Watchwords

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FLOODS IN TOWNSVILLE – NORTH QUEENSLAND. Over a quarter of Townsville’s homes have been affected and some 20,000 of the city’s population of 190,000 severely impacted by the deluge of monsoon rains and the dam release. Many people have lost everything they owned and literally are living with just the clothes they stand up in. If you feel for them, please donate to the organisations that are helping them survive. Go to WHERE IS BRISBANE on the menu at left for more pics and stories. See the photograph at the bottom of this page to find out what’s happening and how you can help. (Photo montage by L.J. May)

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, 13 FEBRUARY 2019!

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

THE BRISASIA FESTIVAL IS HERE!

Brisbane residents and visitors will enjoy a smorgasbord of Asian-inspired art and culture across Brisbane in February as part of the 2019 BRISASIA FESTIVAL. There are more than 100 exciting events to be held over 23 days until Sunday, 3 March 2019, including music, public art, sport tournaments, markets, live comedy, rooftop parties and much more.

This year, the LUNAR NEW YEAR fell on Tuesday, 5 February 2019, and ushered in THE YEAR OF THE PIG. The Pig occupies the twelfth position in the Chinese zodiac and, according to custom, that makes this a great year to make money and a good year to invest. In 2019, the BrisAsia Festival coincided with Lunar New Year celebrations, which were held in Brisbane City, Chinatown in Fortitude Valley, and across Brisbane all the way to Sunnybank.

Still to come in February is the FREE summer party in Musgrave Park, South Brisbane on Saturday, 16 February 2019 from 3.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. and the FREE Lunar Year Rooftop Party on the Sunnybank Plaza Rooftop car park at Sunnybank, also on Saturday, 16 February 2019 from 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

It will be FREE to browse the BrisAsia Festival Markets at the Seven Hills Hub and you can Get Your Geek On! At the University of Queensland. There’s much more to see and do. See the WHAT'S ON NOW? (5 pages) and check out the pics on the top and bottom of those pages for extra information about what’s happening during BrisAsia.

THE BRISBANE COMEDY FESTIVAL IS BACK!

Give it up for the BRISBANE COMEDY FESTIVAL, which this year turns 10 and offers a multi-venue extravaganza of giggles and gags. The Festival kicks off with an Opening Gala at City Hall on Friday, 22 February 2019 and runs until Sunday, 24 March 2019. Incidentally, if you were hoping to book in for the opening gala hosted by stand-up comedian and TV host, CHARLIE PICKERING, it’s already booked out – sorry. Never mind, there’s more where he came from.

The festival will hit the big 1-OH with 75 hilarious comedy acts including stand-up, sketch, improv and cabaret. Organisers invite you to get skit-faced during four great weeks of entertainment across three venues: the Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane City Hall and SunPAC in Sunnybank. Festival organisers would also like to say that they are not responsible for any side-splitting laugh injuries which leave you in stitches.

This year the laughs will spread across the whole family with a series of weird, whacky, and wonderful shows for kids (and kids at heart)! Don’t be shy – slap on a smile and get ready to laugh with some of the funniest people in the country. Many of the events are FREE, so even if you’re broke you’ll find something to laugh about.

We’ll catch up with the March comedy events in the update for that month, but don’t miss the great stuff happening in February. Check out what’s happening at WHAT'S ON NOW? (5 pages), plus pics and information about who’s appearing and where, on the top and bottom of WHAT'S ON AUTHORS? (4 pages). 

If you get in quick, you should be able to pick up a full program for free at your local Brisbane City Council Library. You can also DOWNLOAD THE EVENT GUIDE at https://www.brisbanecomedyfestival.com/content/uploads/2018/12/BCF-guide-FINAL-pages-low-res.pdf.

VALENTINE’S DAY – THOUGHTS AND SUGGESTIONS – TO WIT, TO WOO!

Want to plan something special for VALENTINE’S DAY? The 14th February 2019 is a day to play cupid or spend time with friends, and Brisbane has plenty of options for a romantic rendezvous and friendly catch up. You can take a moonlight stroll down the Brisbane Riverwalk and enjoy dinner and drinks by the river at the city’s newest dining precinct, Howard Smith Wharves.

Are you the athletic type? Try a sunset CityCyle or CityCat ride along the river with a picnic basket filled with treats from a local deli. If you and your partner have stars in your eyes, head to Mt Coot-tha for dinner at the Botanic Gardens Café, followed by a show at the St Thomas Brisbane Planetarium (to book, call 3870 7598).

But wait – there’s more! Check out the pics at the top and bottom of COMPETITIONS ETC. (4 pages) for some inspirational thoughts and suggestions to make Valentine ’s Day memorable for your significant other. You’ll never hear the end of it if you don’t.

IN OUR PHOTO ESSAY THIS MONTH!

Find information and pictures of events happening around Brisbane and Queensland on EVENT QUICKLISTS! and EVENT QUICKLISTS! P2. See NEWS PAGE 2 for DEBUT DAGGER 2019 HINTS & TIPS – ‘Writing That Debut Dagger Synopsis – Thoughts from a Reader’ and ‘How to Win Writing Competitions!’ by CWA Secretary, Dea Parkin.

Floods in TOWNSVILLE and CLONCURRY have devastated north and North West Queensland – see the top and bottom of this page and WHERE IS BRISBANE? for pictures, information and how you can help. Check out the top and bottom of WHAT'S ON AUTHORS? (4 pages) for who will be performing at the BRISBANE COMEDY FESTIVAL, and pics on the top and bottom of COMPETITIONS ETC. (4 pages) for thoughts on Valentine’s Day.

There will be more than 100 exciting events held over 23 days during THE BRISASIA FESTIVAL. Find out what’s happening during this festival and other events through pics and stories on the top and bottom of the WHAT'S ON NOW? (5 pages).  

 A REMINDER TO FRANTIC SCRIBBLERS – THE DEADLINE FOR BOTH THE CWA’S DEBUT DAGGER AND MARGARET ALLINGHAM SHORT STORY COMPETITION IS 28 FEBRUARY 2019!

MYSTERY WRITER ALERT! Entries for the CWA’s MARGERY ALLINGHAM SHORT STORY COMPETITION are now open for unpublished mystery stories. Entries must be submitted in English, but the author does not need to be resident in the United Kingdom. Entries close on 28 February 2019. Go to COMPETITIONS ETC. for details.

CRIME WRITER ALERT! The CWA Daggers are the most coveted awards in crime-writing and entries are now open for the CWA DEBUT DAGGER 2019. Crime writers from across the world are welcome to enter. Could you be the next winner? Only unpublished authors are eligible to enter this competition. Self-published authors are welcome to enter as long as they have never had a traditional publishing contract for a full-length novel. Deadline is 28 February 2019. Go to COMPETITIONS ETC. for details.

Find out what competition judges like in their crime fiction

This information is aimed at would-be entrants of both the CWA/MARGERY ALLINGHAM SHORT STORY COMPETITION and the CWA DEBUT DAGGER, both with closing dates of 28 February at 6.00 p.m.

THE DEBUT DAGGER JUDGES are listed on the Crime Writers Association (CWA UK) website here and their biogs give you useful hints. We can’t help as much with THE READERS as they’re anonymous: but all are published crime authors in a wide variety of genres.

Psychological crime, domestic noir, cosy crime, high-octane thrillers, espionage, police procedurals, historical crime fiction, supernatural cross-overs or something a bit weird or off the wall – all are written and enjoyed by the readers and are welcomed as entries to the CWA Debut Dagger.

Go to NEWS PAGE 2 for information aimed at writers who want to enter the CWA/MARGERY ALLINGHAM SHORT STORY COMPETITION and the CWA DEBUT DAGGER 2019, both with closing dates of 28 February 2019 at 6.00 p.m. HINTS & TIPS include ‘Writing That Debut Dagger Synopsis – Thoughts from a Reader’ and ‘How to Win Writing Competitions!’ by CWA Secretary, Dea Parkin.

FILMMAKERS – THE DEADLINE FOR THE ST KILDA FLM FESTIVAL AND THE SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL IS 28 FEBRUARY 2019!

The 2019 ST KILDA FILM FESTIVAL will run from Friday, 21 June to Sunday, 30 June 2019. Enter the open Short Film Competition and/or the ‘Under the Radar’ Youth Short Film Competition for young filmmakers under 21 in Australia. Submissions close on Friday, 22 February, 2019. Go to THEATRE, FILM & TV for details.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of the 66th Sydney Film Festival. Feature films, documentaries, and short films can now be submitted for consideration. The 2019 SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL will run from Wednesday, 5 June to Sunday, 16 June 2019. The deadline for Australian productions in the various categories is 28 February 2019. Go to THEATRE, FILM & TV for details.

IT’S COMING! – THE SEQUEL TO THE HANDMAID’S TALE!

The van door slammed shut on Offred at the end of the The Handmaid’s Tale and readers were alarmed. What lay ahead for Offred? Freedom, prison – or death. With The Testaments the wait is over. Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the van. ‘And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light.’

Margaret Atwood says: ‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’ (Now that IS unnerving!)

The Republic of Gilead, a post-apocalyptic nation in the former USA, formed the basis of the smash hit TV series The Handmaid’s Tale. The republic offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither that of Offred nor the two men on which her future depends. ‘Compulsively readable,’ said the Daily Telegraph.

In Atwood’s unnerving book (probably her best), Atwood brings to life a claustrophobic, totalitarian, religiously-based society trying to repopulate itself after a series of catastrophes has left the world with few viable children, and in doing so, she has created a totally believable world.

At the end of the novel, a speaker at the International Historical Association Convention of 25 June 2195, a Cambridge University Professor, explains how the story by an unknown narrator was recovered after old VHS videotapes were found in a box, with subsequent investigations by historians unable to discover (as is usually the way with anonymous historical artefacts) what subsequently happened to the woman who told her story, or of the real identity and fate of the people she described. Did she escape or was she caught and executed? Who knows?

Margaret Atwood’s work has been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; The Year of the Flood, and Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize (also features God’s Gardeners).

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, pre-order The Testaments from your favourite book store. You’re in for a good read given that the novel weighs in at some 350 pages. The ISBN is 9781784742324, and the book should be available in stores on or about 10 September 2019. Check with your trusty retailer. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson. To find out what she’s been up to, visit her websites: http://www.yearoftheflood.com and http://nanatalese.com.

AND THAT REALLY WILL BE THE END OF THE NEWS! 


See NEWS PAGE 2 for information aimed at writers who want to enter the CWA/MARGERY ALLINGHAM SHORT STORY COMPETITION and the CWA DEBUT DAGGER 2019, both with closing dates of 28 February 2019 at 6.00 p.m. HINTS & TIPS include ‘Writing That Debut Dagger Synopsis – Thoughts from a Reader’ and ‘How to Win Writing Competitions!’ by CWA Secretary, Dea Parkin.

UPDATES

13. Feb, 2019
See THE NEWS above for the exciting events happening in Brisbane and around Queensland. As usual, during February 2019, 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.
FLOODS IN TOWNSVILLE – NORTH QUEENSLAND, AND CLONCURRY – NORTH WEST QUEENSLAND. If you can do so, please donate to assist the people who are living with the wreckage of their lives. Go to the government website to see what’s being done, and give to the organisations in the bottom photograph, which are already up and running to help the devastated citizens of Townsville, the town of Cloncurry, and the North West outback. Townsville is still reeling from the impact of receiving a year’s worth of rain in one week. The ABC’s veteran weather woman, Jenny Woodward, said that it was the first time that she had ever had to read a weather report that measured rainfall in metres rather than inches. Townsville is a garrison town, and members of the army are out in force to help, even as their own homes are going under. People in Townsville who escaped the worst of it are helping those who have nowhere to go, many taking families and individuals into their own homes for the duration. Go to WHERE IS BRISBANE on the menu at left for more pics and stories. They are brave and resilient people but they could really do with your help. Please give if you can. (Photo montage by L.J. May)