News & Events

Click here to download the May 2014 MUD Literary Club Newsletter


At Yalumba Winery on Sunday November 11, 2012

MUD members and invited guests took advantage of perfect weather and the imposing surroundings of the famed Yalumba cellars at Angaston in the Barossa Valley to wine, dine and witness an eclectic conversation between prominent literary champion/author Ramona Koval and Laura Kroetsch, charismatic director of Adelaide Writers Week.

The second MUD Club literary lunch coincided with the launch of By The Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life. In addition to speaking about the book, Ramona also told the audience of her unique experiences while interviewing authors she admires, her musings about love, science and even her fondness for Arctic explorers.

Held in the Signature Room barrel hall at Yalumba, the irony was not lost as Ramona kindly applied her signature to copies of her book, which were purchased on the day by many of the 80 attendees.

Among the guests who enjoyed Signature Sunday at Yalumba were Nicky Downer AM, artists Anna Platten and her husband Rod Taylor, broadcaster Peter Goers, former South Australian Minister for the Arts Di Laidlaw, arts benefactor Tracey Whiting, film producer Helen Leake and the event's hosts, Annabel and Robert Hill Smith of Yalumba.

Outstanding food was provided by chef Peter Clarke of Vintners Restaurant in Angaston, accompanied by a fine selection of Yalumba’s best wines, headed by the elite Signature cabernet shiraz blend.

Getting up close and personal with luminaries of literature is becoming a MUD Club hallmark - and for the next MUD luncheon at Penny's Hill Winery in McLaren Vale on March 3, 2013, two impressive MUD-sponsored guests and participants in Adelaide Writers Week will be featured in conversation. These are nationally treasured author Tom Keneally, along with emerging Indonesian best-selling writer Andrea Hirata.

It was fitting that Laura Kroetsch announced to the MUD Signature Sunday audience that these two writers will appear at Adelaide Writers’ Week 2013 thanks to MUD Club funding.

It reinforced that the MUD charter is being fulfilled and it underlines the importance of obtaining more MUD Club memberships, to ensure the provision of ongoing financial support for Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and Adelaide Writers Week. 

MUD acknowledges the endeavours of MUD committee member Annabel Hill Smith and the staff of Yalumba, Ramona's publisher Text Publishing (especially Jane Novak), and MUD committee member So Laidlaw for hosting Ramona Koval and her partner Dave Mayes at an informal lunch during their visit to Adelaide preceding Signature Sunday.


MUD makes its initial splash in UBUD

A strong contingent of MUD Literary Club members and friends attended the 2012 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali from October 3 to 7. It was an especially significant showing, as this is the first event that MUD Literary Club has been able to provide support funding for - and our presence at the festival was well noted and greatly appreciated.

MUD’s financial sponsorship of UWRF presenters José Ramos Horta and Ruby J. Murray proved very worthwhile - ensuring the presence and participation of both writers at the festival, and guaranteeing access for MUD club members to meet and speak with José and Ruby.

The Muddies who made the pilgrimage to Bali were especially thrilled to have an audience with José - freedom fighter extraordinaire, ex-President of Timor Leste and Nobel Peace Prize winner - who generously gave of his time to dine with us and engage one-on-one.

José has indicated that he will be visiting Adelaide in 2013 and would love to catch up with his friends in MUD. This would definitely be an occasion to look forward to, as the man is enchanting, erudite and is an amazing advocate for peace and friendship. His story is extraordinary.

MUD’s other sponsored guest at UWRF 2012 was the delightful Australian author Ruby J. Murray, who, with Julia Jenkins - winner of the 2012 Penny's Hill Adelaide University Young Writers Award - enjoyed time at the elbows of José during the MUD Club’s dinner event at Bridges Restaurant in Ubud during the festival. Despite being quite ill after her arrival in Ubud, Ruby participated in festival panel sessions and spoke of about her first novel, Running Dogs, which has received critical acclaim. MUD looks forward to maintaining dialogue with Ruby with the possibility working with her at future events, although she will be very busy travelling the globe in the near future.

Beyond having the opportunity to mix with these two festival notables in Ubud, MUD members also managed to get up close and personal with other luminaries, including Anna Funder, John Pilger, Nick Cave, Pulitzer Prize winning US writer Jeffrey Eugenides, Chang-Rae Lee, Justin Torres, Colson Whitehead and hilarious Sydney writer and broadcaster, Richard Glover.

MUD members also spent time with The Australian newspaper’s Literary Editor, Stephen Romei, who reported on the significance of this literary festival in the Weekend Australian on October 20: “THE recent Ubud Writers and Readers Festival was just about the best literary event I have attended. Why? The Bali setting helps, of course, but it's more than that: there's a vibe, for want of a better word, about the festival that is most appealing: serious yet relaxed.”

Such influential reports underline why MUD Literary Club deemed it important to form a philanthropic support organisation in early 2012, to ensure that this and other unique and important literary festivals can continue to thrive and offer the very best literary presenters, through our generosity and support.


August 2016 Newsletter

Clear as MUD: June 2016 MUD Literary Club Newsletter


The initial charter of MUD Literary Club was to plot a five-year course of providing funds to support both Adelaide Writers Week and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, and as this has been successfully achieved, the MUD committee is planning how to improve, consolidate and build MUD’s philanthropic commitment to supporting Australian literary talent.

The value of MUD was clearly emphasized by Adelaide Writers Week director Laura Kroetsch after the 2016 festival, when she said: “MUD is absolutely essential to Writers Week, especially in line with the latest funding cuts for the arts.” She is delighted MUD funding has helped Adelaide Writers Week to win the award for Australia’s Best Community Event, recognising how strongly it engages with the community. (Laura is pictured right receiving the award.)

MUD’s great challenge is to continue accumulating funds – and the committee is examining a new model for the organization that can include tax deductible donations. The process may result in changes to the structure of MUD membership and fees, which will ensure that the philanthropic aims of MUD can thrive.

The committee hopes to present restructuring recommendations for approval at the 2016 MUD AGM, which will be held at Sue Tweddell’s Hyde Park home on Wednesday September 14, from 7pm. We would urge all MUD members to attend and contribute to the discussion.


MUD’s annual winter function will be held on Friday July 29 at the Hyde Park home of MUD coordinator Sue Tweddell – and will feature an EXCLUSIVE first for MUD members. We will present a wonderful speaker in Ashleigh Wilson (pictured left), Arts Editor of The Australian newspaper and author of the authorised biography Brett Whiteley: Art, Life and The Other Thing. This revealing book about one of Australia’s most charismatic and controversial visual artists is expected to be a best seller, and MUD is fortunate to be able to preview this fabulous book and hear from the author just prior to its release. Even better, copies will be available for purchase and personalised signing on the evening – before the book has been released to the public. The function, which includes drinks and snacks, costs $30 for members and $60 for members’ guests. Invitations are in the mail with all details – and we look forward to seeing everyone on the night.


MUD’s first Signature Sunday event for 2016 was held at Penny’s Hill in McLaren Vale during March – and yet again it was a great success. Deciding to break from the previous convention of marrying this lunch to Adelaide Writers’ Week, MUD delayed the event until after the Adelaide Festival, and invited celebrated Sydney crime writer Michael Robotham as guest speaker (pictured left, as the event). The winner of the 2016 Ian Fleming Golden Dagger Award – for best crime novel, beating Stephen King and J.K. Rowling for this year’s prize – was a charming speaker, generated strong book sales, and attracted many new attendees to the event. Despite a rather fierce blast of late summer heat, the mood in the historic dining shed was joyous, and Michael’s fascinating address prompted great questions and discussion. Another hit MUD event!



MUD is expecting another strong presence from members at the 2016 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. This will be the fifth consecutive year MUD has made a powerful financial contribution to the literary festival by sponsoring the appearance of another two esteemed Australian writers. MUD is very pleased to confirm Charlotte Wood as a recipient of our sponsorship – author of The Natural Way of Things, which won the 2016 Stella Prize and is shortlisted for the 2016 Miles Franklin Award – and she has already passed on her thanks and excitement at being selected. The MUD committee is currently working with new UWRF event program director Donica Bettanin to examine candidates for MUD’s emerging writer sponsorship.

• To be a part of MUD’s travelling contingent to Bali for the festival from October 26-30, please contact MUD coordinator Sue Tweddell. MUD members enjoy the benefit of reduced-price festival tickets, access to a prestigious dinner with our sponsored authors, and a fun welcoming cocktail party at Villa Indah Resort to set the mood for a fantastic week.


SAVE THE DATE: MUD’s annual Signature Sunday lunch at Yalumba Winery in the Barossa will be held on Sunday November 6. Details of special guest speakers for the event will be revealed soon.


2014 AGM report



Having now completed more than two years since inception, MUD has maintained its charter to underpin Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and Adelaide Writers Week with financial contributions allied to attendance of nominated literary figures.

The past year has also seen a fruitful continuation of relationship building with the executive members of each festival. AWW Director Laura Kroetsch has proved a joy to work with and is a regular guest at MUD events whilst in Bali, we believe the role of MUD is now well understood by UWRF Director and Founder, Janet De Neefe and her team including Ms Summa Durie with whom we have evolved a very direct and meaningful connection, enhanced by separate visits to Bali by our Co-ordinator, Sue Tweddell in July and myself in April.

During the past year, those members and friends who attended both festivals were able to engage first hand with the writers supported by MUD. Richard Flanagan and Lionel Shriver added greatly to our stocks and MUD support for the talented emerging writer, Romy Ash, was well rewarded as she proved to be a most grateful recipient of our assistance. After taking on a moderator role in Ubud, Adelaide Writers Week saw MUD committee member and communications officer, David Sly, on the interviewer’s bench yet again with the likes of Alexander McCall Smith.

Our events calendar saw MUD committee members working hard and giving generously of time and energies to stage what have been very successful gatherings including lunches at the sponsoring wineries, Yalumba and Penny’s Hill, along with our annual ‘up close’ cocktails at Sue Tweddell’s residence. Guest performers, all capably interviewed by David Sly, included more valuable time with long-listed Booker Prize man, Richard Flanagan, and during Adelaide Writers Week, we were extremely fortunate to have the amazing Hannah Kent and the evergreen Frank Moorhouse as our MUD luncheon guests.

Yet again, the dedication and drive of our co-ordinator, Sue Tweddell is to be highlighted. Her tireless efforts in co-ordinating all facets of our activity, be it production of fans for Ubud, or hosting all meetings, Sue is the pivotal MUD operative and we the committee, on behalf of the full membership, wish to applaud her contribution and extend our grateful thanks for all Sue does in the name of MUD.

In line with our Rules of Association, the current committee is to stand down at this, our 2014 AGM with all positions declared vacant. I trust that our hard-working committee wishes to continue and that we consider the addition of new membership to cover off the resignations of Margie Andrewartha, Julie Orchard and more recently, So Laidlaw. The efforts of these members are to be noted and recorded for appreciation.

Of our core committee group, Teri Whiting has been a careful keeper of the books, managing the banking, accounting and successful event book and ticket sales. Annabel Hill Smith has done a wonderful job of organising the Yalumba luncheon and taking the lead with all MUD events. Rod Taylor joined the committee mid-term adding his particular skill set to our team and David Sly, in addition to handling our newletters and web activity, has cemented himself on the interviewer’s circuit with evocative, well-researched stints, matching it with the best literary luminaries.

During the past year, MUD enjoyed a very valuable workshop in February at Sue Tweddell’s MUD country retreat at which we revisited our objectives, asked questions about interstate expansion, considered support for translation of Indonesian writers and built the framework for MBO, our now functioning Mud Book Offer which has kicked off with our valued friends at Text Publishing. A first-up Text-backed engagement saw a highly energised performance at our most recent cocktail event by Graeme Simsion, author of the runaway success, The Rosie Project.

Other achievements during the past year include publication of a revised MUD brochure and the instigation of a two-tiered membership to provide a balance between single members and couples. Once again, we have provided MUD branded fans for the UWRF in 2014 and a number of MUD members are planning to attend the forthcoming festival with support being afforded Australians: acclaimed filmmaker Rolf de Heer and debut novelist, Eleanor Limprecht.

Membership continues to grow satisfactorily enabling MUD to have contributed more than $30,000 to the respective festivals thus far. For 2014/15 our programme will continue largely unchanged, although the Penny’s Hill luncheon will be moved away from AWW to avoid clashes with festival events.

In summary, MUD is now gaining a growing reputation as an admired contributor to worthwhile literary causes and an association that has successfully attracted only quality literary engagements.

Long may MUD stick!

Tony Parkinson, Chairman, 20 August 2014. 



With the presentation of the 2014 Annual General Meeting of the Mud Literary Club, it is with pleasure that I am able to report that our organization, has for a second year, been able to fulfill our objectives in being able to support both the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, and the Adelaide Writers Week in the manner prescribed by our charter. We have seen satisfying growth in our membership, which has translated into a growing ability to be able to fund our prescribed goals.

In my role as Coordinator of the Mud Club, I have, with the assistance of other committee members, liaised with our members, our data base, writers, senior staff of both literary festivals, publishing houses, and other stakeholders.

Our support of both emerging and established writers is central to our core aims, and we have been enormously fortunate in the previous 12 months to be able to support the appearance of the acclaimed author, Frank Moorhouse at the Adelaide Writers Week, and the award winning author Richard Flanagan at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, and also at our Mud Club luncheon at Yalumba. Both proved to be wonderful speakers and delighted our audience. We were also very proud to be able to support emerging authors, Hannah Kent and Romy Ash, and our members were especially thrilled to have the opportunity to meet these outstanding writers at both the Festivals, and at our private functions. Whilst we all delight in meeting icons of the literary world, our members seem to be especially supportive of the notion of encouraging our enormously talented young writers.

At Mud we keep our members informed of our activities, both through newsletters and advising them of planned functions. Prior to the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival our members are advised of negotiated discount rates for their 4 Day Passes, accommodation opportunities, and dinners with writers. Likewise, with the Adelaide Writers Week we advise our members of functions where they have the opportunity to mix with writers.

Our continuing association with senior staff of both the Ubud Festival and Adelaide Writers Week has been encouraging and rewarding, and we are particularly appreciative of the support we have received from both Janet De Neefe, of UWRF, and Laura Kroetsch from AWW. Both organizations value the support the Mud Club members are providing their organizations, and in a difficult financial climate value our contributions.

Recently we established the Mud Book Offer, in conjunction with Text Publishing, allowing our members to purchase selected books at discounted prices. These offers will change every 2 months, and we look forward to a growing association with Text, and indeed, other publishing houses who have all been very generous in their support of Mud.

I would also like to sincerely thank our varied sponsors who have contributed so much to make this venture possible.

Finally I would like to express my gratitude to the hard working members of our committee who have given so generously of their time, and have been so supportive. The leadership and enthusiasm of our Chairman, Tony Parkinson has been particularly appreciated. 

We look forward to another productive, rewarding and happy year for Mud and our members.

Sue Tweddell, Coordinator, Mud Literary Club Inc, 20 August 2014


MUD May 2014 newsletter

Clear as MUD: May 2014 MUD Literary Club Newsletter

MUD Literary Club newsletters keep our members informed of progress with our funding and support initiatives for both the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival literary festival and Adelaide Festival’s Writers Week – and promoting events that MUD members can participate in. For further details, check our website at


Adelaide Writers Week, MARCH 2013

MUD funding enabled sponsorship of two important writers at Adelaide Writers’ Week for 2014 – sensational Adelaide writer Hannah Kent (her debut novel Burial Rites is an international best seller) and the legendary Frank Moorhouse, novelist, journalist, screenwriter and essayist, perhaps best known for winning the 2001 Miles Franklin Literary Award with his novel Dark Palace. MUD’s support was noted prominently in festival programs.

LEFT: MUD-sponsored authors Frank Moorhouse and Hannah Kent signing books for MUD members at Penny’s Hill.

RIGHT: Guests enjoying the Signature Sunday lunch at Penny’s Hill, McLaren Vale.

In addition to appearing at Writers Week, both of these writers featured as guest speakers for the MUD literary luncheon at Penny's Hill Winery, McLaren Vale, on March 2 – a gala event that was held in the midst of Writers’ Week. Both authors entertained a large audience of MUD members and guests with interviews revealing insights into their writing life.


It is worth noting that Frank’s novel Cold Light took out the $25,000 Premier’s Award for the Adelaide Festival Award for Literature, and he also won the $15,000 fiction prize during Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2014. For Hannah, a Hollywood movie of Burial Rights will soon be in production, the book has been short listed for the Stella Award, and awarded the Indie Prize for Best Debut Novel.

It was also lovely to see MUDmate Richard Flanagan (who MUD sponsored at Ubud in 2013) make contact with several MUD members during his appearance at Writers Week. MUD member David Sly completed a strong MUD presence in the Writers’ Week program, as he chaired three authors’ sessions, including Alexander McCall Smith – and promoted MUD’s cause to festival audiences from the podium.


JULY 2013

MUD is pleased to announce that its third mid-year cocktail function will be held on Friday July 18, at MUD coordinator Sue Tweddell’s home in Hyde Park. A special guest author will be attending this intimate cocktail function – a delightful and informative literary gathering that proved especially popular with the crowd that attended last year. Further details of this prestigious members-only event will be sent to MUD members soon.



LEFT: MUD Club’s David Sly interviews Adelaide Writers’ Week Director Laura Kroetschduring the Signature Sunday lunch held at Yalumba Winery in November 2013.

RIGHT: MUD Guests enjoying the outstanding Signature Sunday lunch.

As the result of a strategic planning meeting undertaken by the MUD committee in February, the MUD events calendar will now focus on four major events each year, timed to maximize information and benefits for MUD members. We will now stage Signature Sunday lunches featuring MUD-sponsored authors after Adelaide Writers’ Week (after Mad March, at Penny’s Hill cellar door) and after Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (in November, at Yalumba Winery), with two members-only events being a mid-year cocktails evening with a guest author as speaker, and a private MUD breakfast with selected authors attending Adelaide Writers Week. These events will keep MUD members in touch with our key sponsorship activities and in contact with the fabulous authors that we sponsor.



MUD is already planning its activities for the 2014 Ubud Writers and Readers’ Festival, being held from Wednesday October 1 to Sunday October 5. Negotiations are underway with UWRF organisers for MUD sponsorship of a headline writer and an emerging writing talent, who will be announced soon.

LEFT: UWRF Festival director Janet De Neefe and MUD-sponsored Australian author Richard Flanagan during a panel discussion at the 2013 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

Media releases will soon be forwarded to MUD members regarding the extensive program for this coming festival. Discounted three-day passes will be available for MUD members, and a special dinner for MUD attendees and sponsored writers will be organised. Information regarding accommodation will also be available through MUD coordinator Sue Tweddell at



MUD’s membership continues to grow at a steady rate – especially as a result of recent successful events – enabling the organisation to continue planning its ongoing financial assistance for both the Ubud and Adelaide literary festivals. Financial members should note that their annual payment installments are due on the anniversary of their sign-up date. Therefore, many are now due, so reminder notices for payment will be dispatched from the MUD Literary Club treasurer to ensure our accounts remain buoyant.


MUD’s AGM will be conducted on August 13 at 7pm, which will include nominations for all committee posts, as per our constitution. Please email for more information.


Clear as MUD: December 2013 MUD Literary Club Newsletter


MUD Literary Club made its presence felt in a much more telling manner for the Tenth Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, held from Friday October 11 to Tuesday October 15 in Ubud, Bali. This year, within the dense festival program that presents more than 170 speakers in 50 venues around Ubud, MUD provided financial contribution to present three significant authors at the festival. Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan (The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, Wanting) was supported as MUD’s chosen established writer and Melbourne novelist Romy Ash, shortlisted for the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, was MUD’s emerging writer. Due the late withdrawal of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu from the Festival, MUD responded to the plea of festival directors to relocate our sponsorship dollars and help fund the appearance of renowned US/UK journalist/author Lionel Shriver, who was one of the event’s star drawcards.

This level of commitment from MUD meant that we had status, online credit and signage as a Bronze Sponsor of the Festival. MUD also paid for and produced logo-emblazoned paper fans that gave us great exposure at the festival. They were highly useful, even though they proved a giant logistical headache to organize. Next year, we plan to provide fans again.

In addition, MUD committee member David Sly featured as a presenter at several UWRF festival sessions, and boldly seized the opportunity to explain MUD’s purpose and spread the MUD gospel from the microphone.

As a consequence of this, MUD’s presence and influence at UWRF 2013 was spectacular. As MUD Chair Tony Parkinson surmised: “It was a great thrill to see the MUD banners flying at sessions, the MUD name attached to three of the stars at the festival and Sly on the podium, giving a long plug and explanation of MUD. As a result, MUD’s presence in Bali has risen from almost nothing in 2012 to having a strong presence this year. The mix of writers that MUD supported was right, and Romy Ash benefitted greatly as a young writer from being sponsored to appear at the festival, and will grow from it.

“MUD came of age in Ubud this year, and we are better understood as a consequence. Now we must make a concerted effort to get as many MUD members as possible to Ubud for UWRF 2014.”

Tony offered a loud vote of thanks to MUD coordinator Sue Tweddell for her outstanding commitment and care of MUD members who attended the festival, from organising passes, accommodation at Villa Indah resort in Ubud, and planning an exclusive dinner for MUD members at the famed Bridges Restaurant in the company of our sponsored writers.

MUD members enjoyed the dense program of daily panel sessions, plus numerous celebrations and special events to commemorate the festival’s 10-year anniversary, including a tribute night. For an additional summary of MUD’s adventures at UWRF 2013, follow the website links to a report from MUD member Andrew Saies.



Another glorious Signature Sunday luncheon, held at Yalumba Winery in the Barossa on Sunday November 10, proved the ideal post-Ubud MUD gathering. In addition to reports from MUD members who were present at UWRF 3013, the function featured a special interview and presentation of celebrated Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan, who MUD sponsored to appear at UWRF 2013. In a lengthy interview with MUD’s David Sly, Richard proved a captivating, generous, witty and incisive speaker who was especially generous with his time and intelligence. Not to mention his long book-signing session and easy banter with guests over some fine Yalumba wines to close off the day.

It was especially pleasing that bookings for Signature Sunday quickly filled to capacity, with 100 guests, and two 21-seat busses from the city to the Barossa were fully booked. Great response was due in part to amazing media coverage of Richard’s new book Long Road to the Deep North, giving great cachet to the event.



MUD committee is currently assessing applications for which authors will attract our sponsorship to appear at Adelaide Writers’ Week in March 2014. Decisions should be announced early in the new year. Writers Week Director Laura Kroetsch was present at Yalumba’s Signature Sunday lunch and pulled focus onto highlights and her favourites in the 2014 event program.



• Penny’s Hill Winery Luncheon – one of MUD’s main fundraising events, complete with appearances and conversations by MUD-sponsored authors – is set for Sunday, March 2, 2014. This coincides with Day 2 of the Adelaide Writers Week Festival.

• Dates for Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2014 are October 1-5.



MUD’s membership continues to grow at a steady rate – including the signing-up of several enthusiastic new members who approached us in Bali during UWRF 2013. This strong show of support enables the organisation to continue planning its ongoing financial assistance for both the Ubud and Adelaide literary festivals. Financial members should note that their continuing payment installments are due on the anniversary of their sign-up date. This means that many are now due, so reminder notices for payment will be dispatched from MUD Literary Club treasurer Teri Whiting to ensure our accounts remain buoyant.