Perth Poetry Week

Josephine Clarke reads at OOTA's poetry afternoon.

Josephine Clarke reads at OOTA's poetry afternoon.

OOTA Writers support Perth Poetry Festival, Sunday 13 August.

The wet blustery weather of Sunday 13 August did not deter the full house of poetry lovers who attended the OOTA Writer’s (Out of the Asylum) afternoon poetry reading at Mattie Furphy House in Swanbourne.

Introduced by OOTA Vice President Renee Pettitt-Schipp, a panel of OOTA’s richly talented poets read a selection of their works at a free event arranged as part of the 2017 Perth Poetry Festival. The readers included Josephine Clarke, Chris Konrad, Rose van Son, Kevin Gillam, Shane McCauley, Maureen Gibbons and Ross Jackson.

OOTA committee members Jan Napier organised the event, assisted by Liz Hearnden, Maureen Gibbons and Renee Pettitt-Schipp, and thanks are extended to Mattie Furphy House for providing the venue and to FAWWA (Fellowship of Australian Writers WA) for providing refreshments.

Trouble Is Our Business

Crime writing workshop by acclaimed WA author Guy Salvidge.

The wet and windy afternoon of Saturday, 1 July, saw a group of OOTA members and friends attend our latest writers’ workshop at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Highly appropriate in view of the conditions, the workshop, entitled Trouble Is Our Business, featured Crime Writing, and was hosted by acclaimed local author Guy Salvidge.

Over the course of three hours Guy explained why Crime was such a popular genre, differentiated nine examples of the most popular sub-genres in crime fiction, dissected a number of successful crime writers and their works and hosted a lively discussion on the building blocks of tone, atmosphere, language, characterization, police and forensic procedures and plotting. He stressed the importance of writers reading widely within their selected genre and provided a comprehensive reading list. Finally, he shared his experiences in getting his own works published, stressing the importance of building a reputation through short story competitions, and persistence in the face of the inevitable demands on the attention of busy publishers.

It was an inspiring, informative and entertaining afternoon for which all who attended were very grateful. Thanks also to Marlish Glorie for organising the workshop.

About Guy Salvidge

Guy was born in England in 1981 and moved to Western Australia in 1990. He studied English at Curtin University, graduating in 2002 with Honours. Completing a Graduate Diploma in Education in 2005, Guy embarked on a career as a high-school English teacher. He lives in the Avon Valley.

Guy's novel Yellowcake Springs won the 2011 IP Picks Best Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2012 Norma K Hemming Award. The sequelYellowcake Summer was published in 2013. His short fiction has been published in Award Winning Australian Writers 2016, Westerly: New Creative, Tincture Journal and The Great Unknown.  He has twice been Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Perth Writers' Centres and his story 'Frank' won the 2015 City of Rockingham Short Fiction Award.

What Publishers Look For

Friday, 26 May 2017

Twenty-two OOTA Members and friends attended a workshop at the Fremantle Arts Centre with Georgia Richter, fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry publisher at Fremantle Press.

In an hour-long talk and discussion, award-winning author Georgia shared her insights into what Fremantle Press, and publishers in general, look for when considering new manuscripts for publication, as well as offering valuable advice and encouragement to those seeking a publisher.

With a mission to nurture new and emerging Western Australian writers, not-for-profit publisher Fremantle Press, publishes about 25 books per year ranging from crime and general fiction, young adult and junior fiction, to picture books, poetry and non-fiction. Fremantle Press accepts unsolicited manuscripts from authors of Western Australian origin or whose main place of residence is Western Australia, and their submission guidelines are available on their website at

The Banana Monster - Virginia Sloan's First Children's Book

Banana Monster.jpg

OOTA member Victoria Sloan has published her first book for children.

The Banana Monster tells the story of Billy, a boy who, despite the encouragement of his family, hates bananas.

That is until the Banana Monster pays him a visit!

With amusing illustrations by Elizabeth Clough – including a debonair Banana Monster - the book is available from Amazon Australia.

Well done Victoria, and we look forward to news of more publications in the future.


2017 Mentorships for Young Writers

To Celebrate 20 years of creativity, OOTA (Out of the Asylum) Writers Group is offering mentorships to poetry and prose writers, aged 18 - 25 years.

The three-month mentorships, which commence on 1 June 2107, will offer young writers a chance to develop their craft through conversation and email communication with a published author.

The writing that emerges through the mentoring relationship will be published on the OOTA website. Writers will also be invited to read their work on Saturday 21 October at OOTA's 20th anniversary celebration at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Applications should emailed to, including the applicant's name, phone details and the title of the work together with an unpublished poem (30 lines max) or short prose piece (500 words max) as a PDF attachment.

Applications close on 10 May 2017 and successful applicants will be notified by 26 May 2017.

OOTA members Maureen Gibbons, Marlish Glorie, Rae Hillhorst and Zan Ross have volunteered as Mentors and are to be congratulated for donating their time and skills to this very worthwhile project.

OOTA keeps you young ...

There was wine for everyone's taste when OOTA members recently came together to celebrate the 90th birthday of a long-time member, Mary Jarzabkowski. Mary's sparkling intelligence and deep interest in the world is infectious. She has attended the prose classes for the last ten years.

Mary was presented with a beautiful bouquet and when thanking the group Mary said being a member of OOTA kept her mind active and the social group kept her young.

During her time as a member, Mary published her memoir Beyond Borders which is available through BookPal.