Carol Libke

Carol is a qualified journalist with a lifetime love of writing. She was born in the Caribbean, educated in England and went to James Cook University in Cairns, where she lived for forty years. Carol was a foundation member of Tropical Writers Inc. that set up the Cairns Tropical Writers Festival in 2008. As past president of the group, Carol promoted the craft of writing in as Queensland Writers Centre Liaison Officer, Queensland Regional Writers Reference Group and as regional representative for Far North Queensland. Carol currently resides in Boonah, where her husband was born. She is a contributing member of Scenic Rim Writers and Queensland Women’s Writers. When Carol is not writing, she can be found exercising at the Boonah Hydrotherapy Pool.

Writing History:

Carol was commissioned to write the 50-year history of a local Cairns Surf Lifesaving Club entitled: Our Club: The History of Ellis Beach SLSC 1957-2007.

Her play Angus was short-listed for the Short & Sweet Festival in Brisbane, Sydney and Singapore.

Carol’s work has appeared in seven anthologies. Five short stories were featured on ABC Open and read on ABC Radio Far North. Her story, Bring a Plate was recorded for Radio National. A work entitled Patrolling the Far North was made into a video for ABC TV.

 

This year, Carol hopes to complete her non-fiction book entitled: Cairns Modern Pioneers, 1950-2000.

Anna Campbell

Anna was born in Brisbane and grew up on an avocado farm in Redland Bay. She fell in love with story and the written word at a very young age, thanks to parents who encouraged her to read. She’s still a voracious reader across numerous genres. When she’s not reading, she’s a full-time writer, living in inner-city Brisbane. Right now, she’s catching up on all the cultural life that the capital offers, after moving down from the Sunshine Coast in 2023.

Anna realised very early that she wanted to be a writer. In grade 2, she wrote an essay claiming a future career as the next Enid Blyton. She started her first novel in grade 3, a rip-roaring saga about horse-napping, horses being her obsession at the time. Over the coming years, she continued to write and develop her craft, mainly in the historical romance genre which she loved to read.

In 2006, all that hard work paid off and she sold the manuscript for what eventually became Claiming the Courtesan to HarperCollins after a publishers’ auction in New York. As you can imagine, this was a dream come true, especially when the deal allowed Anna to give up the day job. Going to work in her pajamas never loses its charm!

Anna has since published nearly 50 historical romances (number 49 is out on 29th February, 2024), both with traditional publishers and independently. Most have been set in the Regency period, covering the first quarter of the 19th century, although she did take a side road a few years ago and write a few books set in the Scottish Highlands in the early 18th century. To date, her books have been translated into 19 languages.  Anna has won numerous awards for her stories. Among these, she’s particularly proud that the Australian Romance Readers Association voted her Favourite Australian Romance Author five years in a row.

Her website is: www.annacampbell.com

Mandy Chandler

Mandy is an author, copywriter, ghostwriter and editor gratefully situated in Tulmur (Springfield) QLD.

Born with an incurable love of words, Mandy has written and published several works of fiction and non-fiction. Over a career spanning two decades, she has worked as a journalist, copywriter, grant writer, scriptwriter, ghostwriter, and editor.

She is happiest when applying her writing, research and editing skills to give a voice to people who have powerful stories to tell.

When she’s not writing or editing, she enjoys Pilates, yoga, long-distance running and walks with her writing partner, sidekick and all-round fabulous pupper, Hunny.

Maureene Ann Fries

Maureene has recently relocated to Brisbane from Sydney, where she enjoyed 11 years as president of the Forest Branch, Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW. Beside the duties of the position, she convened and presented workshops at most monthly meetings. Maureene hopes to continue this interest in Brisbane with small groups of writers under the banner of Words & Wisdom.

A current member of the Society of Women Writers, in both New South Wales and Queensland, Maureene describes herself as a compulsive writer. Dipping her toe into self-publishing, her first book was a collection of short stories, The Night Owl.

A place winner in many writing competitions Maureene was most recently awarded a Highly Commended for her second novel Stones, Bones & Hollyhocks, in the SWW NSW National Writing Competition 2022.

Maureene is currently word deep into her next novel, hoping for a 2024 delivery!

Ruth May

Ruth was born in Yorkshire, England, where she grew up surrounded by stories of the notorious Yorkshire Ripper, a serial killer who terrorised the region in the late 1970s and early 1980s. That’s where her fascination with the psychology of criminals began; she wanted to understand what made them tick, what drove them to commit such horrific acts, and how they could be stopped. From that grew her love of crime-based thrillers, although the courage to write her own didn’t happen until much later.

Ruth met her husband, an Australian, and moved to Australia 30 years ago. She loves this country and its people and is proud to call it her home. Her two amazing adult children are her biggest fans and supporters, encouraging her to pursue her dreams and never give up. Her wonderful husband is also very supportive; his favourite phrase is ‘shouldn’t you be writing?’

The 2023 Faber Writing Program, which Ruth completed, was an incredible experience. She said she learned so much from the tutors, guest speakers and fellow writers, and worked on her novel “Twisted Connections”, a psychological thriller that explores relationships between a serial killer and his father, and the connection between a potential victim and her brother.

Ruth read an extract of her novel at a Salon hosted by Avid Reader, a local bookstore in West End that supports emerging writers, an experience that she describes as ‘one of the most nerve-wracking but rewarding experiences of my life’.

The Faber 2023 Anthology, scheduled to be launched around March or April 2024, will feature an extract of Ruth’s novel.

Jan Wood

A chequered background landed Jan in Brisbane. It was one of the best decisions she has made in more recent times, not that she was too impressed with the idea when it was bandied around with her daughter just over two years ago.

The move has opened many doors for Jan, including her membership with Women Writers Queensland. Her circle of friends has grown, given she only knew two girls when she arrived in December 2021. The move offered Jan the opportunity to involve herself with new, enjoyable interests, including creative writing.

Her writing journey evolved after attending the Dubai Annual Literary Festival in 2014, where she met many international authors. This experience opened her eyes to an exciting new world. A friend, Anjum Malik, screenwriter, poet and senior lecturer at Manchester University, who she met at the Festival, encouraged her to delve into the art of creative writing.

Upon her return, Jan attended several writing courses in Noosa, with an author and lecturer in creative writing in Boston and New York before she moved to Australia. Her guidance and mentorship set Jan on this exciting pathway. After numerous courses and workshops, as well as attending Writing Fridays at the Queensland State Library, Jan published her debut Memoir “A Grip on Reality” in January 2023. Excited with the positive response and feedback to her book, Jan has now completed the sequel, “A Grip on Living”, which will be published in 2024.

Jan’s love for the written word has led her down a pathway of self-discovery, challenging her perspectives on life and discovering a new world of friends and colleagues.

In November 2023 she was honoured to be elected President of the Society of Women Writers Queensland. In the same month Jan received the Encouragement Award for the 2023 Marj Wilke Short Story Award. A new direction of short story writing now awaits her.

Jan’s website and social links – www.janwoodauthor.wiggly.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100081978428779&mibextid=LQQJ4d

https://www.instagram.com/janwoodauthor/?igsh=M2UzYTUzbzBqcTd0&utm_source=qr

 

Christine Leonard

Christine is an Australian indie author who was born in Papua New Guinea, and grew up on the island of Bougainville. A large part of her working life was in community development and international aid projects in the Asia Pacific Region.

Christine is drawn to social history, and non-fiction. She is a regular blogger with the Genealogy Society of Queensland (GSQ) and other family history sites. Her first serious writing project was a family history of her paternal Wall family, featuring William Wall, who was transported in 1835 to the colony of Van Diemen’s Land. This book titled The Wall Family weaving the threads of memories is in its second print run and an E-book is available through Kobo and the Leonard Stories website.

A recent project saw Christine editing, and contributing with additional stories, to the memoir of the late Fr Franz Miltrup sm, a German priest who spent 50 years in Bougainville from 1938. Fr Miltrup died in 1996 after writing his memoir in Tok Pisin. Christine helped Fr Harry Moore sm translate the manuscript into English and after which she edited it, to publish When the Garamuts Beat—A Memoir Of Fifty Years In Bougainville, available through her website.

In between short stories, blogs, and a biography on someone who lived on Coochiemudlo Island, a looming project for Christine is a memoir about growing up on cocoa and copra plantations in the New Guinea Islands from the 1950s to the 1970s. This story will deal with culture, politics and race, during Australia’s colonial administration.

Christine’s website: www.leonardstories.com

Email: leonardstories01@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christine.leonard.writer

Instagram as Christine_leonardstories

Tracy Stanley

About writer Tracy Stanley (and Jane Ellyson)

Tracy has been in love with story telling since she left university in 1984. In 2017, she started independently publishing, starting first with a more accessible version of her PhD research on employee engagement titled, Engagement Whisperer: A quieter and more collaborative approach to inspiring your team.

As at November 2023, Tracy has independently published twelve books across four genres including business books, travel memoirs, romantic suspense and action-adventure novels. These last two genres have been written under the pen name of Jane Ellyson.  Her most recent novel is called, An Extraordinary Wedding: After a dramatic journey to the alter.

Her nonfiction business books provide valuable and actionable advice while her writing approach for novels recognises that creativity in storytelling, comes from mixing the familiar with a twist, combining comfort and intrigue. Her heroine Charlotte Wyatt is, (not surprisingly), creative, abhors violence, and takes risks to get herself out of tricky situations. The travel memoirs set in Europe and Asia, are a collaboration with her husband, Les Stanley. They have lived in the UK, France,  Thailand and Australia and delight in sharing stories from familiar and far-off places.

Tracy suspects she will be writing for some time to come. She loves learning and has a PhD, MBA and a Master of Business (Research).

www.tjstanley.com
www.janeellyson.com

Toni Risson

The world expert on Fantales, False Teeth and Freddo Frog!

Toni Risson’s writing career began when UQP published two children’s novels during her undergraduate degree at UQ. Following the award of the University of Queensland Gold Medal for Outstanding Scholarship, Toni then went on to complete a doctorate that examined the role of confectionery in Australian childhood. Storyteller, cultural historian and mother of four, including twins, Toni has since penned everything from a children’s picture book about mermaids to a short story about an eight-year-old axe-murderer.

Not only is she the recognised authority on lollies but Toni also wrote the first book about Australia’s Greek cafe phenomenon. A Fellowship at the State Library of Queensland resulted in her second book on this subject and, subsequently, an invitation to curate an exhibition for the Library. Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks was a finalist in the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards and Meet me at the Paragon (2019-2020) was one of the library’s most popular exhibitions.

Toni’s work in popular culture has led to appearances on Landline7.30 Report, and Weekend Sunrise, ABC podcast recordings, countless live radio interviews, and articles in newspapers like the Courier Mail and Sydney Morning Herald.

An art teacher in another life, Toni is an active member of her local arts community. She won the 2021 Ipswich City Council Australia Day Cultural Award.

Toni is Vice President of Women Writers Qld.

Follow Toni’s blog here: https://tonirisson.com.au

 

Bernadette McCabe

Bernadette was born in Beaudesert, now part of the Scenic Rim Regional Council, in 1957 and enjoyed an idyllic childhood living on the family farm at Round Mountain, near where Cannon Creek joins the Logan River.

She was educated at St Mary’s School Beaudesert and the local State High School, completing Senior in 1973. Afterwards, she accepted a position in the local branch of the Commonwealth Bank where she worked for almost ten years before her family grew.  She and her husband, Mark, married in 1979 and have four daughters and four grandsons.

Bernadette has been a regular contributor to her local paper since childhood and enjoyed success in several writing competitions, including the Bi-centennial Commonwealth Youth Week ‘Message of Loyalty’ Prize in the Beaudesert Shire.

After leaving her bank employment to focus on family, Bernadette made time for a tertiary education. She undertook a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) at Griffith University and graduated with First Class Honours in 1995, soon after returning to employment in the Australian Public Service. She worked for Defence, Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission, Australian Taxation Office, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs in various research, policy, advisory and management roles until her retirement at age 60.

Bernadette is a member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland) and is a keen researcher of local history. She has had historical pieces published, including in the Queensland Review; and more recently, in Scenic Rim Writers’ Piccabeen Press publication, Mystery, Murder and Mayhem. She is also a member of the Queensland Writers Centre and looks forward to further developing her creative writing skills in retirement. Other interests include travelling, re-learning French, playing word games, restoring vintage furniture, and following the stock market.

 

Julie Vellacott

Julie has been writing all her life. It’s still her favourite occupation. She loves learning and has studied all forms of writing and has conducted workshops at home in Australia and during overseas postings. Her work has been published in various collections of short stories. She writes articles, recipes and opinion pieces for various magazines and has worked as an editor for several publishers. She writes short stories and poetry and is working on a cookbook and a novel.

Julie lives in Boonah in the beautiful Scenic Rim and often visits Brisbane to attend concerts, theatre and galleries. She has been actively involved with the local cultural foundation and helped organise the annual Boonah Writers Festival. She is retired from her most recent work as cultural centre manager.

Food, cooking and writing have been important in her life for leisure and work. She is also a keen reader, traveller, gardener and wildlife watcher.

Some of her writing can be seen on her website www.whiskingupstories.com.au and https://www.facebook.com/whiskingupstories

 

Alexandra J Cornwell (Williams)

Born and schooled in south-east Queensland’s Scenic Rim, Alexandra’s first publish poem as a primary school student, “Peacock Behind Bars” was reproduced in a 1979 edition of The Courier Mail.

Alexandra attended high school as a boarder at Somerville House (Brisbane Girls High School) as South Brisbane was being transformed for Expo ’88.

With vague ideas of becoming a teacher, she studied at the University of Queensland (St.Lucia) 1987-1990, majoring in Psychology, English (Australian Literature) and completing Honours in Geographical Sciences.

As an undergraduate she was awarded the Queensland University Ford Memorial Poetry Medal (1989) for “Mr. Blue (or Boy and a Balloon)” and was an active contributor to a series of student poetry anthologies:

  • Union College Poets 1987 (with an introduction by Bruce Dawe launched at Union College on 29 October 1987);
  • Union College Poets 1988; and
  • Union College Poets 1989 (foreword by Tony Thwaites)

After graduating Alexandra moved across the country to Perth, Western Australia for two years. She’d already had her first poem “Hug” published by The Freemantle Arts Review in late 1990, followed by “The Woman’s Song” in the same publication in 1991.

Returning to the NSW north coast in 1993 she commenced a career as a Strategic Town Planner in various local governments, moving a growing family comprising two children and a dog between the north coast and south-western Sydney and Coffs Harbour on the mid north Coast. Returning to Brunswick Heads in 2011 provided an opportunity to volunteer at the Byron Writers Festival (BWF) which she has been enthusiastically supporting since 2012.

In 2017 Alexandra relocated to southern Brisbane where she is working on home renovations and landscaping the front garden between bouts of birdwatching, photography, volunteering at Bluesfest and BWF, walking and travelling with her partner (and apprentice poet) Colin B Gossip.

She feels that her creative muse has returned and is expanding from the occasional piece of poetry (published on her facebook page: Alexandra J Cornwell – poet) into microfiction, short stories, travel blogs and digital photography featured on her occasional blog “The Drabble Writer’s Table” (www.squeakythongs.wordpress.com).

 

Indrani Ganguly

Indrani Ganguly was born of Bengali-speaking parents in Lucknow, India and lived in many different parts of the country. Her parents imbued her with a strong sense of Indian and world history and culture and a great appreciation of diversity in all its forms.

Indrani studied English Honours and sociology in India and did her Ph.D. on the impact of British occupation on revolution and reform in West Bengal from the Australian National University. The thesis was awarded a publishing grant from the Indian Council of Social Science Research and published as The Social History of a Bengal Town, 1985.

 In 1990, Indrani married an Australian of Dutch origin with whom she lives in Brisbane. They have a son and daughter and a grandson. Her extended family now includes members from six religions and an equal number of languages who live in many countries around the world.

Since migrating to Australia in 1990, Indrani has worked in academia, government and non-government organisations. She has been a volunteer Committee Member in many community organisations which have provided a range of perspectives on Australia’s diverse communities.

Throughout this period Indrani has continued with pursuing academic and creative writing which draw on her experiences of living and working in India and Australia. For a while, Indrani was also part of a performing group called United by Pen which brought together writers and musicians from diverse backgrounds. While the group has dispersed, some of the members remain friends and they are always happy to support each other’s achievements.

After retiring from full-time work in July 2018, Indrani joined the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Queensland and is working on contributing more to the writers’ groups (including the Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland and the Society of Women Writers of Queensland) of which she is a Committee member. She is also involved in other community activities such as assisting a women’s refuge to get support in cash and kind and promoting women’s achievements through community events and journals.

In 2015, Indrani put together an anthology of her stories, poems and articles called In My Father’s House which was launched at her 25th wedding anniversary in Brisbane. She recently published her first novel The Rose and the Thorn in 2019. She has begun to do the research for the sequel.

Reading in three languages (English, Bengali and Hindi), travel, theatre and cinema, trying out different cuisines and engaging with people from diverse backgrounds are Indrani’s other interests.

 

Trudy Graham

Trudy has been writing seriously since the 1990s with short stories, book reviews, articles and some poems published in anthologies, magazines, and newspapers. During the past 30 plus years she has worked as an independent publisher and editor, taught creative writing, and facilitated workshops in writing, editing, and publishing.

After graduating from university as a mature-aged student, Trudy began to work in the Arts community of Western Australia, serving on the Joondalup (WA) Cultural Advisory Committee and as State Literature Officer of Western Australia in 1995-97. For her services to The Arts in that state, she received an Australia Day Award in 1996. She is passionate about helping writers achieve their writing goals.

Relocating from the Toowoomba region to a village in the Noosa hinterland in 2017, Trudy began writing her memoirs and to date three of these have been published. A collection of her short stories was published in  2020 and she is currently working on a novella and continues writing short fiction.

Trudy is a voracious reader and is a member of three book discussion groups where she gets to share her love of literature with like-minded people. She has been involved with the Women Writers in WA and Qld since 1989, serving in both states on committee in various roles. Hooked on travel from the time she first left home at aged 18, Trudy has explored most of Australia and many parts of the world.

 

Di Hill

Di was born in Adelaide in South Australia. While an enthusiastic learner, she was a keen Girl Guide, meeting with Lady Baden Powell and later earning the Queen’s Guide Award.

A teaching career is what Di wanted when at school – but instead, she embarked on a nursing career in her late teens and trained as a nurse in Mt Gambier, South Australia.

After her marriage, the family moved around Australia, so she has worked in hospitals in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.  As well she was a medical representative, shopping centre marketing manager, art gallery owner and more – often holding two or more positions at a time.

Di completed a degree in Adult and Vocational Teaching at Griffith University in 2002, working in the training industry.  At last, she was a teacher!  In 2008, Di embarked on a career teaching English to students at universities in China and South Korea.

In 2012 she graduated from Swinburne University with a Master of Arts (Writing) and then set out on a solo drive around Australia taking five months to complete the journey, taking thousands of photographs and visiting many interesting historical destinations in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In 2020 she graduated as an instructor from the Birren Center for Autobiographical Studies, in the USA.

She founded the Writers of Wynnum Manly and The Bayside Women in Business, is a member of the Queensland Writers Centre and is past president of the Society of Women Writers Qld. (2017/18, 2018/19) She was a member of the International Society of Obituary Writers.  She is currently on the management committee of the Older Women’s Network Qld.

Di is a Senior Writer for WeekendNotes.com and writes content for a number of websites. Di has many interests including photography, bamboo, life story writing, travelling, housing for senior solo women, and more.

She shares her stories as a speaker on topics, including Life Story Writing, Living in China, Writing your Own Obituary and Writing Topics.

Email – di@dihill.com.au

Website – www.dihill.com.au

 

Virginia Miranda

Virginia began writing in high school and was first published in the Brisbane State High School Year book, 1966.

In 1976 her story ‘The Enchanted Valley’, a story about Fraser Island in the future, was published in the QIT magazine, Unit 76.

In the 70’s and 80’s Virginia’s short stories were published in ‘Me’ magazine.

As Public Relations Officer for Beenleigh Air Sea Rescue, she wrote a weekly column in the Albert &Logan News.

Virginia is a member of Byron Writers Festival, Brisbane Writers Centre, Brisbane Writers Festival and The Society of Women Writers. She is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Fellowship of Australian Writers Qld.

In 2014 she began a 52 Week Flash Fiction Challenge on Facebook. Her first book ‘FlashFiction Volume One is a compilation of these stories. The book was recently launched at the Cleveland Lions Community Centre, to wide acclaim.

“They say the best examples of a fine Chianti are a visceral tasting experience; an intense sense of place developing with just a single sip. The same can be said of this collection of flash fiction shorts.” Review by Dimity Powell – Children’s author.

Her style is emotive and evocative, demonstrating her love for the written word.

‘For me writing is about the words, how they come together, where they take the reader. The art of good Flash Fiction is to deliver a subtle message in the least amount of words. I believe my book has achieved this.’

Virginia’s Website – www.inkblurb.com

Facebook – Virginia’s Inkblurb

 

Sue O’Sullivan

Sue is a photographer by profession and has worked for various newspapers to which she continues to contribute the odd article and photographs.

Her writing mainly revolves around essays, usually biographical in nature; she has a large family hence no shortage of subject matter!

Whilst living in a small country town she produced, wrote and choreographed plays and pantomimes for school children. Wherever she has lived she has been involved in amateur dramatics – nerve-wracking but stimulating!

She is currently a guide at the Queensland Art Gallery and is involved in other voluntary work.

She was educated in NSW and Victoria, and attained a B.A. (Hons) and M.A. (Lit).

 

Helga Parl

Writing in English, came late into Helga’s life. After working for forty five years as a draftsman with painting as hobby, it was time to do something new. She started writing and illustrating children’s stories. Then came her first and self-published novella, Brisbane, Bach and Brandenburg—Hunt for the Seventh Concerto.

After joining Fairfield Writers she contributed to their five Anthologies, with stories and cover designs.

Joining the Society of Women Writers Queensland, gave her another boost into creativity. Two more books were the result: Pixels—Short Stories, and a novel, Angela and Her Boys.

Most of her works were self-published in conjunction with Rainbow Works Pty Ltd, and launched at the Fairfield Garden Library.

 

 Jill Slack

Writer, poet, humourist, community, family historian, retiree from journalism (day job until 2008) and keen amateur photographer, Jill Slack joined Society of Women Writers Australia (Qld) in the early 1980s under the mentorship of Marjorie Wilkie.  She succeeded Marjorie a little later as editor of the postal workshop Morialta.  Later, she became co-ordinator of Queensland branch’s ‘family’ of postal workshops and also served a term as SWWA’s federal newsletter editor.

Jill’s writings have attracted various prizes in short story, article and poetry
competitions as well as publication.  She has written a number of community history books – including one for Gayndah Hospital, as well as ‘Then and Now: an Aboriginal history of Gayndah’ which won a national award for community history in the 1990s, and ‘Next Stop Ga-ayn- dah: 100 years of Gayndah Rail’.  One of her poems ‘Requiem for a Country Town’ was taken up in the United Kingdom as English study and exam material for the 2011 GCSE.

Her family histories to date have included a humorous book for family only on her four children’s growing up years (titled ‘The Scenic Route’ because having and raising children is so much like veering off a nice smooth bitumen road in favour of an unsigned dirt track littered with fallen trees, gullies and mysterious secondary turn-offs) and her own childhood (‘Imagine A Farm’) because of her father’s habit of selling the farm every two minutes and moving the family to yet another one.  Later came a more ambitious and for- public tome on her father’s maternal family history (‘Tilly’s World’) and another on her mother’s descendants (‘A World Away’).

In other writing activities, she spent six weeks as Artist In Resident at Gayndah High School, was writing mentor for a period at Gin Gin High School, and writing workshop leader in Gayndah. She has edited books for others, and co-ordinated and edited a one-off anthology, ‘Voices From Elsewhere’, of Morialtans’ works.

About two years, she veered off into what became a product of the long drought – a series of 20-page photobooks of humorously captioned photos, all snapped on the farm and outlying areas, of ‘Tree People Characters’. Another more current project is a similar series of photobooks which feature her own photographs as background for her country-based poetry.

One of her poems will be published in this year’s Grieve anthology.

 

Joan Turnour

Joan was born in Malta in 1931 when ‘Britannia ruled the waves’ and her father was part of the Grand Fleet.  She was evacuated to England in 1939 and spent her school years in Surrey, England.  She migrated to Australia as a $10 Pom in 1952. From the suburbs of Melbourne Joan ventured to the Great Barrier Reef as a hostess on Heron Island, and then continued on to Darwin where she met and married John (Jack) Turnour, the rice agronomist at Humpty Doo.  Together they pioneered 3000 hectares, first with horticulture and a banana plantation, into a thriving pasture seed and cattle property.  In 1970 they left the Territory and explored the Top End and the East Coast with their four children.   They settled in Conondale where Jack established a cattle property for Sydney investors which later became the permaculture village of Crystal Waters.

In 1973 Jack joined an Aid Team in Samar, a poor province in the Philippines, and for the next twenty five years continued in both The Philippines and Indonesia.   Joan put the two oldest children into boarding school and home-schooled her two youngest.  In 1983 to improve her Indonesian language she enrolled in an Associate Diploma of Arts (Asian Studies) by distance education with the Darling Downs Institute.  This involved assignments and her writing career commenced.  During her final years in Manila Joan wrote for the expatriate paper and started her autobiography.

Upon her return in 1995 Joan joined SWWQ.  In 2005 she was elected President and to mark the 30th anniversary of the Society coordinated the anthology ‘Behind the Faces’.  SWWQ  received a grant to cover costs of the book launch with 200 guests at Lennon’s Hotel in November 2006.   Together with Corinne Soda, Joan convened the first Retreat at Bribie Island.  She put the Society online with a web page and with the help of Di Hill started the blog.  Together with Elli Housden she also arranged poetry workshops.

Joan published the first half of her autobiography in 2011.  Unfortunately, her husband suffered a stroke and because he could no longer climb stairs she was forced to sell the house. They moved to a retirement village at Noosaville.  Joan came down to meetings in 2012, taking the train from Nambour, but this became too difficult.  She joined a local book group and enjoys the annual Noosa Long Weekend; a festival of literary lunches, forums and book launches held each July.  But she maintains membership of this Society.   Joan is now at the publishing stage of the second part of her autobiography covering her expatriate years.

Joan’s husband died in July 2016 and she was greatly touched when three members attended his funeral service.   This confirmed her belief that the Society brings women together for more than writing workshops and fosters lasting friendships.

 

Sue Wagner

A Late Bloomer.

She was born in the quiet and peaceful Wye Valley of England where her school-teacher Mum had been evacuated from the Blitz in London. Sue loved school and enjoyed most of the eight schools she went to, including two army schools in the Middle East Land Forces prior to the Suez Crisis evacuation.

School number seven was a Girls Grammar School in Kent, and that was where, at age 13, school stopped being fun for Sue. She had always been a keen reader but at that school she found it impossible to parlay her love of reading into the ability to write an essay. She failed GCE ‘O’ level (Junior exam to you) in English Language and English Literature. Her father was not a little displeased that she could pass French (and Maths) but not her own native language! Sue passed English the following year when it was mixed with shorthand and typing at the start of her working career.

Two years with IBM in London and then came Australia, marriage, children, divorce – no time for anything but kids and work.

Sue’s writing became business writing. Continuing to study while working and raising a family Sue did a BA at UQ majoring in English then followed it up with an MBA at Griffith. By this time she was working with a software company, training users and writing the manuals.

Writing for fun started with the idea that one’s (by now grown) children actually don’t know much about their own history and they might want to someday. Then came that “I need to write about that” notion and the joining of SWWQ where participation in a Postal Magazine group encouraged her to learn from other writers.

Sue volunteers at Braille House where she is one of a team of people who transcribe text into braille. This activity means that she can do something she feels is really useful at the same time as reading all types of materials including books in all sorts of genres for all age groups.

 

Mocco Wollert

Mocco was born in Cologne, Germany. After surviving World War II and being captured by the Russian forces, she escaped with her family to the West.  She migrated to Australia in1958 with her husband. They settled in Darwin NT. Mocco wrote in the early years in Australia in German until she mastered English. In 1967 her first poem was published in The Territorian.

Since then she has been widely published in Literary Anthologies, Newspapers (Sydney Morning Herald) Magazines (The Bulletin) and Literary Journals (Redoubt). She has won many prizes and awards for her poetry, short stories and articles. Her latest award was 1st prize in the Eaglehawk Dahlia national poetry competition 2017.

Mocco moved to Queensland in 1972. Since then, she has been active in the Queensland Writing Scene with performance readings, creating a group of Multicultural Writers and in 1980 founded the Queensland Branch of “The Society of Women Writers” together with the late Marjorie Wilke.

Her interest in children’s stories came to fruition when she wrote a series of 12 books about a cat called “Miss Applebee” and a dog ‘Mr. Funnyface”. The Miss Applebee stories were published in the children’s magazine of The Australia Times.

Mocco has 10 published books to her credit:

Published by the SWWQ: “Jacaranda Time”.

Published by Boolarong Press: “She is a Cat” “With open Arms” “Reflections on Crystal Water” and “Fly Spirit Bird Fly”.
Published by Interactive Publications: “Love Falls in Love with Love” “Of Loving and Sensualities” and “Australia Images and Inspiration”.

Self-published: “The Beating of Wings” and “Juxtapositions”.

Her memoir “Bloody Bastard Beautiful was published by the Historical Society of N.T. in July 2017. After the first print run had run out within 6 months BLOODY  BASTARD  BEAUTIFUL was republished by Boolarong Press in Brisbane in November  2017.

Mocco still has a large body of work ready for publication. She writes in English and German.