I think I am (just a little) in love with Mark Tredinnick – who ran his Little Red Writing Workshop – I got an autographed copy of the book – and whose Little Green Grammar Book companion book I also bought later. He was just the greatest fun. I met him as part of the three day Perth Writers’ Festival at the University of WA in Perth and in his class, we had the chance to genuinely interact with Mark as a writer and educator.
Chris Pash’s workshop on building characters in non-fiction books was brilliant and his latest book The Last Whale deserves your attention for its historical relevance in Western Australian history and ecology. More than that, it is a classical demonstration of how to recount historical facts, through a range of characters who give vent to the same emotions we feel today: against the whale slaughter in the Southern Oceans and the arguments of economic loss. Chris Pash has a profile on LinkedIn.
The Festival has been an awesome experience – with some paid participation in workshops and panel discussions, lots of free events and good interaction with hundreds of others – all with the same intent – get as much out of the three days as you can. Of course, you buy as many books by different, new authors as you can manage! There are at least a dozen new, previously unexplored authors to keep me entertained and amused and educated over the next few months as I hone my writing skills. From time to time, some reviews will find their way to these posts, you can be sure of that.
Mark Dapin’s workshop on how to find your way into magazine publishing was daunting and because of parking problems, I missed his second session – which was a panel discussion. James McBride was an absolute delight; David Hill (as an exBoss of the ABC) was so easy to approach and talk to and was genuinely interested in those there.
It was extremely interesting to hear the professionals speak about the difference between writing historical books, and non-fiction and fictional novels. Pages and pages of notes, ideas and lots and lots of books to read and compare and from which to learn. (Sorry, Mark, I cannot end a sentence with a preposition – not yet!)
At least Australians have learned to stop killing whales – and you must read this story – because in a completely factual book, Chris Pash sets out the origins of Greenpeace, the story of the whalers themselves and how a group of about only twenty people were able to muster world wide political and financial support to end whaling in Australia.
It seems a dispassionate book – told with such clear and unmistakable facts that bring passion to you, the reader: tears, anger, dispair, disbelief, hope, and a feeling of power – because a few people working together for a great cause can bring about change that matters. Chris Pash is an exemplary author of historical non-fiction.
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You must read “The Last Whale” to understand why we should all keep working to bring whaling to an end. The Last Whale