‘What I was wearing…’ proved quite a delight at our monthly ‘Memoirs’ based session. Memories were shared about the choice of wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses; being a 13 year old boy in a department store dressing room while mother and father selected a first suit for family occasions; the uniform worn as a young child on the first day of school to the starched veil worn when graduating as a nursing sister; the vexed choice of an outfit to wear to a daughter’s wedding; the ‘wearing of grief’ and a mother’s choice of outfit for the Melbourne Cup; and a ‘what I was wearing … was covered in soot’… story following a fire in an apartment building. Betty wrote her memories as a delightful poem, ‘The Clothes I Wore’, which began ‘When I was a little girl and lived just up the track, In a small weatherboard cottage with gum trees out the back’… The project for our next 500 Word Memoirs session on May 28 is Someone who Shaped Me The brief: How did you become who you are? Think about someone who’s influenced your life and start writing.
Our secretary forwarded this email in case our members might be interested. It was distributed through U3A Network Victoria's mailing list.
Birdcatcher Books' 2018 Short Story Competition is now accepting submissions. First prize is $AU250, second is $AU100 and third is $AU50. Entry fees are $AU8 for one story, $15 for two stories or $21 for three stories. The best entries will be published in an anthology (subject to there being enough entries of sufficient quality.) Subject and genre are open, with just a few restrictions. The competition will close on 31st May 2018. Details can be found at http://birdcatcherbooks.com/competitions/
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‘A Friendship Tested’, our 500 words topic for March, proved to be challenging. It followed February’s (not always) warm and fuzzy topic ‘Grandparents’ and comes before April’s lighter topic ‘What I was wearing…’ (though one of our members suggested this could be ‘What I was wearing …. was covered in blood”…!)
As always when we share stories on challenging topics, we are left reflecting on both the diversity of presentations and the common themes within them. Stories were shared about tests to friendships which had been resolved and tests to friendships which didn’t survive the testing, perhaps because deeper values were challenged and ‘righteous indignation’ remains; some for which there are still remnants of deep disappointment and ongoing grief.
The session also included the sharing of some wonderful writing on past topics including ‘Grandparents’, ‘Working Dog’ and more. Members who attend the Creative Writing subgroup will meet next on Monday April 9 from 1 to 2.15 pm to share ‘children’s stories set in the North East’ (well, largely in the North East); followed by a catch up with others at ‘The Northo’ at 2.30 pm.
The topic for our next regular meeting on Monday April 23 at 1.30 pm is ‘What I Was Wearing’ - ‘Some items of clothing are linked to memories, emotions and experiences; The ‘lucky job interview’ undies, the jacket you wore on your first date, or a bikini that didn't fare well in water. Tell us how an outfit played a part during a significant moment’. New members are always welcome – a list of topics for the year is now available on the web site
As Time Goes By - 'In Isolation'
:While we are 'in isolation' monthly topics are being shared as collections on the website.. Enjoy!
March: Making Waves
April: Winging It/Taking the Plunge
May: Anzac Day or Turning Point
June: 'I grew up in...'
July: 'Car Stories' and 'Ideas Piggy Bank'
To read more of 'our stories', by author, go to
'As Time Goes By' provides an outlet and support for members keen to write about their lives and to tell stories their families may not get around to asking them about. Writing tasks are reminiscence oriented and set as monthly ‘500 Words’ writing topics.
4th Monday 2 - 4 pm - during Covid-19, this is the time to emailed stories to Bev to be shared online.