Watchwords

FIRESTORM AUSTRALIA!

BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY, November and December 2019. There are still bushfires burning across Queensland and New South Wales. Near the large regional city of Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, several homes have been destroyed at Ravensbourne and more have been gutted at Pechey. An evacuation order was issued for Moreton Island campers, who headed for the Tangalooma Island Resort on the island. Homes have been lost at Cobraball on the central Queensland coast and more destroyed at Cooroibah on the Sunshine Coast. (Photo by L.J. May)

Watchwords

This page is devoted to events and activities of interest to writers, illustrators and readers! Go to entries below the quick list for more detailed information.  

  • Crawl over hot coals to spend AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS in Brisbane. He really is one of the funniest people on the planet, a savant of razor sharp and sardonic wit, and one of the world’s pre-eminent humour writers. We’re telling you about his visit early so that you can book in before the rush starts. Grab your tickets well in advance for the Concert Hall at QPAC, South Bank, on Monday, 13 January 2020 at 7.30 p.m.
  • Join CLAIRE ASHMAN as she discusses her fascinating life and the writing of her book Lessons from a Cult Survivor. After years of scraping by on next to nothing and living in fear of the next End of Times prediction, Claire was torn between being a good Catholic and taking an opportunity to escape. Find out what happened next at the Bracken Ridge Library on Wednesday, 15 January 2020 from 6.00 to 7.00 p.m., and the Kenmore Library on Friday, 31 January from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 a.m.
  • Creators and readers of COMIC BOOKS and GRAPHIC NOVELS will thoroughly enjoy POP CULTURE MEET-UP, a monthly event with Aussie comic creator PAUL MASON. Lots of activities and great prizes to be won for people of all ages, at the Brisbane Square Library on Friday, 17 January 2020, from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
  • Head for the Indooroopilly Library to discuss the works of MARGARET ATWOOD, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments (sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize), Alias GraceThe Blind Assassin, and many more. Turn up under his eye to the Indooroopilly Library on Saturday, 18 January 2020 from 1.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
  • Author ANNA CAHILL will discuss the research and writing of her new book Colours of a Life, the biography of a talented, bisexual artist who had to leave his country to live life on his own terms in Europe. Hear this compelling story of a life richly and unconventionally led, at the West End Library on Thursday, 30 January 2020. 

 

The Event: AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS – ONE OF THE WORLD’S FUNNIEST PEOPLE

Date and time: Monday, 13 January 2020 at 7.30 p.m. (1 hour and 30 min with no interval).

Venue: Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Cnr Melbourne & Grey Streets, South Bank, Brisbane. 

Ticket price: All tickets are $65. A transaction fee of $7.20 applies per transaction. Go to the website at https://www.qpac.com.au/event/david_sedaris_20 to book online, or phone QPAC on 136 246.

What’s happening: Crawl over hot coals to spend AN EVENING WITH DAVID SEDARIS in Brisbane. He really is one of the funniest people on the planet, a savant of razor sharp and sardonic wit, and one of the world’s pre-eminent humour writers. We’re telling you about his visit early so that you can book in before the rush starts.

After he wrote Naked (1997), David developed a large and devoted following, which only increased after the release of his equally hilarious observational and occasionally peripatetic publications Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Barrel Fever, Santaland Diaries, Holidays on Ice, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977– 2002). Give yourselves a treat and track them down.

Sedaris is at his darkly hilarious best in his bestselling book Calypso, which received a New York Times bestseller listing, and The Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Now you can join David at QPAC for an evening filled with storytelling, observations, unpublished tales, audience Q & As and book signings. ‘David leaves his audience weeping. And still wanting more,’ said the New York Times – and you will too if you’re lucky enough to get in.

 

The Event: MEET AUTHOR CLAIRE ASHMAN

Date, time and BCC library venues for ‘Claire Ashman’: Wednesday, 15 January 2020 from 6.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. at Bracken Ridge Library (Phone: (07) 3667 6060); Friday, 31 January 2020 from 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. at Kenmore Library (Phone: (07) 3407 0258).

Ticket price: FREE but bookings are required at the presenting library by contacting them on the phone numbers given above.

What’s happening: Join CLAIRE ASHMAN as she discusses her fascinating life and the writing of her book Lessons from a Cult Survivor. Growing up in the southern Australian countryside in Lal Lal, Claire knew there was something different about her strict Catholic upbringing. Largely isolated from the outside world, Claire and her siblings were raised by parents who rejected the post-Vatican II attempt to modernise the Catholic Church by following the Tridentine teachings of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).

As a result, Claire and her siblings spent their days alternating between caring for the land and the animals they owned, praying, studying the Bible, and preparing for the End of Times. At the age of 18, Claire married a man 12 years her senior, with whom she would have nine children, and who would move the family to a doomsday cult (the Order of St Charbel) in Nowra.

After years of scraping by on next to nothing and living in fear of the next End of Times prediction, Claire was torn between being a good Catholic and wanting out of the cult. When an unexpected visit from the police gave her an opportunity to escape, Claire took it and never looked back. Books will be available for purchase at the event, or bring your copy from home for Claire to sign.

 

The Event: POP CULTURE MEET-UP

Date and time: Friday, 17 January 2020, from 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Venue: Brisbane Square Library.

Ticket price: FREE to attend and no bookings are necessary – just turn up. Ring the Brisbane Square Library on (07) 3403 4166 if you have any questions.

What’s happening: Creators and readers of COMIC BOOKS and GRAPHIC NOVELS will thoroughly enjoy POP CULTURE MEET-UP, a monthly event with Aussie comic creator PAUL MASON at the Brisbane Square Library in the city. Lots of activities and great prizes to be won for people of all ages and no previous knowledge is necessary. Discuss and learn about what’s new in the fantastic and diverse world of comic books and graphic novels. Enjoy the latest comic book movie trailers, special guest speakers, challenging trivia, and character games.

 

The Event: LITERARY EVENT: THE WORKS OF AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR MARGARET ATWOOD

Date and time: Saturday, 18 January 2020 from 1.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.

Venue: Indooroopilly Library.

Ticket price: FREE to attend, but bookings are essential. Ring the Indooroopilly Library on (07) 3407 0009 to reserve your place(s).

What’s happening: Head for the Indooroopilly Library to discuss the works of MARGARET ATWOOD, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments (sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize), Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and many more. See NEWS PAGE 2 on this website for more about Margaret and the Booker Prize.

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College. Margaret is the award-winning author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. In addition to writing, Margaret has worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer, and currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

Margaret’s 1985 classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against the disempowerment of women, and again with the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series.

Margaret has won numerous awards, including the 2000 Booker Prize for The Blind Assassin, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019, Margaret was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for service to literature.

The good news is that Margaret Atwood is coming to Australia in February 2020. Join fellow enthusiasts for an unmissable evening of conversation, discussion and Q&A with one of the most vital authors of her generation. ‘In Conversation with Margaret Atwood’ will be presented live on stage across the country. In Brisbane, you can see her at the QPAC Concert Hall on Saturday, 22 February 2020. Tickets are on sale NOW. Sign up to the waitlist at margaretatwood.com.au – and good luck with that. 

 

The Event: MEET AUTHOR ANNA CAHILL

Date and time: Thursday, 30 January 2020 from 6.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Venue: West End Library.

Ticket price: FREE to attend, but bookings are essential. Ring the West End Library on (07) 3403 8620 to reserve your place(s).

What’s happening: Join author ANNA CAHILL to discuss her research and the writing of her new book Colours of a Life. This is the biography of a talented, bisexual artist who had to leave his country to live life on his own terms in Europe. An extraordinary chameleon in both life and work, DOUGLAS MacDIARMID has a unique global view and a compelling story to tell of a life richly and unconventionally led.

This is a love story on many levels – of life, painting, companions and friends, language, music and adventure. Just as the diversity of Douglas MacDiarmid’s paintings has something for everyone, Colours of a Life has wide audience appeal. It is not only for aficionados, biography readers and followers of history and cultural change, but a tale of overcoming the odds to inspire anyone wanting to liberate their potential and follow their dreams. Books will be available for purchase on the day, or you can bring your own copy from home for Anna to sign.

 

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WATCHWORDS HOME

BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY, November 2019. If you have a problem getting onto the VINNIES bushfireappeal.com.au website – go to https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw to see how your donation will be spent. The SALVOS have launched a Disaster Appeal to support communities affected by the devastating bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland. To donate to The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal, go to salvationarmy.org.au, call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or donate at any WOOLWORTHS checkout. The Red Cross is also on the ground – see the next page to find out how to help them. (Banner by L.J. May)