Friday, 10 May 2019

Dear writers, it is unfortunate that the prose class has to cease in Term 2 and also unfortunate that my efforts to find a suitable replacement tutor has been unsuccessful while I'm away on holidays. My initial idea to have further tutors going forward into 2019 has also been unsuccessful  Truly sorry!   Helen Hagemann
The OOTA Prose “critiquing” each Friday fortnight session will continue. The proprietors of Canvas CafĂ© are now used to OOTA writers using the room, and they are only too happy when we order coffees and stay for lunch. My idea is to extend the time an extra hour to incorporate a “writing session”. This could happen from 9.30am-10.30am, then critiquing to 12.30pm and lunch thereafter. There wouldn’t be any cost to writers (apart from coffees/lunch) and staying at the FAC keeps OOTA at its home base. I have an abundance of writing exercises/prompts that I can bring when I attend. I also think that along with each other’s critiquing help there would be time to encourage others to start a novel, a non-fiction work, a short story collection or memoir. And there would be more time for discussion, peer inspiration and news of writing/ publishing opportunities and competitions. This session would allow the necessary freedom to be away on holidays so that writers can attend when possible with less strictures. The plan is start this arrangement in Term 3 and school holidays could be incorporated!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Steven Finch will be teaching Prose Classes in Term 1 starting 8th February 1-3pm Fremantle Arts Centre. You may remember him at the Arts Centre (pictured here with friends) living in a yurt for 6 months, as the hard-working Editor of dotdotdash and involved in a myriad of community projects including his role as Administration Officer at the Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany. Steven is not only community-minded about the arts, but is also a published writer. He has a short story The Kid on the Karaoke Stage Emptied His Beer and Cried. Men Threw Him a Line, from which the collection gets its title in a short story collection published by Fremantle Press. Prose classes are Friday fortnightly, commencing 8th February in the Print Room. Further inquiries please contact OOTA @

Read Helen Hagemann's review of Steven's story on Goodreads

Steven's Bio
Steven (SJ) Finch is a writer and community artist. He was the former editor of dotdotdash, a WA creative literature and art journal. He has been published in Westerly, Voiceworks, Cottonmouth, Australian Poetry and by Fremantle Press. In 2015 Finch was the recipient of a CAL Writer in Residence Award from the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA; co-curated Anthologia with Alina Tang, an exhibition of floriographic poetry at Paper Mountain; and launched an ongoing nomadic residency where he lived in a self-made off-grid traveling yurt called grr for 15 months. In 2016 as part of The Blue Room Theatre's Summer Nights program, Finch hosted a mini-festival of storytelling and performance in the Grr called Grr Nights. He co-curated with Claire Bushby, Words Beyond Grammar, a group. He was a selected artist for the Perth International Arts Festival’s Artist Lab 2017, a Creative Producer intern for the Digital Writers Festival 2017, and a featured writer at the National Young Writers’ Festival 2017. He was formerly the Project Officer for National Youth Week, organising the KickstART Festival 2017 Propel Youth Arts WA and the inaugural Literary Youth Festival. He is the current Project Coordinator for Lotterywest Story Street, an ongoing storytelling project with Cultural and Linguistically Diverse Communities.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Join Helen Hagemann and other Prose writers for some valuable time critiquing your work.

Critiquing Group @ the Fremantle Arts Centre every Prose Friday morning 10.00am to midday.  Commences Friday 8th February. The group meet in the FAC Cafe (small room) which is subject to availability. Writers are asked to send up to 4 pages of their work (Times New Roman, 12, 1.5 spacing) prior to the Friday, so that you can read other writers’ work and comment beforehand. This can be either a short story, flash fiction, prose poetry, part of your novel, your memoir, or part of a non-fiction work that you are having difficulty with. We will critique for two hours, have lunch before class at 1.00pm. Inquiries with Helen -

Friday, 5 October 2018

Veronica Lake returns to the Prose Class for Term 4.

Although Helen Hagemann still manages the classes, it was thought that a change in tutors for the Prose writers was a much needed idea, not only to boost numbers, but also that other teachers bring new ideas, a certain freshness and vigour to the classroom. Veronica has been exceptional and the members of the class have enjoyed her relaxed style, enthusiasm and a wealth of teaching experience and knowledge.

Term 4
Every Friday fortnight commencing 6th October - 30th November 2018. Inquiries to the Out of the Asylum Writers Inc @

Saturday, 7 July 2018

VERONICA LAKE is our relief Prose teacher for Term 3. Veronica will conduct 5 workshops commencing Friday 27th July, 10th & 24th August and 7th & 21st September. Classes commence at the usual time of 1pm - 3pm and OOTA members pay $25 and NON OOTA $30. If you are a member of Writers United WA the cost is also $25 (cash only). Your support of the Prose class and Veronica will be gratefully appreciated. 
Venue: Fremantle Arts Centre, upstairs in the Print Room, 1 Finnerty St. Fremantle.

Veronica Lake completed an Honours Degree in Arts at the University of Western Australia (1974), with a double major in English and a Diploma of Education (1975). She also completed a Post Graduate certificate at the University of Melbourne for the study of Shakespeare, (2009). In 2010, Veronica was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for the study of Shakespeare in the theatre companies of England, Ireland and Canada. She has participated in many writing workshops and attended professional development courses as a teacher, which focus on creative writing – both prose and poetry. 
Veronica has been a teacher of Literature and English in W.A. high schools for many years, including Applecross Senior High. She edits and publishes Primo Lux, a state-wide student anthology of poetry, now in its sixteenth year. Student creativity aroused her desire to write poetry and prose which began in 2009. She enjoys patterns of language, structure and the shaping of voice. Veronica has always been interested in language and the sound of words from brain to paper and into the atmosphere. She has had a few short stories published and is still working on the construction of her craft with success in traditional forms; sonnets, dramatic monologues, rhyming narrative and free verse. Her subject matter is drawn from everyday life and personal experience. It is important for her to ‘hear’ the rhythm of lines spoken, and because of her Literature background enjoys alluding to classical stories with characters and references drawn from myths or studied texts. 

Inquiries should be directed to OOTA Writers @

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Writing at the Centre congratulates Richard Regan on the publication of his novel "Oriental Vagabonds"!

In Workshop 10: Publishing Your Work we feature Richard Regan's book. He will read an excerpt from his novel. Richard will also discuss how he published the book on and the class will be instructed on how to upload a manuscript. If you have a collection of short stories, a memoir, a  novel, a creative non-fiction or non-fiction work this is the workshop for you. Richard will show us how easy this is to do, and please bring your laptop or ipad to follow the demonstration. Also available will be comprehensive notes that outline the growing trend of self-publishing. Friday, 29th June @ 1pm - Print room, but please ask at FAC reception. Please note: This is the last class for Term 2.

Oriental Vagabonds
The eve of World War 2, Hitler is finalising his plans for the conquest of Europe and flexing his muscles in Spain, while the Japanese are poised to invade China, and eyeing off the resources of the East Indies and Indochina to fuel their war machine. Dangerous times, but there are still profits to be made by men like hard-bitten Skipper Bill Rowden and his vagabond crew, as they work their aging tramp steamer around the treacherous waters of the Far East.

Check out Richard's book

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Workshop 9: Plot, Polish & Plan for Rockingham with Helen Hagemann Friday 15th June @ 1pm. This is the last class in our series "Working the Short Story". You are welcome to bring along your stories that you are working on with a view to polishing, looking at plot and starting a new story for the City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards 2018. Writing exercises, as well as a short reading of The Merry-go-round  in the Sea by Randolph Stow.

Friday, 29th June- Workshop 10: Self-publishing with Richard Regan and Helen Hagemann. This is the final class for Term 2 (start of school holidays Sat 30 June - Sun 15 July)
Friday, 27th July - Term 3 commences with Relief Tutor (TBA). This will be 5 fortnightly workshops for prose writers. Cost $25 OOTA  $30 NON-OOTA - Your support will be invaluable!
City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards – Now open 

Entries into the City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards must be inspired by, drawn upon, or use the theme of the artwork "Two Children at Beach” by Delon Govender (2003), pictured below and on the entry form. Individual stories cannot be entered in more than one category, and must be original, unpublished, not have received an award in another competition, and not be under consideration elsewhere from the time of entry in awards until the official announcement of winners.  Authors can submit up to three stories. Submissions close 13th July 2018.

Word length: Minimum: 1000, Maximum: 4000

Categories: Open: 1st prize: $1000, 2nd prize: $500, 3rd prize: $300, Two commendations of $100
Over 50s :1st prize: $1000, 2nd prize: $500, 3rd prize: $500, Two commendations of $100
Young Writers (10 to 17): 1st prize: $700, 2nd prize: $400, 3rd prize: $200
Please read the conditions of entry prior to submission.  Full details can be found on the entry form.

To ensure anonymity, please do not put names or contact details on the manuscript as entries are judged "blind".  All entries must be accompanied by a completed and signed entry form. All manuscripts will be destroyed after the competition, so please do not send original copies.

Entries must be type-written, double-spaced on one side only of A4-size white paper, with pages numbered, a wide left-hand margin, and story title on each page.

Email to with the subject title: 2018 Short Fiction Awards, title of your story and your name. Emailed entries need to be attached in .rtf or .doc format, and must be accompanied by a completed, scanned copy of the entry form.
Post entries in an A4 envelope to:
City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards,
Community Development Officer, Arts and Culture
City of Rockingham
PO Box 2142
Rockingham DC WA 6967

Entry is free and winners will be notified by phone or mail prior to the official announcement. The judges’ decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into. Any attempt to lobby judges or City of Rockingham employees, or influence decisions, may result in disqualification.

For further queries, please contact the Community Development Officer (Arts & Culture) on 9528 0333 or

Monday, 28 May 2018

Workshop 8: Characters at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Friday, 1st June @ 1pm.  As part of the ongoing series - Working the Short Story - this week's workshop is designed to help you aim for the biennial OOTA Spilt Ink Competition. The class will look at characters 1. that readers bond with. 2. avoiding the author surrogate. 3. allowing characters to experience a crisis of faith. Readings of Flannery O'Connor's stories + writing exercises. OOTA $25, NON-OOTA $30 - writers are asked to pay cash only.  Venue: Print room at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Mary Flannery O'Connor (March 25, 1925 – August 3, 1964) was an American writer and essayist. She wrote two novels and thirty-two short stories, as well as a number of reviews and commentaries.
She was a Southern writer who often wrote in a sardonic Southern Gothic style and relied heavily on regional settings and supposedly grotesque characters, often in violent situations. The unsentimental acceptance or rejection of the limitations or imperfection or difference of these characters (whether attributed to disability, race, criminality, religion or sanity) typically underpins the drama.
Her writing reflected her Roman Catholic faith and frequently examined questions of morality and ethics. Her posthumously compiled Complete Stories won the 1972 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction and has been the subject of enduring praise.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Workshop 7: Point of View at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Friday, 18th May @ 1pm.  As part of the ongoing series - Working the Short Story - this week's workshop is designed to help you aim for the biennial OOTA Spilt Ink Competition. The class will look briefly at 1st person, 2nd person and mainly focusing on 3rd person limited, 3rd person POV,  omniscient, viewpoint character and rotating point of view. Readings of Anthony Lawrence's short story "Ash" + writing exercises. OOTA $25, NON-OOTA $30 - No free list and cash only. 

Third-person limited offers several advantages:
 Gives the writer more flexibility than first-person point of view – If the story above were told only from the cake shop owner/staff's 1st person point of view, the author could not offer his/ her perspective on the cuteness of their pet. The audience no longer would be looking upon the mutt as stealing a cupcake but would understand and know more about the dog's sugar habits from a male/female owner (3rd person POV).
 Provides a less biased perspective – Stories told in first-person also carry the weight of the main character’s subjective views and perspectives. Sometimes this can make the protagonist less acceptable or likable to a reader, who is more enlightened than that character. Third-person limited moves the reader to the usually more enlightened perspective of the author.
 Offers a clear sense of who the reader should identify with and invest in –Stories told only from the main character’s perspective sometimes show bias especially someone who doesn't like dogs. The author’s insertions show readers how they should view the character ie dog.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Workshop 6: Setting with Mags Webster, Friday 4th May at the Fremantle Arts Centre, 1.00pm - 3.00pm (Print room)
As part of the ongoing series called "Working  the Short Story" Mags Webster will conduct a class on SETTING. The aim is to continue guiding you as to what makes a good story. These Prose classes look at major elements that will have you powering away into your writing. $25 OOTA $30 NON-OOTA

Mags Webster is a poet, freelance writer and editor, and currently a PhD student at Murdoch University in Western Australia. Her poetry and prose have been published in various publications and anthologies in Australia, Asia and America. Her first collection of poetry The Weather of Tongues (Sunline Press) won Australia's 2011 Anne Elder Award for a debut collection of poetry.

Born and raised in the UK, she moved to Australia in 2003. Also living in Hong Kong from 2011 to 2014, she completed an MFA in Creative Writing at Hong Kong's City University.

You can read her prose on her website here

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Workshop 5: Theme: the Purpose of a Tale with Helen Hagemann Friday 6th April @ 1pm. This is the last class in Term 1. You are welcome to bring along your stories that you are working on to discover "theme". Writing exercises, as well as readings of a comprehensive online writing critique that includes: your message, digressions, a milepost character, symbolism and figurative language.

Friday, 20th April - No class due to school holidays
Friday, 4th May - Term 2 commences with Mags Webster. As part of the 10 Part Series called "Working  the Short Story" Mags will bring you Workshop 6: Setting.
Friday, 18th May - with Helen Hagemann - Workshop 7: Point of View.

Monday, 19 March 2018

In Workshop 4: Do we Call the Grammar Police? we will revise the use of the Comma, Semi-Colon and Correlative Conjunctions. Even though it's a brush up on our grammar for the Spilt Ink Competition we will also take a look at short story punctuation in particular Peter Cowan's short story titled "Canary." Much like Tim Winton, Cowan breaks the rules. Friday 23rd March @ 1pm - inquire about the Print room at FAC reception.


Sunday, 4 March 2018

Workshop 3: A Different Genre at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Friday, 9th March @ 1pm.  As part of the ongoing series - Working the Short Story - the following workshops are designed to help you aim for the biennial OOTA Spilt Ink Competition. This week's class looks at the portable prose of Helen Garner. "Memoirist, fiction writer, faction writer, creative non-fiction/non-fiction writer, journalist? Australian critics and booksellers have stopped trying to pigeonhole Helen Garner and now just give her prizes. This is the power of Garner’s writing. She drills into experience and comes up with such clean, precise distillations of life." Garner’s collections of fiction and nonfiction corroborate her reputation as "a great stylist and a great witness".

Writing Exercises and readings of Garner's prose. 

FOR OOTA WRITERS - Why not join out critiquing group? The more you critique your work, the more you learn!
Critiquing Group @ the Fremantle Arts Centre every Prose Friday morning 10.00am to midday.  This is held in the FAC Cafe (small room) and is subject to availability. Writers are asked to send up to 4 pages of their work (Times New Roman, 12, 1.5 spacing) prior to the Friday, so that you can read other writers’ work and comment beforehand.  This can be either a short story, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, part of your novel, your memoir, or part of a non-fiction work that you are having difficulty with. We will critique for two hours, have lunch before class at 1.00pm.  
Please note: The critique session is complimentary to the Friday afternoon Prose Class. Therefore the cost for both sessions is $25.00.  Beginners who do not have a project on the go, are very welcome to join us, to sit in, learn about the advantages of critiquing and perhaps have a coffee (This is free of charge - mornings only).  For more information contact Helen @


POETRY with Shane McCauley
10th Friday 1pm
24th Friday 1pm
07th, Friday 1pm
21st, Friday 1pm



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    Writing at the Centre is an independent writing class conducted each Friday at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Print Room, upstairs in the main building.

    PROSE CLASS 2019

    Prose Classes $25 per class OOTA Membership
    Cash only: No credit card facility - NON-OOTA $30
    PLEASE NOTE: Term 2 Cancelled until further notice.


    Theme: Place - Closing 31/3/2019

    Dorothy Hewett Exposed as a Miscreant

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