Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion – The Glass House

Hachette, Australia, 2024
Cover design and illustrations by Alex Ross
Cover image Shutterstock

While The Glass House is a work of contemporary fiction, amply meeting our needs for a fast-paced plot and well-developed characters, it is also a study of the state and status of psychiatric medicine in Australia.

Prof Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion spoke to Barbie about The Glass House
Continue Reading“Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion – The Glass House”

Kate Thompson – The Wartime Book Club

Published by Hodder & Stoughton, UK, 2024 (an Hachette UK company)
Cover design Becky Gibbery
Cover photographs Lauren Rautenbach/Arcangel; Shutterstock

This is the sort of book that is often described as a ‘sweeping historical romance’. For me, however, what is remarkable about this excellent book is the way the author helps us to understand the intensity and horror of Occupation.

Barbie talks to Kate Thompson about The Wartime Book Club
Continue Reading“Kate Thompson – The Wartime Book Club”

Folkie defies trends by going big, says managing director

National Folk Festival
Exhibition Park in Canberra
28 March – 1 April 2024

A community of regulars allows the National Folk Festival to flourish in an environment which has seen the cancellation of large festivals such as Groovin the Moo, according to NFF Managing Director, Heidi Pritchard.

Richard spoke to Heidi Pritchard at the launch of the 2024 National Folk Festival
Continue Reading“Folkie defies trends by going big, says managing director”

The Magic of Artistry – In Harmony with Nature and Ourselves

Old Barn Gallery
18 Beltana Road Pialligo
Thursday 14 to Sunday 24 March 2024
Open 10am – 4 pm Thursday-Sunday

This exhibition is a tribute to the group members’ passion for nature and their desire to share its beauty with others. It also explores our connection with nature and the ways it influences and balances our lives.

Continue Reading“The Magic of Artistry – In Harmony with Nature and Ourselves

Jack Beaumont – Dark Arena

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2024
Cover design Design by Committee
Cover images Alamy,, Andris Molygin

Jack Beaumont writes of the shadowland which is the world of the spy, the parallel reality of secrets, international and personal, that is the everyday life of those employed by our secret services.

Barbie spoke to Jack Beaumont about <em>Dark Arena</em>
Continue Reading“Jack Beaumont – Dark Arena”

Cobargo Folk Festival urges patrons to book early

Friday 1 – Sunday 3 March 2024
Cobargo Showgrounds

Irish singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill will be one of the headline acts at this year’s Cobargo Folk Festival – and organisers have urged people to book their tickets as soon as possible.

Richard spoke to Festival Director Zena Armstrong
Continue Reading“Cobargo Folk Festival urges patrons to book early”

2024 Furphy Literary Award (FLA)

Entries open until 30 April 2024  

The $15,000 Furphy Literary Award encourages Australian writers everywhere to ‘have a go’ and prepare their short story for this year’s competition. The winner a first prize of $15,000, residency at La Trobe University and pride of place in the Furphy Anthology 2024.

Now in its fifth year as a national competition, the Furphy Literary Award is judged by Anson Cameron, John Harms, Margaret Hickey, Stephanie Holt, John Kerr and Thornton McCamish.

Following the judging a shortlist is announced on June 30, and a gala winners award ceremony is held in late July in Shepparton, Victoria.

Last year there were more than 620 entries, all responding to the topic of Australian life in all its diversity. The Anthology is published in hardback format of the top 16 stories of the year.

The Furphy Literary Award is named in honour of Australian writer Joseph Furphy, who wrote the classic Such is Life in 1903 under the pen name Tom Collins.

In WW1 Australian soldiers congregated at the back of Furphy water carts, manufactured by Joseph’s brother John, to trade speculative and wild rumours and stories, which became known as ‘furphies’. Jointly honouring the author of Such is Life, and ‘the furphy’ that was born from water cart tales, the Furphy Literary Award promotes and extends the tradition of storytelling embedded in Australian life. 

Sam Furphy, a great, great, grand-nephew of Joseph Furphy and Co-Director of The Furphy Foundation which administers the Award, said, ‘What we’re noticing is that a community of writers and readers has developed around The Furphy Literary Award, and we’ll do our best to nurture that community.

‘We’re committed to providing opportunities to both emerging writers and established writers and we hope that, as the Anthology is more widely read, keen writers will have a crack. It costs nothing to enter.’

 Competition details

  • Theme: Australian life in all its diversity  
  • Maximum Length: 5,000 words  
  • Entry Deadline: April 30, 2024 
  • First Prize: $15,000, a La Trobe University Residency and publication in the 2024 Furphy Anthology 
  • Second Prize: $3,000 plus publication in the 2024 Furphy Anthology 
  • Third Prize: $2,000 plus publication in the 2024 Furphy Anthology 

For more information, please visit: 

Erina Reddan – Deep in the Forest

Pantera Press, Australia, 2023
Cover design Elysia Clapin
Cover image Shutterstock/Shift Drive

What a clever author Erina Reddan is! Whilst this novel is an edge of the seat thriller, highly filmic and so visually graphic it could easily be a television drama series, it is also a beautiful literary work, rich in imagery and complex in its themes and motifs. It’s delicious reading.

Erina Reddan talks to Barbie about Deep in the Forest
Continue Reading“Erina Reddan – Deep in the Forest

New recording of Mozart favourites

Heavenly Mozart – ‘Jupiter’ Symphony No.41 and Piano Concerto No.23
Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra

The orchestra, conducted by Rachael Beesley and featuring soloist Neal Peres Da Costa playing a newly commissioned fortepiano, has based its performance on new scholarly research into 19th-century piano performance, early recordings and theatrical movement.

Continue Reading“New recording of Mozart favourites”