An Evening with Richard Glover

You are invited to spend an evening with Richard Glover!

Meet, Australian radio host, author and journalist, Richard Glover as he takes us on a journey into The Land Before Avocado.

About the book

This is a vivid portrait of a quite peculiar land: the Australia of the late ’60s and early ’70s. The Land Before Avocado will make you laugh and cry, feel angry and inspired. And leave you wondering how bizarre things were, not so long ago. Let’s break the news now: they didn’t have avocado.

‘This is vintage Glover – warm, wise and very, very funny. Brimming with excruciating insights into life in the late sixties and early seventies, The Land Before Avocado explains why this was the cultural revolution we had to have’ Hugh Mackay.

Tickets from this event will go towards raising funds to provide literature development for Children and Young people across Western Sydney. 

There will be raffles and lucky door prizes on the night. 


Richard Glover’s most recent book is “The Land Before Avocado” – a journey into a lost Australia, the bizarre Australia of the late 60s and early 70s. It’s been described by Hugh Mackay as “warm, wise and very, very funny”, and by Annabel Crabb as “Hilarious and horrifying, the ultimate intergenerational conversation starter’ .

Richard is also author of “Flesh Wounds – a comic romp for anyone whose family was not what they ordered.” It’s been described by the British writer Jeanette Winterson as “Sad, funny, revealing, optimistic and hopeful” and by The Australian as “a breathtaking accomplishment in style and empathy”.

Richard’s weekly humour column has been published in the Sydney Morning Herald for over twenty years. He writes regularly for The Washington Post and also presents the top-rating Drive show on ABC radio in Sydney. In December 2011 he and Peter Fitzsimons achieved a record for the world’s longest radio interview, supervised by the Guinness Book of Records.

When: Thursday 5th September 7:30pm for 8pm
Where: WestWords Centre for Writing, 91B Grose St North Parramatta
$45 incl. copy of The Land Before Avocado
Purchase your tickets via EventBrite: 




WestWords and the Sydney Review of Books invite applications for a two to three week residency in September-October 2019 at the WestWords Centre for Writing in Parramatta. This residency will be an opportunity for an emerging or established Western Sydney writer to write an essay on place for publication on the Sydney Review of Books. It will allow the writer to develop a site-specific practice and to have their work published alongside Australia’s best writers. This year we are seeking applications that engage with some aspect of the themes of urbanism, suburbanism and sub-urbanism.

This essay will form part of an ongoing portfolio of essays on place published on the Sydney Review of Books. Our place essayists have drawn on history, memoir, urban studies, literary history and other disciplinary tools to explore relationships between place and culture. We’re looking for pitches that are rooted in the physical and social geography of Western Sydney from writers who will benefit from working at one of the WestWord Centre for Writing. To apply for this residency, writers will submit a >300w pitch outlining the essay they want to write and a brief cover letter that maps their writing experience, relationship to Western Sydney, and interest in this project.  The successful applicant will workshop their pitch and process with the SRB editor before taking up the residency; they will work the draft essay into its final published form with the SRB editor at the conclusion of the residency. The successful applicant will be expected to deliver a complete draft of their essay (2500-4000w) within four weeks of the commencement of the residency. The residency essay will be published on the Sydney Review of Books in October 2019.

The successful applicant will receive a $1200 stipend, desk space at the WestWords Centre for Writing in Parramatta, Campbelltown or Blacktown for two weeks (between September and October 2019), editorial oversight and publication on the Sydney Review of Books.

Apply via Submittable.

The applications will be read and judged by a selection panel composed of SRB and WestWords representatives.

Applications due: 23 August 2019.

Send any queries to SRB editor Catriona Menzies-Pike on



Personal Stories with Fiona Wright

This workshop, with poet and essayist Fiona Wright (Small Acts of Disappearance, The World Was Whole), explores some ways in which you can craft compelling writing – in any form – from raw experience and the detail of everyday life, to ensure your life-writing matters to other people, as well as yourself.

Fiona Wright is a writer, editor and critic. Her book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance won the 2016 Kibble Award and the Queensland Literary Award for non-fiction. Her poetry collections are Knuckled, which won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award, and Domestic Interior, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary AwardHer new essay collection is The World Was Whole.

This masterclass is intended for adults and senior secondary students.

When: Sunday 18 August, 10am-12pm
Where: Max Webber Library, Blacktown
Cost: $45 | $33 concession/student Discounted to >> $36| $28 concession

To secure your space, email, or call 02 8677 4815


This year, WestWords and West Side Poetry slam will be hosting the Parramatta heat of the Australian Poetry Slam! What’s more, APS 2018 champion, Melanie Mununggurr-Williams, will be a feature performer!


How it Works?

Performing writers have two minutes to inspire judges randomly selected from the crowd with their original lyrics, poetry, stories, raps, or whatever they do with words.

The three highest scoring slammers will compete at the Western Sydney Final in October at Story-Fest ‘19. From there, two move on to the NSW State Final on October 19th. Then, two writers representing each state and territory battle it out the next night at the National Final at Sydney Opera House to become the 2019 APS National Champion.

The ultimate prize is an all-expenses paid international tour valued at $10k. The APS Champ performs in 2020 at Singapore Writers Festival, Hong Kong International Literary Festival, Byron Writers Festival, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, and Canadian writers festivals.

Each year, over 1000 spoken word artists perform in over 60 APS Heats for an audience of over 20,000 across the Asia-Pacific. From small towns to major metropolises, local libraries to street soirées, Australian Poetry Slam provides the stage for some of the best spoken world talent in the world.

Be there!

When: Sign up 6:30pm | Start 7pm
Where: August 21st – WestWords Parramatta
Host: Aylin Huzmeli
Feature: Zohab Zee Khan












Award-winning WA writer for young adults

Turbo-charge your narrative skills with one of the best.

Amanda (AJ) Betts is one of Australia’s best young writers for young adults, and she’s going to be in Sydney from Western Australia for a couple of days only. She’s promoting her new book Rogue, but has also agreed to present a writing masterclass for WestWords for senior secondary students and adults!

Amanda will be offering the experience she has gained from writing five award-winning YA books, including Zac and Mia, which won the Text Prize and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and was made into a US TV series of the same name. Amanda is a popular and engaging teacher and presenter, and you’ll leave with a much deeper insight into how and why you write!

This masterclass is especially relevant for HSC writing students but also for writers 18+.

Where: Dennis Johnson Library Stanhope Gardens
When: Tuesday 6 August 2019, 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Cost: $33
Suitable for senior secondary students and adults

call 0410 588 201

Congratulations to Christina Huynh!


 Christina will be spending a week in November at Pinerolo as Illustrator in residence. She will be mentored by THE Margaret Hamilton during this week.

Christina Huynh

Christina Huynh is a visual artist and illustrator based in Western Sydney that paints under the name ‘Styna’. She began creating illustrations while completing her Bachelor of Design in 2011 at the Western Sydney University. Christina’s work is inspired by travels to faraway places, both new and old, one’s heritage and story telling.  From using traditional mediums of watercolour, ink and pen to aerosol and acrylic; her art practice explores creating murals, illustration, typography and book making.



Hemingway’s Polydactyly Kitten Club and Speakeasy

Join us on the first Monday of the month for Hemingway’s Polydactyl Kitten Club & Speakeasy, a spoken word event held in the intimate art-deco setting of the Avalon Cocktail Bar, Katoomba.

The launch of Hemingway’s Polydactyl Kitten Club was fantastic! Thank you to everyone who came and a special thanks to Kate Fagan for being a splendid guest feature and to the Avalon Restaurant, Katoomba for being a great encouraging venue!

See you next month.



Next event:

Our next event is at 7pm on Monday 2 September, with poet and essayist Mark Tredinnick as our special guest. Door prizes, floor spots, great drinks, wonderful vibe. This is such a welcoming crowd, so if you’ve ever toyed with the idea of reading your work publicly but never found the courage, this is your chance! On behalf of Ernest, we hope to see you there!

When: 7.00 – 9.00, Monday 2nd September
Where: Avalon, 18 Katoomba St, Katoomba.
Cost: Cash entry of $10 ($5 concession).
Guest feature:  Mark Tredinnick

For more information contact James on 0410 588 201, or


In Partnership with Avalon Restaurant Katoomba.

Would you like to be involved in writing poetry, prose, rap or stories to help shape a major public art project by critically acclaimed visual artist Tina Havelock Stevens to take place at Bella Vista Station?

On 10 and 14 August, WestWords is presenting two writing workshops with Tina Havelock Stevens and author and artist Vanessa Berry.

Tina and Vanessa will look to gather short pieces and poems that speak to experiences from those that live in the Bella Vista and surrounding communities. Who they are, what they do, what they are interested in, what it’s like to live in the area, and what their dreams and aspirations are.

The resulting texts will be used for banners that will be displayed at an art performance event to take place at the new Bella Vista Metro Station on November 30.

The workshops are aimed for adults and teenagers.

When: Saturday 10 August 2pm – 4pm and Wednesday 14 August 7pm – 9pm
Where: Bella Vista Village Green Community Centre
Cost: FREE

Reserve your place now! Email with the subject ‘Bella Vista’.

Picture: Wendy Murray


West Side Poetry Slam!


An open mic night on the 3rd Wednesday of every month. Sign up on the night and perform/read an original piece of writing to open minds, hearts, and arms. Random audience members score just for the fun of it and you could win a support feature slot at the next slam. Other performance art forms are also welcome. Anything can be poetry.

Feature Act

Cassie is a Wollongong poet and chemistry student from the Northern Tablelands on Ngarabal country. She’s featured at Made from Scratch & Enough Said Poetry Slam and has poems published in Baby Teeth Journal. She writes a lot about friends, buildings and messes.

Wednesday 17th July. Sign up at 6:30pm. Start at 7pm.
 WestWords Centre for Writing, 91B Grose St, North Parramatta.
$10 entry fee for adults and $5 for concession/students. Pay at event.


WestWords-Varuna Residency

WestWords and Varuna have once again partnered for the WestWords-Varuna Residential Program offering four emerging writers from diverse backgrounds from Western Sydney the opportunity of a six-day residency at Varuna, The Writers’ House in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Joining them will be a live-in mentor who will be chosen in response to the successful candidates so that the mentorship offered is tailored to the people and their work.

The residency will run from 21st – 27th  October and is limited to only four participants and will include:

  • a mix of mentorship, private writing time as well as social time for unstructured conversation
  • One-on-one mentorship/consultation
  • Six nights’ accommodation at Varuna including meals

The residency is intended for the development of a current project where a significant amount of work has been completed. Prior to taking up the residency successful applicants were required to submit the manuscript they intend working on. This is for the purposes of tailoring the mentorship to your needs.

Key dates
Applications will open 1 July, 2019 and close midnight 9 August, 2019

What WestWords is looking for

The fellowships will be awarded to emerging writers of any genre who display exceptional promise in their writing style and the premise of the work. WestWords welcomes manuscripts from writers working in all creative forms, including fiction, drama, poetry, children’s books, and narrative non-fiction.


There are no application fees or program fees associated with this program.

Click here for application form and to submit.


Presented in partnership with Varuna, The Writers’ House