Fabulously Creative - a free workshop at Ashfield Library - February 5, 2016

Ashfield Library is offering a wonderful opportunity to do a really invigorating and fun writing workshop with me - absolutely free!

My 3-hour 'Fabulously Creative' workshop has been held all around Sydney, but people have always had to pay - until now.

Do take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to renew your creative juices and really get some focus back on your creative work in 2016.

It's time to dust off the writing shoes and show the world just how wonderful you are! In this one-day workshop come on a creative journey with me as you explore your options, get daring and spend some time discovering that spark of sheer fabulousness that lies within us all. In a joy-filled workshop of imaginative discovery you will learn to say yes to your creative impulses and crash through the barriers – real and imagined – that have held you back till now. Walter will have you believing again in the wonderful world of possibility that makes you so special and your stories so unique. Whether it’s beating writers block, creating a truly tremendous new year or writing things down and making them happen, this workshop is just the thing to give you the tools to energise and inspire a creative new you.

This workshop will encourage you to:

-    Get out of your creative shell and let people know the value of your work and ideas
-    Build your strength and determination to truly lead the writer’s life
-    Develop  your skills, knowledge and attitude and get excited again about your craft
-    Open your mind and get writing seriously – every day, every week and always
-    Start some awesome projects with passion and conviction
-    Believe in your own talents and gifts


Writing Workshops for Adults: 

Fabulously creative with Walter Mason

Ashfield Library

Do book now, as Ashfield's free writing workshops are always very popular.

My Playlist for 2015

Here they are - the songs I listened to most in 2015. In order:

1. King of Everything by Boy George (89 plays) - The first single from George's 2013 album This is What I Do. Such a beautiful, bittersweet song that speaks to my anxieties about ageing.

2. Adult Education by Hall & Oates (85 plays) - Probably not their greatest moment, but there's something about the strange 80s-ness of this song that I've really come to love. It's the backing singers' "Oh-yea, oh-yea"'s that stay with me.

3. You've Got It by Simply Red (84 plays) - Slick and smooth, this Lamont Dozier co-written song is 1989 pop-sophistication at its best.

4. I Feel for You by Chaka Khan (76 plays) - For when I'm bored and want to do a bit of boogying, nothing can beat Chaka.

5. Let's Get Started by Gota (68 plays) -  Bossa Nova funk from the 90s Japanese master.

6. Rise Like a Phoenix by Conchita Wurst (65 plays) - It was love at first sight with Conchita, and this is a damn good slice of high camp musical melodrama. Conchita needs to be the next Bond girl!

7. Everything She Wants by Wham (64 plays) - Funnily enough, I was never that much of a Wham fan when I was a kid. But this bitter, funky tale of exploitation just seems so fantastic now. I still maintain that the one who wasn't George was way hotter. And yes, he still sounds incredibly camp in this.

Walter Mason in conversation with author Michael Costello, Ashfield Library, February 6

Walter Mason in conversation with 

Sydney author Michael Costello

Walter Mason, well known travel writer and interviewer, will chat with Dulwich Hill based author Michael Costello about his new book, Season of Hate.  

Season of Hate is set in a small wheat town in western NSW and addresses discrimination and injustice.

This ‘in conversation’ event is an opportunity to get an in-depth insight into Michael’s writing process.

 Michael is an established playwright with an ability to pen complex characters as featured in Season of Hate.


Location: Ashfield Library

When: Saturday 6 February, 11am to 12.00PM

My favourite books of 2015

You’ve got plenty of time for reading over the Christmas break and you want to catch up on something interesting? You have the Kris Kringle for that difficult relative and think that a fun book might be just the thing? Never fear – Walter’s 2015 list of the best books is here.

As always, I am not a slave to the new. This list will contain some old books as well as some new, because, like you, I am human and sometimes it takes me a while to get around to something. So here they are, the books that most thrilled me this year:


Live Your Bliss by Terry Cole-Whittaker – self-help with a capital S, Cole-Whittaker’s eccentric and wide-ranging book is exquisite and thrilling, and is the perfect thing to read at the new year. Unapologetically spiritual in focus, it is also completely accessible to even the most hardened materialist. I finished this book a much better person than when I started it, and I hope you give it a chance to change your life too.


Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym – Every time I read a Barbara Pym novel I fall more and more into her tiny, elegant world of exquisite social anxiety and church flower rotas. This is possibly the best Pym novel, in which two old university friends maintain a difficult friendship though both have gone on to quite different lives. The glamorous spinster and the frumpy vicar’s wife who together attend literary afternoons and garden parties and incur the disapproval of almost everyone. Oh, what a delight! Read this and see why Barbara Pym is a cult.


Walking Home by Sonia Choquette – The famed psychic and intuitive has her marriage dissolve and so she goes on the Santiago de Compostela and her life is changed forever. This is not at all as clich├ęd as I have made it sound – it is a constantly compelling spiritual travelogue with a completely unexpected outcome. Choquette is not afraid to let herself look silly and spoilt, and she is completely honest about the pilgrimage and her up and down moments of spiritual awareness. To read while you are on holiday, anywhere.


Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz ChastChast is the New Yorker cartoonist whose slightly crazed characters have frizzy hair and unkind noses and are always skirting the edges of neurosis. In this book Chast has written a memoir of her parents ageing and death as a comic strip, and it is simply superb. A must-read for anyone reaching this stage with their own parents, it is sensitive, clever and naturally sad. Very funny too, in parts. In fact, this is a masterpiece.


The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer – Just the most inspiring book I have read all year. I have no interest in Palmer’s music, but heard her interviewed on a podcast and she was so engaging I got the book. From the start it is fascinating, a kind of manifesto of creative vulnerability and one that I think all writers, musician, artists and creatives need to read as soon as possible. Amanda is my new guru.


Masters of Wisdom by Edward Abdill – Have you ever encountered the Ascended Masters? These figures, ubiquitous in New Age circles, are mysterious and all-knowing. Abdill has produced a really fascinating and constantly readable piece of occult history which looks into the beginnings of the Theosophical movement and the universality of the idea of the great masters who live removed from the earth but somehow influencing its changes and shifts. A great one for history buffs and students of the history of religion and spiritual ideas. And, most importantly, a rollicking good read.


The Other Shore by Hoa Pham – Australian writer Hoa Pham won the Viva La Novella prize with this one, and it is a mysterious, lyrical and exquisitely crafted piece of fiction that appeals to the reader’s cleverness and sense of mystery. The story of a Vietnamese teenager who can commune with the spirits, in a community that is uncertain about the old ways and afraid of the new. Intriguing stuff from a great talent.

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