OOTA   President's Report  18/Oct/14  

On the Nov 10th 2013, OOTA launched its Anthology, JukeBox, as part of the Festival of Fremantle.
Many people commented on the quality of the writing. Only a month later, we lost Lucas North our very valued member and secretary. Lucas had worked tirelessly on JukeBox and his passing was a shock and a tragedy for OOTA and for those who knew and loved him.
    2014 saw OOTA members continuing to enjoy writing successes: launches, awards and commendations in Tom Collins Poetry Prize, Poetry d'Amour; publications in Australian Poetry Journal, Best Australian Poems 2014, Westerly, Unusual Works, Blue Giraffe, Uneven Floor and Poetica. (Look out for Renee Schipp on Poetica in Dec). Many members read at Voicebox, Perth Poetry Club, Supper Club and at the Perth Poetry Festival in August.
    In February, OOTA joined other writing communities in the Writer's Tent at The PIAF Writer's Festival. This was great opportunity to widen our exposure and mingle with readers.
Shane McCauley won Poetry d'Amour 2014, Ross Jackson shared second place, Rosie Barter was highly commended, and the Peel Region Award went to Gail Willems.18 other OOTA members were published in the anthology.
    In April, Annamaria Weldon published her beautiful and important book, The Lake's Apprentice.
    In March Sarah Evans, Vivienne Glance and Helen Hagemann featured in a program, Publication to Public, hosted by the Subiaco Library.
    In May, the Split Ink Competition opened.
    In June, OOTA launched Dick Alderson's astute and elegant, 'the astronomer’s wife,' and Helen Hagemann flourished at a writers’ residency in Barcelona.
    In August, Renee Schipp and Liana Christensen were guest readers at the Perth Poetry Festival and many members attended the wonderful workshops.
     In September: Chris Konrad launched his first anthology, “Letters to Mark” and Rose van Son is the third author in a new poetry collection, Three in the Campagna. Revisiting the North and South of Italy, to be launched on the 22nd of October. And in Melbourne, Donna Ward's Inkerman & Blunt  has just launched Australian Love Stories 2014. 
    Book launches for Shane McCauley and Caitlin Maling are also in the pipeline.
    Member's Achievements for 2014 will be collated by me and placed on the OOTA's Blog. Anyone wishing to have their list added or updated can email me at:

FAC and classes.
Shane and Helen's writing classes continue to be popular and lunch at the Cafe is still a valuable and enjoyable networking experience. Poetry Bites and Prose Bites provide a causal but valuable reading and sharing experience.
    With the recent increase in the FAC room fees, writing classes at the The Asylum were looking unsure. It was decided that OOTA subsidise the remaining classes until Dec. The Committee will consider the options concerning this. These options are 1) keep the fees at $20 and subsidise classes eg., with some fund raising or 2) raise the fees to $25. We decided it was important to remain at FAC and thanks must go to Carolyn Abbs for the in-depth research she conducted on the matter. Any ideas on this are welcome. They will be discussed and will become part of the decision making process. At this stage classes will be at 1pm.
    I would like to say that Fremantle Arts Centre Management regret the fee hike and explained they need to show they are working from a Business Model in order to keep their funding. They have always been generous with OOTA due to our history with them.
   Westerly. Carolyn Abbs has successfully negotiated with Westerly and financial members will now receive the December Edition of Westerly which happens to be a bumper issue highlighting WA writers. Many OOTA members have been included in this anthology. Members attending the Xmas party on the 12th Dec in the FAC Courtyard will be able to collect their copy. Otherwise they will be posted.
    Future: In 2015, the OOTA Committee will look at strategies to increase our profile and  membership. We will also look into arranging workshops at FAC on certain Saturdays. There has already been interest shown in this.
    The OOTA committee this year comprised of: Myself, Helen Trengrove (Vice President) Liz Hearnden (Secretary) Leanne Searle (Treasurer and Membership) Helen Hagemann (OOTA wonder Blogger and Newsletter writer) Murray Jennings (our MC), Flora Smith, Carolyn Abbs.
    The committee members stepping down this year are: Flora Smith, Murray Jennings, Helen Hagemann, Helen Trengrove.
    Thanks: I would like to thank Helen Hagemann for the hardworking years she has spent on the committee including Presidency. Helen has been our invaluable media person for many years with the excellent Network Tuesdays, Writing at the Centre and The OOTA Blog. Helen will continue with Network Tuesday until December and will continue writing The OOTA Blog and WAC in 2015. Thank you Helen.
    I'd also like to thank Flora Smith for all the years she has devoted to OOTA and the Committee. Thanks Flora.
    Helen Trengrove was our Vice President for 2014 and I'd like to thank her for all her help, her work on JukeBox and the Split Ink Competition. Thank you Helen.
    Thank you Murray for being on our committee this year. It was great to have a male presence. Thanks for taking on Network Tuesday while Helen was away and for your professionalism and warmth as committee member and MC. Thanks Murray.
    Those nominated for 2015 are: Jo Clarke, Renee Schipp, Ross Jackson and Barry Cassidy.

Julie Watts - October 2014

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OOTA AGM President’s Report 19/Oct/ 2013

2012-13 has been a very successful year for OOTA and it's many members. Compiling the Credit's list over the last few days is a testament to this. Members are being published, awarded, sort after for projects and involving themselves in varied ways in WA, National and International communities. The list is by no means complete but is a wonderful indication of the vibrant and industrious writing community we are all a part of, eg. VoiceBox, Poetry d'Amour events, Creative Art events, Science and Nature projects and projects for schools. Liana Christensen’s Festival of Fremantle project, Well at the End of the World, is another such venture.

Like all the Arts, writing can have its insecurities but is gratifying to witness over and over again the delight members take in each other's achievements, minor and major. OOTA is indeed a supportive and nurturing group which is evident at every class, poetry reading, launch and notice of success. This is what makes OOTA great.

The OOTA committee this last year comprised of: Myself, Helen Trengrove (Vice President) Lucas North (Secretary) Leanne Searle (Treasurer) Helen Hagemann (OOTA wonder Blogger and Newsletter writer) Kamille Roach (creator of the OOTA facebook page) Rose van Son (agenda maker) Lucy Czerwiec, Vivienne Glance and Liz Hearnden.

Vale: OOTA lost 2 of its long term members this year with the passing of Martina Chippendale in Feb and Sally Clarke in August. Both funerals were attended by many of their OOTA friends. Thank you to Vivienne Glance, who spoke at Martina's funeral on our behalf and to Rose van Son, who spoke at Sally's on our behalf. Both Martina and Sally will be published in our up-coming Anthology in recognition of our affection and respect for the quality of their work.

Fremantle Arts Centre: Relationships have improved tremendously with management staff and Marcus Dickson, Event Manager, couldn't be more obliging and helpful in our many dealings with him throughout the year.

Poetry Bites and Prose Bites continued to be enjoyed by our readers after Friday classes. Helen and Shane's classes are as popular as ever with Shane celebrating his 200th class in June. The class and other members had a celebratory lunch at the Cafe which was wonderful and full of OOTA cameradie. Shane brought along a box of small glass jars, labelled and named for members, and full of delicious honey from the bee hive of his generous partner, Hyang-Ja. What a beautiful gift for us all -

OOTA hosted more book launches this year, many at the Arts Centre. Mine in Feb, Australian Love Poems 2013 (which included OOTA writers) Helen Hagemann's Of Arc and Shadow, launched last Saturday at the beautiful Gallows Gallery. On Nov 2nd , Gail Willems will have her first collection, Blood Ties and Crack-Fed Dreams, launched, here in the Pavlich room by Annamaria Weldon. Dick Alderson's collection will be published in 2014 through Sunline Press.
On the Nov 10th (Sunday not Saturday) OOTA will launch its Anthology, JukeBox, as part of the Festival of Fremantle.
An enormous amount of work has been done by a sub group of committee members in making this happen, Lucas North, Helen Hagemann, Helen Trengrove, but the committee would like to recognise the tremendous work done by Leanne Searle in managing this venture while carrying out 2 other roles. Flowers for Leanne and thanks.

OOTA and community.
With the unfortunate closing down of dotdotdash, Leanne and I had a meeting this year with Regime Publications with the idea of supplying a Regime magazine to our members in placement of dotdotdash. It was decided to leave this venture until next year when funding for the OOTA Anthology fell through. This may be picked up again in 2014. The creating of a yearly OOTA member's credit list will be used in future funding applications.

Its wonderful to see OOTA members participating and supporting other writing groups. Many of our members are also members of FAWWA, KSP, PCWC, WA Poets and attend their functions and classes. OOTA members have been part of the Advanced Poetry Masterclasses at PC, are in mentorships through FAWWA, are involved in the WA Poets annual Poetry Festival and attend their Moon readings on Saturdays. I think the nurturing of the connection between these varied groups is a valuable asset for all. Support and networking, the sharing of ideas creates wider horizons, dimensions and deepens the sense of belonging to community.

The committee members stepping down this year are: Lucy Czerwiec, Rose van Son, Kamille Roach and Vivienne Glance.
Those nominated are: Flora Smith, Murray Jennings, Sue Clennell, Carolyn Abbs.

Thank you
Julie Watts

The 2013 Members Credit's List will be put on the OOTA Blog. Anyone wishing to have their list added or updated can email me at: and I will do so.


President’s Report – AGM  20th October 2012

It was a great year for OOTA, many of our members have had their work  published or have won competition prizes. Who can forget seeing your names pop up again and again in eastern states, local, new publications and competitions. Congratulations to everyone.

The 2012 committee was made up of ten members, including Josephine Clarke, Carolyn Abbs, Leanne Searle, Lucas North, Julie Watts, Helen Trengrove, Lucy Czerweic, Rose van Son, myself and a new recruit, our newsletter editor, Louise Lazer-Wright. It is because of these people who work hard and put the effort in that OOTA survives as an organisation.  Thank you to everyone!

During the year, and thanks to Carolyn Abbs, we consolidated our association with dotdotdash, a writing market that replaced indigo. Many of our members have been published in past issues, and two members that we know of who have been successful with the latest project Fingerprint. Unfortunately, with Steve Finch leaving as Managing Editor, the changeover to a new team has been slow. The journal seems to be suffering the vagaries of university publishing. Not enough people, volunteers, money and not enough time when students are concentrating on completing degrees. They are currently seeking editorial assistance with Poetry, Short Fiction and Creative Non-fiction and the next publication will be February 2013.  Keep your fingers crossed.

On 14th January, OOTA played a part in the launch of Sandfire – a poetry collection by Flora Smith, Rose van Son & Chris Konrad.  It was great to see the OOTA committee and members there lending a hand and supporting the publication of three of our members. We wish them every success with the book.

On 8th June, OOTA hosted an event & lunch to help thank and farewell Pocket Theatre. Gordon MacNish and Helen Brett delighted our audience, detailing their eight years of working hard with the theatre, moving venues and the seasons' highs and lows. It was also fun to watch Gordon and Helen perform their last play - Hello Cocky - the sequel. Vivienne Glance, who introduced our guests, led us into some of the insights on how actors & writers experienced Pocket Theatre. We thank her sincerely for that.

An extra prose workshop held on 27th July with Susan Midalia was a sell-out success. We thank those 16 writers for participating and supporting the class. Susan Midalia was very generous with her time giving feedback to writers.

As one of OOTA’s aims is to provide opportunities for publication, we are delighted to announce our planned anthology for 2013. Leanne Searle will discuss this under, General Business.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Josephine Clarke and Carolyn Abbs who sadly are stepping down from their roles as tireless workers for OOTA. Josephine would now like to be known as part of our Reference Committee, and we know we can count on her when needed. A big “thank you” to Carolyn for being our Membership Coordinator - for seven years! This has been a major job and she has kept the records in a strict and methodical fashion, supplying the committee with a constant list of members now totalling 86. Congratulations and thanks must also go to our remaining committee. And now welcome to new committee members: Kamille Roach, Liz Hearnden and Vivienne Glance. We hope you will enjoy your time with us in 2013.

As you know I am stepping down as President. I have enjoyed the role for the last three years. I don’t know that I have achieved very much, because the Prose class has been a major priority. I will say that my contribution has been the establishment of our web blog and more recently, Writing at the Centre’s Facebook page. These two things keep up the momentum of OOTA. Online advertising and promotion is now the way of the world, and with no cost we can maintain a focus on our group, outlining who we are and what we offer. We have a “google” profile, so that anyone wanting to join writers or writing classes in Fremantle will hit on words such as: Writing at the Centre, Writing at the Centre Facebook and oota writers. This way we continue the impetus of membership, as people leave we equally attract new members. I am happy to say that I will continue as OOTA’s Webmistress. (I don’t mind the title).

Finally, this leads me to congratulate our new President Julie Watts. Julie loves people and we know that her wonderful personable skills will be a great asset to the role. We look forward to the many occasions when Julie will lead the team. Likewise, congratulations to Helen Trengrove who is stepping into the role of Vice President. Helen belongs to Toastmasters and with that brings confidence and public speaking skills to the role. We also thank these two ladies for their current tasks of organising our Friday Poetry and Prose Bite readers.

Helen Hagemann
President 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 Membership Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer, Agenda Coordinator and Committee Members remain in the capable hands of our 2012 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



President’s Report for AGM 29th October, 2011
Another great year experienced by all at OOTA!

Many changes and events happened during the year at OOTA. One of the most significant was the joint launch of our new membership journal dotdotdash, and our amicable association with editor Steve Finch. Since one of our aims is to help our members towards publication, it is, and as a timely replacement of indigo, a viable and worthwhile market for our writers’ work. Membership coordinator Carolyn Abbs is also to be congratulated for her innovative idea in choosing the magazine and her efforts to cement this relationship. We thank her sincerely. OOTA is still one of the top writing groups in this state with a current membership of 85 + 7 honorary members. It is envisaged that when the word spreads about OOTA issuing three dotdotdash journals with each yearly subscription (for free), our group should attract the attention of new, serious and developing writers.

A Happy Event
We all enjoyed, and were pleased to host the launch of Mags Webster’s first poetry collection, The Weather of Tongues. Our thanks go to our fabulous committee who brought food, who arranged the venue at Gallows Gallery and who pitched in and helped with the dishes and cleaning up. We must give a special thanks to Flora Smith for the professional way she organizes the roster of food. Well done, everyone! It is always a notable affair when one can stand up in front of an audience, be the representative of a great working team, and announce that OOTA always enjoys a good book launch. We don’t mind but we have our limitations. It must be mentioned here to members that the main thrust of our help to writers wanting to launch a book is mainly towards those who have given help in the past. By that we mean serving on committee, being a volunteer at events, where one has raised their hand on several occasions and generally helped when most needed. This then becomes purely reciprocal.

Smaller changes have occurred at Writing at the Centre. Separate to Shane McCauley’s poetry class, the Prose class introduced a fortnightly series-based alternative for writers in such genres as sui generis, a walking/writing series, Writing Children’s Literature, Long Fiction and soon Creative Non-fiction. This was mainly to attract more attendees, but also to give variety to members and community writers in and around Fremantle. It has been pointed out that while new tutors were informed that the Prose class was a “Creative Writing Class” it was disappointing to hear that not enough writing exercises were introduced. Should this style of class continue in 2012, it will be a matter of careful selection, especially tutors.

Fremantle Press launch of New Poets was a successful evening and attended by a wide selection of the Perth poetry community, as well as OOTA members. We were especially proud to have Caitlyn Maling as our poet representative and reader on the night. We take the opportunity here to thank her for her efforts as editor of Network Tuesday and hope that she is enjoying her new life in America.

The Spilt Ink Competition also undertook a minor change from our usual poetry and prose to Creative Non-Fiction. It does have its limits as a genre. Whilst in Ireland I was asked politely by young Irish writers, “what is that exactly?” Perhaps it is new, but certainly it is not as hard as writing a major thesis on T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Moreover, we are delighted and privileged today to have with us author and judge Amanda Curtin who will announce the winner & placegetters of the competition.

OOTA writers have enjoyed many successes this year and we congratulate them. Our playwrights at Pocket Theatre did not present new work on stage. Hopefully this might resurface in 2012.

I wish to thank our 2011 committee. Flora Smith, our Vice President, who doesn’t use the word “no” when it comes to helping other people. Sadly she is leaving the committee, but will keep a watch out for any new gigs we’re putting on in order to help where she can. Leanne Searle, our Treasurer keeps a close eye on OOTA’s funds and hardly spends a dollar, Carolyn Abbs our Membership Coordinator manages our members’ list, subscriptions and dotdotdash recipients and maintains these with professional zeal. Josephine Clarke is like a ghost writer standing in for an absent President. I thank her sincerely for her time & effort and the work that she won’t admit to. Lucas North our Secretary writes up the minutes, and sends out cryptic emails from Mars while we try to decipher them from our home planet Fremantle-Venus. We thank Shoma Mitra for taking on the job of Editor of Network Tuesdays, this can be quite time consuming but arrives weekly for your benefit. The main thing is our members get the latest news relevant to their writing. A big thank-you to the rest of the team, our Agenda First Lady, Rose van Son, Meredi Ortega (photographer), Julie Watts and Lucy Czerwiec (willing helpers). We thank you all for your time, help and dedication to past events.

Last but not least, a big thank you to the Fremantle Arts Centre who continues to support OOTA, providing rooms for classes and functions at reasonable rates, and also for the many times they have provided space, pro bono.

Finally, as a Titular head, I have spent two years in the role although basically part-time spending the last 6 months away from classes at Writing at the Centre, and doing a residency in Ireland. I thank each and everyone on Committee who has managed OOTA so efficiently. Long serving puts a strain on those who work behind the scenes to keep things going. So, OOTA needs you! OOTA needs more committee members and leaders who will take the best writing group successfully into the future. Many of you present may not have considered joining the Committee or taking on a role, but it is not a hard ask or task. To be effective as a writing group, we need a rotation of change, we need fresh voices with commitment, and we need active members rather than passive. Training can be provided!

I welcome, and thank all standing members, a big thank-you to those stepping down, and a special welcome to new committee members. I hope that you will all enjoy working with us in 2012.

Helen Hagemann
OOTA President 2011

addendum: a presentation was to be made to Flora Smith, our Vice-President stepping down, however due to ill health she was unable to attend. Helen Hagemann to deliver OOTA's gift and thanks personally.

24th October 2010
President’s Report for AGM, 22nd October 2010.

It’s been a fantastic year for OOTA!

Through past efforts from committee and volunteers, OOTA has established itself as a top writing group in Western Australia. Word of mouth spreads very quickly and it appears that not only do the classes at the FAC continue to attract new writers, but OOTA attracts new members throughout the year; our acronym synonymous for success. This is evidenced in membership reaching close to 90, and also when writers advise us of their successes, either appearing at readings, being published on CD’s, as well as published in books, journals and anthologies. We are especially proud of the latest news that approx.10 of our members will be published in Westerly’s spring issue. We sincerely congratulate them. Larger events have occurred throughout the year. Rachael Petridis’s book launch at the Gallows Gallery was a highlight and pleasure for OOTA to host. Here at the FAC we enjoyed the launch of Shane McCauley’s new poetry collection, and Kevin Gillam’s chapbook that fitted in nicely with our Autumnal Lunch on 21st May. Again on 3rd September, a Spring Lunch with readings by APC New Poets and members, saw enthusiastic support for this style of event with a high attendance. We certainly must praise the generosity of the Fremantle Arts Centre who continues to donate its venue for these functions, as well as our AGM today.

It has been disappointing to hear that the indigo journal will cease publication. Their last issue will be Volume 6, due in December. With the previous experience of OOTA helping to launch the journal, the committee was reticent towards any take-over considering that our aims and objectives are to service the needs of members and not become a publishing house. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Donna Ward whose tireless efforts have made indigo a worthy market and home for our writers’ work. Unfortunately, it is the funding bodies that do not support its continuum.

During National Poetry Week, OOTA members responded to our call for poems on the FAC’s Coffee Shop Hallway. It was a new and convenient location. We sincerely thank our members and hopefully café patrons also enjoyed your words.

Fremantle Press launch of New Poets was a successful evening and attended by a wide selection of the Perth poetry community, as well as OOTA members. We are hoping that this type of event will continue in 2011 with wider scope for “inclusive” rather than “exclusive” poetry workshops.

The Spilt Ink Competition this year and our celebration of our winners on 24th September was a memorable highlight. Again we congratulate Sarah Evans, Carol Milner, Leanne Searle, Mardi May and Liana Christensen. We thank members for submitting eighteen stories all told. It was lovely to meet our judge Andrew Lansdown who did a sterling job, and you can read his report and Sarah’s winning story on OOTA’s blog.

OOTA writers have enjoyed many successes this year and our playwrights at Pocket Theatre continue to host their new work on stage. It was a special treat for members this year to attend Camelot Theatre and see Josephine Clarke’s short story We Need Tomatoes turned into a lively play by Gordon MacNish. We congratulate both writers for this adaptation called ‘No Insalata.’

Last but not least, I want to thank our 2010 committee. As writers they have given up their precious writing time and worked hard for the greater good. Flora Smith, our Vice President continues to offer her wonderful skills in organization, especially her unwavering and personable liaisons with members. Leanne Searle, our Treasurer and busy mum, maintains OOTA’s financial records with dedicated commitment. Carolyn Abbs, our Membership Co-ordinator, manages a very exacting job with exuberant professionalism. Josephine Clarke has provided our members with a more refined and succinct Network Tuesday, giving us concise details of opportunities, poetry and prose at the end of the news. And with help from Meredi Ortega we thank her for being the wine person at functions, as well as taking photographs for posterity. Thanks go to all committee members who gave their time, help and dedication to past events and tasks. They include Rose Van Son, Jean Hudson, Lucas North and Julie Watts. Your work is much appreciated. As they say, “many hands make light work”. We thank Annie Otness for her time on the committee but lost her during the year to continue other pursuits. We also thank Bruce Russell for providing additional classes for members who require a mentor for larger manuscripts. While Bruce enjoyed a stint of teaching ‘Life Writing’ at the FAC, he now conducts Master Classes and one-on-one sessions for writers.

Finally, a tribute must go to our members. We continue to grow and become well known in the writing community because our members offer so much. They are proud to be known as OOTA members; they attend class on a regular basis (and not just the FAC). The gregarious ones meet at lunch/functions, and we know many in their little garrets continue to work hard at the craft, improving their work. This is what keeps us together: the network of support we give each other as serious writers. If this didn’t happen, we would dissolve.

I look forward to the next 12 months, although I must add that I have played only a minor role as President; my commitment largely going into teaching prose and poetry. I am therefore thankful for a dedicated crew, without them my role as the titular head would be fraught with problems. I am grateful for this ongoing management of OOTA. Each person, as a cog in the wheel working, chugging, moving us forward into what we know is a successful and alternative group for writers.

I welcome all standing committee members, a special welcome to new committee, and I hope that you will all enjoy working for us in 2011.

Helen Hagemann
OOTA President 2010


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