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Alas, award-winning Australian author PETER CORRIS, the ‘godfather of Australian crime writing’ has died at the age of 76 and we are sad. Cliff Hardy, Peter’s most famous creation, has died with him and will be seen no more on the mean streets of Sydney. Peter's books were nominated for six Ned Kelly Awards and shortlisted twice. He was awarded the Ned Kelly Award for Lifetime Achievement In 1999 and went on to win the Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction in 2009. Read more about the man and his works in the News below. (Photo by Lorrie Graham; 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.

THE NEWS WAS UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 2018!

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

THE UNIQUENESS OF MALAYSIA

CITRA MALAYSIA began in 2011 with the aim of making Australians aware of Malaysia’s unique multicultural background. This year the theme will be ‘A Malaysian Childhood’. Come along and enjoy the activities, food, performances, and decorations – it’s FREE and it’s happening on Saturday, 22 September 2018 from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. in King George Square, 100 Adelaide Street, Brisbane View on Google Maps. This venue is wheelchair accessible. To find out more, visit their Facebook page.

HEAD FOR THE 'SWELL SCULPTURE FESTIVAL' AT CURRUMBIN ON THE GOLD COAST

The 16TH SWELL SCULPTURE FESTIVAL is ON NOW at Pacific Parade, Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast and runs until Sunday, 23 September 2018. It’s FREE ENTRY and accessible. Bring yourselves, your family, your dog and your camera. The festival started in 2003 with 23 sculptures and has now expanded to a 10-day festival, with over 275,000 people flocking to Currumbin Beach to gape at 50 monumental, awe-inspiring and memorable sculptures. See Muriel at the bottom of EVENT QUICKLISTS!

The festival is free to the public and is open all hours. The magnificent outdoor gallery presents the opportunity to enjoy free guided twilight walks and artist talks, and festival activities have been extended to include performance art, music, yoga among the sculptures and lots of culinary delights.

Go to the website at http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/whats-on-all where you’ll find 'What’s On'. There’s information about the free guided tours and twilight walks, and a site map to help you find your way around. If artist-led workshops are your thing, there are Kids’ Weekend Workshops for $15, and Sunday Sessions Life Drawing which will cost you $45 and $30.

SATELLITE SWELL – year round, SWELL works with clients and collaborators, coordinating and hosting new and exciting recognised national and international artists for stand-alone public art projects. For more information and to view some videos, go to http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/all-swell2017 and http://www.swellsculpture.com.au.

ANNOUNCING THE 2018 NED KELLY AWARD WINNERS

THE NED KELLY AWARDS are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious prizes honouring our published crime fiction and true crime writing. The awards began in 1995 and have since become internationally recognised, which has done much to raise awareness worldwide of Australia’s great crime authors.

The Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) announced the winners of the 2018 Ned Kelly Awards at a packed event at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival on 26 August, 2018. There are four categories: Best First Crime Novel, Best Crime Novel, Best True Crime, and the Lifetime Achievement Award

WINNER: BEST FIRST CRIME NOVEL – Sarah Bailey, The Dark Lake (Allen & Unwin, RRP $32.99). The judges described The Dark Lake as ‘a sophisticated first novel with a strong emphasis on character and setting. The victim is given life through the memories and emotions of her childhood friend, now lead investigator of her death.’ Sarah Bailey is a Melbourne based writer with a background in advertising and communications. 

WINNER: BEST CRIME NOVEL – Sulari Gentill, Crossing The Lines (Pantera Press, RRP $29.99). The judges described Crossing The Lines as ‘an intricate dance of mystery and psychological suspense that blurs the lines between real and fictional, sanity and insanity, obsession and love.’ Sulari Gentill is author of the award-winning and best-selling Rowland Sinclair Mysteries and the Greek mythology adventure series The Hero Trilogy.

WINNER: BEST TRUE CRIME – Graham Archer, Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna-Jane Cheney (Penguin, RRP $34.99). The judges described Unmaking A Murder as ‘a fascinating, detailed and well researched tale of a gross miscarriage of justice by a system more concerned with sustaining the status quo than pursuing justice.’ Graham Archer is an investigative reporter and producer who has worked for the ABC, Channel 9 and is now Director, News and Public Affairs, SA for channel 7. Archer became fascinated by the case in which a man could be sentenced to life in prison without him having received a fair trial.

WINNER: LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: – Garry Disher. Rochelle Jackson, chair of the Australian Crime Writers' Association said: ‘Garry Disher has made an outstanding contribution to Australian crime fiction, using his characters to explore and expose Australian culture. His crime fiction is just one aspect of a long, successful and varied literary career which shows no sign of slowing down.’

GARRY DISHER has published over fifty titles – fiction, children’s books, anthologies, textbooks, the Wyatt thrillers and the Peninsula Crimes series. His crime novels are rapidly earning an international reputation, with editions published in the USA, England, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Italy, Spain and Hungary. 

Garry has won numerous awards, including the German Crime Prize (twice) and two Ned Kelly Best Crime novel awards, for Chain of Evidence (2007) and Wyatt (2010). Garry lives on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. His latest novel, Under The Cold Bright Lights, is published by Text Publishing (RRP $29.99). Visit his website at http://www.garrydisher.com for more about the man and his work.

Future Awards to be sponsored by Booktopia

Tony Nash, CEO of Booktopia, announced at this year’s Ned Kelly Awards that Booktopia is sponsoring the awards for the next three years. Rochelle Jackson, chair of the Australian Crime Writers' Association said: ‘This is an exciting new chapter for the Ned Kelly Awards and the ACWA. We're delighted to be sponsored by Booktopia and look forward to a building a great rapport now and into the future.’

Thank you to the Australian Crime Writers' Association (ACWA) for this information. For more details please contact: Judging Co-ordinator, Robert Goodman on 0468 822 830 or email vice-chair@austcrimewriters.com.

THE BRISBANE FESTIVAL – SATURDAY, 8 SEPTEMBER TO SATURDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2018

Hot on the heels of the Brisbane Writers Festival comes the BRISBANE FESTIVAL, one of Australia’s major international arts festivals. It aims to connect artists and audiences in ways that lift the spirit, disrupt the conventional and open our city to the world. Every September, the Festival explodes across the city with a thrilling program of theatre, music, dance, circus, opera and major public events such as SUNSUPER RIVERFIRE, and each year it attracts an audience of around one million people.

BRISBANE FESTIVAL 2018 has an astonishing array of events to inform, entertain and delight you. Get in on the action and head for multiple venues to see big name acts, more world premieres than ever before, and a spectacular new light-and-laser river show that will illuminate Brisbane for 22 days of celebration.

Organisers say that they believe in creating a compelling connection between audiences and arts experiences. The aim is to remove cultural, price and physical barriers, to reflect diverse tastes and cultures, and to reach out to audiences who might not normally attend arts events. Artistic Director, DAVID BERTHOLD, decided to present this year’s massive festival in three acts – one for each of the three weeks.

ACT 1 in the first week offers almost 30 different productions in venues across the city to reflect home, memory and gender. ACT 2 in the second week casts the individual against the giant forces of nature, fate and society in thrilling expressions of circus, dance and music. During the final week, ACT 3 presents a fierce and fun climax, with family truths, horror and some rocking music.  

The Festival offers a mix of free and ticketed events. TO BOOK YOUR TICKETS for Brisbane Festival 2018 events, call Qtix on 136 246 or visit The Brisbane Festival website at https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au. To find out more about the Brisbane Festival, go to https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/about. You might still be able to grab a printed program at your local library. If not, you can check out the program online at https://www.brisbanefestival.com.au/whats-on.

IN OUR PHOTO ESSAY THIS MONTH!

Find information and pictures of events happening around Brisbane and Queensland on EVENT QUICKLISTS! and EVENT QUICKLISTS! P2. We reflect on those we’ve lost in August at the top and bottom of this home page, and on NEWS PAGE 2. Check out the authors we met in August this year during THE BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL (BWF) on the top and bottom of WHAT'S ON AUTHORS? (4 pages), COMPETITIONS ETC. (4 pages), WHAT'S ON NOW? (5 pages), and WHERE IS BRISBANE?.

FAREWELL AUSTRALIAN CRIME WRITER PETER CORRIS WHO DIED ON THURSDAY, 30 AUGUST 2018 AT THE AGE OF 76 – AND CLIFF HARDY WENT TOO!

PETER CORRIS has been described as the ‘godfather of Australian crime writing’. His first novel was published in 1980 and he became a full-time writer in 1982. Of course there were crime stories being produced in Australia before Peter had the notion of writing a fully-fledged crime novel with local settings and an unmistakably Australian character in the person of the inimitable Cliff Hardy.

But from the 1950s to the 1980s, crime writers in Australia were mainly producing mass market pulp novelettes set either in Britain or America. Among those writers was Alan Geoffrey Yates, writing principally as Carter Brown, who became an international bestselling author with 322 Carter Brown novels published in Australia, overseas and in translation, with a reportedly 120 million CB books in print. It was some feat and Alan was deservedly inducted into the ACWA Hall of Fame in 1997.

It is fitting that Peter Corris was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. After the release of his first novel The Dying Trade in 1980, Peter, a former academic and journalist, published nearly 70 fiction and non-fiction titles, although he is best known for the highly addictive Cliff Hardy series. For a quick list of Peter’s astonishing output, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Corris, and for more about him and his books, go to http://www.petercorris.net/petercorris.net/Home.html.

MEET CLIFF HARDY: smoker, drinker, ex-boxer – and private investigator. The third Cliff Hardy title, The Empty Beach, was made into a classic of Australian noir in 1985, starring Bryan Brown. Why nobody has made an ongoing TV series of these novels beats us. Luckily, those who have come to Cliff Hardy late may still find a dazzling array of Cliff books in Brisbane City Council libraries and for sale at a very reasonable price In Booktopia’s online store.

CHARLES WATERSTREET said of Peter Corris in 2012: ‘He has written thirty-seven crime novels and has made more out of crime than any barrister I know. What is remarkable is the consistency of excellence in tone and his impeccable ear for the peculiarities of dialogue between strangers, friends, lovers and enemies. Without Corris, there would be no Underbelly series, or dare I say, Rake, no Australian accent in our crime fighters, criminals, victims, coppers; no Australian point-of-view in the very stuff of our own restless history...

‘Corris has outstanding academic qualifications in history and journalism that he does not allow to infect his writing at all. He writes with no hint of self-importance or showing off. He hides his many bright lights under many bushels. He draws chalk lines around victims while they are still walking and talking. In The Dying Trade we experience foreboding, dread, prickly anticipation and a real sense of satisfaction that we are in the hands of a master storyteller, a true magician who could pull a rabbit out of a hat at any time – and shoot it dead.’

VALE NEIL SIMON – PROLIFIC AMERICAN AUTHOR, PLAYWRIGHT AND SCREENWRITER

NEIL SIMON died on 26 August 2018 at the age of 91. During his long career he wrote more than 30 plays and about the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his own plays. His first effort Come Blow Your Horn (1961) took him three years to write, mainly because he was also working on writing television and radio scripts. Apparently he rewrote the play at least twenty times from beginning to end, but it ended up running for 678 performances on Broadway, so his perseverance paid off.

Two more successful plays followed, Barefoot in the Park in 1963, and The Odd Couple in 1965, which won a Tony Award. Simon became a national celebrity and ‘the hottest new playwright on Broadway’, and over the years he received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer. Neil Simon’s extensive body of work included comedy, drama, farce and autobiography.

After presenting his play ‘Lost in Yonkers’ in 1991, Simon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, and in 2006 received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Simon also wrote screenplays for well over twenty films and received four Academy Award nominations. See the picture at the bottom of the page and read more about this remarkable writer’s life and times.

LET’S HEAR AN AMEN FOR ARETHA FRANKLIN AND THE MUSIC SHE BROUGHT INTO OUR LIVES!

On Saturday, 1 September 2018 a Detroit church swelled with gospel music, and hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of ARETHA FRANKLIN following her death at the age of 76 on Thursday, 16 August 2018.

Aretha began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father was minister. Even at that stage people knew they were seeing something special, and Aretha Franklin didn't disappoint, going on to be the black American female singer who took soul music into the pop charts.

During her career, Aretha recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries, and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in history. Aretha won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 through to 1975, and she remains one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Not much that is good is coming out of the United States these days, but Aretha Franklin was an American institution whose music inspired people around the world and provided the soundtrack to millions of lives. For an article and a video of the funeral, visit the ABC news link at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-01/mourners-gather-for-aretha-franklin-funeral/10189510, and go to NEWS PAGE 2 for an ARETHA FRANKLIN TRIBUTE.

Go to NEWS PAGE 2 for an ARETHA FRANKLIN TRIBUTE.

AND THAT REALLY WILL BE THE END OF THE NEWS! 

UPDATES

19. Sep, 2018
See THE NEWS above for the exciting events happening in Brisbane and around Queensland. As usual, during September 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.
Above: Cy Coleman (left) and Neil Simon (right) at the piano rehearsing for a TV show in 1982. NEIL SIMON grew up in New York City during the Great Depression. Times were hard and his parents’ marriage suffered as a result, making his childhood both unhappy and unstable. He often took refuge in movie theatres to watch early comedians such as Charlie Chaplin. Not surprisingly, his later writing style tended to be consistently comedic and situational, presenting serious subjects in such a way that audiences felt that if they didn’t laugh they’d cry. Although he married five times, Simon’s work often reflected traditional values of marriage and family, leading some critics to describe his stories as rather old-fashioned – but audiences didn’t agree. After graduating from high school, Neil began writing comedy scripts for radio and early television shows. He worked alongside young writers such as Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, who were later to go on to fame and fortune. An audience TV favourite was ‘The Phil Silvers Show’, which ran from 1955 to 1959. In 1966 Simon had four shows playing at Broadway theatres at the same time. During the 1970s he wrote several successful plays, with more than one playing simultaneously to standing room only audiences. In 1983 Simon became the only living playwright to have a New York theatre, the Neil Simon Theatre, named in his honour. During that year he began writing the first of three autobiographical plays ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ (1983), ‘Biloxi Blues’ (1985) and ‘Broadway Bound’ (1986), followed by ‘Lost in Yonkers’ in 1991. In 2004, Neil received a kidney transplant from his long-time friend and publicist, Bill Evans, and did well until he developed Alzheimer’s Disease. Neil Simon was hospitalised for renal failure in August this year and died at the age of 91 on 26 August 2018 at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. (Publicity photo of Cy Coleman (left) and Neil Simon (right) at the piano rehearsing for the TV show ‘A New ‘Little Me’’ in January 1982. PD)