EASTLAKES U3A Writers’ Book Launch

Newcastle Writers Festival

Paperbark, an anthology of short fiction and memoir, written by the members of the 2018 ‘Writing for Pleasure’ and ‘Creative Writing’ classes, was launched by Barbara Kathner at the Newcastle Writers Festival at The Press Book House café on Saturday April 6.

After a career in education, Barbara was a long-serving member of the Eastlakes U3A Management Committee. At the launch, she spoke about the origins of the U3A movement and the variety of courses offered to our 800 members. When first reading Paperbark, she was struck by the diversity of life experiences the stories represented and the authenticity of the writers’ voices. She said, ’There was something deeply moving in sharing a writer’s sense of loss when the last surviving parent dies or in recognising a grandparent’s overwhelming fear when a child plays in a dam, or in understanding why another has a reason to hate cats.’ Barbara also relished the humour in some stories such as when a boy told a joke at a Canadian school concert, without understanding the double meaning of the word ‘screw’. He got his second write-up in the newspaper for that faux pas.

Back to Back Galleries in Bull Street, Cooks Hill, had an exhibition of artworks called ‘Book Marks’ created as a response to books being launched at the Newcastle Writers Festival. One of the artists, Pam Yoshinaga, created four watercolours in response to Janice Henderson’s story, ‘What does the ocean mean to me?’.

The Paperbark anthology was edited by Kathryn Fry and Brenda Proudfoot, the leaders of the writing groups, and was a joint project to celebrate the tenth year of the ‘Writing for Pleasure’ class. Graphic design was by Alex Spathis, and the cover design was by Richard Proudfoot. Copies of the Paperbark anthology can be purchased for $15 per copy from Kathryn Fry (Phone 4945 4909).

Kathryn and Brenda were also shortlisted in the Joanne Burns Microlit competition and their 200 word stories were published in the Spineless Wonders anthology Shuffle, which was launched at the festival. This was a multi-media project. Large posters of some stories including Brenda’s Down the Rabbit Hole were pasted on to the pavement outside the Civic Theatre while others like Kathryn’s With the Moths on Ash Island were handed out as postcards. Passers-by could also recline on sun-lounges and listen to actors reading a section of stories. Brenda’s story is also being made into an animated film by the animators at UTS, Sydney.



U3A Network NSW CONFERENCE – Tamworth

This Conference was held with the theme “ Defy Expectation”, on Wednesday 10th till Friday 12th,  April, the program had something for everyone and has been designed not only to appeal to U3A Management Committees, but also to members, with items of general interest.

For further information for upcoming seminars and conferences will be notified by publication on our  U3A Website.