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Words at West Terrace Cemetery

Experience one of Australia’s oldest cemeteries in this unique writerly event for SA History Festival 2023.

West Terrace Cemetery is a rich repository of stories, some of which date from Adelaide’s earliest colonial days. Walking the historic paths brings the past vividly to life, as author Carol Lefevre has shown in her book Quiet City: walking in West Terrace Cemetery (Wakefield Press, 2016). Just as this site abounds in untold stories, we each hold within us stories that unfold from our past.

Whether you’re interested in life-writing or fiction, Carol will work with you to explore your own cache of material, regardless of form or genre. Through life-mapping, writing exercises, and short walks to notable gravesites, you will learn ways to enter the past, hook a story and bring it into the present. You will be guided in developing your own writing practice, and can expect to come away with a short piece of prose that can be expanded at home, at your own pace.

Participants will be:

  • Shown how to map life-writing material, to identify and organise pieces of the past they might draw on for memoir or fiction.
  • Taught to recognise the difference between ‘a situation’ and ‘a story’, and encouraged to work with those concepts in their chosen genre.
  • Introduced to writing exercises to help push deeper into the specific details of their material.
  • (On a craft level) be shown how to strengthen sentences to produce more compelling prose.
  • Encouraged to establish a regular writing practice using the techniques they’ve been shown, and will come away with a piece of prose they can develop and revise at home.


This workshop is suitable for writers of all backgrounds and levels.

*Please note the walking component of this workshop and wear sensible footwear. Some pathways betweeen gravesites are unpaved, so if you have access requirements or wish to discuss this with a staff member, please email [email protected] before you register. Places in this workshop are strictly limited.

Event supported by Adelaide Cemeteries. 

About Carol Lefevre

Carol Lefevre holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, where she is a Visiting Research Fellow. Her novel Nights in the Asylum, Picador (UK) and Vintage (Australia) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, won the 2008 Nita B. Kibble Award for Women Writers, and the People’s Choice Award. If You Were Mine (2008) was published by Vintage.

She has published short fiction, essays, and journalism, and her non-fiction book, Quiet City: walking in West Terrace Cemetery (2016, Wakefield Press) was shortlisted for the Non-2018 Fiction Prize in the SA Festival Awards for Literature. Murmurations, a novella in eight stories (2020, Spinifex Press) was shortlisted for the 2021 Cristina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and the Fiction Prize in the 2022 South Australian Festival Awards for Literature. The Tower a novel in stories, was published in 2022 (Spinifex Press), as well as a book for children The Silver Moth, Lion Hudson (2022). A novel, Temperance, is forthcoming from Wakefield Press (2023).


Venue: The Curators Cottage, West Terrace Cemetery, 161 West Terrace, Adelaide (some parking is available onsite)

Members $88 / Non-members $140


—Not yet a Writers SA member? Join here for as little as $60!

—We strongly recommend all staff, speakers, and attendees of in-person events be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You cannot attend if you are unwell or you or a close family member test positive to Covid-19 in the five days prior to this event. See our full policy here.

—Writers SA members must be logged in to receive the member discount. If you would like to use a workshop credit to book in, please contact [email protected] at least five working days before the workshop commencement date. Our staff don’t work full time and we don’t want you to miss out!

  • Starts: May 13th, 2023 10:00 AM
  • Finishes: May 13th, 2023 1:00 PM

Registration Details

Words at West Terrace Cemetery

Event Registration - In Person
We strongly recommend in-person attendees to be vaccinated for the health and safety of all participants but this is no longer mandatory - Aug 22
Event Fee(s)
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