Friday, August 25, 2006

New England Australia - yet still more on writers and writing

When I began this blog I had a particular focus. I wanted to capture elements of New England that I feared were vanishing for ever. So my focus was on the past. But now that I am part way down track, I find an increasing emphasis on the present. This leads to a new focus, revealing to the different parts of New England what others are doing.

Sophie Masson (photograph) is one of New England's most popular writers. You can find her writings in most Australian book stores.

Sophie was born in Djakarta to French parents on 18 May 1959. She went to school in Sydney at Mount St Benedict College at the same time as my wife, then married and later moved to Armidale with her family for life style reasons. She is a prolific and well published writer with a focus on fantasy/history drawing on her mixed background.

This background is in fact a fascinating one. You can find out more details on Sophie's web site (here), but just to give you a teaser, Sophie writes:

"I don’t just dream fantasy and legend; I live it. Brought up in the cracks between cultures, in the midst of families whose storytelling was in their very blood and bones, whose imaginations could hardly keep up with their strange and extraordinary lives, I was surrounded as a child by amazing riches of experience."

Like Kardoorair Press in Armidale, Catchfirepress is a specialist New England publisher. Located in Newcastle and incorporated in October 1998, it aims to publish writers from the Hunter area in books wholly designed and illustrated there. Feel free to explore their web site; there they have all their books & pamphlets from 1998 through to the present.

This Is Not Art is held in Newcastle over the October long weekend each year and is Australia's premier independent arts and new media festival. This is not Art is dedicated to showcasing the work and ideas not included in other major festivals, highlighting major trends. This year's festival will be held from 28 September to 2 October.

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