For Ukraine: by Women of the World

Dr Diann Rogers Healey, founder of the Australian Centre for Leadership for Women called for and brought together a collection of poetry and prose ‘For Ukraine: by Women of the World’.

35 writers from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, United States, and the United Kingdom have written in solidarity with those impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

I’m honoured that my poem ‘Twisted Tea’ has been included in this important collection. Professor Shirley Randell AO, wrote the Foreword. She mentions a few pieces that stood out for her including ‘Twisted Tea’.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to United Nations Women Australia for assistance in Ukraine. The book is available on Amazon and other online outlets. Please read and review.

Finalist Award, ‘Not keeping mum’

The anthology ‘Not keeping mum‘ – Australian writers tell the truth about perinatal anxiety and depression in poetry, fiction & essay – edited by Maya Linden, has been named a Finalist in the Indie Book Awards (2020-2021). My short story ‘The New Baby’, first published in Quadrant magazine, is part of the anthology. All Winners and Finalists are invited to the award ceremony in Washington DC on 24 June. Very exciting news.

“Heartfelt, at times confronting and occasionally funny, this collection gives insight into how women navigate the profound changes that occur in their bodies, relationships and lives when they become a parent, and how they find the light at the end of the tunnel.”

– Anne Buist, perinatal psychiatrist, professor women’s mental health and author of the Natalie King trilogy and The Long Shadow

You can purchase a copy here:

The Cellist, a Bellydancer & Other Distractions

I’ve received final proofs from my publisher, Ginninderra Press for my first poetry collection, ‘The Cellist, a Bellydance & Other Distractions’. In the home stretch now for publication of my sixth book. Happy happy.

So what are final proofs?

Proofs created by the printer for approval by the publisher before going to press are called final proofs. At this stage in production, all mistakes are supposed to have been corrected and the pages are set up in imposition for folding and cutting on the press. To correct a mistake at this stage entails an extra cost per page, so authors are discouraged from making many changes to final proofs, while last-minute corrections by the in-house publishing staff may be accepted.

In the final proof stage, page layouts are examined closely. Additionally, because final page proofs contain the final pagination, if an index was not compiled at an earlier stage in production, this pagination facilitates compiling a book’s index and correcting its table of contents.


I’ll let you know when the book is released.

First Proofs

I’ve corrected the first proofs of my first poetry collection, ‘The Cellist, a Bellydancer & Other Distractions’ and posted them back to my publisher, Ginninderra Press.

So what are first proofs?

According to Wikipedia:

In printing and publishingproofs are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors, editors, and proofreaders, often with extra-wide margins.

Proof, in the typographical sense, is a term that dates to around 1600.[4] The primary goal of proofing is to create a tool for verification that the job is accurate. All needed or suggested changes are physically marked on paper proofs or electronically marked on electronic proofs by the author, editor, and proofreaders. The compositor, typesetter, or printer receives the edited copies, corrects and re-arranges the type or the pagination, and arranges for the press workers to print the final or published copies.

So now I’m waiting for my publisher to send me final proofs. A proofreader will check the final proofs before I post them back.

Also front and back cover images and information are now being finalised.

Then comes printing of my new book. A very exciting time.

It will be about a month until release of ‘The Cellist, a Bellydancer & Other Distractions’. In the collection there is a poem about a cellist, another about a bellydancer, and one about distraction. 45 poems in total.

I’ll let you know when I’ve got a publication date.

My Flash Fiction ‘Sober Sixty’

Libby Sommer and 'Grieve" anthology

Have a read of my flash fiction ‘Sober Sixty’ first published in the Grieve Anthology, August 2020, Stories and Poems of Grief and Loss.

Sober Sixty

Samantha’s single women friends were envious, although she assured them Johnny wasn’t perfect. Mood swings, challenging stuff like that.

Nobody messed with Johnny. Nobody knew better than he did, he was always watching YouTube and learning new facts and figures. Also, he rode a motorbike and practiced shooting at weekends. There were Facebook groups for bike riders and a rifle range nearby. Johnny was proud of being a rev-head and a good shot with his gun, and not many people could disagree that he had unusual interests for a man his age.

Sober since forty and counting, he said about his sobriety. They didn’t talk about his twenties and thirties.

There’s a photograph of the two of them from Christmas day. Johnny had tried to lower himself to Samantha’s height for the photo so they’d be on the same level. Stand up tall, she’d said. Stand to your full height. That’s right, he’d said. You like things big.

What does ATP in ATP Cup stand for? was the type of thing Johnny would call out while she poured him a glass of water before setting out on a stroll around the block.

Samantha thought she knew the answer, but didn’t want to risk being wrong. She’d learnt to tiptoe around his wildness and dreaded the fighting when she wasn’t attentive enough to his needs. Dry drunk, AA called it. The unpredictable rages were doing her head in. She knew she needed the courage to walk away.

Now she’s getting by a day at a time.

Her friends say she’s one of the lucky ones. She’s dodged a bullet.

Copyright Libby Sommer 2020

Grieve 2020 Anthology available from Hunter Writer’s Centre website or Booktopia


October is Dyslexia Awareness Month worldwide.

Albert Einstein, Walt Disney and Leonardo da Vinci are some of the many famous people diagnosed with dyslexia. Others include Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson, Whoopi Goldberg and Steven Spielberg.

Dyslexia is described as a persistent challenge with acquiring and using written language and is often found to be hereditary. Children struggle to read, don’t want to go to school, feel stupid. Many end up in jail. Apparently, it is fixable, with the right teachers.

My debut novel, ‘My Year With Sammy‘ tells the story of one child’s struggle with severe dyslexia and the effects of her battle on the world around her. The book was Pick of the Week, Sydney Morning Herald and winner of the Society of Women Writers Fiction Book Award 2016.

Story Mosaic

Famous in India! That’s me holding my book, ‘The Crystal Ballroom’. My stories ‘Aravind’ and ‘Aravind Again’, included in Agathokakological Aussie Summer story mosaic, are self-contained chapters from ‘The Crystal Ballroom’. A great review of the story mosaic is in Indian national newspaper, News Mania. Well done to editors Sharon Rundle and Indranil Bengal Halder

Agathokakological Aussie Summer is an Australia – India collaborative online story mosaic. All free! Enjoy the stories at: or

Just press a star to begin.

A box of books has arrived

Big news! My new book, LOST IN COPPER PARK has just been released by independent award-winning Ginninderra Press. Just in time for Christmas. Huge thank you to my wonderful publisher Stephen Matthews. The book is available direct from or print and ebook editions from Amazon, Book Depository and other online booksellers, $27.50 or ask your bookstore to order it in ISBN 978 1 76109 042 4.

Cover image by Russian contemporary artist, Zoya Kriminskaya.

Bring on the celebrations.