MUDGEE VALLEY WRITERS – PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2015
2015 was a lively year for our small but talented and progressive group, and I have to say it has been a pleasure to have again acted as President.
Pamela Meredith and Tony Hennessy were welcomed as new members.
We were very proud of Kevin when he was awarded Senior Citizen of the Year and Miriam, Joy and Kevin all won awards in the poetry section of the Mid-Western Regional Council Seniors Week Awards.
Our 29th Birthday was marked on April 14 by a visit to the local Henry Lawson historical site, followed by our meeting, held just a little further down the road in the Old Eurunderee School. We were rapt in readings of stories and poems from Henry’s works, followed by our members’ readings of our monthly themes which, by happy co-incidence, happened to be ‘School Days’ and ‘Swaggies’. It was a lovely way to mark our birthday and Kevin Pye composed a poem about the day, cleverly incorporating the names of those attending. We were pleased that the Mudgee Guardian devoted over half a page to reporting our event along with 2 of Kevin’s poems. Great publicity for our group.
April 24 saw our members enjoy the invitation of Probus to join them on a bus tour, and as we travelled via Wellington to Yeoval we were entertained by Kevin reading some of Banjo Patterson’s works. We visited Yeoval’s local museum, following which we were treated to an inspection of the 1840s Dundullimal Homestead and heard some of the history of the property. We continued on to Dubbo for lunch and a visit to the Japanese Gardens. A wonderful day out.
In May, we heralded the release of Kevin Pye’s 8th book “All Aboard” which was celebrated by a great many enthusiasts at Club Mudgee. Bravo Kevin.
Kevin’s Play, “Joe Wilson’s Courtship”, adapted from a Henry Lawson story, and very capably directed by Jill, was enacted at this book launch. The authentic costumes and a host of local actors contributed a great colonial atmosphere to the evening.
Mr Sof Lee, executor of the Will of the late Norman McVicker who was a solid supporter of the Arts, entrusted our group with the management of the 2016 Youth Literary Award. Substantial cash incentives were offered for the encouragement of poetry and short story writers up to 22 years of age. We are looking forward to the outcome. Entries are yet to be judged, having closed at the end of February 2016.
We are also thankful to Sof for setting up a webpage for us www.mudgeevalleywriters.wordpress.com and also a Facebook Page called ‘Mudgee Valley Writers’.
MaxPotential representative, Fiona Brown, invited us to host a stall at their event at Club Mudgee on 30th July. We did so and used this opportunity to advertise not only our group, but also our Youth Competition,
In September Tony organised the St Mary’s Wine, Cheese and Poetry Reading night. A poem by Kevin was read by Ross Kurtz and much enjoyed by all present. Joy provided the music for the evening, together with her granddaughter and friend.
Bob published several items on YouTube. ‘Killer Black Coal, Running on the Great Divide’, a radio programme about Jimmy Governor, and a new item on refugees titled ‘When It All Boils Down’ will soon be released.
Pamela is interviewing senior local residents for the Museum Records. She and Jill have branched into the radio world, each reading a short story they wrote over ABC Radio.
Jill enjoyed the success of her play, ‘Storm Shelter’, being chosen to tour as part of the Central West Short Play Festival. Jill went touring with the play and had a ball.
She continues to host the Krazy Korner page in FreeXpreSion Magazine.
We submitted applications for two grants. The first, via CASP, was unsuccessful and we are awaiting notification on the second through Commonwealth Government Volunteer Grants which, if approved, will fund a workshop during 2016.
The ‘Ínk Spot’ continues into a sixth year, and appears to be quite a popular feature in the Mudgee Guardian. We receive submissions from non-members as well as our own writers, and these are appreciated.
Our end of year meeting was kindly hosted by Jill who opened her home to us once again. With such an enthusiastic gathering the day could only have been the success that it was. Good food, music, games, readings and lots of laughs.
If the foregoing is any indication, our group has a bright future ahead.