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WPDN Book Club

WPDN Book Club was founded in 2008 as an initiative of the WPDN Steering Committee and is open to all members of the University of Adelaide community.

About the Club

The purpose of the Book Club is to generate discussion about current and long-standing issues that pertain to women’s development in all aspects of their lives. Our intention is for the Book Club to inspire women to read more and share themselves in an environment that is accepting of their background, knowledge and ideas. Although there is no genre that we specifically focus on, our preference is to read and discuss books that inspire women to live more authentic lives, to lead with courage and strength of their convictions, and in doing so inspire others to achieve the same.

WPDN Book Club provides an opportunity to meet and network with any/all staff who have a shared interest in reading and writing from broad cross-section of the University. Feedback from previous years' attendees indicates these sessions provide a much needed 'brain boost', providing a break from work that energises, inspires and re-charges.


  • Attention Shakespeare lovers!from 14 December 2017

    Look out for the free University of Adelaide Shakespeare course, starting 14th December  (online, 5 weeks, 2-3 hours per week).

    Learn about Shakespeare’s plays and their influence through a focus on emotions such as love, hate, and jealousy.

    What you'll learn

    • Why Shakespeare still matters, all through a focus on emotions
    • Ideas and techniques that will help you understand as well as enjoy Shakespeare’s plays
    • How to understand and appreciate Shakespeare’s language and its power
    Find out more and register.
  • Beautiful Book Binding Tour31 August 2017

    Do you love beautiful books?

    old book covers

    Delve into the fascinating craft of book-binding in the Barr Smith Library. We currently have an exhibition of rare and old books, bookbinding equipment, tools and supplies in our Rare Books & Special Collections. Join the curator, Lee Hayes, for a special lunchtime tour of this beautiful display.

    Thursday 31st August, 1 pm
    Limited numbers: bookings essential
    RSVP to Jennifer Osborn by Friday 25/8/17

  • The Jane Austen Book Club20 July 2017


    After our wonderful session with the Immortal Austen conference convenors, we are holding our own Jane Austen afternoon tea in the Staff Club.
    Just coffee, cake and conversation: bring your favourite Austen novel with you.

    Thursday 20th July
    4-5 pm
    Staff Club

    RSVP by 17/7 to Jennifer Osborn (

  • Immortal Austen29 June 2017

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that (almost) everyone loves Jane Austen’s novels! Flinders University is hosting the international conference “The Immortal Austen” in Adelaide in July, and the 3 co-ordinators are speaking at the next WPDN Book Club meeting. Join Amy Matthews, Gillian Dooley and Eric Parisot for a conversation about this literary event (They have organised music, creative writing masterclasses, films and book launches, as well as conference papers).

    Bring your favourite Jane Austen novel, and any questions that you have about her life and work with you.

    Date: Thursday 29th June
    Time: 1-2 pm
    Location: Ira Raymond Room (Barr Smith Library)
    Registration is essential

  • Glass half full: making the most of creativity2 May 2017

    A great afternoon was had at Glass half full! Thank you Adrienne for your kind words, '"Had a great time today with Jane Turner Goldsmith and Jennifer Osborn at the WPDN Book Club. Jane talked about her work as a novelist; I shared some thoughts about songwriting.
    Good work WPDN - creating professional development and a space to share ideas for women at the Univ of Adelaide for many years now

    bookclub bookclub2 bookclub3

    Have you ever wanted to write a novel, or record your own music? Join us for a conversation with two inspiring Adelaide women who have done just this: author Jane Turner-Goldsmith and musician Adrienne Lovelock. Jane has just published her second novel, For Good and Adrienne is working on her new album Every Road Leads Somewhere.

    Jane Turner Goldsmith has published short stories, poetry, flash pieces, children’s fiction and edited a non-fiction anthology of adoption stories. Her novel Poinciana (Wakefield Press, 2006) was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Prize. Wordrunner echapbooks e-published her collection of short stories entitled ‘Beyond the Line’ in September 2016 and her second novel. In her other life, Jane has worked in the counselling service at the University and currently with International students. ‘For Good’ has just been published by US publisher Black Rose Writing.

    Adrienne Lovelock used to work at the University, but she was really leading a double life, making music on the side. Since she gave up full time work in 2008, and then left behind working for wages altogether in 2015, making music has taken centre stage. She served her apprenticeship in folk clubs, and began writing seriously in the early 2000s. Adrienne’s songs draw on an eclectic range of influences, from traditional British folk to old timey, Americana and blues. Her songs have a strong narrative voice and focus on character and human experience. Her first album of original material will be released soon.

    Date: Tuesday 2nd May
    Time: 1-2 pm
    Location: Ira Raymond Room (Barr Smith Library)

  • We need to talk about Writers' Week16 March 2017

    WPDN Bookclub -

    From the Drunken Botanist to The Dead Ladies’ Project, from Adrian McKinty to Zoe Morrison, Adelaide Writers’ Week (4 – 9 March) is a feast of fiction, poetry, politics, biography, food and history.

    It’s not possible to get to every session, but between us we might cover most of them! Please come to the library for a casual conversation about Writers Week: your favourite authors, book recommendations, anything you want to discuss about books and reading.

    BYO coffee (or lunch) and we will provide cake and fresh fruit.

    Date: Thursday 16th March
    Time: 1-2 pm
    Location: Ira Raymond Room (Barr Smith Library)
    Registration is essential


  • Little Black Dress26 October 2016

    This session will trace the history of the Little Black Dress, from its genesis in the mourning culture of the mid-Victorian period, through the invention of haute couture and the austerity of the Depression, Dior’s New Look, the 1960s’ mini-skirt and the gothic glamour of the 1990s, to the catwalks and closets of 2016.
    Our speaker Dr Madeleine Seys is a lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at The University of Adelaide and Costume Curator at the National Trust of South Australia’s Ayers House Museum.

    Please feel free to wear your own LBD to this session! There will be a door prize to win!

    Date: Wednesday 26th October
    Time: 1-2 pm
    Location: Ira Raymond Room (Barr Smith Library)
    Registration is essential

  • Meet the Author - Amy Matthews and Cheryl Adnams11 August 2016

    Do you need more romance in your life? Come to this Book Club lunchtime session and meet two University of Adelaide authors of romantic fiction, Amy Matthews (Tess LeSue)  and Cheryl Adnams.

    Amy is one of our Creative Writing post-graduates and  has just published her first Western historical romance with Harlequin; Cheryl is an IT Training Officer and writes Australian rural romances. Both authors are part of the Romance Writers of Australia Conference 2016, “Ain’t Love Grand”, to be held in Adelaide later this month.

    Date: Thursday 11 August 2016
    Time: 1 – 2pm
    Location: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Tce Campus.
    Registration is essential

  • WPDN Book Club returns for a special event in 2016!14 April 2016


    "Writers and Readers" introduces you to some of the university's talented women writers: staff and students who are writing novels, short stories and poetry.

    Come and meet Rebekah Clarkson and Lynette Washington, two talented short story writers from the University of Adelaide’s Creative Writing programme. Rebekah and Lynette will talk about teaching, writing and publishing creative writing. Both of them have fascinating stories to tell us about their experience as women writers.

    Rebekah Clarkson

    Rebekah’s award-winning short fiction has been published widely, most recently in Best Australian Stories, Australian Book Review, and Something Special, Something Rare: Outstanding short stories by Australian women published by Black Inc.

    Her stories have been recognized in major awards in Australia and overseas, including the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, Fish Publishing Short Story Prize and Glimmer Train.

    She has a BA in Aboriginal Studies and an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, where she also teaches. She has taught Fiction Writing at the University of Texas at Austin and works now as a freelance writer, mentor and creative writing consultant in the community.

    Lynette Washington

    Lynette is a writer, editor, reviewer and creative writing teacher. Her day job, as Editor and Publicist at MidnightSun Publishing, is about as good as it gets, outside actual creative writing. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published widely and she is currently in the final throes of her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide. In 2014 she edited the short story collection 'Breaking Beauty'. In 2017 her PhD short story collection will be published.

    Date: Thursday 14 April 2016
    Time: 12 – 1pm
    Location: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Tce Campus.
    Registration is essential

Women's Professional Development Network (WPDN)

The University of Adelaide


To contact the WPDN please Email us