Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    Seven Writers 1990, by Brenda Runnegar, courtesy of National Library of Australia. Used with permission..
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Exhibitions

  • From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra

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Seven Writers (1980 - 1998)

From
1980
Australian Capital Territory
To
1998
Occupations
Writers Group
Alternative Names
  • Canberra Seven

Summary

Seven Writers was a group of Canberra-based women writers who met regularly to debate and critique one another's work.


This entry is sponsored by generous donation from Christine Foley.

Details

Beginning with three members in 1980, the group grew to include seven female Canberra-based writers by 1984. They were founding member Dorothy Johnston (1948- ), Margaret Barbalet (1949- ), Sara Dowse (1938- ), Suzanne Edgar (1939- ), Marian Eldridge (1936-1997), Marion Halligan (1940- ) and Dorothy Horsfield (1948- ).

Members' published works include short stories, novels, children's literature, non-fiction, articles and reviews, and in diverse ways their writing vividly portrays life 'beneath the surface of Canberra'.

Collectively the group authored Canberra Tales in 1988, later republished as The Division of Love in 1996, an anthology of short stories about life in Canberra. This was considered a landmark publication for Canberra fiction and received an ACT Bicentennial Award.

Seven Writers raised the profile of Canberra-based authors, and in 1995 a photographic portrait of the group appeared in the National Library of Australia exhibition, Beyond the Picket Fence.

After the death of Marian Eldridge in 1997, the group did not meet again for one year. Sara Dowse relocated to Canada in 1998. She returned to Australi in 2004. The members are still friends but no longer meet formally to critique one another's work.

Sources used to compile this entry: Australian Women's Archives Project, From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, February 2013. Also available at http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/ldkg; 'The not at all secret seven', Sydney Morning Herald, 14/10/95, [page unavailable]; 'The real scribes of Canberra'. Canberra Times, 31/1/97, p.16; 'Return of the seven', Canberra Times, 10/2/96, 11; Canberra Times, 31/1/97, p.16; 'And then there were five', Canberra Times, 21/11/98, 'Panorama' liftout; 'Getting to the point with Marion Halligan', Courier Mail, 8 March 2003, p.6; National Library of Australia catalogue entry for portrait of Seven Writers by Brenda Runnegar. P327/1-9. Accessed 1/11/05.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • Maralinga cycle, 1988, 1988, MS 8194; Johnston, Dorothy, 1948-; Johnston, Dorothy (1948 - ); National Library of Australia. Details
  • Papers of Margaret Barbalet, 1974-1993, 1974 - 1993, NLA MS 5396; National Library of Australia. Details
  • Papers of Marian Eldridge, 1954-1996, MS 9227; Eldridge, Marian Favel Clair (1936 - 1997); National Library of Australia. Details
  • Papers of Marion Halligan, 1981-1993, 1981 - 1993, MS 8460; Halligan, Marion Mildred (1940 - ); National Library of Australia. Details

Digital resources

Title
Portrait Sara Dowse, 15 March 2005
Type
Image
Date
2005
Creator
Loui Seselja
Control
nla.int-nl39438-ls8
Source
National Library of Australia. Used with permission.

Details

Title
Dorothy Johnston
Type
Image
Control
ACT Writers Centre
Source
ACT Writers Centre

Details

Title
Marion Halligan attending the Food for Thought forum, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, 5 March 2005
Type
Image
Date
2005
Creator
Loui Seselja
Control
nla.int-nl39431a-ls10
Source
National Library of Australia. Used with permission.

Details

Title
Portrait of Margaret Barbalet 1991
Type
Image
Date
1991
Creator
Virginia Wallace-Crabbe
Control
nla.pic-an11678938
Source
National Library of Australia. Used with permission.

Details

Title
Marian at the State Literary Awards at the Opera House, October 1994
Type
Image
Control
nla.pic-an20811737-8
Source
National Library of Australia. Used with permission.

Details

Title
Portrait of Suzanne Edgar taken at Adelaide Festival 1990
Type
Image
Creator
Virginia Wallace-Crabbe
Control
nla.pic-an11678211
Source
National Library of Australia. Used with permission.

Details

Title
Seven Writers 1990
Type
Image
Date
1990
Creator
Brenda Runnegar
Control
nla.pic-an8765266
Source
National Library of Australia. Used with permission.

Details

Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE2108b.htm

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