• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE2108

Seven Writers

(From 1980 – 1998) Seven Writers 1990
  • Occupation Writers Group

Summary

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

This entry was sponsored by a 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 Australia in 2004. The members are still friends but no longer meet formally to critique one another’s work.

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Published resources

  • Book
    • The Division of Love: Stories, Barbalet, Margaret et al, 1995
    • The Fog Garden: A Novel, Halligan, Marion, 2001
    • Counting Backwards and other stories, Edgar, Suzanne, 1991
    • West Block: the hidden world of Canberra's mandarins, Dowse, Sara, 1983
    • Silver City, Dowse, Sara, 1984
    • Schemetime, Dowse, Sara, 1990
    • Sapphires, Dowse, Sara, 1994
    • Digging, Dowse, Sara, 1996
    • Dream Run, Horsfield, Dorothy, 1992
    • Venom, Horsfield, Dorothy, 2005
    • The House at Number 10, Johnston, Dorothy, 2005
    • The Worry Box, Halligan, Marion, 1993
    • The Apricot Colonel, Halligan, Marion, 2006
    • Cockles of the Heart, Halligan, Marion, 1996
    • Collected Stories, Halligan, Marion, 1997
    • Eat My Words, Halligan, Marion, 1990
    • The Golden Dress, Halligan, Marion, 1998
    • The Hanged Man in the Garden, Halligan, Marion, 1989
    • The Living Hothouse, Halligan, Marion, 1988
    • Lovers' Knots: a hundred-year novel, Halligan, Marion, 1993
    • Out of the Picture, Halligan, Marion, 1996
    • Self Possession, Halligan, Marion, 1987
    • Spidercup, Halligan, Marion, 1990
    • The Taste of Memory, Halligan, Marion, 2004
    • Wishbone, Halligan, Marion, 1995
    • Maralinga, my love, Johnston, Dorothy, 1988
    • One for the Master, Johnston, Dorothy, 1997
    • Ruth, Johnston, Dorothy, 1986
    • The Trojan Dog, Johnston, Dorothy, 2000
    • Tunnel Vision, Johnston, Dorothy, 1984
    • Springfield, Eldridge, Marian, 1992
    • Blood in the Rain, Barbalet, Margaret, 1986
    • Far from a Low Gutter Girl: the forgotten world of state wards, South Australia, 1887-1940, Barbalet, Margaret, 1983
    • Steel Beach, Barbalet, Margaret, 1988
    • Lady, Baby, Gypsy, Queen, Barbalet, Margaret, 1992
    • The Presence of Angels, Barbalet, Margaret, 2001
  • Resource
  • Site Exhibition

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Records of the Seven Writers group, between 1986 and approximately 2000
    • Papers of Sara Dowse, 1958-2007 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Marian Eldridge, 1942-1997 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Margaret Barbalet, 1974-1993 [manuscript]
    • Papers of Marion Halligan, circa 1970-circa 2003 [manuscript]
    • Maralinga cycle, 1988 [manuscript]

Digital resources

Related entries


  • Member
    • Dowse, Sara (1938 - )
    • Barbalet, Margaret Evelyn
    • Edgar, Suzanne (1939 - )
    • Eldridge, Marian Favel Clair (1936 - 1997)
    • Halligan, Marion Mildred (1940 - )
    • Horsfield, Dorothy (1948 - )
    • Johnston, Dorothy (1948 - )
  • Related Events
    • Eldridge Award (1998 - )