‘All writers need support and advice about their work. Last week as always, members of this GSV group generously offered thoughtful analysis and encouragement for two of its writers.’
Tina Hocking reports: Last Wednesday (5 April) the GSV Writers Circle met for the first time at GSV’s new Centre at 85 Queen Street. It was also possibly the first time we reviewed a submission from an interstate member unable to attend the meeting.
The ‘row of chairs’ arrangement in the meeting room should suit our structured ‘topic’ meetings, but we hope to recreate our informal ‘circle friendly’ atmosphere in future meetings.
There was spirited discussion of the submissions by two of our members, which focused on immigrant families from quite different backgrounds. Some members had already emailed their responses to our two presenters, with others to follow.
The feedback provided at this session for our Adelaide member should encourage any writers on our email list of over 80 who cannot attend meetings due to distance, to join in either as submitters or email reviewers. And there is also the GSV Writers Closed Facebook site for continuing the discussion. (This is part of a GSV membership).
One of the participants – who is writing the odyssey of the Dedes and Wares families – wrote:
‘Thank you for your most helpful analysis of my work – I appreciate the comments. Along with other observations from the group, I have lots to follow up!
Now that the GSV has moved closer to the Victoria’s Immigration Museum we are looking forward to being closer!
GSV Members are invited to two days of complimentary admission to the Immigration Museum – 18 and 19 August.
Set in the beautifully restored 19th century Customs House, the Immigration Museum is the perfect place for learning about our ancestor’s journey to Australia, exploring Australia’s migration history, sharing personal stories, researching contemporary issues, and understanding our culturally diverse community.
GSV Members can celebrate Family History Month with free entry into the Museum on Friday 18 August, Saturday 19 August. Simply show your GSV membership card upon entry to the Museum.
Visit the Immigration Museum website for information about current exhibitions and activities. email@example.com
Open 10 am – 5 pm, 7 Days. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. 400 Flinders Street Melbourne
At the next GSV Writers Circle meeting (for members) on 5 April at our new Research and Education Centre, the group will discuss and offer suggestions on draft pieces of family history writing submitted by two of the Group. One of this month’s writers can rarely attend the Group as she lives interstate, but she still joins in and benefits from the GSV Writers Circle by way of email. She writes: ‘I circulated this story at the end of last year. I received one small correction and a detailed and very helpful review… I am re-circulating it again for discussion at the April meeting. Much [extra research] has happened in the almost six month since I wrote it… Whilst I had intended to make only small changes now and to wait until after the April meeting to revise the story, I have done a little more than I originally intended and also worked on the majority of [the previous] suggestions… While I was writing the background to [this] life I realised that the two-generation story was more interesting.’ Where else can you receive knowledgeable help with your writing – the GSV Writers Circle includes many published writers – at no additional cost to your GSV membership? The aim of this GSV group is to help its members turn their research into accurate and readable stories. Your research deserves to be told and kept for the future.
Writing Reviews: basics and a touch of the unexpected
It was hot in Melbourne on 1 March as members of the GSV Writers Circle gathered for their monthly discussion at Emirates House for the last time. The conversation was initially dominated by the imminent change in location of the Society and some members were recalling previous GSV locations, such as Block Arcade.
The focus of this meeting was on Book Reviews, and under Louise Wilson’s adept leadership books had been selected, reviews planned or pondered on, or already written.
Louise was well prepared and there was much for members of the group to think about. Members’ reasons for choosing books for the session included prior knowledge of the author and personal or research connections to people and places featuring in the selected book. The discussion soon moved to whether our choices were helping us as writers. Discussion emerged on the need to found writing in research and to use citations as members had come across family histories without sources. The cusp between history and creative writing, an area of ongoing interest to writers, was also raised.
The group was challenged by a question regarding the impact on target readers of titles and covers. The newly released Victoria the Queen has a cover appealing to current day readers and is receiving favourable reviews. Louise placed book reviews in time and place. Mary Durack’s Kings in Grass Castles has received less impressive reviews in recent times while continuing to maintain sales.
‘Should authors review books?’ asked Louise after sharing her own experiences as a reviewer. Louise argued that authors bring something extra to reviewing because of their experience and that reviews should incorporate the intellectual and emotional responses of the reviewer. Discussion extended to whether and how authors should respond directly to reviewers. Examples of responses generally considered appropriate, and others not so appropriate, were weighed up.
Most reviews written for this session were based on Ancestor publishing requirements. Discussion of Ancestor’s practice of publishing reviews of (recently released?) genealogical resources rather than family histories may well have sown seeds of change.
A newly animated group of writers dispersed into the Library and the hot city with new thoughts and questions to ponder. The next meeting will be in the new GSV premises.
We have now signed the formal lease documentation for our new Centre at Level 6, 85 Queen Street, and will gradually move in over the last three weeks of March, opening our doors on TUESDAY 4 APRIL. Orientation meetings have been arranged for our Volunteers to assist them with the delivery of our Member services in our new home. We have commenced the cleanup of our current premises in anticipation of packing our books and other items during the week commencing Monday 13 March. Thank you to those who are currently helping us with our move. Quite a few additional volunteers will be needed to help in various ways. If you are available to assist during the period from Monday 6 March through to Monday 3 April, please email your availability to Allan Aberdeen, who is in charge of the overall management of this process or Claire Johnson via firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 February 2017
David Down, GSV President, announced on 10 February, that the GSV has located new premises for its offices at Level 6, 85 Queen Street, Melbourne. This will be known as the ‘GSV Research and Education Centre’.
The current Collins Street location will be closed from, and including, Monday 13 March. The new Centre in Queen Street is planned to open for weekday operations from TUESDAY 4 APRIL and Saturday access will begin on 22 April. GSV looks forward to welcoming you at its new Centre.
Here is Construction update 3 for the GSV building at Emirates House 257 Collins Street, Melbourne. Also includes is a Construction zone plan.
Please note we shall be open as usual during this construction. In particular the Scottish Ancestry Group meeting will be held 1.00 – 3.00 pm this Saturday 26 November. Also there will be a class covering ScotlandsPeople – The New Website to be held 1.30 – 2.30 pm on Monday 29 November. For more details go to our Current and Upcoming Events.