Hip hip hooray! – 1995 was the Writers’ Centre Year of Celebration of our tenth birthday – and my what a fine young centre we’d grown up to be! The celebrations were topped off by membership breaking the big 1000: official end of year figures had as at a comfortable 1007 members. The year was jam packed with the usual host of workshops, seminars, events, youth occasions and publications: follow the links above to find out more.

seminars & workshops
where we’re at

Happy 10th Birthday


April 1995
Writers’ Weekend in Berri

On Saturday 27 April writers Verity Laughton, Peter McFarlane and Mike Ladd travelled to the Riverland to talk short stories, poetry, novels, scripts, radio drama and writing for children.

Representatives from Wakefield Press and the SA Department for the Arts and Cultural Development joined the writers, offering advice on how to get published and apply for grants.

Beth Marshall,Mike Ladd, Verity Laughton and Peter McFarlane

Beth Marshall, President of the Riverland Writers’ Guild, with writers Mike Ladd, Verity Laughton and Peter McFarlane.

August 1995
New Writing Performed

New Writing Performed, the Writers’ Centre of premier readings, kicked off for 1995 on 22 August. The season’s structure was altered, with New Writing Performed to take place once a month, on a Tuesday night, at Cafe Tapas. Special guests for the August program were acclaimed Australian short story writer and novelist Beverly Farmer and John Ridland, US poet and academic.

Gabe KellyJohn Malone

Gabe Kelly, Compere

John Malone, local writer and guest.

September 1995
New Writing Performed continues…

New Writing Performed continued on Tuesday 26 September, with renowned writing Glenda Adams contributing towards a night to remember. Glenda, a past winner of the Miles Franklin Award (1987) for Dancing on Coral, and the Age Book of the Year 1990 for Longleg, appeared with local poets and authors.

 Glenda Adams

Glenda Adams

October 1995
Coffee with Morris West

On Saturday 14 October, 3-5pm, internationally known Australian writer Morris West was at The Writers’ Centre to talk about A Writer’s Life – sharing of experiences.

Morris’s credits include Children of the Sun (1957), Devil’s Advocate (1995), Shoes of the Fisherman (1963), Lazarus (1990) and Ringmaster (1991).

Morris West

Morris West

October 1995
New Writing Performed continues…

Renowned writer Frank Moorhouse was the guest reader at October’s New Writing Performed. Frank is the recipient of a number of literary prizes, including the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal for 1989, and Age Book of the Year in 1998 for Forty-Seventeen.

Frank Moorhouse

Frank Moorhouse

November 1995
New Writing Performed continues…

November’s session featured David Malouf as guest reader. Poet, author, dramatist and librettist, David’s contribution to Australian writing spanned some 30 years at the time of the event. He has won numerous awards, including the Age Book of the Year (1982) for Fly Away Peter, and the Miles Franklin award (1991) for Great World.

David Malouf

David Malouf

November 1995
ABC Swag of Yarns

ABC National Radio and the Writers’ Centre hosted a series of story telling and yarn spinning events, held through November 1994. Guest storytellers and yarn spinners began each evening’s entertainment, and then the floor was open to all and sundry with a yearn to yarn.

Presented by ABC Radio’s David Mulhallen, special guests included Keith Conlon, Mona Tur, Jeff Cook, Bill Marsh, David Harris, Andy Thorpe, Susan Marsden, Vince Newton, Helen Covernton and Jeff Guess.

David Mulhallen with

David Mulhallen (far left) with guests.

Late 1995
Book Launch

Mem Fox’s new book, Wombat Divine, was launched by Paul Jennings, at the end of 1995.

 Paul JenningsMem Fox

Paul Jennings

Mem Fox


Aardvark: written off.

aardvark: a collection of writing by young SA authors, put together by four editors from Generation Hex.

aardvark noun: a burrowing mammal of southern Africa, having a stocky hairy body, large ears, a long tubular snout, and powerful digging claws. More importantly, the title ensured that the book would be the first on all catalogue list!

Youth publications in the dB Young Writers page continued throughout 1995, complemented by increasingly advanced and exciting presentation of the page.

 Aardvark: the cover dB Young Writers' page

Aardvark: the cover

dB Young Writers’ page

Seminars & Workshops

July 1995
Meet the Playwright—Jack Hibberd

Tuesday 25 July, the Writers’ Centre hosted Meet the Playwright, for a very reasonable $2. Australian playwright, Jack Hibberd studied medicine at the Melbourne University where his first play ‘White with Wire Wheels’ was staged in 1967. He later wrote for Melbourne alternative theatres. His plays are characterised by caricature, black humour, and flamboyant language.

Jack Hibberd

Jack Hibberd

August 1995
Meet a Penguin Publisher

Julie Watts, Publisher for Children’s Books with Penguin Australia, was at the centre on Tuesday 1 August at 7.30pm. Guests found out what Penguin had been publishing for children, and heard an overview on the Children’s publishing industry.

Hellen McKerral with Julie Watts

SAWC Writer and Treasurer, Hellen McKerral, with guest Julie Watts.

August 1995
Meet the Author: Beverley Farmer

Beverley Farmer was born in Melbourne in 1941. A graduate of Melbourne University, she married a Greek migrant in 1965 and for some years lived in a Greek village with his family. During this time she wrote her first book, Alone (1980). The short story collection Milk (1983) and Home Time (1985) drew upon her experience of Greece. Her next works were A Body of Water (1990) and The House in the Light (1995).

Beverley Farmer

Beverley Farmer

November 1995
Getting Published

This seminar provided an insight into the secrets of successful publishing in Australia and overseas, and took place on Sunday 5 November. The focus was on both local and overseas markets.

Guest speakers included Sherry-Anne Jacobs, Phil Cummings, David de Vries and Glenn Lumsden. Panel members were present from Openbook, Wakefield Press, and Omnibus Books.

Richard KochMichael Bollen

Richard Koch, panel 
representative from Openbook

Michael Bollen, panel 
representative from Wakefiled Press


September 1995
Young Authors’ Night

Another successful Young Authors’ Night was held on 13 September 1995, at St Peter’s College.

Guests included author Phil Cummings and Kidsbooks representative Fij Miller.

Fij MillerPhil Cummings

Fij Miller, Kidsbooks

Phil Cummings with young author

Where We’re At

Vital Stats

Membership: 1007

Chair: Tess Brady

Elizabeth Mansutti, Glen Murdoch, Marguerite Hann Syme, Helen McKerral, Peter MacNamara, Jeri Kross, Bill Marsh, Frances Kelly

comings and goings

1995 saw some changes of administration staff. A fond farewell was waved to Erica Sharplin, and Mary Combe was warmly welcomed to the Writers’ Centre fold.


Our Annual General Meeting, on the 20th May 1995, enjoyed the company of guest speaker Michael Bollen adn Stephanie Johnson, from Wakefield Press.

our committeeour committee

Half of this committee…

…Is not like the other half!

Farewell to Erica SharplinFarewell to Erica Sharplin

Farewell to Erica Sharplin (right) and hello to Mary Combe (left) – joined by Peter McNamara and Barbara McFadyen.

A fond farewell to Erica.