Launches, workshops and conversations…

So much coming up for the second half of the year. The 2018 winner of the Glendower Award for an Emerging Author at the Queensland Literary Awards, Melanie Myers, will launch her debut novel MEET ME AT LENNON’S at Avid Reader on 18 September. I’ll also be in conversation over the coming months with authors Phil Brown, Sarah Thornton, Gabrielle Jackson and Heather Morris. There are lots of workshops to choose from, and don’t forget Avid Reader’s Monday Office (write in peace and quiet on the back deck!) and their amazing Crafting Words Workshops Series. I attended Kris Olsson’s Memoir workshop and it was pure gold.

Are you an Avid Reader?

Avid Reader Bookstore in West End is always searching for new ways to support avid readers and avid writers. From 13 May, you can now attend The Office at Avid and for a mere $5, enjoy a quiet workspace surrounded by books and other writers, unlimited tea and coffee and the satisfaction of saying ‘I’m off to the office to work today!’ Also new this year is Avid’s Crafting Words series: workshops designed for writers (and readers) to hone their skills in particular areas such as science, submission, psychology and screenwriting. Click here to find out more: My upcoming events include two great events at Avid Reader in June: a fascinating panel discussion on commercial fiction with Minnie Dark, Kim Wilkins and Katie Rowney on 12 June, and I’m VERY EXCITED to be in conversation with the 2019 Stella Prize winner Vicki Laveau-Harvie about her memoir The Erratics on 13 June. Don’t miss out!

Get involved in your writing community!

What a busy start to the year it’s been, and so many great events to come. Get involved and support authors by attending events at your local bookstore – a great way to meet other book-lovers too! I’m excited to launch Tabitha Bird’s debut novel A Lifetime of Impossible Days in June, I’ll be in conversation with Mary-Rose MacColl in May, and speaking to literary legend Melina Marchetta in April. See the events section for dates of upcoming author events and workshops. In the meantime, take a peek at my latest reviews (What Am I Reading? section). Happy reading!

Workshop change of date / Author talks

Due to an unavoidable date clash, QWC has changed the workshop The End is Only the Beginning to Saturday, 27 April from 2pm to 5pm (changed from 6 April). Apologies to anyone who had already booked. I hope you are able to make the new date. The events calendar on the left shows my upcoming workshops and seminars (some are free!) And I’ll be in conversation with some amazing authors over the coming months, including Mark Brandi, Graeme Simsion, JP Pomare, Mirandi Riwoe and Meg Vann. If you attend an event, don’t be shy – introduce yourself and say hi!

Holiday greetings

Wishing all readers and writers a peaceful, safe and happy holiday time. I hope you enjoy special moments with friends and family. I’m looking forward to sharing some great reading recommendations with you in 2019!

Upcoming Events Not to be Missed!

Some great events coming up in the last months of the year – why not get your book club or writing club together and come along? On 30 October I will be in conversation with Jane Harper to launch her latest book THE LOST MAN. Fans of THE DRY and FORCE OF NATURE will not want to miss this! On 24 October, join me in conversation with Melissa Fagan about her memoir WHAT WILL BE WORN, a fascinating story of fashion, frocks and family secrets, featuring the history of the McWhirters building. On 20 October I am running a FREE workshop on building characters at Bracken Ridge Library, and on 24 November another FREE event: the inaugural Book Feast – a celebration of libraries and reading, at Maroochydore Library. Plenty to choose from and everyone welcome.

BWF Writers’ Festival Round-Up

The Brisbane Writers’ Festival has come and gone for another year, and what a great time was had by all. I heard some inspiring authors and some spirited debate. Geoffrey Robertson delivered the opening address, and spoke with passion about the festival theme What the World Needs Now. I attended a Men’s Mental Health Session with Sam Maguire, Osher Gunsberg and Joe Williams – all thoughtful and considered men, and a session about refugees and the power of hope with the founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Seeker, Kon Karapanagiotidis and historian Dr Claire Wright. I attended a powerful and compassionate panel about growing up, adolescence and gender identity with trans activist Nevo Zisan, Madonna King, Amanda Dunn and Susan Johnson. I heard AJ Finn and Trent Dalton talk about their writing. I participated in a panel with Kali Napier and Ben Hobson about stories of secrets and shame. I caught up with lots of writerly friends in the green room and met a few new friends that until now I had only known on social media. My publisher UQP held a social event one night where I mingled with friends old and new, and this was followed up by a BWF event on the 21st floor of the new Emporium Hotel. It was a whirlwind of fun and interesting people and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Upcoming Events

The 2018 Brisbane Writers Festival program has been announced and I am excited to appear with Kali Napier as we discuss family secrets, shame and betrayal. Look for our panel on Sunday afternoon. I also have the honour of launching Donna Cameron’s debut novel Beneath the Mother Tree at Avid Reader this month, as well as being in conversation with Sally Piper about her latest book The Geography of Friendship. Why not gather together your book club members and make a night of it to either event? (or both!) And for writers, I will present a workshop on Creating Characters at Bracken Ridge Library in October. Lots coming up! Get involved! All welcome.

Fantastic Penola Festival

Thanks to everyone in Penola who warmly welcomed me to the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival during the last weekend in May. Journalist Katie Spain led a great literary in-conversation at Hollick Estates, and I joined two other judges for the Catherine Martin Youth Literary Awards – we read some talented young writers. This festival is absolutely a must-do if you are in South Australia – the tiny community belies a big heart and a wealth of artists and musicians of all kinds.

South Australia, here I come!

So thrilled to be the guest of this year’s Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival in South Australia, from 17 – 20 May, 2018, one of Australia’s most distinguished regional arts festivals, featuring visual art, music, food, wine and of course – LITERATURE. read more…

Holiday greetings and Australia Council news

Christmas and holiday greetings to all readers and writers across the globe! May the coming year be filled with peace, love and wonderful words.

I’m very excited to announce that I have been fortunate enough to be awarded an Australia Council grant towards my next novel. I’m thrilled at AusCo’s faith in my writing and my project, and very much looking forward to completing and polishing this work in progress. Grants are an invaluable addition to the practical life of a writer.

Parting Words: What are people talking about?

It’s that time of year when I’m privileged to participate in many bookshop events and book club discussions, this time of Parting Words. This is my favourite part of being a writer: connecting with readers, and listening to their thoughts and analysis of the characters and plot in my stories. Parting Words is generating a lot of contemplation around letters, legacies, loss, regrets, intergenerational trauma, ageing and the relationships between generations, the importance of speaking your mind, and the thorny topics of betrayal and forgiveness. I get so much insight out of other people’s interpretations of the story, and sometimes questions and comments surprise me! SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: An extract of Parting Words is available FREE on all Virgin Australia flights in the month of December!

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© 2017 by Cass Moriarty