Friday, June 5, 2009

Meet the Pres.

Meet the Pres
I’m still buzzing from the success of Monday night’s Literary Dinner. Wasn’t it just fantastic? For all the Witties who couldn’t make it, you missed out on something special.
The venue was great and staff at the Motor Boat Club could not have been more helpful. The menu was extensive and the food yummy and a good price. I wasn’t sure how I would eat my lamb shank it was more in the order of an elephant shank. But with perseverance I managed!!!
Thanks to Kerry Ashwin’s promotional abilities and unflagging energy the final head count was around forty. What an amazing result for our first Literary Dinner. I’d like to work towards making it an annual event.
The best part of the evening after the buzz of success, was the great company, and meeting the authors; Belinda Jeffrey, Matthew Condon and Greg Rogers. As an aspiring writer if you didn’t find them inspirational perhaps its time to take up quilting.
It’s so easy to form an impression of successful people as being different from us mere mortals. Not so, cut them and they bleed. This is purely metaphorical the only time I came close to Greg with a knife was when I ate half of his profiterole.
Anyone who shares their dessert has to be a great guy. Right? But the truth is they were all great. They gave freely of themselves and willingly shared their knowledge. They have survived the rites of passage. You find yourself thinking. “Hey I could do that.” And the beauty of it is if you believe in yourself enough (and put in the hard yards) you can. Belinda’s novel Brown Skin Blue hit the shelves of the book stores on Monday. And we were privileged to have a sneak preview. Thank you for reading an excerpt for us Belinda. We have a copy in WITS library. You’ll have to join the queue. (or maybe even buy your own copy.)
Kerry is not shy around a mike or an audience and handled the role of MC like a professional. Her quirky sense of humour had everyone relaxed and laughing. She did a good take off of David Attenborough. The theme depicted writers as a species apart from the rest of the bunch. And we are.
This brings me to another point. Not all the people attending the dinner were writers but most were associated with, or interested in the arts. I shared a table with Fiona Lake who is renowned for her “Outback photography.” Peter and I went to her launch a few years ago and I recall the stark beauty of her work. Diversity, interaction, networking, that’s what makes the art world turn.
High up on the list of thrills (pardon the pun) for the evening was being part of Kerry Ashwin’s book launch. Long after the Thrill was a big hit. If anyone deserves success it’s Kerry. She has worked so hard and as a friend and fellow member of WITS I felt so proud of her achievement. Kerry’s book was officially launched by the representative of the Townsville City Council Councillor Dale Last. For the record I’ve teed up Councillor Dale Last to participate in my book launch (nothing like a bit of networking). I just hope he doesn’t have to wait around too long.
The Literary Dinner gained WITS a lot of kudos which will add to our standing in the writing world. Our acknowledgement as a serious writer’s group by both QWC and the Townsville City Council will bring about recognition both nationally and locally. Our new signs complete with logo, looked so professional. Thank you Peter for all the hours you put into making the stands. (They were built along the same lines as our house; designed to withstand a force ten gale.) This is another step towards setting up Writers in Townsville as a brand name. We’ll be able to use the logo on cups, T shirts etc in the future. Let’s grow with our successes and be proud to be part of Writer’s in Townsville.
We’ve had several offers of support from QWC recently. Karen Hands was the first to ring and let us know that The Writer’s Train was leaving from Townsville and would we like to avail ourselves of the opportunity. I had to think about this for about three seconds.
Last Sunday most of the committee met up with Julie Beveridge who is the marketing and programming director for QWC. Julie was having a meeting with members of the Townsville City Council on Monday and agreed to convey to them the main points of our discussion.
Thank you to those Witties who gave of their time to ensure that everything ran smoothly Monday night. It makes a huge difference on these occasions to have support. A special thank you to Kerry Ashwin. You put so much into the night. Well done.
And to Belinda, Greg and Matthew our best wishes and gratitude for helping to make our inaugural Literary dinner such a memorable night. You have become part of our circle of writing friends and we’ll follow your careers with special interest. When you think of Townsville think of WITS.

Lori Hurst

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