Meet our Autumn guest editor

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

Justine Walsh, our Autumn guest editor, is a familiar face around the hillscene and many other community projects. She has been both a writer and an interview subject in the hillscene for her varied talents. Justine has also been involved in the hillsceneLIVE festival and has a wealth of creative ideas she’s happy to share. She’s fearless and a huge advocate for creating and facilitating culture in the hills. We talk to her about her many projects and love of writing.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?

I have always written poetry and songs, making art with text and finding playful and experimental ways to use language. I also ran a poetry night in the hills for 5 years, To the Ends of the ‘Verse, which was beautiful and powerful in equal measure. 

Why did you want to become an editor/writer/poet?

As a young person I realized a big part of me was storytelling, which has over the years emerged in so many different ways. I’d say ‘artist’ works best as I have a broad set of skills, dreams and projects… I can’t say I ever aimed to become an artist as such, I just had to do it and I followed my nose, testing many forms and methodologies, learning my cycles of creativity and fallow periods, allowing for it to change as it needs.

What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?

To be discerning but also to do your best not to flavour the stories with your individual values. And to fact check, of course. 

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

I was originally interviewed back in 2013 as a musician I think… I have done a few articles for the mag since then and still have a solid back catalogue in my possession!

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

I work in a leadership capacity for the arts & cultural events of the Dandenongs, helping to run projects such as hillsceneLIVE, Belgrave Survival Day and up until recently, Belgrave Lantern Parade. It’s very intense and often unpaid (mostly underpaid) work, but I have done it for the love of the community and the arts, and have learnt unbelievable amounts along the way. I am so grateful for the community up here, there are so many artists and members of the public who have put endless hours into the arts in the region. I started out working on End of the Line festival 2012, began the poetry night, was an artist/mentor at tiffaney bishop COLLECTIVE, and everything unfolded from there… it’s been the most tumultuous and spectacular time I must say!

Who are your creative heroes?

People like Gareth Hart, Leisa Shelton, Tiffaney Bishop, Ross Farnell, Toni Main, Renate Crow, people who I am close to and work with tend to be the ones who inspire me the most. Pretty lucky to have such amazing friends and peers!

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

I can never get enough of that air. The moss and the lichens, the incredible worlds of forested beauty, I am always discovering new little tracks to walk. The land here has held me in such a deep and enduring way, I can’t express how grateful I am for these green places.

Where can people find more information about you?

You can find me on instagram @justinelwalsh and my website is www.entwinearts.com.au.

What are your plans for the future?

Well, I am very excited to be Co-Directing hillsceneLIVE again this year, and working on the committee of Belgrave Survival Day. Both of these teams are looking for new people to be a part of them too so get in touch!! 

Apart from my events work, I have been learning about herbalism and collaborating with plants! Very exciting to spend time with them in a new way. I have also been working with sound school to run and help organize free workshops for young/queer/POC/femme people to access resources and learn about sound, which is awesome and very important. Also I am working on some sounds to be released mid-year on bandcamp through my project radiant/resonant… and of course there are some other projects in the pipeline haha… always 🙂 

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Winter is coming

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

WINTER IS COMING. So it’s time to start working on the Winter issue of the hillscene. Which of course means there’s a poem call out. What is a poem call out? Well we want you to get creative, writing a poem about our local area, get your writing cap on and make those words sing.

POEM CALL-OUT:  Write a ‘Winter’ poem for the hillscene magazine

Requirements: 5 lines maximum; and must include water in one of its forms, i.e. stream, ocean, fog, mist, cloud or waterfall.
Due by: 26 May 2019.
Check out: www.hillscene.com.au

Send your entry to our resident poet and this issue’s guest editor and designer Cameron Semmens at cam@webcameron.com by the due date for your chance to have your poem included in the hillscene. No payment. Just the pleasure of having your poem in print.

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calling all designers and editors!

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

council grant certificate

WE’RE SO EXCITED!

In 2019 thanks to a grant from Yarra Ranges council the hillscene is extending it’s guest editor and designer program. Providing an opportunity to designers and editors to be part of our team. Are you interested in editing, writing, or self-publication? Or are you a graphic designer keen to get creating? This is your chance to be a part of a cherished local magazine and gain some experience in publishing.

For each issue this year, there will be a different guest editor & designer. You will be provided with templates, mentoring and a team of volunteer writers & photographers. There will be a small fee paid for each of the roles. There are four issues each year, one for each season!

In 2018 we began this journey and produced three issues with guest editors and designers. Each editor and designer adding their own unique ideas to each issue giving the hillscene a fresh look and feel. Anna James, who had worked with us before on the hillscene, was the editor and designer of the Autumn issue. Cameron Semmens produced the Winter issue adding his poetic expertise and flavour to that issue. The Summer issue was a collaborative effort between Stephanie Lightfoot as the editor and Amelia Campbell as the designer, which proves that working on the hillscene is an opportunity to create great connections within the artistic community as well. Working with each editor and designer has been a real pleasure and a great learning experience for me and the editorial team. It’s good to see the new ideas and energy that each new collaboration brings, broadening our vision a little further each time.

Cameron said of the experience “It was a treat to work on hillscene. Curating the stories, collaborating with other creatives and simply making something beautiful and meaningful for this community that I love. It was a challenge, but a good challenge and a worthwhile challenge.”

editorsdesigner-collage

Clockwise from top left: Anna James, Cameron Semmens, Stephanie Lightfoot & Amelia Campbell.

If you are interested in either opportunity, please complete the expression of interest form by Feb 1, 2019. Editors and designers at all stages of their career are encouraged to apply. Apply here.

Important Information:
Each issue of the hillscene takes approximately 6 weeks to create, from the first editorial meeting to the distribution of the printed mag. You will need to be available for one of the following times:
Autumn issue: Feb – Mar
Winter issue: May – Jun
Spring issue: Aug – Sept
Summer issue: Oct – Nov

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Yarra Ranges Council HOR RGB

Meet our Summer guest editor

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

Our Summer guest editor and talented wordsmith, Stephanie Lightfoot, has graced us with her quiet, calm demeanour this issue. Stephanie is a recent graduate who has joined us this season to edit and write articles for the hillscene. She has worked with other hills’ publications so she understands our local community’s fondness for showcasing stories that are like little hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Here she shares her experiences of editing, writing and her passion for words.

Why did you want to become an editor?

I’ve been an avid reader from the tender age of four, at which I convinced myself (but not my parents) that I had learnt to read the picture book ‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell – as many kids do, I had simply memorised the tale, word for word. This appetite continued – albeit slightly less fraudulently – into primary school, when I would consume the material on the back of milk cartons and Vegemite jars along with my breakfast. In my teen years, I became enamoured of the dictionary, and would look up and transcribe the meaning of any word I encountered that I did not know. By this time, I had also reached peak spelling confidence and would inappropriately point out teachers’ errors on the whiteboard. I took this voracity into an English degree, and then an interim period of volunteering to proofread friends’ essays and theses. But it was writing for fellow hills publication, The Local Voice, and the experience of working with and being edited by the wonderful Gülsen Öser, that led me to give writing and editing a real crack. I enrolled in the Master of Publishing and Communications at the University of Melbourne, which I’ve just completed. Editing, for me, is the perfect marriage of building and navigating relationships and immersion in the written word and world.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?

I’ve had several flirtations with writing, however, find that I am much more comfortable with the role and responsibilities of editing – not least because it is necessarily collaborative. Reflecting on my writing last year, I realised the joy that I find in the medium of cultural criticism and other nonfiction. Most recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to this issue of the hillscene, and interview a number of impressive people: CJ Baxter, Jordan Crook, Pia Nesvara and our cover artist, Georgia Steele. Hearing from or talking to and writing about these locals and their work was an absolute pleasure.

What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?

The opportunities for publishing are increasingly wide and accessible, and on many counts, this is a good thing – certainly, barriers to entry are often there for less-than-just reasons. The role of the editor is shifting, and sometimes out of the equation altogether, in tandem with sensationalist, fast-paced production schedules. I see an editor’s role as ensuring that truth and impact are given equal weight. Though easy to proliferate, words are extremely powerful, and should be handled with care.

Stephanie Lightfoot

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

The opportunity to guest-edit an issue of the hillscene was passed onto me by my friend, Gareth Hart. Having written for The Local Voice a couple of years ago, as well as being generally charmed with the hills’ cultural scene and community, I felt compelled to throw my hat in the ring. I’m beyond appreciative to Adriana and the team at Burrinja, as well as Amelia, for their support, mentorship and encouragement as we put the issue together. It’s been a team effort through and through, and a privilege to work with such passionate people. I’m especially grateful to have worked closely with Amelia on this issue. and am really proud of what we’ve achieved together.

In what ways, if any, do you engage with the hills community?

For now, my engagement with the hills community is twofold: social, and creative, and I hope that the friendships and connections I have fostered at the hillscene can continue to thrive.

What do you wish you knew about being a writer/editor before you got started?

Every single writing and editing experience is different. Whatever the genre, whether you’re dealing with fiction or nonfiction, it’s always ultimately a creative and human process and your ability to navigate relationships is key. This year has dealt me a number of diverse, steep learning curves – and all of them have reinforced the importance of communicating kindly and respectfully.

Who are your creative heros?

A couple of years ago, hearing from one of the Stella Prize founders, Aviva Tuffield, I resolved to read more writing by women or non-binary folk. Growing up, my favourite writers were probably Charles Dickens and Haruki Murakami, and a good look at my bookshelf and high school and undergraduate reading lists was sobering. I’m infatuated with Isabel Allende, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Mel Campbell, Nayuka Gorrie, Eileen Myles, Alexis Wright, Fiona Wright … the list goes on!

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

For now, I live in Coburg, in Melbourne’s north, but I dream of one day settling down in the hills.

What are your plans for the future (immediate or long term)?

Having just finished my degree, the future is suddenly somewhat of an overwhelming concept. At the moment, I’m working in community engagement. In the not-too-distant future I hope to find work in editorial, hopefully in-house, and ideally at one of Melbourne’s small or mid-sized independent publishers. In the longer term, I have my sights set on literary agenting – that’s the dream!

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From Forest Haiku to Spring Poem

Haiku collage 3

Post by Cameron Semmens

As editor and designer of the 2018 Winter edition of the hillscene ‘zine I decided to open it up to all those aspiring writers out there – to write a haiku for the forest! ‘Cause I love the forest, and I know a lot of other people out there do too.

Haiku holds a unique place in many people’s story. They are one of the few poetic forms taught in school that don’t rhyme, and that can be deliberately open and ambiguous. Which I think is a healthy acknowledgment of the mystery and ‘poetry’ of reality, rather than the spreadsheets and certainty we are sometimes sold.

The tight constraints of haiku: allowing only 5 syllables for the first line; 7 for the second and 5 for the third – act like a focussing lens; like a magnifying glass – cutting out all that isn’t needed, utilising just the most effective and evocative words.

I think this form of poem is at its best when simply capturing a single suggestive moment; an emotive word-photo of a landscape; or a fragment of a scene that is emblematic of a whole world. And so many people did this really well.

I got about 40 haiku submissions – which was great. But it wasn’t easy to whittle them down to the final ones published in the ‘zine.

My selection criteria was pretty simple: it had to be in and around the forest; to be original and fresh; to be vivid and evocative. And on top of that I was looking for both ‘heart’ and ‘craft’ – words that felt honest and emotional that also showed precision and deliberate crafting.

After making the selection, I paired them with an appropriate photo, and then tried to match them with a space or story in the ‘zine.

A big shout out to Katie Cremean at Ferny Creek Primary School – she got her whole grade 3 class writing haiku and producing complimentary art – which was just delightful.

Ferny Creek Haiku

So, I hope you enjoy the haiku selected… 

But before that – the next poetry challenge! Since the last call out went so well, I’ve made a new poetry challenge for the Spring issue.

Write a Spring poem for Hillscene!

For potential publication in the Spring/Summer edition of Hillscene. To qualify, your poem must mention: 

– 1 colour

– 1 type of plant or tree, and

– 1 place name from The Dandenong ranges.

5 lines MAXIMUM.

Send in by Oct 10, 2018.

Have a go. Let the inspiration flow. Put pen to paper. 

Send it through to me, Cameron, at cam@webcameron.com

An example:

Stepping away
from grey-skied, tourist-busy Sassafras
wet ferns kiss me with ancient love
and fog-lavished forest rehydrates
my data-parched soul

The key words being: grey, fern, Sassafras.

I look forward to reading your entires. And of course, sadly, we won’t be able to publish every entry. But good luck.

In the meantime, enjoy these haiku!!!!

Haiku collage 1

Haiku collage 2

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Meet the Winter editor and designer

Post by Adriana Alvarez.

Now it’s over to our second editor and designer who will be putting their own touches to the hillscene. Cameron has contributed to the hillcene in the past giving us a series of poetry workshop ideas for people to try out for themselves. With his ususal wit, he tells us a bit about his writing and what he has in store for our readers.

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey?

Age 1 – couldn’t write.

Age 10 – poor writer, bad speller.

Age 15 – loved writing fun little poems to entertain myself and my friends.

Age 19 – published my first book of poetry called Splat. Not classy, but fun… and you have to start somewhere.

Age 29 – only at this age did I actually start using poetry as a form of self-expression, thought clarification and emotional catharsis. And the publishing of Through The Lover’s Window represents this change.

Age 40 – at this age I felt a change in myself – moving away from the thrill of performing my own poems towards the joy of helping others find their way into considered words through writing workshops.

Age 44 – the present – I’m loving writing and sharing quieter, more meditative, poems; and I’m trying to write a long-form prose memoir called My Lemon-moon in Norway; and I’m loving running poetry workshops for students and adults and teachers and ESL students.

Cameron Semmens

Cameron with his daughter Mieka.

Why did you want to become an writer/poet?

The power.

The power to guide people into new worlds.

The power to bring beauty into others’ brains.

I’m all about the power.

What is an editor’s role in this era of fake news and alternative facts?

I do have a deep intolerance for fear-mongering and thoughtless living. I believe a commitment to truthfulness needs to be consciously chosen. And I believe that hard truths can still be said with gentleness and generosity.

Thus!

I see my role as the editor of hillscene as hope-mongering, pro-thinking, and nodding enthusiastically towards inclusivity and generosity.

How did you become involved with the hillscene?

I’ve read hillscene for years – had a number of bits and pieces in published within it – and I think it does a great service for the arts and community in the Hills. So, naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to put my stamp on it as a wordsmith and a designer.

What do you wish you knew about being a writer/editor before you got started?

That people like to be asked to help.

Who are your creative hero’s?

At this moment:

Poet and philosopher – JOHN O’DONOHUE – his deep insights on being and his powerfully unique way with words are a beacon to me.

and

Pulitzer-prize winning poet – MARY OLIVER – her exquisite, precise observations of nature intermingled with pungent realisations and revelations are lighthouses to my panicy paddlings along the dark coastlines of creativity.

But next week, maybe, I’ll have two new heros.

What do you enjoy about living in the Dandenong Ranges?

I moved to the Hills six years ago, and I just love it up here. Its truly where my heart is. I live in Upwey. I frequent many of the local cafes… frequently. I regularly walk the paths of Sherbrooke Forest. And I love being part of the general milieu: the markets and all the special events.

Where can people find more information about you?

You can check out my website: www.webcameron.com
Facebook: just search for Cameron Semmens
Instagram: for my arty alter ego, you could check out: The_Crappy_Artists_Campanion

What are your plans for the future?

To make a living.

To keep being nice.

To try a few new weird hairstyles.

To make some beautiful things.

To be a good dad.

Something else you want us to know? Here is your chance!

Sometimes I write poems in my dreams.

 

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Get poor quick

Cameron-Semmens-Get-Poor-quick

Tell me a bit about your latest book.

Okay, so the book is called:

GET POOR QUICK through Poetry (and other arty enterprises)
101 super easy steps to obscurity, disappointment and straight-up cashlessness.

It’s the mutant book-baby of a troubled artist and a life coach. It’s a self un-help book. It’s petite – 5 x 7 in old-school inches, 130 pages. Hopefully it’s a feather to the funny bone, and chink in armoured self-righteousness.

Most simply I would describe it as a funny, self-help parody for artists and art appreciators.

Are these ‘pearls of wisdom’ derived from your own life experience or are they more universal?

Basically, yes, this wisdom (if you can call it that) has emerged from my life and experiences. I’ve been a poet for 26 years now, and Poetry and Poverty have always gone hand-in-hand for me. And recently, I just got to the point where, instead of trying to fight that, I thought I’d embrace it. Perhaps ironically, I do sort-of survive as a poet, doing workshops and school incursions and gigs and selling a few books here and there. I don’t earn much, but it’s just enough to survive with other little bits of book design work.

Universal wisdom? I’m not sure if there such a thing. Because the same single piece of advice can be perfectly correct for one person at their stage in life and development, but completely wrong for another person at different stage. So I ‘spose I’m saying I’m slightly dubious of any universal truths. But, at the same time – paradoxically – I DO think there are some universals and absolutes that do apply to all humans. So as you can see, I’m a deeply confused individual. The perfect person to write a book about obscurity and disappointment.

 Are self-help books really helpful?

Yes, I think some self-help books can be properly helpful! BUT some are not! The ones that I have a problem with are those that strongly assert with absolute certainty – they make me dubious. I think we as humans often want things to be more clear and simple that reality is. Maybe it’s because of my age, or some of the heartbreaking experiences I’ve had, but these days I am just very cautious around simple assertions of certainties which some self-help books are prone to.

You mention ‘brainstorming this book with arty friends’, is this book just for artists?

Yes. It should be illegal for anyone who is not an artist to read this book. Anyone who does not have a full-time, full-on creative practice should be forbidden from consuming these illuminating instructional insider insights!!!!!!

Or… on second thoughts… my sister’s a civil engineer, and she said she really liked it.

So actually, I think, anyone who enjoys the arts will enjoy this. As well as artists themselves.

If being rich is most people’s idea of success. What’s your idea of success?

For me, money has never been my currency. That’s not me being noble or anything, I just can’t get myself excited by it. I know we all need a bit of money. Because if you don’t have enough for rent or food or for when the car suddenly breaks down, life just gets way too stressful.

I’m totally open to being rich. I think I’d be really good at it. And I’d be willing for this book to sell millions and set me up for life. That would be the most hilarious irony. But earning money is not the primary motivation for doing books and projects like this.

The richness I value sits more around authenticity, communication, friendship, openness and community. So success for me usually has something to do with enabling these things in myself and in others.

You’ve written 21 books, what do you most enjoy about the writing process?

I remember in high school I just loved doing projects – the process of getting information, adding pictures, finding a sense of flow or narrative and then packaging it up into a pretty little self-contained entity – was just fun and satisfying for me. And these days, doing a book, is just like doing a high school project, but then I try to sell it to people! It’s just been a natural evolution.

And there is something unique about working towards writing, producing and designing a physical book. It can really focus your mind, because you know it’s going to go out into the world, and potentially be around for hundreds of years. This motivates me to produce the best result I can in that moment.

Where and when is the launch and where can people get the book?

The book is available locally at the Belgrave Book Barn, Little Rebellion and Grunge Cafe (thanks to those guys for the lovely local support!!!). And you can also buy it directly from my website www.webcameron.com, and I’ll mail it out to you promptly.

The launch is on Dec 11, 2017 between 6 and 8pm (7pm formalities)
25 Matson Drive, Upwey, VIC (just across the road from Burrinja).

There will be light refreshments, and dark refreshments.
RSVP: Yeah, go old-school and tell me if you’re coming, it’ll help with catering:
0438 72 55 88

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A brief History of time with cake by Cameron Semmens.

Space… the poetic frontier

A brief History of time with cake by Cameron Semmens.

Post by Adriana Alvarez

Malcolm de Chazal said “Space is the widest open of all mouths.”
“Then let’s shove some cake in it!” says Cameron Semmens.

Cameron Semmens, our resident poet who gave us the chance to write our own poems a few issues back, has got a new book out. It’s poetical, gastronomical and astronomical! It’s a space-themed collection of new poems and classic cake recipes. “I hope you will experience it as a marvel of entertaining tastiness for mind and mouth!” says Cameron.

If you like baking cakes, or space, or poetry – or perhaps all three, then this book could be for you!

“A Brief History of Time with Cake”
– Poems about Space (inner and outer)

  – Recipes for Cake (yummy and scrummy)

Includes recipes like for you to bake at home:
– The Zero Gravi-teacake
– The Baked Moon Cheesecake
– The Anti-gravitational Mousse
– or even, a Pavnova!

Or  you could simply feast upon the poems, including:
– The Asteroid Theory for The Extinction of Despair
– Poem 9 from Outer Space
– and The 23rd Jedi.

Cameron will be launching his book at Grunge Café, Belgrave.
“Cake Expectations, a poetry night” is on Monday December 12th at 7pm. Free entry. 

On the night you can sign up to the open mic – preferably with a poem on the theme of space, or cake. You can perform your own or read a classic. If you’ve heard Cameron at hillsceneLIVE you’ll know that it’s a great experience. Cameron’s performance is fun and entertaining and his quirky poems are amusing and delicious. Come along and listen, laugh… and, if you’re brave enough, even share your own poem on space, or cake!

The usual great quality Grunge cake and coffee will also be available for sale and you’ll be able to buy “A Brief History of Time with Cake” at the special launch price of $15.

Cameron Semmens performing

If you want to get a copy but can’t make it to the launch you can order it online at www.webcameron.com or you could pick up a copy at The Belgrave Book Barn or Grunge Café.

Cake Expectations “A Brief History of Time with Cake” book launch
Monday December 12 at 7.00pm
Grunge Cafe – 1696 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave

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Class Comedy

buckets-list-main

Hills dwellers need not travel to the inner city for hilarious first class comedy – Melbourne Fringe on tour returns to Burrinja with Bucket’s List, a satirical comedy about love and buckets by multi award winning Belgrave writer Sarah Collins, starring Justin Kennedy and a possum plus live music on stage.

“The show itself is a gem of a thing – inspired by a real life bucket salesman I met at a wedding,” says Sarah. “The show has been so positively reviewed, and I swear he is why. He is one of the kindest, nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was just totally inspirational. He was actually a bucket salesman by day and wedding DJ by night, and these two disparate worlds just HAD to be explored in a show, I felt. The trick was figuring out how to bring them together into a cohesive show that had a storyline and made sense and felt complete, not just novel. The jumping off point for me was these two jobs he did. Beyond that it was about imagining a world where something interesting happens because of those jobs. I had to explore the world of buckets and love and figure out a path for them to come together. So that’s essentially what the show is – a collision of these two worlds.”

Sarah and Justin share an underground house in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges – which has been featured on the Design Files blog.

With a hilarious support set by another seasoned local comedian Michael Connell this is sure to be a night to remember. Michael, who’s performed on Australia’s Got Talent, Rove, and other TV shows, mixes big ideas with big laughs before throwing in a few surprises.

Are you a budding writer or comedian or both?  Here’s your chance to learn from this talented duo by taking part in a Comedy & Script Development Workshop with Justin Kennedy & Sarah Collins the weekend before the show. Bucket’s List is a storytelling show, told through the mediums of narration, physical comedy, live music and puppetry – and this workshop brings all of these experiences together.

“We’ve been getting asked to do more and more of these comedy/writing workshops in recent times, which is great, because we really love talking about ourselves and feeling like we still know things after being on a big parenting kick the last two years!” Sarah explains. “A session just like this was what got me into writing my own things back in 2004 and I would go so far as to say it was life-changing. Certainly career changing at the very least.”

“The biggest thing we want participants to know is that the workshop is not at all scary. You don’t have to be a genius to get something from what we’re teaching. It actually takes the process back to the very basics and gives everyone these ridiculously simple tools to create their own work.”

bucket-list-collage

Clockwise from top: Sarah Collins, Justin Kennedy and Michael Connell.

 

Comedy Class – with Justin Kennedy
Justin is a stand up, actor, and head writer for Channel 10’s The Project. He has written for Letters and Numbers and Rove and has been a regular on the Comedy Channel for years.

From Idea to Script to Show – with Sarah Collins
Sarah is a Belgrave based writer and performer known for her comedic storytelling shows.
She has won numerous awards for her script writing and her shows have enjoyed sell out seasons at La Mama, Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, the Arts Centre Melbourne – Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and even Toowoomba! Her show Bucket’s List has received straight 5 star reviews and won the Tiki Tour Award.

“We’re so happy to be playing at Burrinja, our home arts centre! We’ve had such amazing support from the hills and can’t wait to play for all our friends here.”

Bucket’s List, with support act by Michael Connell plus Comedy & Script Development workshop at Burrinja – Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Dr, Upwey.
Workshop: Sunday 2 Oct, 2 – 4:30pm
Performance: Friday 7 Oct, doors open 7:30pm
Cost:  Performance $18 – $28 | Workshop $25 | Workshop &performance $44
Fantastic student price for the show and workshop just $35
Contact: 9754 8723

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Write by Canlelight workshop

Write by Candlelight

Write by Candlelight

Cameron Semmens, who has led us through a series of poetry writing sessions in a few issues of the hillscene last year, is holding a series of poetry writing workshops in June. But they’re not just any poetry writing workshops. It’s writing by candlelight, which seems very whimsical and romantic. So the question needs to be asked…

Why a writing by candlelight workshop?

There is something deeply cosy about candlelight, it draws us away from technology with it’s 24-7 demands into our own minds and our own imaginations.

When you let yourself enter into the small circle of light that a candle gives, it can help you focus in on own thoughts and memories, letting the rest of the world and its expectations fade into darkness.

Is candlelight more conducive to writing good poetry?

Writing by candlelight encourages the introspection that good writing and great poems need to grow and develop. And there’s something comforting about candlelight – maybe it’s the colour its light, or that small bit of warmth it radiates… I don’t know, but… it helps you focus. And good art always needs focus!

What will people take away from this these workshops?

Each session has a different emphasis, but each week you’ll end up with a number of pieces of writing – sometimes small haikus, other weeks, longer poetic memoirs.

I’ll be guiding you through it all – and each person can come to it with whatever skills they have. So if you’re a beginner, that’s great, I’ll hold your hand all the way. And if you’re an experienced writer – I’ll give you some framework or inspiration and you can take it wherever you want!

But ultimately, by the end of the month, you should have a nice little collections of writings to share with the world!

Do you have to be good with words to write poetry or can anyone do it?

Anyone can do these workshops. You don’t have to be ‘good with words’. Ironically, often the best poets are those who use ‘just a few words’ – they just choose the best words, and put them in the best order.

Actually, I started writing poetry because I was overwhelmed by the huge amount of words of longer forms of writing. So, you just have to willing to try things out, and you might be surprised what you can actually express in words.

Any last words?

I say, give yourself permission to write some poems. Often, in our busy lives, we don’t give ourselves the ‘luxury’ of expressing ourselves creatively, while at the same time, we have a whole crowd of insights, stories and revelations bubbling around our hearts just begging to be written. Give yourself permission. Help find the words for those fleeting wisps of thought. It’s very unlikely you’ll regret it.

Write by Canlelight workshop

Write by Candlelight!

Poetry Workshops for Wannabe and Know-it Poets with Cameron Semmens
5 sessions, across 5 weeks in 2 Melbourne venues.
June 3 – July 2, 2015.
7pm – 9:30pm at both venues.

A good poem is one that NEEDS to be written. Do you have stories, memories and insights within you that need to find expression? Poetry, with its imagery and brevity could be the perfect way to express them. Let Cameron help YOU find your poet within.

Week 1 – How to use METAPHOR for all it’s worth.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 3.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 4.

Week 2 – How to turn your MEMORIES and tragedies into quality poetry.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 10.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 11.

Week 3 – How to use just a FEW WORDS for a big impact.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 17.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 18.

Week 4 – How to use ANIMALS as metaphors and symbols to explore your soul and society.
Belgrave: WED, Jun 24.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jun 25.

Week 5 – How to pull your poems together into a BOOK.
Belgrave: WED, Jul 2.
Hawthorn: THUR, Jul 5.

There’s TWO Venues: Choose the location in Melbourne, or night, that works best for you. It’ll be the same workshop at both venues, and the same time: 7pm to 9:30pm, with a short coffee break in the middle.

Every WEDNESDAY night, Jun 3 – Jul 1, 2015 at Grunge Café, 1696 Burwood Highway, Belgrave (on the main shopping strip). www.facebook.com/GrungeCafe Coffee and snacks to buy.

Every THURSDAY night, Jun 4 – Jul 2, 2015 at Hawthorn West Baptist Church, 36 Barton Street (upstairs, in the cosy loft space). Coffee and tea provided, BYO snacks to share.

COST: For all 5 sessions – $95
For a single session: $30 (pending availability)
BOOKING ESSENTIAL. SPACES STRICTLY LIMITED. Contact: cam@webcameron.com

Cameron Semmens poetry by candlelight

Who’s leading this poetry workshop series?
Cameron Semmens is an award-winning poet, entertainer and poetry educator with 15 books to his name… AND a parent of 2 students of BHCS. He makes his living through poetry: performing, running workshops and selling his books. He lives in The Dandenongs with his wife and two youngsters. See www.webcameron.com for more details.

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