The stories of 33 island residents feature in a book Diamonds on the Water, launched by the Macleay Island Inspirational Writers Group at the Macleay Island Progress Hall on December 2.
The 104-page book represents 15-months work and was first mooted by Macleay Island librarian Sara Zastera as part of the Tide Festival in 2022.
Writer Margaret Smeaton said the idea sprang from Trent Dalton’s book Love Stories in which he recorded random people’s love stories.
“During the festival we did much the same. We set up with a typewriter and a table and asked people to tell us their stories about life on the island. We asked about their experiences, what brought them here and what island life means to them. We were thrilled to bits to be involved,” Margaret said.
Stories were also collected from Lamb and Karragarra Islands by the Karragarra writer’s group.
Margaret said the project extended beyond the festival and the book includes the personal stories of sculptor Ted Upton, indigenous artist and musician Joe Geia and performer Mary Veitch.