The Jealous Wall, Belvedere County Westmeath

The Jealous Wall built in 14th Century to block the view of Lady Rochford seeing her accused lover.

Shrewsbury, England

Shrewsbury, an old medieval town in the West Midlands of England. It is the county town of Shropshire and River Severn.

Lough Ennell, Ireland

Lough Ennell with shallow waters has the some of the best spawning streams of any Lough in Europe.

The Ruins of Fore Abbey

Fore Abbey (630AD) is a Benedictine Abbey ruin, situated north of Lough Lene in County Westmeath, Ireland.

Tullynally Castle, 17th Century

Tullynally Castle is situated 2 km from Castlepollard on the Coole Village Road in County Westmeath, Ireland.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

My Debut Novel: The Last Asbestos Town

Getting published in a Covid-19 year has certainly started out as a challenge. I have been published in New York, USA by Adelaide Books LLC and whilst I'm grateful that the publisher didn't close, I don't have the books yet. Nor does it look like I will get my stock until three to four months down the track. My publisher's only comment at the moment has been that they will start distribution when things get back to normal. And I'm guessing that's when airport transport/ie shipping & handling resume from New York. Nevertheless, I can't wait to hold the book in my hand and to visit a few book clubs (with family members) and hear what they have to say about the book.
Read the first chapter on Amazon
Buy from publisher (if you live in the US)

Get in touch

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Flash Fiction - 30 words - April 2020

Flash Fiction - the empty harbour

no-shops no-pubs no-beer no-wine no-diners no-haircuts no-dresses no-hats no-scarves no-thongs no-shoes no-parties no-surfboards no-tourists no-souvenirs no-galleries no-books no-ukuleles no-fish&chips no-icecream no-gelato no-toasties no-picnics  no-seats no-waterslides, no-rides no-ferries no-toilets no-hugs no-smiles

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The Ozone Cafe - update!

The Ozone Café by Aileen Hawkes  

The Ozone Café 

It's amazing how things can change in the writing world. I was nearly close to self-publishing with Amazon. However, I realize since working with the novel in my critiquing group that it certainly wasn't ready! So it's back to being a WIP (work-in-progress) and to me it is starting to look like a better book. I hadn't filled in the descriptions/traits/looks of my main characters, nor did I outline some of the minor ones. When you're in a group, those writers that are critiquing you are "readers" and obviously they find the gaps, errors, typos, missed character descriptions, etc. Originally the manuscript was only 56,000 words - much too short! So now with a lot of additions I am hoping to get it as fat as 70,000 words by including missing scenes, a little more emotional engagement, back story, and possibly dialogue traits that will describe my characters a little differently than sounding like each other.
    Having other eyes on your work is crucial! I appreciate the help I'm getting as other writers comments are way better than any close relatives or friends saying, 'oh, that's great!' You know very well that it isn't.  
The Ozone Cafe (above) has also been drawn by an OOTA writer/artist Aileen Hawkes. I may be able to use it, and I'm very grateful to her for taking the time to produce such an exact copy. I will be sending the novel to Adelaide Books LLC, New York as they are publishing my debut novel The Last Asbestos Town.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Publishing a Novel - The Ozone Cafe

Writing a novel is one thing, but getting the manuscript published is another. I have sent this novel The Ozone Cafe to all major publishers including Pan McMillan, Allan & Unwin, to writing competitions including the Caledonian Novel Award, Varuna Publishing Programs and to my state's publisher Fremantle Press. I received rejection after rejection or in some instances utter silence.
My latest venture is to self-publish with Imagine to my surprise when I wrote to the History Dept of the Gosford Shire Library, how pleased I was to be granted permission to use the "original" photograph of the Ozone Cafe that occupied the Cnr of Memorial Avenue & Beach Street, Ettalong N.S.W.
Here is their reply:

Good morning Helen,
Thank you for your email.
We are happy to grant permission for you to use the photograph of the Ozone Café, on the proviso that the following attribution be made:

Ozone Café, Ettalong, circa 1945. Sam Hood photograph courtesy Central Coast Library Service

Are you aware of this photograph also in Gostalgia?

This is the view that Café patrons had from the building. I think it has an air of mystery. You can also use this image if you wish, with the attribution

View of Lion Island from the Ozone Café, Ettalong, circa 1945. Sam Hood photograph courtesy Central Coast Library Service

If you can, we would appreciate a copy of your book for our Local History Collection when published.
I wish your project great success,
Best regards
Geoffrey Potter | Local History Librarian | 5/07/2018


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

While I'm away: A great workshop @ Fremantle Arts Centre

Workshop 6: Setting with Mags Webster, Friday 4th May at the Fremantle Arts Centre, 1.00pm - 3.00pm (Print room)
As part of the ongoing series called "Working  the Short Story" Mags Webster will conduct a class on SETTING. The aim is to continue guiding you as to what makes a good story. These Prose classes look at major elements that will have you powering away into your writing. $25 OOTA $30 NON-OOTA

Mags Webster is a poet, freelance writer and editor, and currently a PhD student at Murdoch University in Western Australia. Her poetry and prose have been published in various publications and anthologies in Australia, Asia and America. Her first collection of poetry The Weather of Tongues (Sunline Press) won Australia's 2011 Anne Elder Award for a debut collection of poetry.

Born and raised in the UK, she moved to Australia in 2003. Also living in Hong Kong from 2011 to 2014, she completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Hong Kong's City University.

You can read her prose on her website here

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Writer in Residence @ ARTErra Rural Retreat, Tondela Portugal

Currently I'm in Portugal at ARTErra - a rural retreat for artists of many persuasions. I will be spending three weeks writing prose poetry, traveling to neighbouring towns/villages for added inspiration. So far, there is more inspiration than I have time to write, but basically the muse is happening. There is something about being in another place, in a different environment than your own that gets you motivated. Here is my project, and the following pics show how I include the prose poem on Instagram.

The project is titled “Random” a collection of prose poetry that allows me freedom to choose subjects, objects or unknowns, wherever the muse strikes, thus giving the work a sense of freedom and liberation from theme.  Many poems are inspired by nature, the landscape or simple objects that are often overlooked. As part of this project, I place my work as a cross-cultural platform on Instagram with links to Facebook and my Blog. This is a way of connecting with other poets on a world scale, increasing an online readership and connection. Ekphrastic poems also feature in the collection. A poem titled “Vase” highlights Portuguese pottery. And poems like “Rugs” and “Canvas” are inspired by paintings by disabled artists. Resident artists would also be inspirational for the work. Therefore, the time and space occupied at ARTerra looking at Portugal’s landscape, the environment (nature), its architecture, and other artforms would be invaluable.  Check out my work @   & on  Instagram

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Working the Short Story: a 10-Part Series with Helen Hagemann

Every second year OOTA (Out of the Asylum Writers Inc) conducts a writing competition called Spilt Ink with poetry and prose submissions. To help you produce samples of your stories (hopefully a winning entry), Helen will conduct a 10 Part Series called "Working  the Short Story" (including Mags Webster on 4th May). The aim will be to guide you and refresh your knowledge of what makes a good story. Each Prose class will look at major elements that will have you powering away into your writing. This is a work-in-progress list, however each class will cover one of the following:- Friday 9th February @ 1pm is Workshop 1 - Getting started with writing prompts.
  1.  Getting started with writing prompts
  2.  Writing affirmations for inspiration
  3.  Choosing a different genre ie. prose poetry, science fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction
  4.  Grammar
  5.  Theme
  6.  Setting
  7.  Characters
  8.  Point of View
  9.  Plot
  10.  General Tidy-up: Critiquing, Editing and Final polishing
PLEASE NOTE:  Places are available in our Friday morning critiquing session. We meet at 10.00am having emailed our work earlier in the week. Cost is $25 including Prose Class @ 1pm.
Check out the Guidelines for the Friday morning critique group

Venue: Fremantle Arts Centre, Upstairs Room, however inquire at desk. Time: 1-3pm. What to bring: Notepad, pen, laptop or iPad Cost: OOTA $25 - NON-OOTA $30 (ask for membership form to save). For information on joining OOTA and what we do, please visit our website