Join us and meet other writers!

In the leafy grounds and hibiscus shade of the Fremantle Arts Centre Café.

Flame Trees in the Courtyard

Take your time to feel the energy of leaf power.

Friendly Fauna

Oh good, a bunch of writers with food!

Always be on the lookout for strange characters

They will make an interesting plot.

Haiku for Joyce

concrete two-seater
come, come, all writers sit on
my hard art

Friday, December 21, 2012


Commences 2nd January 2013 - OOTA members are advised that Helen Hagemann & Lucas North are offering a “free” brush-up critiquing service prior to & to help with your submission to the Anthology 2013. We want to reach those writers who possibly do not attend class to get added benefits, but have been quietly working away, and would like extra eyes on their work.
Our Method will be the Ham & Salad Sandwich Critique:  that is we compliment the nice ingredients in your work, such as the tomato, egg, and cheese. We then suggest you edit out the not-so-good parts of the sandwich, such as the mayonnaise, gherkin, onion or the tired, limp lettuce. We will send you a written report and you are then free to either take up the suggestions or not. What usually occurs from a strong critique is that this will give you the benefit of taking the poem or prose further. Often this gives you ideas for a better sentence, a much stronger verb or the necessary nous to delete any hackneyed phrases.
Send no more than two mixed pieces: poetry, short story or creative non-fiction to Please Note: we are only interested in crafted work, and this is a once only service.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Best wishes
Helen Hagemann & Lucas North

Monday, December 17, 2012

OOTA Writers Xmas Party on 14th Dec @ the Fremantle Arts Centre

 *The Christmas Gathering of OOTA Writers* 

Members listening to Shane
OOTA's Christmas lunch at the Fremantle Arts Centre on Friday, 14th December. Broad smiles, some wine & talk, a welcome by our President Julie Watts & then Helen Trengrove proceeded to invite our guests to read. We respectfully lowered our heads listening to Shane McCauley, Roland Leach, Josephine Clarke, and Dick Alderson. Writers who took the opportunity in the *open readings* were Bruce Russell, Janet Nowknownas Jackson and Helen Hagemann. It was great to hear two prose writers this year; an intro from Bruce Russell's new book "Reunion", and a story excerpt from our 1st prize winner of the Lyndall Hadow/Donald Stuart Short Story Competition, Josephine Clarke. A great day and the sun shone beautifully between the plane trees. A big thank you to Jo Clarke for these pics and also Annamaria Weldon's other 11 photos @ https://... more »
Shane Reading
Helen T.
Annamaria, Janice, Rachael, Rose, Viv & girls
Bruce Russell announcing his new book

Roland Leach

Jackson & Tineke

Carrie, Rose & Annamaria

Rosie & Bruce

Roland and members enjoying the festivities

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to all our writers, friends and associates, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



OOTA celebrates Christmas this year on Friday, 14th December at noon under the marquee in the leafy grounds of the Fremantle Arts Centre. Amongst the festivities will be readings by invited prose writers and poets. We are also having “Open Readings” (total duration of this part is 15 minutes). First in, best dressed! Please bring a plate of finger food & your good cheer; OOTA supplies the drinks. Hope to see you there!

Venue:  Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty St. Fremantle.
Where: Under the white marquee in the grounds of the FAC
Date:    Friday, 14th December
Time:    Midday - 2.00pm

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Going Down Swinging - Digital Edition #34

Some crazy exciting news, folks. GDS is once again putting out a shiny, whiz bang digital edition! We are looking for all manner of writing for the 34th edition, be it poetry, fiction, non-fiction, spoken word, sound and music projects, videos, animations, illustrations, even apps and interactive pieces. Head down to our submissions site for more information and downloads. December 14th is your deadline. Go forth!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Poetry


 The Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Poetry

Summer Literary Seminars would like to commemorate his life, if only in a small way, by establishing a literary prize in his honor. Participation is open to everyone, regardless of  previous level of accomplishment or native language. All entries must be in English. We will look for poetry that Arkadii himself would have liked: interesting, thoughtful, inventive, unafraid to be bold, driven by strong inner rhythm, breaking the linguistic barriers -- in a word, innovative, where innovation is not just a concept but a necessity
More at

Poetry Prize: Helen Bell Poetry Bequest Award 2013

The Department of English at the University of Sydney is pleased to announce that the first biennial award under the Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest  will be made in 2013.  Under the terms of Helen Anne Bell’s will, a cash prize of $5,000 will be offered for the best collection of 30 poems by a female poet over the age of 18.  Applicants must be Australian, and the poems submitted must be “about Australian culture,” broadly defined. 

The submitted poems should not previously have been published in collected book form, whether in print or on the virtual domain.  The successful applicant must agree to give a public reading of their work at the University of Sydney, and the Bell bequest will also pay for the production and distribution by the University of Sydney of a chapbook or book of poetry by the winning poet.
The closing date for entries is 1 February 2013.  Please send 3 copies of the manuscript entries, with a covering letter, to Judith Beveridge, Department of English (A20), University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.  All entries must be in hard copy; e-mail attachments are not acceptable.  Three judges will be appointed.
The winner will be announced at the Department of English’s awards ceremony in May 2013.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

foam:e calling for submissions

foam:e invites submissions for the next edition of foam:e to be published in March 2013. Please use the word foam:e in the subject line and send up to 6 poems in the body of an email to the editor.

Submissions will only be accepted until the close of November 2012. The poems should be your own work, not currently submitted to any other journals and if previously published, foam:e wishes to acknowledge the journals in which they've previously been published so this information should be included in the submission. We prefer new, fresh current work. Before submitting to foam:e, please read our previous issues.

By submitting to foam:e please be aware you give consent to foam:e being archived by the National Library of Australia's Pandora Project and Australian poets being indexed by AustLit.

Issue 10 of foam:e will be jointly-edited by Angela Gardner and Louise Waller

Books for Review should be sent to: 
light-trap press, PO Box 6418, St Lucia, Qld 4067 Australia.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Farewell Meredi Ortega! & Congrats to our writers in Cordite!

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Meredi Ortega a long-standing member and once committee member of OOTA. She is off to Aberdeen, Scotland. We wish her well for the future, settling in is often a challenge and an adventure, however we are sure all the unknowns will become familiar knowns.

The good news is we are also wishing Meredi (before she goes) CONGRATULATIONS!!!! for her poem lost in translation in Cordite Interlocutor #40.

Also CONGRATULATIONS!!! to Josephine Clarke (a Friday/ Monday poet) for her poem This Smile in Cordite Interlocutor #40.

Well done, ladies!

So, finally we wish Meredi many more writing successes and hope to see her name up in lights from the wilds of Scotland, och lassie!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Winners of OOTA's Spilt Ink Poetry Competition 2012

Competition Secretary Helen Trengrove read out the Judge's report on behalf of Zan Ross who could not attend, but was there at our AGM in spirit.

SPILT INK Judge's report, 2012 by Zan Ross  
First of all I’d like to say that I was pleased to find the overall quality of entries so high.  As anyone can tell you who knows me even slightly, I’m difficult to impress. Among the strengths in the submissions in total was an attention to specific detail which anchored the reader firmly into each piece; unusual ways of describing the commonplace; a boldness of vocabulary; adventures in sensuality; decisive endings; and focus on the smooth scanning of lines. In selecting the finals winners, then, I demanded something more, and found it: depth of meaning achieved through specificity of detail that carried me beyond what I might find for myself or on the surface of words/events; unusual and consistently used metaphors; adventurous juxtapositions; overall jettison of superfluous adjectives; and the avoidance of abstract nouns (such as “soul”, “love”).

First Prize "Senses" by Christopher Konrad
Zan Ross (and we quote from her report)  "What can I say that would be praise enough...The piece had a delicacy of touch that only supported the strength of language used. I was able to enter into it fully, give myself over to its passion, and still feel as if I could return to it again and find more to delight. I can give no higher approbation than to say, I wish I had written it myself.

Second Prize: "Karri Hazel" by Josephine Clarke
Sensuality at its best, I believe. And yet, the poem anchors Nature in the human experience, into celebration and intimacy until the reader literally cascades into the final line, "there are ways of finding light I long to know". As do I.

Third Prize: "Dreams of Detectives lost, lonely and frozen (after Bolano)" by Christopher Konrad
At this point it must seem like some sort of conspiracy - I selected another piece by Chris. Certainly, I didn't intend to - the two poems couldn't have been more different, which just goes to show how versatile the poet is. Anyway, it was the sheer understatement that captured and held. Konrad managed to maintain the metaphor of tragedy that consumes and destroys almost without a false step.

Highly Commended: "The Wardrobe" by Helen Hagemann
A very neat flawless rumination, deftly crafted, on the concrete souvenirs of our past which encapsulate memory and identity. I particularly loved the metaphor of clothing, especially the "little black dress", which framed and delivered the piece into the stunning final lines.

Highly Commended: "Picasso Still Life with Chair Caning" by Rose van Son
How Rose transformed description of a still-life into an experience of a moment in the life of artist and poet is sheer brilliance. The writer is both the narrator and the artist through contemplation. Have read this piece many times for the sheer joy of the journey.

Commended: "Ode to Brel" by Tineke van der Eecken 
Lyrical and lilting, faultless in its rhythm and detail, this poem makes you long for the experience of Brel.

Commended:  "Breathing Flower" by Rachael Petridis
I would have awarded this piece a prize just for the last two lines, “Move your lips./ Move your red lips.” Fortunately they weren’t the only luscious experiences of language here. Read it; hear it; be consumed by the deft use of words and metaphor.


OOTA Committee October 2012-2013

2012 was a great year for OOTA with many of our members published or winning competition prizes. Even more significant was the response and support from twenty-five members who attended our AGM on Saturday, 20th October. There was much to discuss on the day, and with spirits high, buoyed by our longevity and successes, we resolved our aims and objections for the continuance of a great writing group at the Fremantle Arts Centre. We dispensed with any negativity and heralded in the new team for 2013.

President:  Julie Watts
Vice President: Helen Trengrove
Treasurer: Leanne Searle
Secretary: Lucas North
Membership Coordinator: Leanne Searle
Agenda Coordinator: Rose van Son
Newsletter Editor: Louise Lazer-Wright
Web: Helen Hagemann

Ordinary Committee Members: Carolyn Abbs, Lucy Czerweic, Liz Hearnden, Kamille Roach and Vivienne Glance.

Some Photos of our Happy Group
Committee 2012-2013

Members enjoying AGM Refreshments

Rachael Petridis

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Congratulations Rose van Son! for her article in the Weekend Australian

Congratulations to Rose van Son (our Agenda Coordinator) for her article in the Weekend Australian (20th-21st October) called This (singing) Life.

"THE choirmaster, Martin, had told us to wear black. Black T-shirts and black trousers or skirts for the girls.
Although we were far from being girls, I felt a girlish nervousness come over me for the first concert in my new choir. I had been singing with the choir for only six weeks: one day a week for two hours....."

Friday, October 5, 2012

viva la NOVELLA!

Seizure is on the hunt for invigorating fiction and are launching a new novella competition for Australian and New Zealand writers.
If you sometimes think that novels are just obese novellas, then you’re on our wavelength. And since we are theme-lovers this time we are challenging all writers to tackle the theme: ‘Origin’. You can take this as the start of a series, the genesis of a character, a history or a myth.
Closes: 1st November

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Opportunity! The Red Room Company seeks your work.

THE RED ROOM COMPANY is seeking poems about places all around Australia for a nation-wide edition of our innovative new app, The Disappearing.

We're looking for new poems that explore everything that vanishes: buildings, ideas, people and places. To participate, send us a new poem about something in the process of disappearing, and tell us about the place that inspired it. We pay $80 for every poem published.

Send us a single word document with:

- a previously unpublished poem
- a 50-100 word description of the place that inspired it
- a gps location, address or the name of that place
- a short bio and your contact details

Because Sydney is already extensively mapped, we'll be preferencing poems about places elsewhere in Australia. And, if you've already submitted to the Sydney round, we want to hear from you again!

Email your submissions to

Entries close on Sunday, October 28, 2012.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

OOTA's AGM: 20th October 2012

Out of the Asylum Inc, advises that OOTA’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, 20th October, 2-4pm in the Drawing Studio (was the Function Room) at the Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle. 
Josephine Clarke is stepping down from the committee after several years of hard work as President and in current years as a committee member. Her position will become vacant and nominations for new committee members are called for from financial members: 
Helen Hagemann is stepping down as President and will remain as Webmistress. 
The committee now gratefully welcomes Julie Watts (Vice-President) to the position of President. Helen Trengrove will be stepping into the role as Vice-President. Your nominations of support for Julie & Helen would be gratefully received. All other positions, including Secretary, Treasurer, Agenda Coordinator and some Committee Members remain, however we have some new ladies stepping into the role of ordinary committee members: Kamille Roach, Bev Smith, Liz Hearnden and Vivienne Glance. It will be a great 2013 committee.

In the latter part of the program, the winners of the Spilt Ink Poetry Competition will be announced. We hope to see you on the day!

Download our forms
AGM Form 2012  
Nomination Form 2012  
Proxy Form 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Join OOTA & our classes!

What is OOTA?
OOTA - Out of the Asylum Writers’ Group is a supportive social and professional network for emerging and established writers. We meet regularly at the Fremantle Arts Centre, which once was an asylum, hence our name. Since forming in 1996, OOTA have published anthologies of short fiction and poetry, and run workshops and competitions.

How to join OOTA:
You can write to us at ootawriters@gmail.comor download a membership form here.

What is Writing at the Centre?
Writing at the Centre is an independent writing class conducted each Friday at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Room 2, upstairs in the main building.

What You Can Expect at the Centre
Poetry and Prose Classes that are structured each week for your writing enjoyment.

THE POETRY Class concentrates on the form, enabling new or established poets to enhance their poetic writing skills, knowledge and technique.

THE PROSE Class generally looks at the short story form which enables writers to learn the basics
of style, narrative structure, characterization, plot, dialogue, exploring life experience, editing, etc. and how to employ these through writing exercises.

Our Teachers

Shane McCauley, (poetry) is an award-winning published poet with several collections, including The Chinese Feast, Deep Sea Diver, The Butterfly Man, Shadow Behind the Heart, Glassmaker and The Drunken Elk (Sunline 2005/2010). He co-edited an anthology of WA poetry, The Weighing of the Heart, also published by Sunline in 2007. He has taught English at Edith Cowan University, has received local and overseas Fellowships, and currently teaches at TAFE. Shane offers an informative & stimulating poetry class for beginners, emerging writers, as well as published poets.

Helen Hagemann (prose) is a published poet with poetry and prose published in major Australian literary journals. In 2004, she won an ASA poetry mentorship studying with NSW poet, Jean Kent. In 2008, she won a Varuna Longlines/ Poetry workshop in Katoomba, NSW. In association with the Australian Poetry Centre's New Poets Program her collection, Evangelyne & Other Poems, was published in 2009. A second collection of Arc & Shadow is forthcoming from Sunline Press in August 2013. Helen has an MA in Creative Writing, writes prose poetry, and is currently working on a second novel. Her classes are informative, fun and often filled with surprises.

Be inspired to write! Classes are for all ages, for beginners, as well as intermediate and published writers.
Fees per class are $20 (OOTA ) $25 (NON-OOTA)

Venue: Room 2, upstairs in the main arts building. 10.00am to midday. No Booking necessary!

Please Note: You are eligible for class concession fees if  you join Out of the Asylum Writers Group
Contact: Helen Hagemann on mob: 0404 666 156 - email


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