Glimpses of WriteFest. WriteFest

WriteFest 2014 has come and gone, leaving everybody involved both buzzed and burnt out.  Greetings to all the guys and girls who are new members of the WriteFest community, and a big shout out to old friends who made it back this year and who continue to support the biggest little Writers’ Festival in Queensland (if not the world!)


The Secret to Writing Powerful Fiction using techniques mastered by Pixar with Kathryn Fox

Part 1- 9:20am – 11:45am, Part 2- 1:15pm – 3:45pm
Learn how to write powerful fiction that grabs readers and publishers. Have you ever wondered what makes a standout, compelling story? Using techniques employed by the incredibly successful storytellers at Pixar, learn the secrets to emotional core and outstanding story.  The workshop is designed for beginner and experienced writers, and is relevant to all genres. Some knowledge of Pixar movies would be helpful, but is not essential.


Creating Perfect Picture Books with Jacque Duffy
9:20am – 11:45am
What makes a good picture book and what makes a GREAT one? What creates timelessness? Learn what a publisher wants and expects from a picture book manuscript and how to write with an illustrator in mind.

  • Explore what makes perfect picture books and how to create them
  • Hands on story/illustration break-up
  • Now let’s make a book dummy

*Participants are encouraged to bring their own story, pencils, glue stick, scissors and extra sheets (8) of photo copy paper.
**No drawing skills required.


Pathways to Publication with Emily Craven
9:20am – 11:45am
The pathways to publication have never been so diverse or varied. Join Queensland Writers Centre’s if:book Australia as we explore the new and exciting publication opportunities available to authors in this digital landscape and discover the technology available.


Making Book Trailers that Buzz with Scott Baker
9:20am – 11:45am and 1:15pm – 3:45pm
Book trailers… who looks at those things? In this workshop we will examine the place book trailers have in the market, and the various types of trailers there are. More importantly, Scott will give some very practical advice on how to make great book trailers, and how to avoid making terrible ones!


Capturing and Keeping Kids’ Interest in Chapter Books with Jacque Duffy
1:15pm – 3:45pm
Chapter books bridge the gap between early readers and middle grade novels. This workshop will cover how to capture and hold this special audience.

  • What makes a favourite – look at various published chapter books and see what works and what wilts
  • How do you capture your audience – hands on – opening page (participants are encouraged to bring their own stories)
  • Keeping your audience – explore ways to engage the young reader for the longer read and have them wanting more.


The Write Tools for Writers with Shannon Curtis
Are you interested in writing, and not quite sure where to start? Or perhaps you are already writing, and wanting to get out of the slush pile and into the bookstores? If you want to learn creative writing, or how to craft a story, get published or perhaps tweak the skills you already possess, than this workshop visits the fundamentals of writing to further hone your craft.

Part A – Nuts and Bolts
9:20am – 11:45am

Strong foundations: Four W’s of character, and how to develop motivation and conflict that can sustain a story.
Concrete backstory: enough to build a good foundation, and not too much to bog your story down.
Hammering out a plot: using story structure and character development to draft a compelling plot.
by the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
–       Construct well-developed characters that can sustain conflict
–       Use backstory to advantage without bogging the story down
–       Draft a compelling plot outline
–       apply these to their own writing

Part B – Master Builder
1:15pm – 3:45pm
Tension & Pacing – using it to great effect within a story
Dialogue – how to create authentic character ‘voice’
Hooks – first line, chapter endings and scenes and sequels
Polishing your work – reviewing, revising, and editing.
by the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
–       Know the difference between pacing and tension, and use it to draw readers through the story
–       Write believable dialogue that shows character as well as propels plot
–       Understand the elements of a good hook, and how and when to use one
–       Review, revise and edit their own work
–       Apply these to their own writing


Words + Pictures – The golden opportunity that is the graphic novel
with Shane Foley
1:15pm – 3:45pm
Why have best-selling authors like Audrey Niffenegger (The Time-Traveller’s Wife) and Diana Gabaldon (Outlander historical romance series) embraced the graphic novel as a means to tell their stories. And how did they do it?

In this workshop, Shane Foley will unlock the secrets of the graphic novel, including defining what a graphic novel really is, addressing questions of copyright, and outlining what the author and the artist should expect of each other.

To help authors better understand the overall process, Shane will workshop the practical aspects of designing characters with the artist, what the author needs to think of when producing a script for the artist, and how layout can change the tone and overall look of your story. The session will leave time for individual questions.