Stories on Stage 2016 at Koorliny Arts Centre is about to get under way in Perth’s southern suburbs, with writers Susan Midalia and Laurie Steed kicking off a year of book-ish events on March 16. They will be discussing the art of writing short stories as well as reading from their own works. I’ve just read Susan’s Feet to the Stars and it’s finely crafted and beautiful reading. Laurie is someone I’ve come to admire through workshops, in which he shares his knowledge with writers of diverse experience. As someone who is working on her own novel, as well as a number of short stories, I am really looking forward to this event, as much for me as everyone else!
For those who don’t know, Stories on Stage is held five to six times a year. I created the event in 2012, as much from a desire to share my love of books, as one to bring authors and literary events to an area known for its high unemployment, socio-economic disadvantage and poor literacy and numeracy levels. Working in an arts centre with a strong theatre focus, I wanted literature, as one of ‘the arts’, to have a little more focus. Since its inception, Stories on Stage has hosted a diverse group of authors including Joan London, Brooke Davis, Kim Scott, Dawn Barker, Liz Byrski, Amanda Curtin and Ian Reid, Stephen Scourfield, Rachael Johns, Yvette Walker, Annabel Smith, Dawn Barker, Juliet Marillier, Felicity Young, Jennie Jones, Lily Malone, Juanita Kees and more. All the authors who have taken part have commented on the wonderful sense of community they feel at the centre – it’s warm, inviting, informal and friendly.
To be able to organise an event like this is fantastic. I’m able to share my passion and provide an opportunity for locals to meet people they would not ordinarily be able to meet; in the warmth of a small community theatre, with a tasty supper after the talk, they are encouraged to have reading conversations that often linger for some time afterwards. Each night is different- sometimes there’s one author, sometimes two or more; music might feature, or a panel discussion might be on the agenda.
In 2016, Stories on Stage is continuing to invite leading West Australian authors to showcase their latest books or discuss key issues in publishing/writing through in-conversations, debates and panels. The authors are: Laurie Steed and Susan Midalia (March 16); Rachael Johns and Natasha Lester (May 25), Deb Fitzpatrick (August 3), Dianne Touchell (October 12), and a special musical reading with Liz Byrski and Will Yeoman on November 23.
If you live in Perth, I hope to see you at Stories on Stage – make sure to come up and say hi! You can expect a friendly welcome, great book-ish conversation and a home-baked supper. What’s not to love? To book, just call the centre on (08) 9467 7118 or click here.
Finally, I will be looking for authors to take part in 2017, but I will make it clear upfront that the centre has a tight budget and cannot cover accommodation or airfares (which is why WA authors are represented so highly). Contact me via email if you would like more information. Here’s some feedback from authors and you can read more testimonials here.