A Roundabout Town

I returned home last night after a few days in Canberra, visiting my family. It was my Dad’s birthday on Easter Sunday, and my sister and her family came over for dinner – scrumptious asparagus with smoked salmon for entrée, roast chicken and roast veggies for main course, and pavlova slathered in cream and fresh berries for dessert. Yum!

I played three games of pool with my 14yo nephew – and managed to beat him twice, despite having only played about 12 games in the last 25 years 🙂 All three games were good ones, and I enjoyed both the playing and the time with my nephew. Other activities included a visit to the Bus Depot markets in Kingston with my sister on Sunday; some shopping and lunch out with my Mum on Monday, and then afternoon tea with my sister at Koko Black – fortunately, I hadn’t pigged out on Easter chocolate before then, because I made up for it with the heavenly chocolate mousse at Koko Black!

On Tuesday, after the morning with my folks – and a massive thunderstorm giving Canberra a desperately needed drenching! – Mum dropped me off in the city, where I met up with my niece, Lauren, who turned 18 recently.

About 18 months ago, I had coffee with Lauren and a few of her friends from school, with a great, long conversation about books and writing. Lauren’s friends were in the early stages, back then, on a project of writing an anthology of short stories, and I was very fortunate that my visit to Canberra this time coincided with the official launch on Tuesday evening of their book – A Roundabout Town, published with the assistance of a grant from Youth InterACT.

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The launch was in a gallery at Lyneham, and a great crowd of friends, family, teachers and supporters attended to congratulate and share the excitement of this first publication for the eight contributors:

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From left to Right – Luke Allerton, Susie Wang, James Woodman, Aaron Hairsine (digital compilation),
Jennifer Huyn, Cal Doyle-Scott, Dharshi Thangarajah, Katie Cox, Elisia Ramsey.

I’ve read the anthology now – and it’s great! Imaginative and well-written short stories and a poem from these talented young writers, and a pleasure to read. They’ve done a fantastic job, not just in writing the book, but in drawing the project together, in writing the grant application, arranging the book’s publication, and in organising and presenting the launch itself. I am impressed by their talent, their enthusiasm, and professionalism.

So, to add to the congratulations and support them in their endeavours, I’m going to include a copy of this book with each of the As Darkness Falls prize packs in my current contest. There’s still a few days left to enter – so for a chance to win my book, and their book (signed by each of these up-and-coming authors!), plus some other goodies, hop on over to the contest post and put your entry in!