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Writers Talk 2008 - Bernard Cohen Talks

Introduction

Bernard Cohen has written several novels for adults, including The Blindman’s Hat, winner of the 1996 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award. Other novels are Tourism (1992), Snowdome (1998) and Hardly Beach Weather (2002). He has published short fiction in literary magazines and anthologies and articles in newspapers. His children’s picture book, Paul Needs Specs (2003), written in collaboration with illustrator Geoff Kelly, was based on his own experience of needing glasses for the first time.

Cohen shares his expertise with writers of all ages through creative writing workshops. He has been visiting author at a number of schools as part of the NSW Department of Education Schools Program. He runs The Writing Workshop which has received funding for the TellTales multimedia project supported by the Australia Council and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

His overseas experience includes a stint as writer-in-residence at Sir John Soane’s Museum in London where he initiated the creative writing activities that you will see in the masterclass in this resource. The masterclass highlights ways in which various settings can provide the architecture and environment for inspiration and creative writing.

The students participating in the masterclass are from year 7 at Tempe High School in Sydney’s inner west. In an interview conducted by Gina Di Ramio from the English department of the school, Bernard answers questions about his work.