October 2017 Report

WAVERLEY WRITERS OF FOWL REPORT to FOWL (Friends of Waverley Library) COMMITTEE, October 2017

Waverley Writers of FOWL held its 29th meeting on the 3rd Sunday of October from 2-4 pm in the Theory Room in Waverley Library. There were 6 people at this meeting, which Anne Skyvington convened.

Again, everyone there presented a piece of writing to the feedback session. This included 4 novel excerpts, 1 short story and one travel piece. It was another great meeting with a lot to discuss and to critique. Once more, timekeeping by Susan helped ensure that everyone had the opportunity to participate.

Before the feedback session began, our convener, Anne, presented a talk on our visit to a session on GIRAMONDO PUBLISHING at the NSW Writers’ Centre on 5th October. Although this event took place on a Thursday, it formed a part of the FIRST FRIDAY CLUB program at the centre.

This is what Anne and I said about the event:

Giramondo Publishing Company is an independent, Australian, university-based literary publisher of award-winning poetry, fiction and non-fiction. It was set up at Western Sydney University in December 1995 with the aim of publishing quality creative and interpretive writing by Australian authors, and founded by Ivor Indyk.

Nick Tapper is Commissioning Editor at Giramondo Publishing, where he works on literary titles in fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

  • Nick pointed out that Giramondo is interested in publishing diverse Australian voices: including cross-cultural voices; pushing the boundaries and playing with form; mixing genres; or doing something politically and socially E.g. Aboriginal politics and history, such as Land Rights.
  • Half of what they publish is poetry. Also overseas writers, and works in translation: Chinese, German, Spanish, French and Hindi.
  • They do small print runs of 700-1500, unless a nerve is hit, and are committed to staying small.
  • 25 books were published in 2017.
  • 12 people on the staff have to do everything from manuscript editing, distribution, covers, submissions, liaising with authors etc.
  • He spoke of the growth in writing/publishing in Western Sydney due to the uni there, and writers’ groups such as Sweatshop based at the Western Sydney University, which supports marginalised communities and individuals to identify issues that affect them.
  • It has to be a work of literary importance or merit, better than anything similar published before.
  • Giramondo Publishing accepts unsolicited submissions. They read all manuscripts carefully but are only able to publish a very small number of those they consider. They expect writers submitting to Giramondo to have familiarised themselves with the books that they publish and so they have included a field on the submission form for writers to demonstrate knowledge of their list. This includes authors such as Beverly Farmer, Gerald Murnane, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Alexis Wright and Brian Castro.

After the interesting and informative talk, the group discussed the authors and novels on Giramondo’s list.

Our next meeting will take place on Sunday the 19th of November, from 2-4pm in the Theory Room in Waverley Library. We are looking forward to seeing you there.


Susan Beinart (Liaison), Waverley Writers of FOWL



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