Counting down to WriteFest

Only a brief twinkle in time before this year’s WriteFest is upon us, and I have to say, this year it will be a step beyond what the club alone has been able to bring you.

WriteFest is the same friendly space at CQU for writers to meet with peers and chat to successful Australian authors, and with publishers and editors.

And rather than simply hoping some of those hard earned skills and insights will rub off, the workshops ensure WriteFestians leave with a bounty of  practical information, as well as a few handy tips (and maybe, tricks).

So you see, nothing’s changed. It’s just, like Topsy, WriteFest has grown.

With Creative Regions throwing its  administrative might behind the festival’s organisation (don’t worry – presenters have been invited in consultation with Bundaberg Writers Club), workshops now stretch over a full weekend, including two Masterclasses – The Art of Story and Creating Rounded Characters, both on Sunday, October 8 at CQU. The Masterclasses are, as usual, an all day event.

As an invitation to the Bundaberg community, writing related events feature before and after the festival, and Arnold Zable, human rights advocate and acclaimed writer of stories, large and small, will present a keynote addressThe Power of Story to open 2017’s expanded WriteFest.

Bookings are online but as usual you can pay on the day. Maybe sure you check out the schedule online first though. Morning and afternoon tea are provided, but if you’re there for the whole day you might like to book something from Alowishus Delicious (through the online booking page) to be delivered to you at CQU.

What’s this about booking with Alowishus for lunch?

In the past you’ve had to book for a whole day. The good thing is now you can book by the half day – perhaps mix and match a Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning session. So we’re not providing lunch as usual, though morning and afternoon tea will be provided as usual.

Writefest this year is a bit like having a big bowl full of delicious tidbits to choose from, and finding you can have the whole lot, if you want.

See you at WriteFest.





Authors’ DIY Publicist Class

Can you afford to ignore this Masterclass?

Offered as part of WriteFest, this Masterclass from Jaki Arthur, Head of Marketing Communications, Harper Collins (Sydney) provides a unique opportunity for regional writers who are ready to put their work onto the public stage.

Authors think the biggest question they have to grapple with is whether to publish traditionally, or to self-publish.

In reality the biggest question revolves around how they will make sure their works reaches an interested audience.

jaki-arthurAsk yourself, are you a proactive author, ready to work with your publisher and publicist to garner your novel the success it deserves? Or are you a writer who likes DIY, and needs to know how the professionals do it?

Jaki has over 20 years of experience in book publishing in New Zealand, the UK and Australia across retail and publishing sales, marketing and publicity. She has run her own successful arts PR agency and is currently Head of Marketing Communications at HarperCollins publishers,  Sydney. Jaki has worked and toured with authors from all over the world publicising books across all genres.

This is an interactive and feedback-focused workshop. Jaki lets you in on well-kept publicity secrets. You can gain practical skills to help place your book in the hands of your target audience. Learn how to make yourself heard over all the yelling and hallooing.

It’s a Masterclass for aspiring writers, self-published writers and traditionally published writers.

Now really, can you afford to ignore this Masterclass?

Limited places available on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9Please book early

Jaki facilitated this Masterclass at the Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2015. Read The Guardian’s article about the Masterclass HERE.

Self-Publishing a Paperback.

Justin Sheedy will be at WriteFest this year offering an in-depth exploration of DIY publishing.

You’ve screamed, sweated and cried for months, or even years. The voices in your head have finally disappeared, at least for the time being. That stack of pages (even if it is on a hard drive), is finally a manuscript.jenny-a

You’ve pored over your words for what seems a hundred or more times, sent your baby out to others to read and give feedback, you’ve revised and edited, and now it’s the best you can make it. Time to publish. Get it out there and into people hands. Start raking in that longed for fortune.

One question – How?

You’ve probably noticed, or even looked into, publishing businesses who promise to get your books into all the stores, right? The type of business wanting thousands of dollars to begin the publishing process. Surely getting your novel to your readers isn’t that hard (or easy), is it?

The answer is simple. No, it’s not. You’ve been in control of this novel all the way. Why hand it over to strangers now, especially strangers full of promises who want a bucket load of your money.

No. You can publish your book, yourself. All you have to do is follow some instructions.

You can do that, right?

Of course, you can. You’ve written a book. Hundreds of pages. You can do anything. Believe in yourself. That’s the power of being an Author.

No matter who you decide to go with, the first thing to do is purchase you own ISBN (International Standard Book Number), in Australia, through Thorpe-Bowker (

I have used both IngramSpark (Lightning Source) and CreateSpace (Amazon), and can recommend both. Each has pros and cons, so you’ll need to get onto their websites to really look into the workings of each, but here’s some useful info I’ve picked up.

IngramSpark. (Lightning Source®)

Ingram is the world’s largest wholesaler of print and electronic books distributing to more than 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools, and distribution partners across 195 countries. Since 1997 Ingram has been offering print on demand services through Lightning Source®.


IngramSpark does charge a setup fee. It’s not a lot of money, certainly not thousands of dollars. Their website has calculators to help you set the price of your book, and find out how much you will make in royalty sales.

They also have ready-made templates to help you create a book cover. You can either design your own using the template, or send the template to your cover designer.

IngramSpark publishes world-wide, and your novel will be included in their marketing catalogue, which goes out to over 11,000 resellers.

The beauty of choosing IngramSpark is that, when you sell a book internationally, you can have it printed and posted in the country of purchase, direct to your customer.

This saves you the cost and time of having to post a book.

And your happy buyer has your novel almost immediately.


CreateSpace. (Amazon)

CreateSpace has been a part of the Amazon giant since 2007, publishing and manufacturing on-demand for independent content creators, publishers, film studios, and music labels. (

CreateSpace does not charge a setup fee and has an easy step-by-step guide to help you construct your book. They will also give you a free ISBN number, which can only be used on CreateSpace.

If you have any questions, a forum exists to give you answers.

(Hint. Google is also your friend)

CreateSpace has ready-made formatted Word template files you can copy and paste the interior of your book into. They also have a Cover Creator you can use.


You can sell your book through CreateSpace by setting up a store.

Certain distribution disadvantages exist, especially for books in hard copy rather than digital, if you use CreateSpace.

CreateSpace/Amazon cannot make Royalty payments to Australian Banks. You will have to set up a Payoneer Account to be paid for any books you may sell.

If you wish to have books on hand to send to customers in Australia, you will have to order and have them sent to you. While you will only pay the wholesale cost for your books, postage costs from the US can be expensive.

You can order and send books internationally through Amazon/Createspace, but bookstores usually do not order books from Amazon/Createspace.

All it takes is a little time and effort to print your own books.

In Australia I generally choose IngramSpark for ease of distributing my novels internationally

While publishing may seem confusing, if you read the instructions, you’ll be all right.covers

~ J. L. Addicoat

The author of Spirit of Love and Entangled Destinies.







New Look WriteFest 2016 – Program guide


WriteFest 2016 Program

Welcome to the new look WriteFest.

Re-badged to match CRUSH Festival colours, moved from wintery May to October’s Spring time weather, Writefest is in all other ways full of the same friendly ‘workshoppery’ we’ve come to know and love.

Follow the links to book

10,000 reasons to write crime


T J Hamilton, Cop turned crime writer

23rd Scarlet Stiletto Awards Crime Short Story Competition

now open – closes 31 July 2016

(one month early)

Record $10,000 on offer  

Stories must have a crime or mystery theme, a female protagonist and a female author.

Text Publishing, winner of the Australian Book Industry Awards Small Publisher of the Year 2012, 2013 and 2014, is sponsoring the $1500 first prize in this, the 23rd Scarlet Stiletto Awards, Sisters in Crime Australia’s annual short story competition.

“For more than two decades the Scarlet Stiletto Awards have played an unparalleled role in discovering and nurturing Australian women crime writers. One of Text’s authors, Angela Savage, won 3rd prize in 1998 and in 2004 went on to win the Victorian Premier’s Award for An Unpublished Manuscript for a novel featuring the same sleuth. Text then published the book as Behind the Night Bazaar and two more in the Jayne Keeley series,” Publisher Michael Hayward said, adding that Text Publishing was honoured to support women’s literary talent of the criminal bent.

“Crime has been a staple of our publishing program from our earliest days. This year, for instance, we’re proud to be publishing the second books in crime series by Anne Buist and Sue Williams.”

National Co-convenor, Michaela Lobb, said Sisters in Crime was thrilled with this top level support.

Simon & Schuster  (publishing crime writers like Ann Turner, Sara Foster and 2007 Scarlet Stiletto Award winner Aoife Clifford) will sponsor the $1000 second prize. Every Cloud Productions,  producer of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, is offering a new award for the best mystery with history story ($750).


The climax of Sisters in Crime’s 25th anniversary convention, SheKilda3: One Day Crime Spree, at St Kilda Town on 19 November will be this year’s Scarlet Stiletto Awards. To mark the special occasion, a Silver Stiletto Award will be presented.

Sponsored by Kerry Greenwood, a founding member of Sisters in Crime, the Silver Stiletto will be open to previous shoe (1st prize) winners.

Five authors have won the Scarlet Stiletto Award twice – Cate Kennedy, Christina Lee, Roxxy Bent, Janis Spehr and Josephine Pennicott – so the Silver Stiletto Award is open to only 17 writers. Only Cate Kennedy has won a matching pair of stilettos.

The full list of awards includes:

  • The Text Publishing Award: 1st Prize: $1500
  • The Simon & Schuster Award: 2nd prize: $1000
  • The Sun Bookshop Award: 3rd Prize: $500
  • Allen & Unwin Award for Best Young Writer (under 18): $500
  • Silver Stiletto Award: $1000
  • The Athenaeum Library ‘Body in the Library’ Award : $1000 ($500 runner-up)
  • The Every Cloud Award for Best Mystery with History Story: $750
  • Kerry Greenwood Award for Best Malice Domestic Story: $750
  • HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Romantic Suspense Story: $500
  • Scarlet Stiletto Award for Best Environmental Crime Story: $500
  • Scarlet Stiletto Award for Best Financial Crime Story: $500
  • Clan Destine Press Award for Best Cross-genre Story: $400
  • Liz Navratil Award for Best Story with a Disabled Protagonist Award: $400
  • Scriptworks Award for a Great Film Idea: $200

To date, 2,926 stories have been entered with 21 Scarlet Stiletto Award winners –including category winners – going on to have novels published: Cate Kennedy, Tara Moss, Annie Hauxwell, Angela Savage, Josephine Pennicott, Ellie Marney, Sarah Evans, Inga Simpson, Alex Palmer, Liz Filleul, Margaret Bevege, Patricia Bernard, Bronwen Blake, Jo McGahey, Cheryl Jorgensen, Kylie Fox, Simmone Howell, Emilie Collyer, Sandi Wallace, Aoife Clifford and Amanda Wrangles.


Three collections of winning stories have been published by Clan Destine Press: Scarlet Stiletto: The First CutScarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut and Scarlet Stiletto Short Stories: 2013 (ebook).

Closing date for the awards is 31 July 2015. Entry fee is $15 (Sisters in Crime members) or $20 (others). Maximum length is 5000 words.

Click here to pay entry fee:

Click here to download entry form: Scarlet Stiletto 2016

Click here for FAQs: Scarlet Stiletto Awards FAQs

Competition Winners Announced.

Thank you to everyone who submitted to this, our last short story competition for a little while. Although the competition has been especially successful, in our view, the club has decided to change focus for a couple of years to better service the needs of members.


Janice Williams for Tough Guy. Tough Guy

Janice describes the story as a ‘combination of working dog stories I have heard, and a recognition of the serious problem farmers face with depression.’

Judge’s Comment: Tough Guy is a gentle and moving story exploring the important and topical issue of depression rates amoung Australian farmers . It is well written with heart and humour, and a distinctively Australian voice. It builds powerful moments of drama through subtle characterisations and intimate moments.

Runner Up

Susan Bennett for Butterflies and Roses

Judge’s Comment: Butterflies and Roses has a sophisticated structure and delivers a great twist. Through clever writing and characterisation, it offers beautiful and unexpected insights on life and love.

Special Mention

Cameron England for  Close Contact

Judge’s Comment: Close Contact deals with compelling themes of climate change and isolation through excellent world-building. The dystiopian imagery and depth of characterisation are handled well through clear writing and subtle pacing, ending in a moment of high drama.

Short listed:

  • Mark Fowler Larrikin
  • John Pittmann Blame the Pink Umbrella
  • Carmel Lillis Submitted
  • Naomi Currie Honey Eater
  • Melanie Napthine Escape Artist

Meg Vann said: The standard of (short listed) stories overall was excellent. Each and every story offers terrific writing, characterisation and drama. The stories focussed on intriguing and topical themes, and all showed a sophisticated understanding of craft, using a high level of imagination and expression to create excellent narrative interest. It was very difficult to select the winners. I encourage all writers involved to keep honing their craft and sibmitting their stories to markets

Short Story 2016 Update

Meg Vann

Meg Vann

Meg Vann has agreed to be our final judge this year. She says she reads too much – loves crime and thrillers – eats too well, and is perpetually ready for adventure, which is undoubtedly why she is taking on our short list, which this year numbers eight.

For writers who may not yet be familiar with Meg Vann, she was for many years a core member of the Queensland Writers Centre, taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer for three of those years but always, always, always encouraging writers to dream of growing sustainable careers; to be valued and respected and enjoyed.

Meg is a writer, a digital experimenter, writing tutor, lecturer (now at University of Queensland) while studying criminology at Griffith, and convenor of Sisters in Crime (Brisbane Chapter).

We expect that we’ll be finalising the winner and runner-up by mid May, 2016, at the latest.

Good Luck to our final eight.