I am currently doing a writing course that concentrates on writing for children, my chosen area. After 35 years of teaching primary age children I have some insight into the types of stories children enjoy. This course is run by Adelaide author Robyn Opie who has over 60 published titles to her credit.
The writing course includes a series of writing exercises that are submitted to Robyn as my mentor for comment and suggestions for improvements. On Friday I received a reply from her on a manuscript I had sent to her earlier in the week. She said that my picture book manuscript was, with a few little changes, ready for submission to a publisher. Wow! That’s really encouraging.
I have so much writing that needs to be submitted to publishers that I will be busy in the coming months. Then I have many ideas for stories that need a great deal of planning and then hard work getting the stories written. Stay tuned for further news.
Today I attended the last day of this year’s Writers’ Week in Adelaide, South Australia. This is part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts held every second year. Writers from all over Australia and many from overseas gather for a week long series of talks, panel discussions and book launches. Held in the beautiful parklands of the capital city of South Australia, this highly popular event attracts hundreds of authors and thousands of eager readers every day of the week long event. Many line up to buy the featured books in the Bookshop tent, and then line up again to have their new purchases autographed by the visiting authors.
One of the featured Australian writers at this year’s festival event was Sonya Hartnett. She spoke passionately about her books and the craft of writing, the influences on her writing and read passages from several of her books. She is also adamant – and quite outspoken on the topic – that far too many poorly written books are being published.
Author Highlight and Book Launch
Perhaps the highlight of the day was a book launch by a local author. Mary Gunther, an elderly Adelaide doctor, started her medical career in New Guinea working in a hospital run by the Lutheran Church. During her years there she experienced many difficulties living in a strange land with many frightening aspects, such as spiders i her shower, snakes in her toilet and ants that seemed to be able to eat anything.
She gave an enthusiastic and graphic account of some of her adventures – and misadventures – and the MC eventually had to interrupt her account to say that her time was up. Since returning to various medical practices in Adelaide she has been asked numerous times to “write a book.” A few years ago her husband rediscovered a box in their shed left by her mother. It contained all of her letters written weekly from New Guinea to her family at home. This became the source material for her book, called “Doctors in Paradise.”
Today I attended the Thursday sessions of Writers’ Week in Adelaide. This is a regular feature of the Adelaide Festival of Arts which is held every two years. Prominent writers from all over Australia and selected writers from overseas are invited to be guest speakers. Previously I have been unable to attend because of work commitments.
Writers’ Week is held in a beautiful section of Adelaide’s parklands, about 200 metres across the road from the Festival Centre and about five minutes walk from the CBD. The organisers have set up two large tents filled with chairs. Over the years the Writers’ Week sessions have proved so popular that the chairs spill out of the tents and over the adjoining lawns. Being 31C today every shady spot nearby also sprouted chairs filled with eager readers and writers listening to the speakers.
In between the two tents is the Book Shop which sells mainly books written by the guest speakers. Many avid readers snaffle up these books and then proceed to the table where the eager writers are waiting to sign their books. Next to the Book Shop is the very essential food and drinks tent. South Australian wines are a popular and well patronised feature of the drinks section.
The writer I enjoyed most today was Simon Armitage, an English poet. His talk was very entertaining. Simon entertained the large crowd of well over a thousand, illustrating his talk with some of his excellent poetry. Another entertaining speaker was Australian writer Michael Robotham. He also entertained the audience with tales of his experiences as a ghost writer of the “autobiographies” of some celebrities, including Rolf Harris, Lulu and former Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell. More recently he has turned to writing novels, including the highly popular “The Suspect.”
Welcome to this web site, the home page of writer Trevor Hampel. This site needs lots of work on it so stay tuned.
Just to arouse a little curiosity here are some of the things I write:
Picture books, novels for young readers, puppet scripts, poetry – both for children and adults, devotionals, short stories and articles.