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Director’s Report for 2004
To the TWC Annual General Meeting
23 March 2020

2004 has been another very good year for the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre. During that year the TWC continued to deliver services and programs to our members throughout metropolitan and regional Tasmania.

The TWC’s membership continued to grow, reaching more than 490 members by the end of December. The TWC’s turnover last year was just over $136,500. In 2004 the TWC also marginally increased its equity – up to $21,494. This maintains the TWC’s finances in the region which I believe is optimum for an arts organisation of this size, and so I am pleased that we are running our finances at these levels.

During 2004 the TWC continued to present writers’ workshops and masterclasses by Tasmanian, interstate and international writers. The TWC’s Workshops Program is critical to the development of Tasmanian writers and so during 2004 the TWC organised 23 workshops in locations such as Deloraine, Forth, Hobart, and Launceston. These were presented by Tasmanian, interstate and international writers, including DEB WESTBURY, JENNIFER LEE, NATALIE SPRITE, TIMOTHY DALY, PHILOMENA VAN RIJSWIJK, MAUREEN McCARTHY, MARTIN JOHNSON, CATH KENNEALLY, ROSIE WAITT, JOEL ANDERSON, ELSPETH SANDYS, CLIFF FORSHAW, KEN McGOOGAN, JUDITH BEVERIDGE, DAVID OWEN, ROBYN FRIEND, GINA MERCER, and FLEUR BOURGONJE.

In 2004 the TWC responded to the marked increase in the number of books being produced by Tasmanian writers and continued to promote a regular Featured Book by a Tasmanian Writers’ Centre member. In 2004 the TWC Members’ Featured Books were Avril Caney’s “Soft Edges Unsafe Margins” Lian tanner’s “Rats!” Rosemary Brown’s “Madge’s People”, Karen Knight’s “Under the One Granite Roof”, Kathryn Lomer’s “Spare Room”, and “River of Verse: A Tasmanian Journey 1800 – 2004” Edited by Helen Gee.

In 2004 the Island of Residencies Program continued its success and the TWC managed nine residencies for local and visiting writers throughout Tasmania. In 2004 the TWC supported a writer’s residency in Darwin for Tasmanian poet, Lyn Reeves, and in 2005 the TWC will support Tasmanian novelist and poet, Gina Mercer’s travel to WA to be writer in residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in Perth.

The Island of Residencies not only enables visiting writers to spend time in Tasmania, working with writers in their host community, but it helps establish good working relationships between those visiting and local writers, which can yield benefits to Tasmanian writers long after the resident writer has returned home. Furthermore, the Island of Residencies program provides visiting writers with a much more comprehensive perspective of Tasmania, and allows them to form positive views of what Tasmania’s writing communities are capable of and involved in.

Towards the end of 2004 and into 2005 the TWC revitalised its website to create an interactive site for our members. TWC members can now update their biographical information directly to the TWC site and access Members’ Only information. They can also participate in On-Line workshops, forums, chat groups with other writers – regardless of where thy might choose to live throughout the state. To encourage the prompt renewal of TWC membership fees, memberships – as well as workshop fees - can now paid with credit card.

More than in any year in the past six, at least, it seems that 2004 has seen more books written, published and read by Tasmanian writers. It says so much about the people who live here; who choose to remain, or return or relocate to Tasmania, that writing is the medium through which they can most successfully realise their creative expression.

Consequently, in 2005 the TWC will also initiate a new campaign: Read Tasmania, which will encourage co-operation between small and local publishers, self-published authors, libraries, schools and bookshops, with the common aim of increasing awareness of, interest in and sales of book by Tasmanian writers.

I must acknowledge those who have supported the TWC and its projects during 2004. They include the Australia Council’s Literature Board, The Minister for the Arts, through Arts Tasmania, Arts@Work, Hobart City Council, Meander Valley Council, Hydro Tasmania, Tasmanian Regional Arts and the Regional Arts Fund, Island Magazine, Hobart Bookshop, the SLT, KwikKopy Printing, Fearless Media, Salamanca Arts Centre, Suttons Café, Women Tasmania, the Henry Jones IXL Arts Hotel, The Tasmanian Bicentenary Fund, and the Tasmanian Community Fund.

I want to take this opportunity to thank those who served the TWC on its Committee of Management during 2004 - Mary Knights, Sheila Allison, Pam Allen, Christiane Bostock, Julia Hall, Cameron Hindrum, and Louise Oxley. These people have given good council, guidance and demonstrable support of writing in Tasmania.
And thank you to all those other individuals and organisations who have given their time and energy to making 2004 such a successful year for Tasmanian writing.

Finally, I must thank my very able assistant Angela Warren, for her systematic approach to what the TWC does, and her imagination of what it can yet do.

It will remain our focus throughout 2005 to not only do all we can to assist Tasmanian writers to write their stories well, but to find ways to assisting those writers reach greater audiences, here and abroad.

Thank you, and all the very best for your writing throughout 2005.

Joe Bugden
Tasmanian Writers’ Centre

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