I’ll be leaving the main hub of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, those creaky wharves, on Friday night to head out to the Bankstown Arts Centre to see the latest production from the Westside Writers’ Group – one of the most dynamic and talented group of writers in the country. Westside meet fortnightly to workshop their own writing, but they do not leave the writing in these meetings – they put together zines and books and even the occasional live event. Their live version of the writers group is still talked about today, and I don’t want to miss out on the conversation again. Michael Mohammed Ahmad, art coordinator extraordinaire, has done an amazing job in organizing these nights and he takes a front seat during the performances.
The group has seen successes in the last few years with book releases from members Fiona Wright (the beautiful, haunting poetry collection Knuckled) and Felicity Castagna (strange short stories in the form of travel writing, Small Indiscretions). The group also contains one of my favourite writers. Luke Carman’s dense involving short stories read like Thomas Bernhard and Roberto Bolaño on the page, but he’s equally good live: his anxiety-fueled performances have become like Zizek alligator clipped to a couple of jump leads.
In a new and original production from Westside Publications, The Westside Writers’ Group come together for a night of poems, prose and performances about the people who come and go from Western Sydney.
Featuring Benny Ngo, Luke Carman, Tamar Chnorhokian, Susie Ahmad, Fiona Wright, Rebecca Landon, George Toseski, Nitin Vengurlekar, Kavita Bedford, Amanda Yeo, Peta Murphy and Michael Mohammed Ahmad.
The Westside Writers’ Group is an ensemble of emerging and established writers from Western Sydney who meet fortnightly to develop new and original works. One of the main goals of the group is to source writing about Western Sydney as well as writing from Western Sydney. The work of the Westside Writers’ Group has been showcased in a series of Westside anthologies, including Fill Your Bucket, and at a series of Sydney Writers’ Festival events.
At this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival the NSW Writers’ Centre presents The Forest for the Trees – Writers & Publishing in 2012 (SOLD OUT): A one-day writers seminar looking at the publishing world right now.
The Forest for the Trees will provide emerging writers with an introduction to getting published as well as engaging writers of any level with discussion and debate on where the writer world is in 2012.
Over a packed day this seminar will go from lectures to conversations to panel sessions (and back again). The Forest for the Trees will look at the last year for publishers, bookshops, and for the writer. The here and now of digital and alternative publishing will be discussed as will a snap shot of the challenges that publishers are facing. Journal editors will discuss where they are at, as well authors discussing the challenges of getting a book to print and the difference with the overseas writing world. The day will end with a look ahead from a writer, publisher, agent, and bookseller as well as an open question and answer session.