Watchwords

Congratulations on having found your way here!

At the Ekka in Brisbane this year, we have become acutely aware of how badly the appalling current drought has affected people in the bush. Queenslanders have been urged to dig deep to give much-needed relief to drought-stricken farmers by supporting THE QUEENSLAND DROUGHT APPEAL, which was launched on 9 August 2018. Spare a thought for the kids, who have always done chores on the farm, but who now have to take on an extra load, as well as trying to put in a full day at school. See more about what’s happening below. (Photo montage 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 TUESDAY, 14 AUGUST 2018!

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

SHOW OFF! – DO WE NEED TO TELL YOU THAT THE EKKA IS BACK THIS MONTH?

For visiting readers who don’t know, THE ROYAL QUEENSLAND SHOW (THE EKKA) is Queensland's largest and most loved annual event, attracting on average about 400,000 people. Run by the RNA from Friday, 10 August to Sunday, 19 August 2018, and staged at the Brisbane Showgrounds, the Royal Queensland Show brings the country and city together for a great celebration of agriculture and just plain fun.

The Ekka showcases the best of Queensland, with more than 21,000 competition entries from woodchop to giant vegetables, 10,000 animals from beef cattle to cats and dogs, world-class live entertainment, award-winning food and wine, carnival rides and showbags, family shopping, educational activities and much more.

This iconic show has been running since 1876 and is full of traditions, a unique atmosphere and childhood memories, which have been passed down through generations of families. Embrace Ekka's rich history and its unique role in the life of Queenslanders across all generations, and check out the Spirit of the Ekka video at https://www.ekka.com.au/about-us.

See the WHAT'S ON NOW? pages for more details, and the top and bottom of the blog pages at COMPETITIONS ETC. for pics and a rundown of events. Can’t wait? Get your tickets at https://www.ekka.com.au/buy-ticket#tickets. You’ll be happy to know that there are a large number of FREE family-friendly events this year, but the show bags will probably still bust the budget. Enjoy!

THE QUEENSLAND DROUGHT APPEAL

The summer this year has been the driest on record in Queensland since 1889–1890 and over half of Queensland remains in drought. Some of the 23 local council areas that have been drought-declared have been without rain since 2013. The Royal Queensland Show (the Ekka) is a good time to show support for our farmers, many of whom are in crisis.

On 9 August 2018, PREMIER ANNASTACIA PALASZCZUK launched the Queensland Drought Appeal, with The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail joining forces with 7 News and the Country Women’s Association to raise awareness. The Premier and AGRICULTURE MINISTER, MARK FURNER, announced that the State Government would contribute $100,000 on behalf of Queenslanders to kick-start the appeal.

If you would like to donate, visit the Queensland Drought Appeal site at http://www.qlddroughtappeal.com.au or SMS ‘drought’ to 0484 200 200. Mr Furner said all money raised would go to the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA), to be spent on the ground to assist those who live in drought-stricken communities. Please help if you can.

The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail will highlight the stories of the drought across the Ekka during the appeal. All donations of $2 or more to the appeal are tax-deductible. Broadcast partner, the Seven Network, will host a 7 News special, The Queensland Drought Appeal, live from regional Queensland on Saturday, 1 September 2018 at 7.00 p.m

OTHER STATES ARE ALSO IN A BAD WAY

The ABC reports that farmers are facing ruin across New South Wales and Queensland in what some are calling the worst drought in living memory, with costs of stock feed and transport spiralling. Large swathes of eastern Australia have been in drought for periods ranging from a year to seven years, with the record dry conditions prompting calls for further federal and state measures.

If you would like to know how you can help affected farmers across all the states, you can contact the following charities: 

New South Wales is in an even worse position than Queensland and Victoria seems to be next in line. 2018 Gold Logie Winner, GRANT DENYER, revealed the toll the drought has taken on his own property in Bathurst, NSW: ‘My wife took this photo of our backyard and paddocks. So dry, kangaroos are drinking out of our dog bowl,’ he said on Instagram. ‘Some families are at breaking point, unable to afford food and with no choice but to shoot their stock so they don't starve and suffer a slow death.’

TODAY'S FARM AID TELETHON will air live from 5.30 a.m. on Monday, 20 August  2018 on Nine and 9Now. The telethon comes after Nine launched a Drought Relief Appeal on Thursday, 26 July. Since then, the network has raised an incredible $1,317,350 for all drought affected farmers thanks to the Australian public. Viewers can continue to donate online via todayshow.com.au or by calling 1800 732 165 (Monday to Friday, 5.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.)

STEAM INTO NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK 2018!

NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK will run across Australia from Saturday, 11 August 2018 to Sunday, 19 August 2018. You can find EVENTS on the website at https://www.scienceweek.net.au/events, and also a link to download a National Science Week app for both iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android on the NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK FAQ web page at http://www.scienceweek.net.au/faq.

WHAT IS NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK AND WHO IS IT FOR? you ask. National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology and thousands of individuals get involved, from students to scientists, to chefs and musicians, who take part in more than 1,000 science events across the nation. See some of the QUEENSLAND EVENTS at the top and bottom of the blog pages at WHAT'S ON AUTHORS? (4 pages), and WHERE IS BRISBANE?. Also, visit the WHAT'S ON NOW? for more details.

Science Week is designed for everyone – it’s definitely not restricted to schools and universities. There are events, activities, talks and shows for every age group. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world we live in. For more details see About.

By the way, are you confused about the difference between STEM and STEAM? STEM covers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, in which the four disciplines are integrated rather than being studied as isolated subjects as they have been in the past.

STEAM consists of Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS and Mathematics. The arts have been added in the belief that imagination, as well as knowledge, is necessary to produce the best outcomes in the real world. Still confused? Check out http://www.steampoweredfamily.com/education/what-is-steam for more information.

THE GLADSOME WHALE WATCHING SEASON IS HERE AGAIN!

During the summer, WHALES frolic in the chilly waters surrounding ANTARCTICA and devour huge amounts of krill, a prawn-like critter. But in May the food source diminishes, sea ice begins to form, and a whale’s fancy turns to warm and tropical waters where they can play, breed and calve.

Some whales journey west along the southern coast of Australia before turning right and swimming up the coast of Western Australia. More discerning whales swim past the island state of Tasmania and travel up the east coast of Australia to the Great Barrier Reef – and why wouldn’t you head for Queensland in winter; everybody else does.

People messing around in boats, flying over the ocean, and standing about on headlands, vie to be the first to spot MIGALOO, THE GREAT WHITE WHALE, who is about 12 years old now and caused much excitement when he was first seen. To distinguish him from the Son of Migaloo, who is also a white whale, check out whether the whale is accompanied by good mate MILO, a whale of typical colour, who likes to swim up the coast with Migaloo.

In Queensland the gladsome whale-watching season takes place between June and late October, and lasts until the beginning of spring when the whales return south with their calves. Check the top and bottom of the blog pages at WHAT'S ON NOW? (5 pages) for pics and whale tales.

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 what’s happening during NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK 2018 on the top and bottom of this home page, WHAT'S ON AUTHORS? (4 pages), and WHERE IS BRISBANE? Contemplate the FAIRFAX TAKEOVER by Nine on NEWS PAGE 2. Find out what’s happening at the EKKA on the COMPETITIONS ETC. pages (4 pages). And join in THE GLADSOME WHALE WATCHING SEASON at WHAT'S ON NOW? (5 pages).

THE ACWA HAS SHORTLISTED THIS YEAR’S NED KELLY AWARDS

THE AUSTRALIAN CRIME WRITERS ASSOCIATION (ACWA) has announced the shortlists for THE 21ST NED KELLY AWARDS FOR CRIME FICTION. The Ned Kelly Awards celebrate the best in Australian crime fiction and true crime. The shortlists were drawn from over seventy-five entries across three award categories. Some of Australia’s best crime fiction authors, hottest new talent and a diverse range of true crime authors have been shortlisted.

The shortlist for the Best Debut Crime has four outstanding entries from writers who are already being widely recognised for their contribution to the genre:

  • Wimmera by Mark Brandi
  • The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
  • The Girl in Kellers Way by Megan Goldin
  • See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

‘The judges commented on the ability of these authors to create a tense, close and claustrophobic atmosphere,’ Judging Coordinator Robert Goodman said.

The Best True Crime shortlist is a mix of academic, adventure, historic and courtroom stories:

  • The Contractor by Mark Abernethy
  • Unmaking a Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna-Jane Cheney by Graham Archer 
  • The Suitcase Baby by Tania Bretherton 
  • The Fatalist by Campbell McConachie 
  • Whiteley on Trial by Gabriella Coslovich

‘The judges were impressed by the breadth and variety of criminal subject matter of this year’s entries,’ the Judging Coordinator said.

The Best Crime Fiction Award shortlist featured six exceptional crime novels. The list includes multiple Ned Kelly Award winners Garry Disher and Candice Fox as well as newcomers to the shortlist like Iain Ryan. The shortlist includes:

  • Marlborough Man by Alan Carter
  • Under Cold Bright Lights by Garry Disher
  • Redemption Point by Candice Fox
  • Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill
  • The Lone Child by Anna George
  • The Student by Iain Ryan

The judges felt that this shortlist represents both the strength and diversity of the Australian crime fiction scene.

The winners will be announced during the MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL. The awards ceremony will be held at 5.00 p.m. on Sunday, 26 August 2018 at the Toff in Town, Swanston Street, Melbourne.

The ceremony will feature a number of special guest storytellers from the true crime and fictional world and recognition of a crime writing great with a Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award. For more information about the awards, go to the ACWA website at https://www.austcrimewriters.com, and for any Media Enquiries contact Rochelle Jackson on 0419 872 538. Happy reading!

BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL (BWF) – GET INVOLVED IN THE FREE EVENTS PROGRAM!

This year the BWF has a number of free events running alongside their main program. LOVE YA is a full day of free programming developed for fans of young adult fiction presented in partnership with BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL LIBRARIES, and includes sessions with international bestseller VERONICA ROTH, ALISON GOODMAN and JARED THOMAS. Find out about free events on http://www.bwf.org.au.

You can also get involved in the free events program through BWF IN YOUR SUBURB (co-presented by BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL LIBRARIES and LOGAN CITY COUNCIL LIBRARIES). Your favourite authors will be coming to your local library, including NIKKI GEMMELL, A.J. FINN, KATE GRENVILLE and MANAL AL-SHARIFF. 

Meet KATE GRENVILLE at the GARDEN CITY LIBRARY. Leading Australian author Kate Grenville will present The Case Against Fragrance. Based on years of research, The Case Against Fragrance is both accessible and personal, and will make you see and smell the world differently. Kate’s novels include The Secret River, Lillian’s Story, and Joan Makes History. Find out More info

MANAL AL-SHARIFF will be at the SUNNYBANK HILLS LIBRARY. Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening, is a ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia, who became the unexpected leader of the courageous movement that won Saudi women the right to drive. Find out More info

Catch up with A.J. FINN at the HOLLAND PARK LIBRARY. Bestselling U.S. crime writer A.J. Finn will discuss his latest novel, The Woman in the Window, a taut and original novel of psychological suspense. Find out More info

BWF SPECIAL EVENTS

MORE IN YOUR SUBURB EVENTS! Discover the BWF special events program, which features intimate dinners with authors, Cosplay events, and more. With speakers such as IRVINE WELSH, GEOFFREY ROBERTSON, TIM ROGERS, PROFESSOR MARCIA LANGTON and LAUREN WEISBERGER, tickets are sure to sell out fast. Grab your place(s) at these great events by booking online here BOOK NOW.

HARD COPY PROGRAMS

If you like to write notes all over a program to mark the BWF sessions you want to attend, you can receive a hard copy of this year's program by signing up here MAIL ME A PROGRAM, and UpLit will send you a printed program in the mail. The BWF says that you can also pick up a printed program at the State Library of Queensland, Brisbane City Council Libraries and Creative Brisbane stands, although we haven’t spotted them yet. If you want to be sure of getting one, best to sign up.

The BRISBANE WRITERS FESTIVAL kicks off on Thursday, 6 September 2018 and runs until Sunday, 9 September 2018. Tickets are now on sale. Check the website at https://bwf.org.au for details and follow everything that’s happening on Word Play and the BWF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for festival updates and writing news.

FAIRFAX TAKEOVER BY NINE

GO TO NEWS PAGE 2 for opinions on the proposed FAIRFAX TAKEOVER BY NINE.

AND THAT REALLY WILL BE THE END OF THE NEWS! 

UPDATES

14. Aug, 2018
See THE NEWS above for the exciting events happening in Brisbane and around Queensland. As usual, during August 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.
At the EKKA, the Main Arena is the place to be for all things horsey, cattle parades, sheepdog trials and all manner of beasts. The competition for the coveted ribbons is fierce, and it’s astonishing that with crippling drought still being felt in so many areas of the bush, there are farmers who still manage to get here and bring their prized animals with them. You have to admire the perseverance and courage of people on the land, so give them an extra big hand this year and show your support. RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou says: ‘We all need to rally behind our farmers and recognise that EVERYTHING STARTS WITH AGRICULTURE – from the clothes you wear to the food you eat. With food security issues impacting on nations around the world, we need to champion the fact that in our backyard, our farmers are producing the world’s best, year in year out – we need to become proud advocates of this.’ (Photo montage by L.J. May S/S)