siding Spring Observatory, interviews with some very young space experts, and loads of space trivia. Each night following Stargazing Live, ABC COMEDY will air a half hour live chat show Back to Earth at 9.00 p.m. (AEST).

On Wednesday, 23 May 2018, you might like to answer the call of the Australian National University (ANU) and STARGAZING LIVE for all Australians to help smash the Guinness World Records title for the most people in one country stargazing at the same time. They are asking over 30,000 people across multiple sites to simultaneously observe an object in the night sky through a telescope for the same 10-minute period. The current Guinness World Records title, set in 2015 by the ANU, is 7,960 people across 37 locations.

Nationally 

HOW DO YOU JOIN THE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT? Organisers are putting the call out to schools, astronomy societies, community groups, and all budding galactic explorers across Australia to join our World Record attempt for the Most people stargazing – multiple venues.

Organisers invite you to host your very own STARGAZING LIVE STAR PARTY on Wednesday, 23 May 2018, or attend one of the many free community Star Parties being held throughout Australia – and participate in this new World Record attempt! Register your interest in hosting a Star Party. Head to your local ABC Facebook page for information on attending a free Star Party happening in your community.

Sign up for a free ticket from the list of public Star Parties and get set for an evening under the stars with your friends and family. Can't find an event near you? Keep checking back in as they will be updating the list regularly. You could even plan to host an event yourself. Have a look at the fact sheet and register to host your own star party! Want to know more? Visit the Stargazing site. Thanks to the ABC for this comprehensive information. HAPPY STARGAZING!

MELT – FESTIVAL OF QUEER ARTS AND CULTURE – ON NOW!

Plan your festival now, grab your loved ones, partners, family and friends, and make a date to MELT! For a glittering 10 days from Thursday, 17 May to Sunday, 27 May 2018MELT, the Festival of Queer Arts and Culture, will present a scintillating program of theatre, comedy, music, cabaret, dance, musical theatre, queer tech, gaming and visual arts at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Festival Director JAMES LEES says: ‘Over the last year, we have been walking through living history together with our community and with our allies. We’ve been analysed, discussed and often judged in the media, in the streets, in our homes and on our computer/device screens. We’ve been forced to evaluate who we are, what our politics are, defend our basic rights and to protect those who are vulnerable.

‘Though a little tired and bruised, we came out on the other end with an overwhelming YES and a revitalised sense of hope and positivity for the future. Our 2018 Festival offers a place to meet and for our broader communities to come together – to celebrate our shared experiences and also to heal and to become strong again.’

All events in MELT are ticketed, except for the ones listed as FREE throughout the guide (and there are quite a few of those). To find out what’s on, pick up a guide at your local library or visit the website for more information and to book at http://www.brisbanepowerhouse.org – follow the links to MELT or call the Box Office on (07) 3358 8600 (a $5.95 fee applies per transaction).

 IN OUR PHOTO ESSAY THIS MONTH!

Find information and pictures of events happening around Brisbane and Queensland on EVENT QUICKLISTS! and EVENT QUICKLISTS! P2., check out STARGAZING LIVE 2018 on the top and bottom of this page, NEWS PAGE 2, and of WHAT'S ON AUTHORS? (4 pages).

Follow the music, glitz, glamour and EUROVISION MADNESS on the COMPETITIONS ETC. pages (4 pages). It will be a dog’s life in Brisbane in May – get your pooches ready for the RSPCA MILLION PAWS WALK, and provide them with inspiration with pics from the top and bottom of WHAT'S ON NOW? (5 pages) and WHERE IS BRISBANE?

GOLD STAR READING CLUB AND LITTLE STARS READING CLUB PROGRAMS

If you would like your child to spend more time living in the wonderful world of books, encourage them by taking part in reading programs at Brisbane City Council’s 33 libraries this winter. The 2018 GOLD STAR READING CLUB PROGRAM caters for kids aged 6–12 years, and the LITTLE STARS READING CLUB is designed for early readers aged up to 5 years and their carers.

It’s a great way to connect and bond with children while helping them develop their early literacy skills. Both programs are ON NOW and will run until Tuesday, 31 July 2018. MEMBERSHIP IS FREE, and children will be rewarded for reading with exciting monthly incentive prizes, opportunities to win book vouchers for both themselves and their school, medallions, certificates of achievement and award ceremonies.

DA VINCI MACHINES AT THE COBB + CO MUSEUM - TOOWOOMBA

Enter the amazing world of Italian Renaissance genius LEONARDO DA VINCI and see 500-year-old designs brought to life. Share the extraordinary vision of da Vinci – artist, scientist and inventor. This award-winning international touring exhibition showcases iconic machines and inventions inspired by Leonardo’s drawings. It’s ON NOW AND MUST CLOSE ON SUNDAY, 27 MAY 2018.

This exhibition is on loan from the Museum of Leonardo da Vinci in Florence, Italy and features a vast array of machines created from original da Vinci drawings, bringing the mechanical concepts of this curious mind to life. Highlights include the bicycle, the scuba suit, a spring-powered car, as well as flying machines.  Visitors can see actual-size digital prints of the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, The Annunciation, Lady with an Ermine and da Vinci’s self-portrait. Visit the website at http://www.cobbandco.qm.qld.gov.au for more information and how to get there.

SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS IN NEED!

You can SUPPORT BRISBANE’S HOMELESS by donating non-perishable food items at local ward offices, and toiletries at local libraries NOW and until Friday, 15 June 2018. Council’s 21st HOMELESS CONNECT event will be held on Thursday, 28 June 2018. It provides our most vulnerable residents with necessities and services such as warm clothes and health checks.

DIG DEEP FOR THE SALVATION ARMY! The Salvos are encouraging residents to give to those in need during this year’s RED SHIELD APPEAL from Monday, 21 May to Sunday, 3 June 2018. The annual fundraising drive includes the Doorknock weekend on 26–27 May, which will raise vital funds for the Salvos’ social and community services which provide help for the homeless, families in crisis and people with addictions. Visit http://www.salvos.org.au for more information on donating, volunteering and other services.

MAKE A NOTE IN YOUR DIARY to attend the BRISBANE BIG CITY BARBECUE to be held on Friday, 8 June 2018 at 12.00 noon in King George Square in the Brisbane CBD. Come along to enjoy a festival of fantastic food and great entertainment to raise money for those in need. Go to http://facebook.com/TheBigCtyBarbecue for more information. 

MUSIC AND MUNCHIES IN PARKS – JOIN IN AT THE SOUND SOCIETY

Relax, escape life’s cares and soothe your soul at THE SOUND SOCIETY – Brisbane’s newest, FREE LIVE MUSIC PROGRAM. Held in two of the river city’s most spectacular parklands, South Bank and Roma Street, The Sound Society celebrates slowing down, great tunes, good company and Brisbane’s gorgeous climate. 

All performances are set among towering, leafy trees and are pulsing with chill vibes – perfect for catching up with friends or enjoying a solo outing. Food is also on the menu. Bring along your favourite picnic snacks or grab a bite to eat from one of the on-site food vendors. 
 
The Sound Society is held on the first weekend of each month and ENTRY IS FREE. South Bank’s sessions are on the Saturday from 2.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m., while Roma Street Parkland’s are on the Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to midday. To find out more, visit the website at http://www.visitbrisbane.com.au/the-sound-society.

 

GO TO NEWS PAGE 2 

BIG SCREEN/LITTLE SCREEN AND PERFORMANCE WRITING FOR STAGE

BIG PLANS FOR 2018 AS SCRIPTED INK. ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR THREE NEW DEVELOPMENT GRANTS! Scripted Ink. has hit the ground running in 2018, announcing three major development investment grants in new scripts from some of Australia’s most celebrated screenwriters.

AWG REPORT: MORE AUSTRALIAN WORKS IN 2018, BUT ORIGINAL VOICES AT A STANDSTILL. The National Voice, the Australian Writers’ Guild’s annual survey of Australia’s 10 largest theatre companies, has concluded that while the overall number of Australian plays in 2018 has increased, original Australian voices on stage have hit a standstill, making up less than 50% of main stage theatre seasons over four years.

HOW TO WIN WRITING COMPETITIONS! – TIPS FROM THE CWA (UK). The CWA DEBUT DAGGER and the MARGERY ALLINGHAM SHORT STORY competitions are two of most popular crime writing competitions in the world. But what are judges looking for? What’s the secret of winning – not just for these two competitions, but for any competition you’re likely to enter?

AND THAT REALLY WILL BE THE END OF THE NEWS! 

UPDATES

23. May, 2018
See THE NEWS above for the exciting events happening in Brisbane and around Queensland. As usual, during May 2018, there are COMPETITIONS to enter and OPPORTUNITIES for creators, as well as AUTHORS to meet, WORKSHOPS to attend, and GENERAL EVENTS to go to – most events are FREE or LOW COST.
STARGAZING LIVE 2018: On Wednesday, 23 May 2018, together with Australian National University (ANU) Stargazing Live is calling on all Australians to help smash the Guinness World Records title for the most people in one country stargazing at the same time. They are asking over 30,000 people across multiple sites to simultaneously observe an object in the night sky through a telescope for the same 10-minute period. The current Guinness World Records title, set in 2015 by the ANU, is 7,960 people across 37 locations. (Photo of the Horsehead Nebula courtesy of Mervyn Millard, Tasmania: modified by L.J. May)