… the other in the dirt

jason 2010

Jason’s most recent long fiction title is the Gothic tale Salvage (Twelfth Planet Press), with his outback vampire duology Blood and Dust and The Big Smoke to be launched in May with Clan Destine Press.
Read it first: Pre-release Taste Test Teaser in 
The Big Smoke here.


J: I certainly feel different to the mainstream, if we can pinpoint that, because of my role in the creative industries – it’s not nine to five, bank managers hate me, it feels underappreciated in our culture whose values and priorities increasingly puzzle, frustrate and disappoint me (I am not the ultra-conservative country kid I once was). There is an uncomfortable friction between art and business and the expectations of reward from both. Many of my most valued friends are creative types now; it’s a wonderfully supporting and welcoming community.

M: I agree. The business of Art isn’t quite like the ‘business of everything else’. More people taking chances. Proactive individuality?
Of course, many writers are niched into genre of one sort or another. Which may seem to deny a writer his (or her) individuality.
People like to slip you into Horror (I don’t necessarily see that.).  And your workshop is focussed on Horror tropes.  But how do you categorise what you write?

J: I grew up reading all manner of genres, but it was speculative fiction that reeled me in – those big ‘what if’ questions, the powerful imaginations, the derring do. Lovely stuff! So that’s what I write, in my way, but I’d agree with you: not a hell of a lot of my stuff is ‘horror’, in that I’m not writing it to try to scare the reader, and certainly not gross out the reader (that gross-out stuff, in whatever media, doesn’t interest me – I want my thrills to linger, and ‘ew’ doesn’t cut it).
Some of my short stories are horrific, some are not, and some might be unsettling – I love the Gothic mode, in terms of atmosphere – but probably dark fantasy or urban fantasy (or rural fantasy) is more accurate than horror.
My novels have moments of horror, perhaps, but I don’t really think of them as horror novels. The Vampires in the Sunburnt Country duology, for example, have vampires as protagonists, but they’re not creeping down convent hallways looking for naked necks; they’re charging around in fast cars staking out (heh) turf (so still concerned with necks, but violently and virulently). They books are adventures, thrillers, crime-tinged. The vampires are not there to scare but to comment on issues of social structure, on politics, on humanity.


I’ll be dipping my toe back into this world considerably in the near future — sorry, Brisbane, but you’re in for a rough time.

And indeed, the main project I’m working on now (for uni, as mentioned above) is science fiction – climate change fiction set in near-future Brisbane (following on from the ‘Watermarks’ short story that was published last year in Cosmos (yay!)).

 M: Yay indeed. What about the future horror (and its various subs)? Do you find it a flourishing genre? Would you care to speculate?

J: Most of the horror/dark fantasy I read these days is in short fiction – it tends to be Gothic and psychological, evolutionary stuff rather than mired in the tired tropes of the ’80s that did so much damage to the genre’s reputation (lazy writing, lazy stories, gore, misogyny).

M: Oh! Harsh. Have to agree though.

J: I suspect those publishers who say they don’t want Horror are referring to that tripe. Publishers want stuff that has something to say, expands the tropes and uses them in different ways; that bring a higher level of craft to the table than we might have seen in those less enlightened efforts.
I’m a bit out of the loop in long fiction, but check out any horror anthology by American editor Ellen Datlow for a taste (Fearful Symmetries is a recent one, very solid); Australian anthology Suspended in Dusk has got good notices (I’ve not read it yet); the Australian Horror Writers Association publishes ‘Midnight Echo’ magazine.
The Australian movie The Babadook (2014) was a brilliant use of horror tropes as metaphor while still being quite chilling. It’s a peek at one thing we these days are afraid of: loss of self through mental illness.

M. I think we all owe it to ourselves to check out Babadook. Aus reviewers were unkind. Rest of the world saw something else. May be a Mad Max thing happening.
But back to you. You have a Duology out soon – Blood and Dust & The Big Smoke. Very soon in fact. One doesn’t often see books come in twos. Are you bucking the trends! What makes this story perfect for two parts, instead of the ever-ready three.

J: Oh my, this story of Kevin the mechanic (Vampires in the Sunburnt Country) has been around for so long now; it’s such a relief to have him heading out into the world! The story always had a country/city duality to it, but it was the addition of a second point of view character (a city slicker) that really grounded the yarn, and helped split it into two volumes – Blood and Dust is primarily a road story set in western Queensland, and The Big Smoke is primarily set in Brisbane. The split reflects Kevin’s journey from outback mechanic to vampire vigilante.
Blood and Dust came out in digital-only in 2012 and I wrote it as a self-contained story, with plenty of business left unfinished, but its arc was complete. I’ve worked hard to ensure The Big Smoke can also be read comfortably as a standalone, but readers who’ve read Blood and Dust should be rewarded.

M: Announcements are made daily that Vampires are dead and dusty boring. You just can’t get rid of them, though. The Secret of Longevity seems to be to reinvent the creature. Have you reinvented the vampire? And can vampires still be considered horror?

J: Yes, vampires are still hanging around. They’re adaptable, such wonderful metaphors for so many of society’s ills, and as sexy as hell.
I wouldn’t say I’ve reinvented them here, but I have developed them: the need for blood is given new importance, some tropes remain, others have been dispensed with. There are some cool powers in the mix, too, carefully restrained.

How does Kevin’s career journey from outback mechanic to vampire vigilante?

Vampires can be horror if that’s the way they’re deployed, though you might not see it much these days. I consider these books to be vampire thrillers, not horror stories per se. The horrors here are societal, not psychological. More Near Dark than Christopher Lee’s Dracula (segue!) – I’ve got a lot of vampire movies, and Hammer movies are among my favourites (highly recommended: the recent Jim Jarmusch flick Only Lovers Left Alive – gorgeous!).

M. Thanks for the tip. I’m wary about trying something new without a tip off from my own little creative community.
Speaking of which, you have a crit group…

J: I love my critique group. They can be a sounding board from a troublesome idea, moral support when things are shite (or good!), sources of information on markets and good reads. But yes, it’s the critting that’s at the heart of it: respectful, considerate advice and feedback, often covering many facets, each reviewer with their own strengths and insights (that you may or may not agree with). They also do a great job of picking up inconsistencies and weaknesses. I try not to send any short story out that hasn’t been vetted through the Supernova group, though I’m fortunate in having a brilliant and reliable critter in my house.
As I mentioned above, it was the Vision writers group that provided a welcoming introduction to the speculative fiction community when I moved to Brisbane (they are still active, though the roster is vastly different). I highly recommend finding like-minded and constructive writers to work with – I met my other Brisbane critique groups through attending workshops (QWC’s Year of the Novel and Year of the Edit were two such, and probably two of the most valuable I’ve done – that was before I worked for them!).

M: Yes. You work with QWC. In fact, you’re editor of the print QWC mag – now quarterly (bit of a shock to some). Tell us what’s planned for the future. Any insider info about the new online presence?

J: Here is where I can’t say much because I’m not greatly involved in the online magazine, although it and the print quarterly that I edit will be sharing some copy, and I really don’t know what is going to happen when. The online magazine should be exciting because of the immediacy of the digital environment and the opportunities for value adding (things like hyperlinks and video or audio, comments and reader involvement). I’m hoping it will help QWC spread its services yet further. It’s a pretty huge undertaking; I reckon it’ll be worth the wait.

Can’t wait for the new site to land. But for now, of course, QWC will once again be involved in WriteFest, in the shape of the Peter Ball, manager of Australian Writers Market place and one of  the organisers of GenreCon2015 .

Queensland Writers Centre


Why writers’ festivals are good for you

The following article appeared in WQ, Christmas Edition, 2014. Used with permission.

Don’t Miss out on PLR and ELR

Jacque Duffy

Jacque Duffy

I’m Not Worthy.

One of the earliest writers’ festivals I ever attended was WriteFest in Bundaberg. I left my family in our post-Cyclone Larry shed and caught the train from Innisfail. (Twenty hours, and as any writer worth their salt will tell you, a journey on the Sunlander is a hot bed of story ideas.) Anyway, this isn’t about the train journey, or really about WriteFest; it is about listening to your peers – even if you have placed those peers on pedestals and you don’t recognise them as actual peers.

Back then, I was a five-time self-published – independently published, if you please – author/illustrator and I didn’t know anyone attending the festival. I was there to learn more about the craft and meet like-minded people. I hoped they didn’t ask me too many questions about my writing. I was fully aware of the stigma attached to us ‘selfies’ and quietly felt like the ugly duckling surrounded by some quite beautiful well-known/ famous/I worship the ground you walk on ‘real authors’ with contracts. These ‘real authors’ were actually quite human, conversed like real people and certainly made me feel welcome. In fact, they made me feel like one of them. Generosity must be one of the criteria by which the tutors at WriteFest are selected.

After managing to sidestep most questions about my writing, a zinger came my way

Had I registered my books for PLR and ELR? I had no idea what PLR and ELR were, let alone registered for them. The ‘writing gods’ explained to me PLR was public lending rights and ELR education lending rights. Australian authors could register with the Federal Government’s Lending Rights department to receive ‘missed royalties’ for books that, rather than being sold, were loaned through the public library and education systems.

I thought, That wouldn’t include me, I’m self-published.

YES, it does.

I thought, I’m not like these writers; they’re professional, and I’m not.

YES, I was (surprise, surprise).

I thought I wouldn’t have enough books out there to warrant registering.

YES, I did.

Those published (and registered) authors who had me hanging off their words all weekend told me to go straight home and register.

Did I register as they suggested? NO, I didn’t. Why would I? I wasn’t in their league.

The following year, after another fascinating train journey, I was once again at WriteFest, and once again the subject of PLR and ELR came up. Had I followed advice and received a nice little package from the PLR/ELR people? Well, no, I hadn’t registered. I didn’t want the ‘writing gods’ discovering I was an imposter; I enjoyed playing with the big kids. Evasive manoeuvre 101: change of subject.

Did I go home and register this time? No, I didn’t.


Because I wasn’t in the same ball park as these talented people.

OK. You get the picture. I am a slow learner. After a third WriteFest and PLR/ELR reminder, I finally registered myself AND all of my books. I mean, who would ever find out that my registration had been rejected or something equally as embarrassing? (They don’t reject registration, by the way.)

Do you have any idea what happened next?

You’re right.

I received a healthy little sum of money at the end of the following financial year. Actually, because I was self-published (and also registered as the publisher), I received two healthy little sums of money. If I had followed advice, if I had listened to my peers, I could have taken my family on a nice holiday.

Now, as your peer I want you to listen to me.

Register yourself and your books for PLR and ELR.

The closing date for the next round is 31 March 2015, for titles published in 2010-14. * (see below)

Tick the boxes to discover if you are eligible:

  • Authors, editors, illustrators, translators and compilers
  • Australian citizens, wherever they reside
  • Non-citizens who normally reside in Australia (eligibility ceases if normal residency in Australia ceases)
  • Creator must also be entitled to receive royalties from the sale of their book
  •  Books written by Australian creators may be eligible even if those books have not been published in Australia
  • Digital-only published books are not eligible.

Don’t miss that closing date: you have NO EXCUSES. I used them all up ages ago.


Lending Rights, arts.gov.au/literature/lending_rightsLogo2015

WriteFest is on again in Bundaberg on 16 May. bundywriters.com

Queensland writer Jacque Duffy has written and illustrated a series of seven books for children, bought by the Queensland Government for use in schools and libraries. Her picture book The Bear Said Please was released by Wombat Books this year and is used in the National Curriculum Grammar Strategies. www.jacquesartandbooks.com www.qwc.asn.au

* In 2011 the scheme changed slightly.

It is now the case that: Titles must be claimed within five years of the date of publication

Books may only be claimed up to five years (60 months) from the date of publication of the first edition and any subsequent edition. Therefore claims submitted for the 2014–15 program must be published between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013.

In order to remain eligible as a publisher: at least one new work or revised edition (has to have been published) in the preceding three-year period

Current information available here.

Edition 19: Night Blooming by Jason Nahrung

Like to step out on the edge. Nice little read from Jason Nahrung and SQ Mag

SQ Mag

A teenager in love with the darker side of life has disappeared. Detective Shane Hall, struggling with her personal demon, follows the trail to parts of Brisbane’s seedier side, The Valley. She must keep control to find the missing young woman, and for her own self-preservation. SY

Deborah Brown—Jazmine Nocturna to her friends—had it bad for the unliving. Shane stood in the teenager’s bedroom, taking in the nu-vamp celeb posters, the black lace, the incense.

The girl’s mother stood at the bedroom door. Ms Brown wore a pencil skirt and heels, a crisp white blouse, but stray hairs were pulling free from her tight bun, and the shadows under her eyes showed through her makeup. Early to mid-forties. Gym toned, suntanned, a gold cross above her modest cleavage. No wedding ring, but a pale line where one had been. She radiated anxiety.

Join the club, sister.

View original post 6,186 more words

Wish upon a WriteFest

A K Leigh

AK Leigh





AK Leigh lives with her husband, three energetic children and one grumpy cat in Ipswich. A self-confessed book lover, an identical triplet (how cool is that) and the holder of a graduate degree in counselling, she is also the author of debut novel, See Her Run. Extract available here.

Find her online at http://www.fallinlovewithleigh.com




Q. This is your first published novel. The first question has to be, ‘How did you get published?’ so, do you mind sharing how you filled the void between finishing the novel and achieving a deal with Momentum.
A. I began by submitting See Her Run to a handful of agents, and entering it in competitions. I received the standard “not for us but keep trying” response. Finally, I applied for an interview with (Acquisitions Editor at Pan Macmillan) Haylee Nash and was offered a contract with Momentum as a result. All up, it took a little under two years. It felt like a hundred!

Q. Those ‘not-for-us’ responses can be disappointing, especially when you call Ipswich home. For a Queensland writer, Ipswich has to be pretty ideal as far as proximity to the local publishing business. Location, location, location and all that. But you finally struck gold at WriteFest. How did that come about?
A. I actually Googled something like “writing conventions Australia” and WriteFest popped up in the search. I had been to Bundaberg before, so I knew a little about the area. Of course, I knew about the turtles and the rum and Bert Hinkler is one of my husband’s heroes.
The Masterclass, and the fact it was run by an Editor, caught my eye. I wanted to do as many things as possible to improve my writing and a WriteFest Masterclass seemed like a good place to start. The first year (2013), I also applied for an interview but didn’t get accepted.

Q. So, another disappointment. Another polite refusal of the MS. But you came back in 2014.
A. Yes. I’d enjoyed my first trip to WriteFest, and the masterclass really helped me. I learned so many things about writing that helped me make my manuscript better than I could have without the experience. But it was when I saw there were publisher interviews in 2014 that I thought I’d give it another shot (despite not being successful the year before). I had completed a lot of work on the manuscript in that year and thought it was time to test it out on a publisher instead of an agent.See-Her-Run

Q. You’d been working on the story for some time at that stage, well past first draft. Realistically, it should have been as ready as it could be. But I can tell you, half the trick is finding the publisher (or agent) who speaks your language. I guess everything came together with Haylee Nash in 2014.
A. Haylee was brilliant. She was supportive and easy to talk to throughout the entire process. She made me feel relaxed and comfortable from the moment we met. She said the first three chapters grabbed her attention and made her want to keep reading. That was nice to hear!

I wanted to show women coming out of similar experiences that there was a way to move through the trust issues and find love again.

Q. Always good to hear all those workshops about creating hooks were value for money! But it wasn’t just the hook gave this story legs. I believe See Her Run has its roots in personal experience. Drawing on a powerful experience can really drive a story forward. I hope you can give us a quick run-down – without giving the plot away.
A. The story deals with the fallout of escaping an abusive relationship. I wanted to show women coming out of similar experiences that there was a way to move through the trust issues and find love again. The story’s set in rural North Carolina, a place I’ve visited and fallen in love with. If anyone ever gets the chance to go to Asheville, do it!

Q. Well, that answers my next question (which would have been, ‘Why North Carolina,’ but tell us why you chose a rural setting over something urban and gritty. This is Romantic Suspense.
 I like the space and fresh air of the country (and have lived in the South East Queensland country – Lockyer Valley – before), plus the location came by itself. Other writers will understand what I mean.

Q. You’ve said your first ever story came out of personal experience too, when as a school girl you wrote a romance about a boy you had a crush on, so you’ve obviously a natural inclintion towards the romance genre.
A. Yes, I am very romantic by nature, just ask my family. But, it actually took me a long time to admit to myself that I wrote romance – because of the stigma often attached to it. I have had family members and friends say to me “why don’t you write something serious?” (grrr!)
I love romantic suspense, and am currently working on both the sequel and prequel to See Her Run, which will both be romantic suspense.

Q. Have you committed firmly to Romantic Suspense?
A. It is not the only genre I’m interested in. I’ve completed three contemporary romance manuscripts (still deciding what to do with those) and have half a dozen semi-complete manuscripts in the paranormal romance, time travel romance, fantasy romance, YA romance, and of course romantic suspense, genres.

Q. So, getting published is one thing, but the job’s not done yet. I’ve noticed you’re an active marketer. And you’ve some great reviews across a wide spectrum of sites. And your blog address is very cool.
A. Thanks. I think it helps to have your presence out there. I had my website, blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook social media organised before See Her Run was published. I decided early on to use something catchier than my name for my website address, which is when I came up with the slogan “Fall in love with Leigh”.

Q. Yes, I like the way it plays with meaning. Catchy. But, last question, are you coming to Bundaberg for WriteFest again this year?
A. Of course. I enjoy networking with other authors and believe that a writer should never stop trying to refine their skills.
But also, there is a great line up this year. In particular, I am looking forward to Graeme Simsion and Shannon Curtis’ classes.
And then there are people I have met through previous years and who I want to catch up with.

If you want to catch up with AK Leigh, follow her on  www. facebook.com/AuthorAKLeigh or Tweet @AKLeighAuthor.  Her blog is http://www.fallinlovewithleigh.com

5 ways to Lose an Agent

Adsett AAPS headshot

Genre, mainstream, literary, children’s, YA. Whatever your pleasure. As long as the narrative is strong and the story is ready to go.

This agent could make all the difference




Just a month ago an emerging writer offered the opinion that it was too hard publishing the traditional way. Publishers took such a long time reading manuscripts. And really, agents, they hardly count, do they, if you’re self-publishing… sorry, indie-publishing.

My first observation is, yes, self-publishing looks easy. My second: Self-publishing is not indie-publishing. My third: Agents and publishers are the best measure of a manuscripts readiness.

Yes, they sometimes get it spectacularly wrong, but the percentages are in single digits.

And remember, publishers seldom have the time to properly read all unsolicited manuscripts, but they usually have time for an agent they respect.

When that agent says,”You should try this new writer”, then the publisher pays special attention.

We’re all looking for something new and fresh to lay before our agent of choice. We’ve greats ideas to share. But to have those ideas considered we need to think about what might put an agent off.

You may lose your chance at the agent of your choice though:

  1. poor control of the basics.  If you can’t control the basics like grammar, punctuation, or even fonts, how can you demonstrate you are the writer of their choice.  It’s not good enough to tell an agent you have a great story, you have to show agents you can tell it.
  2. ignoring their guidelines. Agents give a good deal of consideration into crafting guidelines that can help them and the writer. If they want the sub via email, don’t bother posting. If they want a synopsis of one page double-spaced, give them one page.  Don’t try to fit in a longer synopsis by offering one page single-spaced.  In they want one chapter, don’t… You get the drift. Give them what they want.
  3. flat synopses. Practice writing synopses. Learn what is important to your story and how to get it down in a vibrant interesting style in one page. Although you do need to indicate how the story ends,  you don’t have to telegraph that amazing twist you’ve planned.
  4. ineffective cover letters don’t give agents what they want to hear. As well as a little info about the MS they want to know about you, the writer, but only information connected to your future writing career. Writing for a local newsletter does not impress, so don’t bring it up. Completing a university degree relevant to creative writing may impress. Certainly, advising that you best friend thinks the story is aces will get you nowhere, unless the friend is, for  example, a well known figure in publishing. Similarly, declaring that you expect your story to sell for six figures announces to the world your ignorance of the business.
  5. ignorance of the business. Writers make mistakes, often not because they choose to be dismissive of the business, but because they haven’t had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the publishing world. If writers were to believe broadcast media, then they would believe writing was easy, and that all a writer needed was a great idea. Attending conferences and festivals, like WriteFest, will help a writer better understand the journey ahead.

I suppose, to a beginning writer who’s just finished the 10th draft of a first novel, all this seems like too much hard work but time spent working on perfecting the basics, crafting synopses, constructing cover letters, learning about the business and respecting the need to follow guidelines all build new skills that, in the end, will make your book stronger.

Submission guidelines available here. Closing March 31.

See you at WriteFest.


Writing my first published novel – Sue-Ellen Pashley.


Sue-Ellen Pashley. Author of Aquila.



Sue-Ellen Pashley started drawing stories before she could write them down but it was only when her small school in inland Queensland hosted an author-talk that she fell in love with the idea of being an author one day herself. 

Now a resident of Benaraby, Sue-Ellen admits that Uni, work and motherhood could only put that dream on hold for so long, and now her first novel, Aquila, has been released to the world by Random Romance, an imprint of Random House. Available as an e-book.

Nick? Grace likes him, against her better judgement.


Q. You’ve always liked telling stories, but you say that after you grew up you didn’t write for a long time, despite your desire to be an author. What drew you back to writing?
A. Essentially, I really missed it and none of my other creative outlets seemed to be filling the need. I really wanted to tell stories.

Q. You had children at home then. One quite little.
A. Three great kids – all of whom needed something different from me – love (of course), taxi service, cook, housekeeper, counsellor, reading buddy. And all three are still are home.

Q. What about work.
A. Oh, I was working part time.

Q. Now I first met you, I think, at a Mentoring the Muse retreat here in Bundaberg.
A. Yes. I’d finished a young adult manuscript. I knew it needed a lot of work, but it was finished.  Mentoring the Muse came up, the MS was selected, and I worked with Sandy Curtis.  She very diplomatically went through some things I might need to consider. It was a steep learning curve.

Q. And so… Aquila.
A. I wish. I wrote another seven young adult novels and three children’s picture books, as well as a middle school novel, before Aquila.

Q. So, tell us about developing Aquila. Obviously you worked on it a great deal. Applying what you’d learned writing those other novels.
A.  WriteFest was instrumental in getting the story in front of people in the know, and in giving me the confidence to take Aquila further. Through WriteFest, I attended four Masterclasses and met, one-on-one, with professional editors, which has been invaluable.

Q. How did you find the process? I mean, these are people who work with Australia’s major publishers…
A. The first was a bit nerve wracking. Especially when I realised I had to prepare a synopsis. They are not my forte. But the size of the classes, the other writers … it was great.

Q. But the Masterclass presenters…
A. It’s been a great atmosphere with every one of them. Relaxed. Friendly. A shot in the arm for enthusiasm. It was great.

Q. And Aquila. Aquila_cover
A. I took an almost finished Aquila to a Masterclass and got some great feedback. So I took it next year and after that, contacted one of the editors for a structural edit – which was awesome. Another learning curve. Fast forward to pitch with yet another editor and then, on February 25, this year, 2015, Aquila went out to the world.

Q. Those unpublished works – are you thinking of revisiting them?
A.  I think about revisiting these stories sometimes, now that I have a bit more writing experience under my belt, but there always seems to be a new story to write about … and who can resist a fresh idea with new characters to torment?
But with two more MS on the go and a third  that I started this morning (I hope Random might be interested in it as well) I can’t stop now that I’ve started again.

Q. So you don’t work on one project exclusively.
A. Not really. Which I’m told is crazy but it’s just how my brain works. I do work on one fairly exclusively in the final edits though. For instance, I’ve just finished a novella that I’m hoping to put out as a set with three other talented writers – all WriteFest attendees, and members of BWC.

Q.How on earth do you manage to produce so many words? You must write all day.
A. My family are very patient when they see me in front of the computer! Usually I’m able to do some writing in random spaces during the day when I get them, but I’m a morning person, so 5am writing sessions before everyone else is up means that I can be really productive.

Q. That’s a good tip for morning people. Anything else you can share.
A. I think you have to realise that everything you write is a step in the process. The old adage of ‘you can’t edit an empty page’ still stands.
I highly recommend you attend workshops and conferences, like WriteFest, join writers’ groups – immerse yourself – and learn about the craft while you make contacts and friends.

You have to realise that everything you write is a step in the process. [Tweet this!]


Q. Or friends who are contacts? Or contacts who become friends?
A. Absolutely! All of the above. It’s all part of this writerly journey. Especially when you meet other writers and hear about their angst (usually similar to your own) and find out that most editors/publishers/agents are great human beings – and who would have thought that.

Q. A last word?
A. Oh, write what you enjoy writing about.

So there it is. And if you want a taste of what Sue-Ellen enjoys writing about we have an AQUILA extract for your reading pleasure.

And the only question I’m left with is: Would you trust Nick?

If you have a strong narrative ready for the publisher why not pitch this year to Alex Adsett. Next year might see you published.

However, if you’re still polishing your final draft, you should submit to Liz Filleul’s Masterclass Before you hit send – Essential self editing


Workshop – How Many Pages Make a Novel?

ShortStoryGraphicIf the short story is back, so is the novella.

Defining a story as a novella was once the equivalent of scratching the author behind the ears while muttering, “Good lad”.

And while it can be quite easy to tell the difference between a short story and a novel,  exactly what is a novella. It sounds like it should be a short novel. But could it be a long short story.

So how do writers work out the scope of a story before they start writing it.

Dr Kim Wilkins will be dropping by BWC at 80A Woongarra Street , March 21, from 10-30am to explore this very question. “You might find as you write that the story is pulling up too short, or going on far too long.”

So, are you writing a short story? A novella? A novel? A series?

This half-day workshop will help you judge the scope of your story and give you tools to help tighten it up or flesh it out.

Three dollar entry fee to cover morning tea.


If you can’t make it, let us know any questions relevant to the workshop topic and we’ll try to find answers for you.

Dr Kim WilkinsKimberley-Freeman was born in London, and grew up at the seaside north of Brisbane, Australia. She has degrees in literature and creative writing, and teaches at the University of Queensland and in the community. Her first novel, The Infernal, a supernatural thriller was published in 1997. Since then, she has published across many genres and for many different age groups. Her latest books, contemporary epic women’s fiction, are published under the pseudonym Kimberley Freeman. Kim has won many awards and is published in 17 languages. She writes regular writing tips columns for the Queensland Writers Centre.

WriteFest – what writers want.

WriteFest Logo colour

Each year WriteFest organisers try to bring writers something a little different, something practical, something adventurous, something new to tempt and tease.

The mix this year is no different.

Writers’ increasing interest in Life Writing resulted in our invitation to Dr Lindsay Simpson to share her expertise. No ordinary memoirist, Dr Simpson’s latest publication investigates the Daniel Morcombe saga. As an academic with a background in investigative journalism, she appreciates the need to get the facts right and at the same time tell a gripping yarn.

Kat Apel, best seller writer of Aussie stories for Aussie kids, wants to help you discover your inner child, and learn how to translate it to a story which will empower and entertain.

Publishing and technology. Is it too much for you to get your head around? Cathleen Ross and Kandy Shepherd can answer all your questions, from writing a bio right up to how to upload to your digital selling platform. And they’ll make it seem easy.

Shannon Curtis tackles three core aspects of authorship in detail: plot structure; character relationships and building pace and tension.

And Peter Ball will be with us to represent the Australian Writers Marketplace, GenreCon 2015 and to give us the lowdown on what a writer needs to do and how a writer needs to think to create a screenplay – perhaps from their latest novel.

Check out the programme, and the presenters, so far.

More information to come about:

  • MasterClass – How to eliminate editorial issues (some of them legal) before hitting send – with Liz Filleul.
  • Agent in residence – Alex Adsett.