2017 has been, for me, a year of overlapping intensive research and the task of drawing the threads of that research together. All of that has left me little time for anything else, but here’s a wrap-up of what happened in and around that work.
During the year, I had the opportunity to speak to the Curtin Writers Club (that’s Curtin University, not my own private gang!), Edith Cowan University students studying The Sinkings as part of third-year unit ‘Diverse Voices in Literature’, the Karrakatta Club, the Bassendean Wider Vision group, Lakelands Library (part of the Write Along the Highway festival), and several book clubs who chose to read The Sinkings or Elemental.
I also conducted a workshop on editing for the lovely Out of the Asylum Writers group, and took part in UWA Publishing’s very successful WA Writers Professional Development Day (part of the WinterArts program).
Thanks to all for inviting me.
Research took me far and wide, to London and New Zealand and, closer to home, to Albany and Mt Barker in Western Australia’s South West, and I worked like a demon during a four-week residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland.
Although I’ve read constantly for research throughout the year, time for other reading contracted to almost nothing. But in the last few weeks I’ve read, and loved, Hannah Kent’s The Good People (historical fiction at its finest), and Sarah Krasnostein’s absorbing and lyrical biography of Sandra Pankhurst, The Trauma Cleaner.
This year I also discovered an Irish writer who has gone straight onto my favourites list: Nuala O’Connor. I read two of her novels, You and Miss Emily, and her 2017 short story collection Joyride to Jupiter, and am looking forward to a new novel forthcoming in 2018.
Guests on looking up/looking down during the year were Nicole Sinclair (Bloodlines), Tracy Farr (The Hope Fault) and Julia Lawrinson (Before You Forget), each speaking about their wonderful new novels. All of them would be great book club choices.
I was invited to contribute guest blogs for two writer friends: Maureen Eppen’s ‘Shelf Awareness’ series (on the parlous state of my to-be-read pile and what you’ll find on my many bookshelves) and Lee Battersby’s ‘Precious Things’ series (in which I talk about a ring my father found at a ghost town). Thanks for having me, Maureen and Lee.
I will be featuring, in the first few months of 2018, new novels by Michelle Johnston, Louise Allan, Laurie Steed and Susan Midalia, with others to come throughout the year. And of course the Perth Writers Festival, newly styled as Perth Festival Writers Week, is coming up in February.
And I am looking forward to introducing my new book, the culmination of all the research I keep mentioning, later in the year. More on that later.
In the meantime, thanks so much for reading and warmest wishes…
26 responses to “Farewell to 2017…”
All the best for a wonderful Christmas and happy and successful writing year, Amanda; you do so much for writing in WA!
Thanks, Rose, and all best to you. x
Love to you, Amanda. Taw
I’m going to repeat what Rose just said. “You do so much for writing in WA!” take a bow, Amanda. p.s. thanks to your recommendation, I ordered and received my copy of Joyride to Jupiter by Nuala O’ Connor, last week. Looking forward to reading this anthology of short stories over Christmas. 🙂
Thanks, Marlish, and I hope you enjoy the collection as much as I did. x
Enjoyed your wrap-up Amanda. Sounds like you’ve had a good year. All the best for 2018.
Thanks, Sue. All best to you.
I’m so glad you found the time to squeeze in a guest post for my Shelf Aware blog, Amanda. I loved the glimpse of the books on your shelves and the insight into your writing and reading. And I live in hope of reading the results of all your research in a future novel…All the very best for the festive season and the coming year. xxxx
Thanks, Maureen, and all best wishes to you and the family. And here’s to an exciting New Year for you!
I eagerly await your new book, Amanda—I loved ‘Elemental’ and have been waiting for your next book ever since!
I’m also looking forward to introducing your readers to my own book. It seems like no time since you ran the series on up and coming writers, including myself. It will be lovely to return as a published author and update everyone.
You do so much to encourage emerging and aspiring writers in this state, and without people like you, many of us might not stick with it. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you, Louise, and it will be a great pleasure to have you introduce your novel early in the shiny new year!
But it would be pretty good to have your own gang called the Curtin Writing Club, right? Intensive research sounds a splendid way to spend a year; thanks for the recommendations and I am looking forward to your new book.
Haha, yes, you’re right! 🙂 Thanks, Nathan. You’re someone who knows exactly how splendid.
Great post Amanda – an
On Tue, 19 Dec 2017 at 8:59 am, looking up/looking down wrote:
> amandacurtin posted: “2017 has been, for me, a year of overlapping > intensive research and the task of drawing the threads of that research > together. All of that has left me little time for anything else, but here’s > a wrap-up of what happened in and around that work. Events Dur” >
Thanks, Wen x
I really enjoy receiving your newsletters when they arrive.
I must have missed your post on Lee’s blog because I would have responded then … I am currently researching my great grandmother’s story and she grew up in Kanowna. Like you, I would love to know who the ring belonged to and the story of how it came to belong to her then become lost.
I will share the post with a friend whose great-grandmother turned out to me the childhood friend of my great-grandmother in Kanowna.
Have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to reading your next book when it is finished.
On 19 Dec 2017 8:59 am, “looking up/looking down” wrote:
amandacurtin posted: “2017 has been, for me, a year of overlapping intensive research and the task of drawing the threads of that research together. All of that has left me little time for anything else, but here’s a wrap-up of what happened in and around that work. Events Dur”
* I meant blog posts, although this one did have the feel of a newsletter, thus my error!
Thanks, Melinda 🙂 Kanowna is/was a most intriguing place and I’ll never forget going there. Good luck with your research, and I hope we’ll have to chance to read about it. All best wishes to you.
What a wonderful year Amanda! I met you at the UWA event. Thanks for your insights and great writing. I had an academic book published in July, but look forward to some creative writing in2018
Thanks, Marri, and congratulations on your July publication. I wish you a creative 2018!
Best wishes for the festive season and congratulations on all the hard work done on the new novel – I can’t wait to read it!
Thanks, Lisa, and warmest wishes to you. (The new novel is not a novel but I hope you might still want to read it!) 😊
Sounds like a very productive year, Amanda. Bravo! Looking forward to the next book, too. Here’s wishing you a fabulous new year in 2018.
Thanks, Angela, and all best wishes to you.
Lovely to hear a little of what you’ve been (quietly) doing Amanda. And looking forward with such anticipation for the culmination of all that research. See you soon xx
Thanks, dear Rashida, and yes, see you soon. x