Writing through grief

“His hands held the hammer and saw that built your childhood home. The place where you and your brothers loved and fought, and your mother died. His hands guided the spade and ploughed the earth. They were giving hands.

Antonio Grisancich (1928 – 2010)

The first thing I wrote after my father died was his eulogy.

This piece of writing was one of the most difficult things I ever wrote, as anyone who has ever had to write a eulogy will know. How do you articulate a lifetime into a couple of A4 pages?

I have since written through my father’s grief many times since that first difficult ode. I find the act of writing both calming and restorative. Despite some tears shed when reading back through my words, I find comfort in the memories.

I wrote They Say in that first year of extreme grief. It gave me solace and comfort.

Follow the link to the story here.



Memories are forever

“In the northern Victorian town of Rupanyup, winter doesn’t wait for June. It arrives in May, with its frosty breath and icy fingers, and announces itself in the early morning frosts on the paddocks.”

‘Jack and Carmel’ by Anna Brasier

Many of us want to record our family stories for future generations.

We want them to be shared and cherished. One way to do this is, to make your own family history book – it can be as big or as little as you like.

A Celebration of Love.

My pre-Christmas book project was this little piece of #familyhistory. I wrote, edited and designed this short story on a special day for my in-laws.

Thanks to Jack and Carmel, who were my gracious interviewees for my ‘Interviewing Techniques for Family History and Memoir workshop’.

Family stories

“But there are those stories that I have only heard whispered close, mouth to ear, …”

I’ve always wanted to delve into my family’s past and uncover the stories I know lie in wait. Some stories come to mind easily; they are alive in my heart and mind.

But there are those stories that I have only heard whispered close, mouth to ear, when I was young — they are the stories I want to uncover.

These are the stories many of us want to uncover.

In my Interviewing Techniques for Memoir and Family History workshop, these are the stories that tug at the participants’ heart strings.

Here is a sample of some of the questions the group from Sunday’s Willy Lit Fest wanted to ask.

Family history questions

What do you remember about your last night before leaving?

I love watching you and Dad alone, tell me about how it makes you feel.

What was your first job when you left school?

What were your first impressions when you arrived?

What was life like before you left England?

Did you play sport during your teenage years?

Tell me about my cousins, aunties and uncles.

Why did you come to Australia?

Term 2 workshops: interviewing and journaling

Welcome to 2017 workshops!

This term, I’ll be running a series of workshops for those of you who love to write about all those great things that go on in your lives.

Join me for some good company, conversation and writing at Maribyrnong Community Centre in May, and also in June at the wonderful Willy Lit Fest #foodforthought.

Book direct with venues.

Interviewing Techniques for Memoir and Family History

“Everyone has a story to tell, we just need to ask the right question.”

This workshop will show you how to plan, prepare and conduct an interview; gather your facts, and create the story.

Participants will learn interviewing techniques to bring their stories to life.

Participants will be able to:

  • Research, prepare and plan an interview
  • Create question portfolio
  • Practice skills through role play
  • Write a brief narrative based on class activity
  • Confidence to conduct interviews

Maribyrnong Community Centre: Saturday 20 May from 10am-1pm.

Willy Lit Fest: Sunday 18 June from 10.30am-12.30pm

The Writer’s Journal

From the blank page to inspiration — get tips on how to nurture your creative seeds in this mini workshop on how to keep a writer’s journal.

This workshop will give you handy tips and ideas on how to use a writer’s notebook.

Participants will explore their imagination and create an inspiration list to assist their writing aspirations.

Maribyrnong Community Centre: Saturday 27 May from 10am-12pm.

Willy Lit Fest: Saturday 17 June from 3.30am-4.30pm




Willy Lit Fest 2016

I’m so looking forward to presenting my two workshops at this year’s Willy Lit Fest! 

Although, my workshops have sold out, you may like these other writing events.

Now in its thirteenth year the Willy Lit Fest, aimed at both readers and writers, is the biggest literary festival in the West. This year’s theme is ‘Stay Curious’. The weekend explores ideas on happiness, lifelong learning, discovering our suburbs, ourselves, our industrial past, as well as writing on politics, footy, positive ageing, science, innovation and fascinating works from new novelists.

Willy Lit Fest 18 & 19 June

Willy Lit Fest 18 & 19 June

The program is jam packed with over 80 authors in 50 sessions including lively panel discussions, in-depth interviews, inspiring author talks, creative workshops and readings. Festival guests include Andy Griffiths, Leigh Hobbs, Sofie Laguna, George Megalogenis, Steve Bracks, Rosalie Ham, Stuart Coupe, Alice Pung, Leah Kaminsky, Arnold Zable, Renata Singer, Dmetri Kakmi, Claire Saxby, Olga Lorenzo and Frank Bongiorno, Sally Rippin, Morris Gleitzman, David Astle, Styg Wemyss, Jeff Maynard, Lucia Nardo, Enza Gandolfo and Vin Maskell.


Introduction to Creative Life Writing classes

“Fill your life with stories. It’s time to start writing.”


Woman sitting thinking writing

Woman thinking and writing.
Pixabay.com free online images

Join me for an Introduction to Creative Life Writing six-week course at Yarraville Community Centre, commencing 20 February 2016.

Session times: Saturday 2-4pm

Book directly with YCC

Offset (fifteen)

Front cover: Miss Kitty Boom Boom, by Sillier Than Sally Designs.

Front cover: Miss Kitty Boom Boom, by Sillier Than Sally Designs.

“Read, see, listen and watch – Offset(fifteen)”

(Anna Brasier,  Managing Editor)

Offset (fifteen) is finally here!

Now everyone can immerse themselves in this fantastic artistic creation, which includes our special feature artists Oscar Schwartz, Jackie Ralph and Terra.

Offset (fifteen) can be viewed online via the Open Access Journal, or purchased from The Sun Bookshop.


Wooden printing blocks; free image, Pixabay.com

Wooden printing blocks; free image, Pixabay.com

There is a definite buzz in the Melbourne air as the last weeks of August and winter slip by. But it isn’t the thought of sunshine and footy finals that has the town in a fluster — late August means only one thing: the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Victoria University has teamed up with MWF15 to give emerging writers and editors the chance to be reviewers/editors for a day.

I was lucky enough to edit reviews for Georgia Buck, Maria Dunne, Marcelle Liemant and Amanda Pearson.

Check out this great blog to keep up with all the literary action.