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Writing workshop to explore island love, madness and sadness


Sharlene King
19 April 2013
Writers in the midst of their own islomania, an obsession about islands, will be right at home on Queensland’s North Keppel Island for the annual Idiom 23 literary magazine writers’ workshop from May 17 to 19.

Islomania: love, madness and melancholy on islands is the theme of the workshop being organised by Dr Lynda Hawryluk, a Southern Cross University senior lecturer in writing and deputy chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs.

“The workshop theme and location are a perfect fit,” said Dr Hawryluk.

“We'll be setting the scene to discover our own love of and madness for islands of all kinds, but we'll also examine the dark side of island life; the effects of isolation and the kinds of social and psychological struggles islanders experience.”

Writer-in-residence for the workshop is prize-winning poet, Leni Shilton. Ms Shilton is writing a verse novel on historical figure Bertha Strehlow as part of her PhD in creative writing at Southern Cross University.

Dr Hawryluk has recently relocated to Southern Cross University in Lismore, Northern NSW, to take up the position of course coordinator of the Associate Degree of Creative Writing.

She has been facilitating and organising the Idiom 23 workshops since 2006 and was previously a writer-in-residence. In 2011 she and colleague Dr Liz Huf won the Opal Award for Engaged Community Service for their work on the Idiom 23 workshops.

“I’ve also facilitated workshops for community groups like U3A, school groups and also for the recovery of people affected by floods in Rockhampton and Emerald in Central West Queensland,” said Dr Hawryluk.

Named for the Tropic of Capricorn, Idiom 23, established in 1987, is an annual publication dedicated to encouraging writing in Central Queensland and throughout Australia.

Leni Shilton grew up in Papua New Guinea and Melbourne and has lived in Central Australia for many years where she has worked as a lecturer at NT’s Batchelor Institute coordinating the Creative Writing program, a prison educator, a bush nurse and a remote health educator. She is a prize-winning poet, whose work has been published widely in journals and anthologies. In 2008 she was awarded Varuna’s Dorothy Hewett Flagship award for Poetry and in 2010 she won the Northern Territory Literary Award for Poetry. She regularly facilitates literature and writing classes for the U3A, NT Writers Centre and in 2012 won the Charles Darwin University Essay Award in the NT Literary Awards.

Dr Lynda Hawryluk teaches undergraduate writing subjects at Southern Cross University, supervises Honours and PhD students and is the course coordinator of the Associate Degree of Creative Writing. Lynda has facilitated writing workshops in academic and community setting in both regional Queensland and Canada. She is the Deputy Chair of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), the author of a book of poetry and has been published in a variety of academic and creative publications.

Photo: Dr Lynda Hawryluk on North Keppel Island.