February Reading: LOVE

Our 2013 program, featuring a wide range of writers, is almost ready to release to the wider world!

To kick off the year, our first reading features our local poet laureate, Ross Donlon.

Since it’ll beValentine’s Eve, we invite everyone to bring along something, original or borrowed, to read on the theme of love in our traditional open mic reading (2 minutes max).

There’ll also be the usual bookswap, raffle, and local writers’ books for sale – if you’ve got a book or somesuch of your own you’d like to sell, by all means bring it along.

You can also join CWM on the night and hear about our program for 2013.

When: 7.45 pm Wed. 13th Feb.
Where: Anglican Hall, Agitation Hill (cnr Forest & Kennedy Sts)
Cost: $5 ($2 members)

Please note the new entry fee for 2013.

See you there, loveys!

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November Reading: Read

PeterFernonOur last outing for 2012 went off in spectacular style, with a night of words and song and movement that left a smile on pretty much every dial in the house.

The prodigious Peter Fernon, pride of Trentham, took the wicket first with a rousing and sonorous set that traversed five thousand years, ranging from his melodic, captivating and ribald interpretations from The Epic of Gilgamesh to his own works about spirituality and identity in the modern world.

NathanCurnow

Next came Nathan Curnow, boast of Ballarat, favouring the audience with a selection from his three books to date, poems about fatherhood, childhood and ghosts that were punctuated by a demonstration of Nathan’s favourite thing to do with a velvet curtain, i.e, hold one edge and twirl around so that it wraps around him like a drapery coccoon.

Interspersed among our two fine features was a crop of open mic-ers that truly demonstrated the talent that is widely and generously dispersed throughout this fine region, the very thing that in the first place galvanised a group of word-lovers to create the beast you see before you, known only as the Castlemaine Word Mine.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s presented a feature reading or workshop as part of our inaugural year: Adam Ford, Robyn Annear, Lisa D’Onofrio, Simmone Howell, Tim Richards, Cath Crowley, Anne Gleeson, Susan Green, Ann de Hugard, Rob Wallis, Zoe Dattner, Andrew McKenna, Kathrin Ward, Jess Anastasi, Cate Kennedy, Dan Warner, Anna Hedigan, Klare Lanson, Martine Murray, Sally Rippin, Nathan Curnow, Peter Fernon, Carmel Bird and Jordie Albiston. You guys are all bulk ace.

Thanks also to everyone who performed in our open mic section, and thanks also to everyone who came along to any of our events throughout the year. You guys are all double-plus bulk ace no returns.

Finally, thanks to the Mount Alexander Shire Council for their financial assistance with our monthly readings series, and to Writers Victoria for their assistance with our workshops.

Next year CWM will return with a new readings program and other announcements about writerly and wordy events – stay tuned to this wee blog for details as they arise.

Thanks again, and all the best for the silly season.

Help Support the Monster Meeting Project


The Chewton Domain Society (CDS) and local musician Jan Wositzky invite you to help to raise funds for The Monster Meeting Project, an exciting and innovative arts-history project that tells an unknown story about Australians fighting for the democratic rights we take for granted today.

Using song, story, film, a website and social media the project will tell the story of the Monster Meeting of Diggers, which took place on 15 December 1851 when a massive 15,000 gold diggers on the Forest Creek diggings (now the site of the township of Chewton) defied the Victorian Government’s Gold License and set a path to democracy in Australia. It was the first such protest against an Australian Government.

This project will include:

A double CD featuring thirteen original songs from eleven singer-songwriters as well as the story of the Monster Meeting, with songs, interviews, readings and narration.

The Monster Meeting Source Book, which collects historical sources about the event including newspaper cuttings from the day, extracts from Governor La Trobe’s correspondence, graphics from the time, private accounts and a record of modern Monster Meeting celebrations.

Filmed interviews with historians about the Monster Meeting website, to be screened at the actual site of the Monster Meeting.

The project will be launched on Friday 14 December 2012 at the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine. Jan Wositzky and the Monster Meeting Band, plus all the singers from the CD will perform the songs live.

How You Can Help

So far the project has received  funding from The Ballarat Reform League, Parks Victoria, Mount Alexander Shire, and the Federal Government. To fully realised the project another $5750 is required.

Using the crowd-funding website Pozible, Jan and the CDS are seeking financial contributions to raise the final amount needed to make this project a reality. Anyone interested in contributing can pledge any amount of money to the project. The money will only be collected if the project raises its goal of $5750 – if it fails to do so, none of the pledges will be honoured.

To find out more about the project and how you can contribute, visit The Monster Meeting Project’s Pozible page, which features a video of Jan explaining the project in detail.

More details, archives, graphics and photos relating to the Monster Meeting can be found at the Monster Meeting website.

What’s on in October and November (and beyond!)

We’ve just updated our What’s On guide to include a few exciting events happening in the next wee while, including:

  • Local author Neil Boyack’s launch of his debut poetry collection, Self Help and Other Works, on Saturday 20th October at Lot 19 in Castlemaine
  • The Castlemaine leg of the 2012 Australian Poetry Slam regional finals, at its regular haunt of the Maurocco Bar in Castlemaine on Saturday November 7th
  • The next three instalments of the Castlemaine Poetry Readings at the Comma in Castlemaine

Our What’s On guide will provide all pertinent details of the above (and more) when you click on this link. As always, if you know of an event you want us to list, get in touch at castlemainewordmine@gmail.com.

See you out and about!

Literary Links for October

Another round of lit’ry linx for youse all to peruse – this time round we’ll call it a “hatful” (thanks, Evelyn Jackson!). Go read. Self-improve.

Also if you have a link you’d like us to share, get in touch at castlemainewordmine@gmail.com.

September Reading: Read

On Wednesday night gone an eager crowd of women gathered to hear Sally Rippin, Martine Murray and Simmone Howell chat about their writing careers so far.

Topics covered ranged from how to get an agent to where’s the best place to write. The entire evening felt like we were eavesdropping (in a good way) on a very entertaining conversation, as Simmone skillfully drew out the truth about making writing your career from the two talented authors, both illustrators, and mothers as well.

The audience then asked pertinent questions, bought raffle tickets (the top prize being a trio of signed books by the night’s participants) ate delicious homemade biscuits and went away inspired and satisfied.

For more of these authors’ writing, check out:

And stay tuned for more about October’s gig – it’ll be a rip snorter.

August Reading: Read

Yes, it’s been a while between drinks (by which we mean blog posts) and there’s a bit of stuff to keep you up to date about, but we didn’t want to get into all that without acknowledging the rousing success that was our August reading featuring Ms. Klare Lanson and Ms. Anna Hedigan.

Many a new face was seen at Word Mine HQ on the last Wednesday in August as Anna and Klare regaled them with stories and poetry from their very own brains/hearts/souls/insert-your-own-concept-of-where-creative-writing-comes-from-here.

Anna led the charge with two stories about preserving, gliders, lost children and bushfires, and after the short-but-worthy open mic and a little break, Klare too the podium with six poems about technology, identity, family and floods, among other things.

Thanks heaps and heaps to these fine ladies for an entertaining and insightful night of words, and stay tuned to this here blog for news of what’s next for the Word Mine readings in September.

Ballarat Writers and Illustrators Festival This Weekend!

This weekend coming – that’d be the 1st and 2nd of September – sees the Ballarat Writers and Illustrators festival return for 2012 with the theme “Writing and Illustrating the Digital Age”.

The festival is 2 days of discussion panels on all manner of writerly and illustrational topics, as well as a keynote presentation from accomplished editor and publisher Eva Mills in conversation with Alice Barker. Check out the full Who’s Who of festival guests to whet your writerly-cum-illustrational appetite.

There’s also the opportunity to have a publisher critique your work – when you register for the festival you’re eligible to submit your masterpiece to a panel of editors and publishers from Text Publishing, black dog books and Five Mile Press. Six manuscripts will be selected for critique at the Sunday night event.

It’s all on at the Ballarat Mechanics Institute, which you’ll find at 117 Sturt Street in downtown Ballarat.

Full details, including ticket prices, accommodation suggestions, a full program of events and guidelines for submitting your work for the publisher/editor critique, can be found at the Ballarat Writers Centre website.

Literary Links for August 2012

Here’s another clutch of links (thanks to Evelyn Jackson for the collective noun) to places in the online literary landscape that have caught our eye of late – have a click, a browse and a bit of a read.

Don’t forget to send us your links to anything intriguing you’ve seen on the world wide web – get in touch at castlemainewordmine@gmail.com.

August Reading: Klare Lanson & Anna Hedigan

Our August reading fast approacheth, so keep Wednesday 29 August free so you can get down to the Anglican Hall and see Klare Lanson and Anna Hedigan sharing their words with an attentive audience.

Klare is a poet and artist in sound, film and performance based here in Castlemaine. Her practice is motivated by her passionate interest in technology, social error, memory, environment and the everyday. She has presented over 200 solo and collaborative performances since the mid ’90s, and has toured internationally twice.  Her words are published on radio, web and for the page. Klare currently has a short film on exhibition as part of the Art Fields showcase of local artists, hosted at the Market Building in Castlemaine.

After graduating with an Honours degree in arcana only strange men in the Czech Republic care about, Anna slid into reviewing and arts journalism, finding her feet as a regular contributor to Radio National’s Book Show and the programs of the Australian Ballet. She enjoys eating raisin toast. As a fabulist she has been published in a several places, and  is currently hoping to scale the vertiginous burial mound of her novel on the medieval Italian painter Cimabue.

As mentioned, Klare and Anna will be joining us on 29 August from 7.30pm at the Castlemaine Anglican Church Hall. There’ll also be an open mic (with a strict 2-minute limit), a raffle and a book swap table (bring something you’ve read, take home something you haven’t). Entry is via gold coin donation and the night is BYO (we’ll provide the glasses).

See you there!