The Interface between Memoir and Fiction

At the launch of Every Second Tuesday, author Lee Kofman observed that certain of the Elwood Writers stories in the anthology exhibited a ‘fascinating’ interface between memoir and fiction. This reflects, I believe, a growing field of writers who are mixing the two genres. Blending them, however, can be a challenge. Debate rages about where … Continue reading The Interface between Memoir and Fiction

About ‘Down to the Sea’, by Margaret McCaffrey

More on Elwood Writers launch 9 December:: here’s news on one of my stories that features in the anthology.

Elwood Writers

In 2018, Tim McQueen from Vision Australia Radio commissioned Elwood Writers to create a series of pieces win celebration of the centenary of Armistice Day. They were to be read on his program Cover to Cover.

I scratched my head for a story.

‘I’ve got nothing to write,’ I told my partner. ‘I don’t know anything about World War I.’

‘Yes, you do,’ Tom replied. ‘Your two grandfathers were in that war, and your great uncle.’

To my surprise, I was reminded that my maternal grandfather, Dr John O’Brien, had been an army surgeon at Australia’s ill-fated campaign in Gallipoli. To me as a child his post-war life looked so prosperous and comfortable, I couldn’t imagine him ever having been at what became a godforsaken strip of Turkish beach.

With much research and a stretch of the imagination, I wrote ‘Down to the Sea’ as a mixture of fiction…

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I have always loved America. The United States of America, that is. From the moment Huck Finn sailed down the Mississippi with the runaway slave, Jim, I was sold. I loved the English classics, but for me American novelists like Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald drove the story forward. Their novels – the one … Continue reading America